In describing our service and what it entails, we talk about the prenatal meetings (there are three of them now, plus a workshop), and we talk about our attendance at the birth (which is the primary reason many people hire us). What we often don’t talk about, or possibly just briefly touch on, is the birth stories we write. Interestingly, it is often a part of our service for which we receive lots of positive feedback. Reflecting on this there are many reasons why the telling of the story should be so important to the families we serve.
First, it is a love letter to our babies, a story to tell them when the time is right. It is also a love story to our mamas. We see her, in her beauty, meeting her edge, and surrendering. And there is nothing more beautiful or more powerful than a birthing woman. It is the greatest love story. We don’t just tell the story of the birth, we talk about their pregnancy journey. We observe dynamics between partners, unseen in the context of the relationship, and especially on the day of the birth when mamas are deeply engaged in the meditative state. We see you, new dads, timing expansions to the second, squeezing hips, stroking hair, running back and forth with boiling pots of water to fill the pool, and taping newspaper over the window to create the ‘cave-like’ space for birth. We see you filling her water and holding it gingerly to her mouth, we see you whispering in her ear how much you love her, and how proud you are, and your sweet exclamation of pure unbridled joy when you glance at that baby for the first time. We bear witness to the most tender moments, and see families at their very best, and it is not just our pleasure, or privilege to disclose this, but our responsibility.
I have heard the argument that each mama should tell her own story, and I completely agree, but I also think that as that witness, I owe it to her to describe the beauty, the sacred, the intense, all of it. Especially the intense; when things do not go as planned, my outsider’s perspective can help her to reclaim her power, to re-frame the unplanned, and to honor her, as the fierce mama warrior she was. Because there is a fierce mama warrior in each of us. We don’t see ‘patients,’ we see women, women we truly love, discovering their strength, their grace, and meeting unconditional, universal love, sometimes for the first time. How could I not write about that?
One of my recent clients has given me permission to share her story. For this, I am immensely grateful. Thank you sweet Hannah. We love you, and your beautiful Chloe.