Happy birthday to me! It’s the anniversary of the day my mother birthed me. I hope you’ll indulge me this little shout-out for me—and for my mom, especially!
I’m sharing this not for the sake of more birthday wishes (although I’ll gladly accept them!), but because I want to ask you this:
Do you know the story of your own birth?
At a recent Blooma Prenatal Yoga teacher training I attended, we began our session by sharing the stories of our births. The stories were amazing: We spoke of mothers in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s who were courageous in advocating for their birth choices. Mothers who had no control at all over their births. Mothers who breastfed, and mothers who didn’t. Mothers who were terrified in birth, and mothers who came from long lines of homebirthing women.
Those were our mothers.
Illuminated in soft candlelight, circled in sacred space, we honored them. We shared their pictures, told their birth stories—the first story of our lives.
“Welcome to the spinning world,’ the people sang, /
as they washed your new, tiny hands…. / And as they held you close /
they whispered into your open, curving ear, / ‘We are so glad you’ve come!”
~ “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier
What really fascinated me was how we all had a story about how we learned of the story of our birth. Some of us grew up knowing our stories. Others, like me, felt nervous asking our mothers to reveal the intimate details—or even the broad brush strokes—of the day. At least one woman found healing in inviting her mother into such a profound conversation, and another learned she’d had a sibling she’d never known about.
Can you imagine? Or maybe you already know the sacred beginning of your story.
As we traded tales of these births from 25, 30, 40, 50 years ago, our tears flowed, joyful and sorrowful, all profound.
It wasn’t lost on a single one of us how these stories have such an indelible nature. The day our mothers birthed us. The day we began.
And so I wonder: Beloved mother, do you know the story of the day you were born? Does that change how you think about the importance of the story of your child’s birth? Have you voiced your baby’s birth story? When might you?