When you gave birth, what happened?
Birthing a baby takes superpowers, and because of that, birth stories hold a tremendous amount of power for people, especially mothers who birth. Yet, think about how few containers there are to hold our birth stories.
I’m offering a virtual workshop for writing your birth story. We’re going to do it on Saturday morning of Mother’s Day weekend 2023. That’s May 13, 2023 from 11 am-1:30 pm Eastern Time.
No writing experience is needed. It’s not that kind of workshop.
This is a place for stories to emerge and begin to live outside your body.
It’s open to ANYONE who has given birth or assisted at a birth, which includes moms, dads, non-binary parents, doulas, midwives, nurses, and doctors. It’s also open to anyone who adopted and wants to write about that process.
When I was a girl, my extended family was large. My mom came from a family of seven children and my dad from a family of eight. At gatherings the women would gravitate toward the kitchen table, which was scattered with coffee cups, and suddenly they’d be talking birth. My Aunt Bertha gave birth to twelve children, my Aunt Doris to seven. My mom had four.
I’d be in a corner playing with dolls and I’d realize–wait!—that the tone of the conversation had changed. The voices were lower and more intense. I’d start hearing words like “stirrups” and “contractions” and “placenta.” I learned (from experience) to get really quiet and very still, because if I moved they’d realize I was eavesdropping, and I’d be banished from the most riveting, necessary conversation in the world.
And isn’t that what has happened, aren’t we mostly banished from the most riveting, necessary stories in the world?
So tell yours. Write it down. Write it down for the baby you birthed, whether they’re grown now or whether they’re still at the breast. Write it for the baby you didn’t birth. Write it for yourself. Write it for healing. Write it out of pride. Write it for the novel you’re working on.
Get it out of the deep tissue of your body and onto the sacred page.
I’ve been thinking about birth a lot with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. As Nina Burleigh, journalist of American politics, wrote in an op-ed, women share “the utterly exceptional, unique challenge of being impregnable.” Impregnable. In fact, Greg Olear, after interviewing Burleigh, helped me realized that two things keep patriarchy in place: one, women are not as strong as men; and two, women are impregnable.
(I want to recognize here the difficulty some women experience in getting pregnant.)
Birth is an event for which we prepare for months and years. We try to learn all we can during that time. We try to write a birth plan that works for us. We try not to think of the physical risk, that every cemetery we’ve wandered through has at least one grave of a woman who died in childbirth.
There’s a lot tied up in our birth stories: power and powerlessness, choice and force, pleasure and pain, hope and disappointment. For a while the story consumes us, but it’s not the kind of story we can go around telling—not really—so we learn to be silent about it.
I hope you join me to write the birth story you’ve been carrying.
The workshop is 2.5 hours on a Saturday morning, hopefully when things are quiet at your house. For those hours you’ll be in LABOR. The last 30 minutes of the zoom is for sharing the stories. The entire timeframe is 11-1:30, but at any point if you need to scoot off into your day, feel free.
You are a magnificent creator of life. You manifested the baby, now manifest the story.
Do it for your own healing.
Do it to clear energy.
Do it as a gift to your child.
I’m going to provide a safe, inspiring, sacred container for you to tell your story.
I’m going to guide you through it, kneel beside you every step of the way. Think of me as your story doula.
I’m going to get you close to other women telling their stories.
I’m going to help you feel the joy that comes from bringing new life into the world.