Saturday, July 16, 2011


HI Birth Peeps,
You have arrived at Story Gate Three!

Fairly soon after the birth, the mother-storyteller* begins to approach the THIRD GATE: RELATIONSHIPS. She is examining who was there, who wasn’t; who showed up in unexpected ways; who, if anyone, abandoned her. She may be examining the change in her relationship with her own mother, family, husband/partner, friends, birth peeps, the new baby or older children, other mothers, and most importantly—to herself.

This Gate is heart-shaped, an ambiguous symbol, which means you might see a heart that opens or … a broken heart. The outlines of women- and men-figures represent any relationship… not just the couple-relationship.

Sometimes when we share birth stories, we want to tell and we want to know, what happened medically, interventions, outcome… but we often overlook the importance of the more subtle sub-story of various relationships before, during, and after the birth.

In recent years when listening to birth trauma stories, I began experimenting with trying to “name” the trauma source; I thought it might be interesting to be able to document the incidence of birth trauma related to particular interventions or complications. I expected the traumas would be “caused by” the “epidural,” “cesarean,” or “breastfeeding problems.” As I listened more deeply, I was very surprised to realize that the most frequent “cause” of birth trauma was related to relationship. It would be easy to overlook this because the events and dramas of labor, i.e., induction, long labor, cesarean, etc., overshadow the subtle story of relationship.

In our Birth Story Listening online course, you will learn more about what to listen for and how to respond in a way that may help the mother pass through this Gate with understanding.


*I am referring to the mother as storyteller for simplicity sake in the main body of the blog, however, the storyteller could be the father/partner or birth peep.

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