TELLING BIRTH STORIES

“I can’t wait to see your blog about this!”

One of my clients began to go into labor April 2nd – and had her baby late last night, April 5th – and while dressed in his blue scrubs and just moments before leaving the room for the operating room where he would be meeting his baby who would be born via cesarean, the dad said those words to me. “I can’t wait to see your blog about this!”

I realized that it would be much MUCH harder to tell birth stories in my blog than I originally envisioned when I started this blog. You will notice that the only story I have thus far told has been about a particularly CRAZY 24 hours that I had attending 3 first time mothers – and that I didn’t talk about their births at all, but focused on the busy life of a midwife.

Why is it so hard for me to tell their birth stories? First, because how do I write someone’s birth story without it seemingly to be “all about me”? I know what I was thinking, I am always aware of my actions, I know what I said and what I was doing….so that’s what I remember the most. I don’t always know what my client was thinking (or doing, as I may be out of the room for a large chuck of the time). Unless I hear their story first and am only repeating what they have said to me, it MUST be my point of view and from my memory – and that comes across as I am making their births all about ME! And I don’t like that. I don’t want it to be about me…I want it to be about the family, their experience, their baby…but I can’t tell my version of their birth story and not have it be from my point of view and thus, by default, about me.

Secondly – while I am always honest with my clients and let them know if there is something concerning me, I may not always press upon them how I feel about things personally or how deeply it affects me. For example: what they don’t see is my complete and utter exhaustion at the end of their birth, or my tears streaming down my face as we drive to the hospital when we need to transport, or my frustration with my inability to change things beyond my control if they start to go awry, or my utter relief when things go beautifully. There’s no reason for them to see those things at that point – again, it’s not about me, and how I feel at that moment is by leaps and bounds secondary to what this family is experiencing.

But to blog about a birth I attended means that it’s impossible not to share those things (my personal feelings) and impossible not to make it about me. I hope ALL of my clients (who are now starting to express their interest in reading my version of their birth stories) understand this limitation and know that I respect that it is their story so much more than mine – but I can not tell their story, I can only tell my story.

So let me tell you a story…

6 Comments

  1. Autumn wrote:

    Well said Stephanie. I look forward to reading your birth experiences.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  2. Shannon wrote:

    This is said with such honesty. I too have wanted to change an outcome for a client. There are a lot of times that my van is the reciprocant of my tears of joy, saddness, frustration and love.
    There is no way to write someone elses life experience nor would I want to, esspecially one that will stay with them and those around them forever. I love YOUR outlook on life and birth!

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  3. Kelli wrote:

    I agree. Its a kind of birth story I rarely get to hear.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  4. Kolleen wrote:

    Can’t wait to hear the stories you have to tell… 🙂

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  5. Donna wrote:

    I always love hearing my own birth stories from those present at my birth. It brings a fresh perspective!

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink
  6. Sheridan wrote:

    Ahh, yes I have this same problem as a doula, when I blog about a birth.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

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