story, birth story, I'm not telling your story

I’m not telling your story!

Your story is your own…no one can tell it but you.

Birth stories. It doesn’t take very long to find a plethora of them simply by doing a search of the internet. In fact, I used to write people’s birth stories. So, why did I stop? Because it’s not my story.

When I tell a story, I can only tell it from my perspective. I can only insert my emotions, my thoughts, and my ideas into it. I can only speak as one who observed rather than participated. I am not the main character, the plot line is not mine to walk. I may be a major or minor character, but I am not the character the plot revolves around. As such, I cannot and do not view the unfolding of events in the same way you will. My emotions, thoughts, and ideas about what occurred will not align with yours. My version will not be the same as yours. We’re simply two different people who view the world through different lens.

Hearing someone else’s version of your story may cause you to question your own.

As I have been more open, I have heard many instances where a birthing individual thought their birth went great and then a member of their birth team emailed/published the individual’s birth story (from the perspective of the birth professional) and it was horrible. I’ve also heard the opposite. The birthing individual felt as if their birth was traumatic, but one of the members of their birth team touted it as being one of the most beautiful births they had ever attended. It left the birthing individual feeling hurt, unheard, and disoriented. They questioned how they felt about their own birth.

As birth professionals, we never want to put our clients in a position to feel dissonance with how they feel about their own births. It is never our place to tell a birthing individual how they should feel about an experience that rightfully belongs to them. It is never our intention to presume to be a voice for our clients. Our clients are capable of telling their story once they are ready.

Find your voice – tell your story when and how you want.

No one has a right to place a time frame on when you should be ready to tell your story. You may never want to tell your story. On the other hand, you may take to social media a few hours after your birth to tell the world your experience. Just as every individual’s story is unique, so is the time frame and the mode in which it is told. Take your time, when/if you’re ready to tell your story, we’ll be here to listen.


About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, “Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice.”

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