intensely trivial

Birth stories

I’ve been thinking about what birth stories mean to us, especially to us women and mothers. Granted, I’m a little obsessed with the stories of my two children’s births, but I think most mothers try to make sense of their birth experiences, even if not as in-depth as I do.
Some mock the idea that giving birth is a rite of passage. Does it make you less a woman not to have given birth? Is the woman among us who has never carried a baby to full term, or who has adopted a child, or simply does not have any children for whatever reason — is she less of a woman than those of us who have given birth? I don’t think she’s less of a woman. She’s still a complete, beautiful woman, with a lot to teach the rest of us.
But those of us who have given birth have traveled to a place from which we can’t return. No matter how we’ve given birth, our bodies have changed permanently because of it. Our hearts have changed permanently, too. We’ve experienced something that had deep meaning to us, whether it was good or bad.
Especially for those readers who are not mothers, please know I don’t think motherhood is the ultimate goal of womanhood. I love motherhood (most of the time), and I love my children fiercely. But I struggle whenever I hear or read the idea that motherhood is our highest calling. Nope, don’t think so. It’s pretty important, but I think there are some other things that supersede it. Anyway, I digress. Back to birth stories. . .
So, if it bothers you to read about birth and to hear the details of how we mothers became mothers, feel free not to read.
Giving birth, for me, was a rite of passage. It helped form who I am. It was meaningful both times. I’ve been wanting to tell the story of Jonathan’s birth as a way to celebrate his birthday on the 26th. But before I do that, I need to tell the story of Ellie’s. And I’ll probably tell a story in between.
And anytime you need someone to really listen to you tell the story of how you gave birth (or not), I’ll be a glad listener.


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  1. * Jessica S says:

    I’m waiting on the stories! Your blog is a delight.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago

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