As you are thinking about your first birth story (stories), I'll continue with a few more thoughts about how change begins with our children.
CHANGE 2: TELL CHILDREN A MAGICAL STORY of THEIR BIRTH
My mother told us several versions of her, our, birth stories. I relished the "magical" stories about the day we were born. For my younger sister, Laura, my mother would say, "You brought the first snow... You were born in the night and when the sun came up, there was a white blanket of snow on the earth." I still think of that story and image every year on the first snow, "my sister brought the first snow."
When a child hears a story that conveys that the day they were born was the worst, most painful day of their mother's life, that their birth hurt their mother, "almost killed her," or details of unwished-for interventions that she had to suffer--what do you think the child feels?
Young children are in "magical" thinking which means they think "they" cause things to happen, that something they did causes their parents to fight, cry, get divorced, or suffer in labor. They carry this guilt and grief, and from their innocent, misguided beliefs they create a constellation of stories about their world, relationships, who they are, and about birth.
No matter what happened in labor, a child wants to know about "their" birth and that their arrival was special. So, find something that was special about the day your child was born, something you thought about, something funny that happened, or something the child did that was endearing, funny, or cute.
Imagine telling a child their birth story as a child's version, a sweet, Magical Story of the day they were born.
A Magical Story is meant for the Child. It is not a medical, factual story, it's not fantasy, and it's not a "lie." It is a unique version of the story that focuses on something special about that child's birth-day: it is a story a small child can hear, and wants to hear. As the child grows up and becomes an adult, there will be plenty of time for adult stories about birth--when they have enough life experience to understand a more complex story.
Some parents tell the Magical Birth Story on the child's birth day, a kind of birth day celebration ritual. My boys love their birth-day story. Each year, it is told a little differently. Each year the child hears it differently. Maybe as they grow up, a few more details will be added. My 19 year-old son smiled when he heard his birth story this year, and he heard something he's never "heard" before. It is still his Magical birth story.