At some point, someone will tell you about their birth story.
It is likely this could stir up emotions for you as you listen. What if that persons birth story sounds “easier” than yours? What if it sounds “harder” than yours? (By the way, this is all relative, right?) What if you find yourself feeling jealous of another persons birth? What if you feel like you can’t be fully honest about your birth, so you sugar-coat the details, as to not “scare” the person?
It’s okay to feel strong feelings about your own experience of birth. It’s okay to share them. It’s okay to not share them. It’s okay to ask others to share their birth stories with you, and it’s okay if they decide not to.
It’s okay to wish things had gone differently. It’s okay to mourn the loss of your birth plan. It’s okay to take time to process your birth and to accept your birth, especially if it did not go according to your plan. It’s okay to seek help; therapy, counseling, etc. to help you process your birth.
Birth is a huge event.
Sharing a birth experience honestly and openly is important. You aren’t responsible for how it makes others feel. You also can’t predict how it will make you feel in return. We need to show up with respect for one another. We need to hold the space for one another to share without judgement.
Try responding to another’s birth story with, “Thank you for trusting me in sharing your birth story,” instead of commenting on the positive or negative elements you were. Hold space. Don’t judge. Offer support. Ask how you can help. And when it’s your turn to share, share with all your heart.