Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Writing your Child's Birth Story

Last week, I talked about writing letters to your child. Today, let's talk about writing your child's birth story. 

Many children like to hear their birth story. Noah (my son that I parent) still enjoys me telling him all about the day he was born. I tell him that he was impatient and arrived early because he couldn’t wait to see the world. I tell him about how his first cry reminded me of a kitten meowing. I also include age appropriate details about the pregnancy complications I had and the complications he had once he was born.

Considering that Noah enjoys hearing the details of the day he was born, it should have been no surprise to me that Charlie would want to hear these details as well.
Charlie’s adoptive Mom, A, told me awhile back that he had recently begun asking questions about the night he was born. He wanted to know all the details. Because we have an open adoption, she was present at the hospital (but not the operating room) when he was born so she was able to tell him as she could from point of view. She tells him about nervously waiting in the weighting room while I was having the c-section. She tells him about the first time she saw him, about staring at him through the nursery window, etc.

But Charlie’s adoptive Mom’s view of the night he was born is a bit different from mine version of the night he was born and I want Charlie to know both versions. He has begun asking me questions about the night he was born as well. He wants to know when I first saw him, how long I held him, etc. After answering his questions I decided that it might be a good idea to write down his birth story. I honestly wish that I had done this before now when the details may have been fresher in my mind. I do remember a lot of the details though and have recorded all that I remember in my own words in his life book.
No matter how old your child is or what type of adoption you may have, I want to encourage each of you to write down your child’s birth story. For some I know the details might not be as fresh, but still record what you can. If this isn’t something that you want to give your child at this time or your adoption doesn’t allow for that then, it’s something you could put up and save for them later in life. Even if you don’t share it with your child at any point in his or her life, you may find that writing your child’s birth story will be healing and therapeutic in some ways.

Where do you start writing your child’s birth story? Below are a few ideas to get you started.
  • Write about where you were when you realized you were in labor, who you were with, etc. Or if you were induced write about how and why your doctor came to the decision that inducing you was necessary. Write about how you felt during all of this.
  • Write about going to the hospital. What did you do to prepare? Who took you to the hospital? What happened once you got there? How did you feel?
  • Write about how your labor progressed. Who was there at the hospital with you? How did you feel? How long were you in labor? If you had a c-section, how and why did the doctor come to the decision that a c-section was necessary? How did this make you feel?
  • Write about the moment your child was born. Who was there with you? What did you think when you first laid eyes on your child? Did your child cry right away? What did others in the room with you do and say?
  • Write the details of your baby such as weight, length, APGAR scores, etc. You could also include a physical decryption of your baby such as hair color, who he or she looked like, etc.
  • If you spent time with your child in the hospital, write about that as well. What did you do with your baby? Did you sing him or her special songs or tell them how much you love them? Did you have visitors during the hospital stay? Those are all things you could include. 

I hope you’ll take the time to jot down your child’s birth story sometime. Getting it down on paper is something that he or she may appreciate one day. 

Photo Credit

1 comment:

  1. I love these ideas! When my birthdaughter and I reunited, these are the things she wanted to know. She was curious about labor and the hospital... things only I could tell her!

    These are also great for the children I'm parenting. I try to keep up their journals, but it's hard!