Please critique my birth story - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-22-2008, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Mods, please remove this post and forgive me if this is the wrong place for it.

I am a former English major who periodically becomes obsessed with writing. It's not so much a talent as a sort of addiction or need for me. I was at writing dot com when it was stories dot com around 2002-2003 under this username, on the offhand chance that anyone here "knows" me, and I pretty much stopped writing anything other than emails and forum posts when I left.

I am very motivated to try to write a polished, professional story of my youngest child's birth to be posted publicly (with personally identifiable information removed, of course) for the purpose of educating the mainstream about Unassisted Childbirth.

I need all the help I can get. "I wanted to know more about blah blah blah and I thought that blah blah blah was irrelevant and distracting" is better than "I liked it" or "it sucks" but I'll be grateful for whatever you have the time to give me.


ds2's birth story so far
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#2 of 5 Old 01-22-2008, 06:48 PM
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I love it so far! I wanted to know more about ds1 and why he was in and out and why he is choosing the name. Be careful of tense switching in paragraph 2, and it was awkward reading ds1 become "Chris" (it took me a minute to figure out who Chris was). Technicalities.

Also, did you labor alone for those 4 hours? What were you thinking? Feeling? I definitely wanted to know more about that. What made you decide you were "pretty sure" you were in real labor?

Keep us updated, and congratulations!
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#3 of 5 Old 01-22-2008, 11:16 PM
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Yep, I agree with Superstella, I want to know more. What were your thoughts, during labor, transition? What were your surroundings like? I am a big visualizer, so I like to know every last detail of the event!

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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#4 of 5 Old 01-24-2008, 04:12 AM
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I agree with the other comments--tell us more!!!

My specific comments:
First paragraph: (It was 4 hours...) You're starting out by giving away the ending. There's nothing wrong with that, but it makes it a little more difficult to transition smoothly into the rest of the story, and it kind of builds up my expectations for how you will end your story.

Second paragraph: You're starting the actual narrative with transition! I know you had a quick labor, but surely SOMETHING was worth mentioning before transition. When did you think you were in labor? What had you been doing? How did you labor? Did you breathe through contractions? Sit in the tub? Use a birthing ball? When did your water break? Tell us everything! Why did you think your daughter was home, and how did you find out she wasn't? What were you thinking and feeling? Also, you may want to say something about the kids' ages within the story when you first introduce them. I skipped over the title, so in my first reading they seemed much younger and it really changes the story!

Third paragraph: When dd came in, do you mean to the house or to the room? What did you do during the time between when ds1 left and dd showed up? Tell us the good and the ugly. Were you afraid? Did you ever have any second thoughts about your UC during the birth? How did you push? What position were you in? How long did it take for the head to come out? What did you think when you first saw your son? Did you ask your dd to wait outside until you called her into the room? How did your daughter react to everything?

Fourth paragraph: We get some insight into your thoughts here--this is what I'd like to read through the whole story.

Fifth paragraph: I agree with the previous poster--we need more explanation about ds1's involvement with naming the baby.

Last paragraph: I like the hair color part, but it doesn't feel like an ending to me. Since I knew from the beginning that everything went quick and smoothly, I kind of expect something big here--maybe your emotional response to the birth and your new son.

Congratulations on your UC! You have a great story and I can't wait to read the fleshed out version.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-29-2008, 12:07 PM
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Great start!! And congratulations

My comments:

Paragraph III: "I thought that dd was in the house and later found out she wasn't." My first reaction was where was she? How old is she and why would you not know where she was? It’s a distracting detail unless you extrapolate. Later in your story I learn that you other children are older. I think that detail would be better shared earlier.

I agree with a PP that I would like to learn more about your feelings. What did you feel that told you were in labor? Other details I, as a reader, would love to learn about:

It seems like you have much older children, what was it like to be pregnant again. How did their births feed into your choices for this birth?

How did you come to the decision for UC?

Did you have any supplies in the house? Did the preparation (if any) that you made help?

Would you have done anything differently? (e.g., I wish I had more towels that I did, the phone rang once or twice and I wished I had remembered to turn it off).

I believe that these types of small details will really enhance your already beautiful story.

Congrats again!!
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