Birth Story as Empowerment

doula in culpeper

I love a good birth story. I read everyone who publishes them on the internet, and I encourage people to feel free to share their stories with me.  I'm not a birth junkie-- I hate that phrase and you can read here why-- I'm not an oxytocin vampire who feels the need to be a part of every story no matter if I was there or not.  The stories help me learn more about birth, about our bodies and what they can do, and the intuition and strength of women.  They are often filled with hope, and always filled with love, plus women can say the words "vagina" and "placenta" and "tear" in front of me without feeling squeamish.  Its actually a point of pride for me, and one of the many things that makes me an 'effing great doula.

I'll even write a birth story for you, with intimate details that I remember from your birth, a gift to you and your newly enlarged family.  But I don't share mine or other people's here all that often. That's because as a doula, I usually see the story in a slightly different way.  And frankly, sometimes the stories that people share can be overwhelming for a pregnant mom or someone who is expecting soon.  So I try to keep them to myself, firstly, because they don't belong to me, and secondly because each story is going to be unique and special to the family it belongs to.

But my girl Jennifer, she's a bit different.  She felt like it was important to share her second birth story with the world, so much so that she even planned to live-stream it. She gave of herself and her baby's story to help normalize birth, which is something I can totally get behind.  And while the events that unfolded for her were not what she had envisioned, they are a great example of how even though birth almost never unfolds according to any plan a woman can remain empowered and strong, even while at her most vulnerable.  Her story is the reason that we surround ourselves with a competent and compassionate birth team.  Her story is one of beauty and choice and surprise and attunement with herself and her baby.  Like most birth stories, it is filled with love and hope.

So take a minute to read Jennifer's story of the birth of her second daughter.  Then comment below to show her some love.  Because she is doing the hard work of continuing to be vulnerable in the name of helping all women see that ALL BIRHTS ARE POWERFUL AND AMAZING when a woman is surrounded by other women who nurture her and empower her to follow her own instincts.

Victoria McCollum

Victoria McCollum is a birth and postpartum doula and owner of Doulas of Fredericksburg, in Fredericksburg, Virgina. She resides there with her husband and three precocious sons.