The Day I Became a Mother

Every year on my birthday, my mom calls to tell me the story of my birth. It started when I was a little kid, sort of turned into a joke as I got older, and is just part of my birthday tradition now. It’s no surprise to me that I still love reading and hearing other women’s birth stories – there’s something about how childbirth is both wholly miraculous and completely universal that simply captivates me.

When it came time to birth my own baby, I drew strength from all those stories too. I could hear my mom’s words describing my entry into the world as I labored to bring forth my son, and I leaned on the knowledge that I was following in the (sweaty, bellowing, breathless) footsteps of millions of women before me.

Now that almost two years have passed since that day, I’m finding that some of the details are fading from memory. I realized that even though I’ve written a lot about motherhood, I’ve never written about the day that started it all for me. So, here it is, and I hope it finds its place in the wonderful community of birth stories to encourage generations of laboring mothers to come.  Continue reading “The Day I Became a Mother”

The “Perfect” Birth

Hard-earned lessons on letting go of perfectionism and embracing the messy realities of becoming a mother.

Y’all, when it comes to birthing, I was perfect. I had a vaginal, un-medicated birth and my daughter was healthy and beautiful. Aren’t you impressed? Well, hang on just a sec and let me give you a little context for my “perfection.”

When Rue came out all slippery and purple, the midwives placed this strange squish on my chest and I remember feeling… relief… then… not much. Lots of women talk about feeling a rush of overwhelming love when their babies are born, but not me. I was mostly just glad it was all over, and then everything else was a disconnected blur. I remember speaking in a voice that didn’t sound like my own. I remember staring at the swirl pattern her ears made. And I remember the disappointment. Everything, including my beautiful baby, looked perfect, but it felt far from it.  Continue reading “The “Perfect” Birth”