New Event! Birth, or something like it.

14 Dec

The Surprising History of How We Are Born, Tina Cassidy

Karrie, being the wonderful woman she is, sent “Birth-The Surprising History of How We Are Born” to me after I whined that I couldn’t find it locally. (No big shock here-the Chapters here is ridiculous in not having anything worth reading). When done, she said keep it, or pass it on.

This book is incredible, and not only for the number of times I squished my legs together, winced and said “OW OW OW” out loud. It’s an enthralling journey through the crap people have put labouring women through over the years, and it made me glad to give birth when I did, despite how miserable my first birth was. My second was fast enough that they couldn’t possibly do anything to me. It also helped to further remind me how I’d like to be a midwife someday, if I can do it.

I knew a lot of the things in this book, but some I didn’t realise were so commonplace. Strapping women down, tying their feet to stirrups-I had never known details before, and in some cases, like the descriptions of high forceps, ignorance would have been bliss.

It got me thinking. So many of us have our birth stories, good, bad, and ugly. Some of us have incredible stories-as I stated, my first was terrible, but my second, with hardly a drug to be found, out in less than two hours, was an incredibly moving and empowering experience for me. We read people’s birth stories all the time, the nitty gritty, the details about what time your contractions went from 5 mins to 3 mins, how your irritating nurse’s breath smelled.

But I want more. I want the details of how your birth made you feel as a woman. I want to know if your soul felt some odd sense of completeness, or if you felt helpless. I want to know if your c-section was just as incredible as you waiting for that first breath and yell from your child. I want to know if the awe stayed with anyone else, 1 year or 10 years later.

So that’s your assignment. Write your “birth story” on your own blog, link to me, and leave me a comment since I likely won’t notice the link. Either I’ll pick, or I’ll make Karrie help. The winner, the person who most eloquently conveys the birth, and ultimately, their birth as a mother, will receive this awesome book in the mail.

Already have it/read it? Well then, you might just get “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant instead, since I love that book, despite my atheism.

The Red Tent-Anita Diamant

So go forth, and tell me your stories. You have until December 20 to leave me your comments.


32 Responses to “New Event! Birth, or something like it.”

  1. katsplace December 14, 2006 at 2:05 pm #

    ok, so I am cheating and giving you one that you have read before. Libby’s Birth Story If I get a chance I will do one of my other kids story also.

  2. Lala December 14, 2006 at 2:46 pm #

    You want to be a midwife too? We have so much in common! I’m not interested in typing out a birthstory right now but nice idea, nice prize.

  3. Heather December 14, 2006 at 3:27 pm #

    That was some well-needed therapy. Story on my blog.

    If I continue to enjoy doula-ing, direct-entry midwifery is my next step. Nobody should have to go through what I did, and I love supporting a mom and helping her through. It’s so personally fulfilling.

  4. Heather December 14, 2006 at 3:48 pm #

    PS, in my Paganism, I also love The Red Tent. 🙂

  5. Eden December 14, 2006 at 7:29 pm #

    Mine are so uneventful (which I’m grateful for). Two C-sections, planned. I wrote them up when they happened. I just put them on WordPress for you:

  6. Estella December 14, 2006 at 7:38 pm #

    Ah, you’ve already read mine too. And it isn’t so moving, but I think it’s slightly entertaining. So I’ll link in.

  7. Nat December 14, 2006 at 8:46 pm #

    Done and done.

    I am actually pretty surprised at how hard it was to write Rita’s birth story. I hadn’t really gone into that much detail with anyone, since her birth. I actually had to stop a few times, while writing, cause I was bawling like a moron and needed to get a hold of myself. Holy crap!

    Anyhoo, enjoy my mini-novel! :-p

  8. Meggie December 15, 2006 at 12:55 am #

    Hi, I wrote my story already too! It was called Blogger Lies, as I was having a moan about not being able to post pics. I posted on 31st October 2006, if you could be bothered to read it.
    I tried to take the light approach to the memory… at the time comic thoughts were out of the question!

