“Stories teach us in ways we can remember.” -Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The birth of your child, or the birth of a close friend or family member’s child, is something that is unforgettable. The details of that day are so strong in one’s memory, it can seem like it was just a few days ago instead of months, or years, ago. By telling, and retelling, your own birth story, you are reliving that day, and while for some people this may be fine, for others that had a traumatic birth, it may be very difficult . However, by retelling it, you are reclaiming that day as your own, and not allowing the story to become something you are scared of. Yes, during our group we may hear some disturbing details, but we will also know that the story telling is opening herself or himself to fully process the experience wth a group of like-minded individuals.
“They teach us that each woman responds to birth in her unique way and how very wide-ranging that way can be.” -Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
We welcome everyone who has been impacted by a birth to share their experience. Whether that is the birthing person, the support partner, the grandparent that was waiting in the hall, or the sibling that was nervously checking his or her phone to hear updates. We encourage all types of stories to be told: no one birth is the same, thus no one birth story is the same. By having a diverse group of stories, we can learn from each person, as well as understand the process of birth more completely.
“They teach us the occasional difference between accepted medical knowledge and the real bodily experiences that women have - including those that are never reported in medical textbooks nor admitted as possibilities in the medical world. They also demonstrate the mind/body connection in a way that medical studies cannot.” -Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Sometimes it takes someone with a little bit of experience to reinforce what you believe, or solidify what you want to avoid happening. With such a magnitude of information available, both welcomed and unsolicited, it can be comforting to hear actual, real experiences not what “should” or “could” happen. Furthermore, with hearing other birth stories, as well as telling your own, the deep connection between a new parent’s physical and mental experience can be seen.
“Birth stories told by women who were active participants in giving birth often express a good deal of practical wisdom, inspiration, and information for other women. Positive stories shared by women who have had wonderful childbirth experiences are an irreplaceable way to transmit knowledge of a woman's true capacities in pregnancy and birth.” -Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Positive stories show us how wonderful the process is, while less than positive stories show us how to prepare for the uncertainty that is birth. We hope that we will have a wide variety of stories told each month to allow other soon-to-be parent’s to learn about birth, while giving veteran parent’s a chance to remember the day their child was born.
We are excited that we will be offering a Birth Stories Discussion group the fourth Tuesday of the month at Restoring Balance in Chapel Hill. Our goal is provide a space where each person can feel safe and confident that he or she is able to share his or her personal feelings in a nonjudgmental group. We will give the respect each person deserves while telling their story, while providing any additional support needed. Please join us anytime between 10am and 11am to share your story!