Nothing completely prepares us for what we feel and experience during birth and beyond. Whatever our experience, one thing is true for us all: we enter the birth space one version of ourselves and emerge changed. A child has been born but the birth of a mother lingers on for some ambiguous length of time. The pregnancy, to birth, to postpartum, into motherhood, rite of passage is an old, well trodden path, designed to shake us awake to our innate power as mothers.
Since many of us are passing through birth without the support of a village (or even a functioning hamlet!), it’s natural to feel alone, uncertain or lost somewhere along the way. Lost might look like doubting ourselves as mothers or overthinking/avoiding parts of our birth story. We might feel regret, guilt or shame about something we didn’t do, didn’t say or thought. We might feel angry, upset, or helpless about something that happened to us that felt wrong or out of our control. We may have lingering questions like, how did this happen to me? or, what did I do wrong?
The birth story we tell ourselves matters. Feelings about our birth experience understandably affect the way we feel about ourselves as a mother. If you’re resonating, I’m sending so much love and understanding your way. It is all part of the natural, unravelling of the rite of passage into motherhood. You are not alone and there is nothing to fix.
There is medicine to be revealed from every birth story (even the most difficult births) to support us in our growth and healing on our journey through motherhood. Gifting ourselves time to explore and integrate our birth story in a compassionate space, helps us name and express any uncomfortable feelings. When we do this, we welcome in loving acceptance for ourselves and whatever happened. Each birth story shared and acknowledged in this way respects and honours our real experience and feelings. We then see that the uniqueness of our birth story shapes our unique journey as we become mothers.
As we uncover and claim the medicine from our birth story, we re-story the way we see and value ourselves in our mothering. In doing so, we automatically transform the way we see and relate to our child too. We can then call on our birth story medicine to support us through the everyday intensity of mothering.
In birth story sessions, I witness mothers finding the birth story medicine they need to mother from a connected and empowered place. Their golden insights are often waiting right beneath the most painful moments in their story. In a culture where the journey into motherhood isn’t acknowledged or celebrated enough, it is profound work to claim the stories that are birthing us into being as powerful mothers. When we own our birth stories, we reclaim our inherent value as mothers for ourselves, each other and our children.
Are you ready for your story to be heard?
Read more about the birth story sessions I offer here.
Hayley is a trained Birth Story Listener working with the trauma informed Birth Story Medicine process. She completed her training in 2021 with Pam England as her mentor and she is a member of the Birth Story Medicine School where she receives ongoing advanced mentoring and training.