Women are so powerful. Not only do we create life, but we are often the glue that holds families together and would do anything to protect our children.
Birth is many things, but easy is rarely one of them. It is a right of passage into motherhood. It brings us to our breaking point and forces us to continue even when doing so seems impossible. No matter how challenging or even traumatic the birth was, though, if the end result is a healthy baby, that is all we are told matters.
But our stories matter. What we experienced during birth matters. Whatever path our transformation took, it matters. Because we matter. We matter.
Last night was the first Birth Story Share sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Birth Connection. It was an amazing success. Women from all walks of life came together to celebrate birth while holding space for all stories, be they traumatic, joyful, peaceful, or sad. The respect and reverence in the room blew me away and I can’t wait to experience it again. I felt a part of something sacred and something that we tend to forget in this fast-paced world.
Last week was hard for a lot of people and felt like a major blow to women. A lot of people are scared and may feel like their voices don’t matter. But they do matter. And the more we speak of the challenging parts of being a woman and the things that we need to change, the more they become heard. Sharing our birth stories may feel like a small thing, but I know it is hugely important. If we don’t talk about what we have experienced, nothing will ever change. The world will never know how powerful we women are or how much the current culture surrounding birth threatens to smother that power by adding time limits and unnecessary interventions unless we talk about it.
The way we birth matters and the way we talk about it matters as well. Sharing inspiring stories as well as the complex-somewhat-horrible ones shows the reality of what women experience. As the queen of birth, Ina May Gaskin, says, “Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life.” The way you gave birth sticks with you and speaking of the experience can heal and light the way for all future births. We are so powerful and it is time the rest of the world sat up and took notice.
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