The experience is practically a rite of passage for pregnant women: You’re glowing along, minding your own belly, when someone — a friend, a well-meaning acquaintance, an outright stranger — feels compelled to tell you the Scary Birth Story. I’d tell you the one told to me, but that would defeat the point of Belly Button Bliss. That’s the collection of inspiring birth stories I was compelled to create after the empowering birth of my first daughter.
Working with women to capture the uplifting, life-changing moments of their birthing day was a beautiful process. Some mothers can so clearly distill their experience, capturing the day with crystalline insight. In other cases, we passed draft after draft of the birth story back and forth, going deeper, processing the experience, returning to the memory of that precious day with greater compassion each time. Midwifing mamas’ birth stories was humbling, heart-opening work.
I admit, I’m still writing the stories of my birthing days. It’s edgy and challenging. And so I consider the stories shared by the women of Belly Button Bliss a gift beyond measure. I’m so grateful for their daring — to thoughtfully share an uplifting, empowering birth experience is a surprisingly bold thing to do when the norm seems to be the negative story, the birth gone wrong, the scary thing that happened in the most vulnerable of moments. Yes, that happens and too often, which is why I think it’s incredibly important to know that birth — even as it challenges a woman’s mind, body, and spirit — still has the potential to be empowering, uplifting, even ecstatic.
You’re invited to wander into the labyrinth of birth here at Mamahhh.com. Read some birth stories on the Breathe, Mama blog. Get to know the Belly Button Bliss authors. Find out what the reviewers had to say. (My favorite: “Just what the midwife ordered.”) Order your copy of the book. And then share your own birth story here on the site. I’d love to hear from you, to hear the story of your birthing day, to know how your child’s life began. You never know who you may inspire, heal, or encourage by daring to share that precious moment.
Jenni Derryberry Mann
yoga | prenatal, postnatal, self-care