Birthstory: The Journey to Motherhood
Welcome to Birthstory: The Journey to Motherhood
project. In this eight-week series, participants will use writing to explore the amazing process of becoming a mother.
The journey to motherhood begins and ends with a singular focus: having a baby. No matter the type of birth we chose or end up having, we emerge from the experience transformed. The transformation into motherhood requires women to redefine their identity, their relationships and their world-view. The day a woman gives birth is indelibly etched in a woman's memory, not just in her mind but in her body. Birth memory is the most powerful memory a woman will have; superceding all other milestones. If the body and mind remember birth so clearly, it is important reflect upon our birth stories as we strive to process and understand the impact of the experience.
We tell our birth stories because we have to: they serve as our celebration, our healing, and our validation. What's more, when we honor individual birth experience as part of universal human experience, we take our place among the ageless sisterhood of mothers around the world and throughout history. Telling our birth stories unites us as woman and as mothers.
Pregnancy and birth are fertile grounds for introspection and self-discovery. I think there must be an innate need to tell and retell about the experience because talking about struggle is the first step in growing from it. The more I hear women tell their stories, the more I realize how many need
to heal---and I hear how deep their emotional wounds are. We are a society that treats giving birth as a medical condition rather than a rite of passage and does little to honor the mother. As a medical condition, pregnancy and birth is often reduced to procedures and routine. As we accutely know, individual experience is much more.
When I think about birth culture today, I get a little emotional. Above all else, I see and hear women lack the channels to connect with their inner strength and to their power. I truly believe birthing women are the most powerful force on this earth; we could the world if we could change the face of birth. The cultural implications of empowered birth extend far beyond present-day battles over caesarian birth rates or homebirth safety; empowered birth promotes connected parenting. Connected parenting produces citizens ready and willing to change the world.
I see the birth revolution afoot. I happily admit I am a follower in the steps of brave pioneering woman who advocated for birth reform long before my childbearing years. As we take our place in the revolution, we must do our part to combat wide-scale cultural amnesia. We must tell our stories. The telling serves as a healing, both in the heart of the mother and as a resuscitation to a society filled with birth wounds that run generations deep. I hope you will join me in celebrating the amazing journey to motherhood.A little about me:
My name is Jesse Michener--you may have seen me on the MDC boards posting as indiegirl. I'm a native of the Pacific Northwest where I live with my husband and three daughters. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and a Master of Arts in Education from Pacific Lutheran University. I happily write a guest column for the Tacoma News Tribune (www.thenewstribune.com
) and am the feet and pen behind the creative forces of the Fiber Arts Avengers (www.fiberartsavengers.com
> ). I recently completed Childbirth Educator Training at the Seattle Midwifery School and plan on leading birth preparation courses in the Seattle area in the near future.