I was recently contacted by Chelsea from the website Birth with Balance. She has created a forum and a community for birth stories and she shared both of mine–the coerced cesarean in the hospital and the VBAC homebirth. I love what she’s doing (she’s also due any moment now with her homebirth baby!) and wanted to share this resource with all of you… this is a guest post written by Chelsea, so check it out!
As a labor and delivery nurse I am truly passionate about the process of childbirth. Though I currently work in a high-risk birthing unit I also have an interest in home births and have had the opportunity to train with Ina May Gaskin, the most famous midwife in the world. Let’s just say that I am open- minded when it comes to birthing options and know that each birth story is a journey that should be remembered. I absolutely love learning about birth around the globe and helping to bring new life into this world.
So much so, that I started a website named Birth with Balance for mothers to share their birth stories in order to heal, teach and empower one another through first hand experience. At work I love the excitement of first meeting mothers, helping them navigate their options during labor, and holding their hand when pushing their little ones into the world. I can’t help but cry when I see them bond with their child after they have worked so hard.
The intensity and harmony that accompanies childbirth is a place where both children and stories are born. I created Birth with Balance to tell each of these unique stories.
Though some mothers have their dream birth, others do not. A birth story is a transforming moment in life for the woman, baby and entire family. It is an event that has the potential to help others learn from your knowledge and heal unknown parts of yourself.
Your birth story matters!
Despite the billions of women who have given birth over the centuries, it often strikes me that so many of my patients enter the hospital without any real knowledge or idea of what to expect. Others check in to deliver with a specific plan for how they want childbirth to happen, and cling to this plan even when things do not unfold the way they had hoped.
After birth the mother’s story is often lost and so are the decisions she made. The book, What to Expect When You are Expecting doesn’t always cut it or prepare you for the realities of childbirth! Am I right? Some births are traumatic, and the let down can be devastating, and others are euphoric. Each powerful story helps women prepare for birth, reflect and learn from one another.
The anxiety, fear, and disappointment that can surround childbirth have taught me that the most valuable thing a woman can do when giving birth is to simply surrender. If you can let go of your mind and let the power of your body take over—truly trust in your instincts—you will experience the full range of heightened emotion surrounding birth, including exhaustion, disappointment, ecstasy, frustration, love, and even euphoria. All of these emotions are teachers.
Birth with Balance is the only website available that focuses solely on birth stories, offers a questionnaire to help mothers write their story (in case anyone is feeling shy), and gathers stories from around the world. This forum is a safe place for mothers to remember, reflect, heal from a trauma, contribute their wisdom, role model, empower, and offer alternative birthing options. The aim: to build collective knowledge on childbirth and empower expecting and experienced mothers around the world.
Please read some amazing stories and connect with other mothers around the globe.
Most importantly share your birth story!
Find Birth with Balance here: http://birthwithbalance.com
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birthwithbalance