God please make it stop! I don’t want to write or publish a book! Can’t someone else do it?
I was a woman obsessed. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It sucked because I didn’t want to do it.
Ok, how hard can it really be to write a book? – I reasoned with myself. If I write a book like Chicken Soup for the Soul – a book with stories that others wrote – I won’t have to be a great writer. I can probably publish this book in 3 months.
It will be a massive bestseller. It will sell to a big publisher for $4.1 million dollars. I’ll bump “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” off the bestseller list. Then I’ll write a series of these books and change birth forever. (I have a someone large imagination)
I had to get birth stories.
I had had hundreds of couples in my years as an independent childbirth professional. I started emailing past clients for stories. Most were very slow at writing a story. I had to get more stories fast.
I posted on newsgroups for new moms, I bought advertising in the electronic newsletters for Mothering and Midwifery Today. I asked all my friends and family to pass the word too.
At first, I told everyone that I wanted Beautiful Birth stories. I figured that would be the title of the book. I didn’t realize as I expanded beyond my own clients that beautiful birth stories meant something very different to most people.
My whole purpose of finding stories was to find ones that would reduce the fear of birth. I also wanted to find hospital births, birth center births, and home births. I wanted to find as many childbirth methods as possible. I didn’t want a book only on hypnosis for childbirth birth stories. I felt that many women who hadn’t taken those courses wouldn’t be able to relate to the bigger message and picture. I wanted stories that every pregnant woman would be able to connect with.
What I received was a lot of horror birth stories. Most of them made me sob. They were stories so full of fear, massive interventions, distress, emergencies, etc. I was so distressed that I called my friend Kim Wildner. She assured me that I’d find more positive stories out there and that I wasn’t losing my mind. After reading so many negative stories, I was wondering if the stories were positive and I just had a convoluted way of looking at the world of birth. Certainly, most of the stories that I was reading weren’t ones that would inspire me to want to get pregnant or give birth.
Did these women purposely send me horror birth stories? No, I don’t believe so. I believe that they thought the stories were great, beautiful, etc. They had never heard positive stories so how would they know that their birth was so tragic it would break someone’s heart? How would they even know that their was a different way? They couldn’t possibly.
They didn’t know how they were affecting other friends, family and strangers by telling their stories. They all thought that they were preparing them for birth. Well, little did they know that they were helping to create more pain and complications then are necessary for birth. I’ve actually met people who won’t have kids of their own because they are so afraid of birth!
I wish I had known that I was going to write about this process. Had I known, I would have kept better notes about the process.
To Be Continued …