More often than not, birth stories are related in a linear fashion, but my experiences of birth have never felt linear. The memories come back to me in episodic moments of emotion and inner thoughts. Like flashes of light, I see again the moments that make up my births. The numbers of dilation and patterns float around on the surface, but underneath it is the brief moments that stitch together to make up the memory of a birth.
Thus, I could tell my birth story in a typical linear fashion the way someone looking from the outside would see it. I was contracting for three days every hour. They gradually increased until the day I gave birth. They were every ten minutes, then five. We decided it was time to call the midwives and head to the birth center. I was six centimeter dilated when we arrived and I had my baby within an hour. She weighed 8lbs and 11oz and was 20 1/2 in long.
While those words may be factual, they are not really the whole truth. The truth encompasses the powerful memories that shaped me, the people around me, and my newborn daughter. They are what give birth the powerful potential to define who I am. So, as I begin to tell my story, I won’t begin at the beginning, but rather the end. It is the end that is the beginning of my memories of Bethany’s birth.
(This is post is part one in a series of posts. Check back frequently for the next installment in the series.)