One of the best things I can recommend you do in the first weeks postpartum is to write your birth story! I wrote my birth stories for both my kiddos, and my husband even wrote his version for my second son. Most years, right around each child’s birthday, I read the stories and look at some pictures of those first moments with my baby. After all, it may be my kid’s birthday, but it’s *my* BIRTHING day. It is momentous.
So, if you’re ready to commemorate your birth story, here are some tips to get started:
- Write your story in the first month if you can. You will forget details otherwise! Just get it out and don’t worry about it being grammatically correct or polished. Whether in outline form, or stream of consciousness, capture the essence and small details that stick out vividly now. Soon, those kinds of details will get lost in the haze – songs that were playing at certain moments, a laugh you had, etc.). You can always go back and spruce it up after the main details are out on paper.
- Write the good, the bad and ugly. Everyone’s story is exciting and unique. Everyone has a little good luck and a little bad luck, as my friend Ananda says. Part of the power of writing down your birth story is claiming *your story* – all of it. Perhaps this is especially true if you don’t think your birth went the way you planned it to. This is a cathartic process – writing it down and revisiting it will help you sort through it all.
- Consider getting your medical records. I didn’t look at my medical records from my first birth until I was pregnant with my second. I can’t remember what exactly surprised me, but the timeline wasn’t quite how I remembered. It helped me clarify a few things I wanted to do differently the second time around, and I think it would have been even better had I looked at the notes soon after the birth.
- Revisit and share. My ritual is to read my birth story around my kiddo’s birthday, and to look at pictures. I’ve posted my birth stories and enjoy sharing them with students. Some of my students even go back to their childbirth education classes and tell their birth story (which is awesome!).
- And for the yogis! Include in your birth story any “yoga moments” that happened in your labor, birth or immediate postpartum experience. Whether you found yourself in a yoga position, or saying something in your head that came from yoga practice, or listening to music from our class, or of course, breathing and feeling connected through your breath that you cultivated in yoga. Most yogis find in their labor some of the practice coming in to help out. I know for sure that the fortitude and resilience I had in labor came from all my years of practice.
- Use some extra questions to get you going if you need to: https://www.themindfulmamacollective.com/blog/2018/9/11/how-to-write-your-birth-story
Finally, you could consider sharing your birth story here on my blog. Just send me an email – I love to feature stories and pictures from students. Thank you!
Here are some birth stories from this blog: