Birth Stories

I’m obsessed with birth stories.

I love reading them, learning the details of such a significant day in someone’s life, and am especially intrigued because everyone’s birth story is so different.

I only know some of the details about the day I was born. Of course, I was late (a trait that has stayed with me for my entire life. Just the other night, I told Tom “Hurry! I told Mom we were going to be there early!” to which he replied “ ‘Early’ is a word that I think you should never use. Ever”), and the whole shebang ended with my mom getting an epidural –which gave her the shakes- and a C-section since I refused to leave my water bed. My mom has told me what she remembers –she’s had 3 kids- but there’s something different and so special about reading about the sequence of events and emotions during labor and birth, written while the memories are still fresh.

This is one of the reasons I’ve read Ina May’s book “Natural Guide to Childbirth” more than twice:

books (2)

The first half of the book consists of entirely birth stories. Some of them are a little *out there*, but most of them made me cry happy tears. Every now and again, I’ll pick a random page and read a birth story.

It’s funny because when I first read Ina May’s book a year and a half ago, the stories were interesting to read, but filled me with anxiety. I would start to read, and immediately get nervous. I still was getting over the fact that the baby actually does, indeed, have to come out from your body, and it freaked me out a little. Now, when I read the stories in Ina May’s book, it fills me with excitement to know that our baby’s birth story will be written within a couple of months. [And yes, it does still freak me out that the baby has to come out of your body, but I’ve found comfort in the fact that our bodies are designed for that. Once Tom said “It’s going to be like pushing a watermelon out of your nose!” and I told him that noses aren’t designed for watermelon pushing]

I’ve also really enjoyed reading all of the birth stories I can find online from blog friends and people whom I’ve never met.

Friends sans kids, do you enjoy reading birth stories, or do they creep you out?

Moms out there, did you write out your birth story? What’s the most vivid memory of the day your child was born?

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  1. Amanda on October 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I LOVE reading birth stories – and I am at least a few years away from thinking about having babies of my own. I could spend days reading them. They’re so exciting and beautiful and inspiring. Can’t wait to read yours!

  2. erin on October 19, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I love reading birth stories and during pregnancy I found natural birth stories to be empowering. Of course my own birth story or rather my son’s birth story went nothing as planned. After being 11 days late and induced for 2 days with not an ounce of progress the most vivid memory of the day my son was born, other than seeing him for the first time of course, was the point when we decided that I’d have a c-section. It was not how I had planned on him entering the world but I loved the half hour or so leading up to my walk into the OR where my husband and I were in the delivery room knowing with certainty that in the next hour we would meet our son for the first time and finally hold him in our arms.

  3. meagan on October 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I loved reading birth stories and watching birth videos on YouTube when I was pregnant. They always made me cry! My own birth story was…uhm, different than the natural birth stories I liked to watch. Long and complicated. However, the best (but not most vivid ;)) moment was when my epidural took effect after being in labor for two days. That…that was an awesome moment.

    Keep reading the stories though! You’ll never know what you’ll learn or what perspective will help you through a tough moment.

  4. Mama Laughlin on October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I actually wrote short blog entries when I was in labor, when my water broke, after the epidural, etc.
    I wrote my actual birth story, though a few days after my son was born.
    It’s important to write it down while it’s still “fresh” on your mind.
    I sometimes go back and read it and there are things in there that I didn’t remember so I’m glad I wrote it when I did so I could relish in those moments down the road.
    I also think it will be cool for my son to read when he’s older.
    You can read my birth story here:

  5. MMalloy on October 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

    To this day I tear up when I think about the day my daughter was born. Of course it was not at all how I had planned it, but it was beautiful and something I will never forget. My labor started all natural and ended in an emergancy c-section when our nurses realized that what was coming through the birth canal was not her head, rather her little butt. It was scary in the moment but as I look back I can find myself laughing and thinking of all the happiness that surounded me that day!

  6. Roxanne on October 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    The most vivid memory? Hearing him crying for the first time… and I will always remember that the first thing I saw of him was a little little hand, i didn’t see his face at first so I will always remember the hand and how hearing him crying felt like the most beautiful music at that moment.

    And yes I wrote my birth story the day after because I didn’t want to forget 😀

  7. Maria on October 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I had a C section with both my sons. They are 22 years apart. But the younger one, who is 3, I was awake and when I saw him the first time, I thought he was beautiful. What is so funny is he will ask me “tell me about when I was born.” He knows the story by heart now and if i skip something he will correct me. I just love being a mom.

  8. mary on October 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I remember seeing my maternity dress hanging on a hook in the bathroom and thinking “I need to get back in that and outside this hospital to where the pain ISN’T.” I recognized that wasn’t rational so I walked out of the bathroom and said “I’m ready for an epidural.” I’m a fan.

    Also my water broke when I woke up Mon. morning and they wouldn’t let me eat so I went from Sun. night until after giving birth Tues. morning without eating. I was HUNGRY. My sister thought to bring me a Jamba Juice Mon. night which the nurses let me have. Just a thought if you get stuck without meals for long!

