Why birth stories?
Fair question. And there is an answer. Well…several answers. They’re even all pretty simple ones.
First and foremost, they’re for me. I can be truly horrible at remembering details, and have already had repeated occasion to look back at these stories to help me remember things as they really were, not as the lens of time projects them backward to be. (And usually, I’m amazed all over again. So easy to forget!)
As well, they’re for family and friends who want to know. Laying down as much detail as we have forestalls at least a few questions, and seems to have made for decent stories, as well.
Finally, I wanted to set them down as a resource for new dads. I thought there was a great value in the “daddy boot camp” that I went through right before we moved to Alaska, and I wanted to set down the stories as one new dad’s extended take on the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly claiming to have all the answers–hell, now having gone through it three times, most of what I now know is how much I don’t know–but I do suspect there are a lot of new dads out there who will first come to the childbirth process with the same sort of tunnel-vision and culturally limited view that I had. That can be remedied! If there is any way that my experience can help another dad to discover something that had never occurred to him before–well, that’s a gift worth giving to anyone.
I suppose I should say, also, that I’m not sure there is any sort of story more worth telling, than a birth story. For me at least, childbirth is far and away the most astonishing thing I have ever witnessed (you’ll get that in the stories), and it’s hard to express how much that shapes my entire view of people in general.
And so here are our three birth stories, and some of what I learned from them.