Thursday, February 5, 2015

Birth Stories

There are so many times when I am around women who are discussing their birth stories and each time, I feel really uncomfortable.

First of all, it seems like nobody ever asks me anything about my birth experience. Almost like because Lily died, somehow my birth experience wasn't as "real." Not only that, but who wants to hear the sad tale of a woman whose baby died before birth? I get the feeling that others almost think losing a baby is "contagious" or something, so they won't even broach the subject.

I want to scream out, I gave birth too!! I know what it's like too. My baby girl was born too. She was real too.

I labored for hours, waiting for her tiny body to come out of mine. And if anyone deserves the recognition of giving birth, should it not be the woman who still had to do so, even though her baby would never take his/her first breath?! A lot of women go through the birth experience, but it takes a tough cookie to labor and deliver her sleeping child, knowing that at the end of the day, her child won't cry right when they are born, she won't get to take him/her home, and she is terrified of all the unknowns.

So from now on, when I feel uncomfortable around others who are discussing birth stories and nobody asks me about mine, I am going to talk about it. Because I deserve to. I am a woman, a mother, who had a baby. I have a birth story. I have memories from March 16th, 2010. I know what it feels like to go full-term in a pregnancy and to birth my full-term child. I know what it's like to see and hold her perfect body. It might not have the perfect and expected ending, but it's my birth story nonetheless. The story of my first-born's birth.

To those who don't want to hurt me by bringing it up, know that I *do* want to share.

And to those that validate my birth experience and ask me questions just as they would any other mother, thank you. Being able to share and being asked to share brings about much healing.

Definitely not the most flattering of photos, but this is me laboring for hours



  1. Share away... you have a beautiful birth story. <3

  2. "I want to scream out, I gave birth too!! I know what it's like too. My baby girl was born too. She was real too."

    This sentence and the paragraph that followed resonates with my soul and I needed to read it today. Our daughter died in the womb 8 months ago today. I labored and delivered her the day after her due date.

    This grieving is unlike anything I've ever experienced. My pregnancy was real. My hopes and dreams were real. My preparations for her were real. My labor was real. Her birth was real. She IS real.

    I believe that I have entered a stage of my grieving in which I am grappling with the fact that her death is real...that my grieving is real...that it all REALLY her.

    Hannah, did you have anyone say things like, "Why did she have a funeral?"....or "What are they making such a big fuss about?" or "Maybe God's trying to tell you something."
    People can be cruel in so many ways and it seems that it all points back to the deterioration of the value of the sanctity of life. I need to pray for those people...I know...they are ignorant. But it still hurts and it blows me away.

    Hannah, keep sharing...keep being bold for life. Jesus uses you in your testifying. Keep educating. You have posted words several times...right when I needed them, right when I needed bolstering. I am not alone. I will be bold too.

    I love you my sister. I hope to one day meet you.

    Lillian Judith Joy's Mom,

  3. I am so sorry. I am a long time reader. I do feel that people are just afraid that they will bring up something that makes you uncomfortable. I have had three miscarriages and have two children on earth with me and can't even try to compare to your loss, but people are scared to talk about it. If my miscarriages come up, people look very uncomfortable. Talk about her birth story. Bring it up because I think people are just afraid.

  4. I've been reading everything you share from our facebook group. I feel this way too. I have 3 living children, our daughter who was stillborn and now a rainbow on the way. And yet while I am asked about our birth stories for the first three, our fourth child is always forgotten. I'm sure it is a combination of don't want to upset me, and the fact that this stories are to scare a little but mostly to comfort the mom who is pregnant; BUT it doesn't change how hard it is to not have her and our experience acknowledged.

  5. When my rainbow daughter was born I was discussing my labour with another woman and she said "Oh, four hours is quick for your first" and I said "No, this is my second." Knowing my history, knowing I'd given birth to my stillborn son at 37 weeks she said "Pfft, yeah, but this is the one that counts." It's years later but it still hurts me. All birth experiences have value. All of our children have value. We shouldn't have to keep our babies secret to keep other people comfortable. It's too hard not to talk about someone we love so deeply. And by the way I think your photo is beautiful :)


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