  9. April on October 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Yeah, birth stories ALWAYS freaked me out, was never into them…and now that i am at 37+ weeks, i cry when i read them – even cried reading these. To be honest, they still kinda freak me out as everyone is SO different and i have NO idea how mine will go – i know how i ‘want’ it to go, but we all know that story:) I feel blessed already though and know God has His plan:)

  10. Amy @ purewellnessamy on October 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I had an unmedicated birth, but for some reason I did not feel my son coming out! I kept waiting for the “ring of fire,” but i swear i felt nothing! My husband had me put my hand down there to feel my son’s head coming out to make me believe that it was actually happening! This is not to say that I didn’t labor – oh, I labored. The contractions leading up to the delivery were pretty horrendous, but the nurses were cool and let me do whatever I needed to manage the pain. The thing that worked for me was kneeling next to the bed, kind of like a child saying a prayer, while swaying my hips back and forth. My butt was facing the open hospital room door and I couldn’t have cared less if every passerby saw my big old pregnant naked booty swinging left to right! The thing to remember with birth is to not have expectations. Of course you can have an idea of how you want the birth to go, but at some point you need to just go with the flow 🙂

  11. Michaela on October 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I absolutely LOVE hearing birth stories!!!!

  12. Sarah on October 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    i dont have any children, but reading about other peoples pregnancys and birth stories totally fascinates me.

  13. Wendy on October 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    They had to shave some hair “down there” before my c-section (I would have done it myself, but I couldn’t see “down there” because of the big belly). The nurse shaved me and then just brushed the hair to the side and onto the floor. As I was waiting to be wheeled back, my dad came in and I was thinking “my dad is standing on my girly hair – gross”!

    • Ali on October 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      Oh my gosh!!!! Now THAT is a good birth story 🙂

  14. Jess on October 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I’m not a mom yet, but I am a nursing student.. I cannot wait to work in L&D, so I absolutely love baby stories. If you want any, I have a ton of sites and blogs!

  15. Jess on October 20, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I wrote a really brief account of my amazing labor and delivery:

    It could not have gone any better. I ready Ina May and it definitely made me confident that my body could do what it needed to do. The clear memory I have is the moment they said I was fully dilated and could start pushing. I was so excited because I knew that our daughter would be here soon.

  16. Ali on October 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I like hearing birth stories from my friends b/c I know 100% they are true ya know? And it’s interesting b/c you never really know how yours will end up! I was induced with my daughter and honestly I had the BEST labor experience. Now that I’m pregnant again I wonder if it can go so well the 2nd time or if i was just lucky!! 🙂

  17. Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's on October 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    My birth story was a 3 parter. Starting with bed rest and ending with being induced…twice. I know everything was done for safety reasons, but I really hope I don’t have to be induced for the next one.
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      so excited to read this- thank you for sharing!

  18. Julie S. on October 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    If you get a bunch of moms in a room for any length of time, the birth stories will inevitably all come out. There’s nothing we love more than to tell our “war” stories! 🙂 Just wait ’til you’re waiting outside your little girl’s dance class w/ all the other moms for an hour… 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      haha, i love it!

  19. April on October 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I wrote out our story after all our friends left the hospital room after their first visit. I had a *relatively* easy birth, I’d say, considering he is our first. A doc broke my water, and from that point, it ended up being only about 7-ish hours. Our midwife almost didn’t make it in time, but the nurse working with us was amazing and so upbeat, so I tried smiling through contractions because I didn’t want to be that crazy mom screaming obscenities at my husband 🙂 The thing that really helped me was when our nurse suggested putting a mirror at the end of the bed so I could watch the whole birth process, and once I saw him crowning, the rest was a breeze. The things I remember most, though, are my son’s weak little cry as I held him the first time, and his sweet little face as he looked up at me, and how tightly he grabbed my fingers.

    I instantly forgot all the effort of the labor, and I was honestly ready to do it all again the next day just for the experience.

  20. Hilda on October 22, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I don’t have kids (or a desire to have them), but I enjoy reading and hearing birth stories. My mom gave birth to 11 babies (10 survived) and although I’ve heard each story over and over, I let her tell them again because I know it’s something she’s very proud of. My favorite is when one of my sisters was born…my mom was so small that the nurses didn’t believe she was in labor or even pregnant (this was communist Romania) so the baby came out quickly (kind of how she lives now) and my mom caught her in her skirt. Needless to say, the nurses freaked out. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

      that is an amazing story!!!

  21. Alyssa on October 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    my labor (I’ve only had one child) was long and intense, but I was lucky enough to have my husband and my best friend/doula there with me the entire time. I remember it all like it was a very vivid dream, rather than as an actual memory. The thing I remember the most was the feeling I had right when it was all over 1. Love for everyone in the room (like embarassing, goofy, “is she on drugs” kind of love) I remember telling all the nurses that I loved them, which embarasses me so much to think about now and 2) touching my husband’s face and telling him lovingly that I was so happy to have a baby and that I never wanted to do it again. I think it was more about feeling like our family was complete with her here rather than about the intensity of the labor.

    I wish they called it something besides labor also, because even though it can be super challenging it also, at least for me, was SUPER empowering. Not to sound to metaphysical or anything, but it made me feel connected in some way to my Mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmothers and so on. I was doing something that they had all done too!

    I love birth stories too!

  22. Leanne on October 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I LOVE birth stories and I actually just finally finished mine so it isn’t as fresh but it was still important to me to write it. I’ve found that I love reading about birth but even more I love TALKING to women about birth now. Good luck. Just remember whatever happens you get your baby at the end of your birth journey.

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