Posted on March 5th, 2010
Introducing MotherGather: real baby and birth stories from real women.
When I was pregnant, I asked practically every mother I could find to tell me her birth stories. I wanted to hear what birth is really like, not the hypothetical situations you read about in pregnancy books or learn about in prenatal class. Most media can only make generalizations, since every birth experience is different. I wanted true stories, including brutal details where applicable (even the “horror stories”) because I wanted to know what the possibilities were. Whatever my birth experience would be – and I knew it was unlikely to follow my “birth plan” – I wanted to have some genuine perspective.
I was thrilled that so many moms were willing to share with me, and it was clear what an immediate bond there is among mothers when they get talking about birthing experiences. What I realized most was that birth stories are as incredible, beautiful, and unique as the women who went through them.
So, I created the MotherGather blog to be filled with birth stories, ones that get into the nitty-gritty, so that moms-to-be can read about what it’s really like, and other moms can know how much they have in common.
Once I began petitioning my mom friends for their stories, I realized that this project is actually much more than that. Many moms-to-be want to know about other mothers’ experiences – the whole truth; they don’t want to be told, “You’ll be fine,” or “You don’t want to hear about that!” Everyone knows birth is not a walk in the park – so what is it, in reality?
Just as importantly, I’ve seen that moms have a need to tell their stories. These are our “war stories”: for many of us, the toughest, most intense adventures we will ever go through, ones that leave us scarred and different, but stronger and deeper. We should be, and are, proud of what we did and endured to get our babies into our arms.
My hope is that, beyond birthing, this will be a community that can share other experiences as well. Like birth, adoption is an amazing, difficult, emotional process with unique challenges. Families that go through fertility treatments or missed pregnancies deal with pain that many people are hesitant to talk about. But really, most of us find that when we share our stories, particularly the hardest ones, we find comfort in each other, and we learn a lot. I dearly hope that MotherGather can be that kind of community.
For now, let me say this: if you are looking for pretty stories, look elsewhere. If you want someone to tell you that your birthing experience is likely to go according to your birth plan, this isn’t the place. If you don’t like graphic descriptions or terminology, if you don’t want to hear that it’s hard, you’d best move along.
If you want to read real birth and baby stories from real women, ones that don’t tiptoe around the pain or the work or the indelicate words, MotherGather is the right place. If you’ve come here to share the mother-bond, the unforgettable experiences and emotions that tie mothers together all over the world… well, that is what this blog is designed to be.
Thank you for reading – and I hope you’ll keep reading!