Goodness: Birth Stories

Thursday, March 24, 2011

(image from

I've got a fever. It's called "baby fever." This is a condition characterized by liking/wanting babies. Pictures like the one above do not help, but I love them nevertheless.

From what I read, women worldwide are starting to think about pregnancy and childbirth with increasing anxiety. (Have you ever heard of tokophobia? It's a phobic fear of pregnancy. Dame Helen Mirren's got it.) I find myself at the other end of the spectrum, being really excited for the days when my belly starts protruding, when I try to figure out breastfeeding, when I fixate on my baby's newfound ability to roll over.

Oh, right, the point: I love reading birth stories. It's become increasingly common for moms to write and share accounts of how labor and delivery went for them, and you can find these stories all over the internet (here, for example). I read them for fun and for comfort, which probably seems funky to some. I guess I just prefer these firsthand recollections of birth to the way it's typically presented on TV and in movies -- as a frantic hellhole that would make anyone develop a phobia. I mean, it is that, sometimes, but not always, and I'm so glad that women have started sharing their experiences like this. Cue the warm, fuzzy feelings.


  1. ME TOO! I take great comfort in them and find them extremely informative. I also have a huge problem with the way the media portrays childbirth as awful and I prefer the stories from real, strong women. If you have any particularly cool ones, I'd love for you to share.

  2. By the way, I went to the link to read the birth stories but it was the same as the first link to the article on tokophobia. FYI! :)

  3. That's an interesting topic. I thought it was only me and my friends who got more anxious about getting pregnant because we are reaching certain ages. Good to know others perceive it that way too. So I'm certainly among the others, being slightly (meaning: hugely) terrified by birth stories. The endless possibilities of the internet mean countless opportunities to broadcast the "best day of your life", aka the day your child was born. And while I think babys are the bee's knees, being pregnant and especially giving birth appears as downright terrifying. None (read: zero) of all birth stories I ever read were different from the frantic hellholes (well said!) on TV. Ok, maybe I just come across the freaky ones because I don't actively look for birth stories and the better ones are also better in hiding. I really wish all the women who already have it behind them would stop giving everyone the heads-up about how AWFULLY BAD it was. Seriously. It makes me scared. Same with all the stories about how children change your life until you have no life left and you could strangle a mountain ox with your bare hands everyday out of annoyment if you weren't actually too stressed out to do as much as lift a hand. But it's all worth it in the end - except no one who isn't a parent can ever understand that. So you have to go into it without understanding any of it, and once you're in there's no getting out. Ok now, and anyone wants my generation to procreate? Oh please. I feel like I've gone through a haunted house at some fair. Wow, that was quite a vent ^^
    Now that that's said: I kinda envy you on your feeling towards the whole deal. I do want children one day, and I have a slight fear that my being terrified of everything related to getting them (apart from the obvious, haha) won't make the process easier. So I believe you definitely picked the better side of this coin :-) Oh and I apologize for venting. But having followed your blog for a while, I guess you are not one to mind strong reactions. And this one came from deep within. I didn't even know it was that bad ;-) Thanks for posting about it :-)

    Relatable Style

  4. i was one that was not excited for babies and i put it off for... a while! but let me just tell you, being pregnant was my most favorite thing ever, the day i gave birth was the most euphoric day i've ever experienced in my life and actually having a baby is the most indescribable joy i've ever known- my little guy is 8 months old and i'm ridiculouly smitten with him, i can't get enough of him all day, i miss him when i put him to bed at night and can't wait to see him in the morning. true story! so i'm so happy to hear that you're excited - cause you absolutely should be!


  5. p.s. i'm loving all the ways you're wearing your dress!

  6. I'm right there with you, Sara. I LOVE birth stories and I was one of those that wrote every last birthing detail on my blog -- what lucky readers, ha! I never wish to whitewash birth or that process because it's not easy, even when it's "easy," but I really wish there were more balanced portrayals in the media and among women. When I tell people that I had a great birth experience (not easy by any stretch, but very positive), most people are positively incredulous. I struggled a little reading that article on tokophobia because although I can see why some people feel the way they do, I found a lot of their language disrespectful. It seemed to be presenting things in a sort of universal way...not "I feel ____" but "birth is ____." And it is a little tough to hear others talk about what was for me one of the best experiences of my life as "repulsive," "horrendous," and "undignified." In fact, I would say that through all the difficulty of pregnancy and childbirth, I have never been more dignified than I was that day.

    P.S. For some reason your blog won't let me post under my Wordpress account lately -- so I keep writing comments and then losing them to an error message. Sigh.


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