  9. karriew December 15, 2006 at 8:43 am #

    Mine is up too–just to share, not for the prize. I haven’t edited yet, so apologize for typos.

  10. Venessa December 15, 2006 at 11:22 am #

    To avoid a ridiculously long post, I am going to post my three birth seperatly although it is one long narrative. Can’t really understand the journey without reading all three. I’ll have them up by the end of the day EST.

  11. Jen December 15, 2006 at 11:34 am #

    Jesus, I went on for about ever. I’ve never written Lucy’s birth story before, and I’m glad to have an excuse to do so.

  12. Venessa December 15, 2006 at 12:26 pm #

    OK, done.

    But I don’t know how to insert links into your comments.

  13. puddlejumper December 15, 2006 at 2:57 pm #

    Okay. Mine’s up.

    I found this such a therapuetic process.

    I actually spent this evening having a bit of a cry.

    But I don’t think that was necessarily a bad thing.

  14. Caitlin December 15, 2006 at 4:02 pm #

    I’ve written the sanitized for family version down, but not the whole thing. What I consider to be my birth story runs for about a month, mostly due to NICU stuff. I’ll try to get it posted this weekend.

  15. katsplace December 15, 2006 at 4:12 pm #

    Here is the twins birth story. It’s long and full of images. It was surprisingly cathartic so I want to thank you. I’m not even sure how much I was still hanging onto the grief I felt during those days. I think I have sanitized it to make it better match my earlier birth experiences which were wonderful.

  16. katsplace December 15, 2006 at 4:13 pm #

    The link didn’t work…

  17. katsplace December 15, 2006 at 4:30 pm #

    I’m going to go for most comments I think.. LOL

    Thor, thanks. A lot. This was an absolutely fabulous idea. I have read and cried through so many birth stories now. Each one has a story to tell and some wisdom to share.

  18. Karen December 15, 2006 at 8:04 pm #

    Im posting the birth of my son ( pictures of location and all) Connor Augustus , lovingly known as Gus. The women that know me know this story already but it gets me even more right now as we are selling the place he was born this week…. ( no clue how to do links ) Http://

  19. Karen December 15, 2006 at 8:09 pm #

    hmm wonder why it did that lets try agian …

  20. katsplace December 15, 2006 at 10:53 pm #

    Thordora, one reason my last daughter is Rachel is because of the Red Tent. I’m another atheist that loves that book. It’s such a wonderful story of women – women’s strength.

  21. Amber December 16, 2006 at 11:02 am #

    Was urged to share my story as well..

  22. karriew December 17, 2006 at 9:51 am #

    I’m adding a link to my sister Kassie’s experience with her oldest child:

  23. Dawn December 17, 2006 at 12:55 pm #

    Ok, here’s mine. Sorry it’s so long!

  24. not-so-pregnant in texas December 18, 2006 at 12:19 am #

    I rewrote my birth story, after reading yours and Karrie’s. It’s here at It’s under the entry labeled December 16, 2006.

    I agree with what you wrote in one of your last posts, though. Our birth stories have so many similar themes: being alone, being scared, feeling isolated from the process occurring within our wombs and within our hearts.

    My son is 18 months old now and the memory of his birth still fills me with such sadness and pain. Only his gentle smile and impish laugh makes me forget, even briefly, what I went through to bring him into the world.

    Thank you for your honest writing here.

  25. thordora December 18, 2006 at 9:41 am #

    All I ever wanted was to see my own story reflected back at me, the good and the bad. I couldn’t find it the way I wanted it, so I wrote it.

    I’m happy so many of you wanted to share your stories with myself, and everyone.

    Maybe we can all help someone not feel so alone.

  26. Audrey December 18, 2006 at 8:40 pm #

    Thank you all for your beautiful stories! I’m due with our first in March and I love reading about everyone’s different experiences, the good and the bad. I am hoping for a drug-free labor/birth, but I also am embracing the unpredictability of having a baby. Beautiful, beautiful stories — thank you for sharing!

  27. thordora December 20, 2006 at 7:03 pm #

    Audrey-good luck! My youngest was born in march!

    Don’t fear your body. that’s my best advice.


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