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Aimee Li Tom, CNM 2016

Storytelling is an art that is centuries old. Many cultures around the world have relied on oral history to preserve tradition, pass on knowledge, and increase connection. In many ways, stories help us understand one another through shared experience. In stories, we recognize bits of ourselves, and this reflection helps us bond. Many of us live in such solitary states. Especially in the Bay Area, the high cost of living keeps us all working hard and left with very little time for social interaction or face-to-face meetings. Present day forms of communication, such as social media don't help much with that isolation. Additionally, with the ever increasing medicalization of childbirth in conjunction with technological advancements, we are relying more and more on data, machines, and studies to inform us and our collective consciousness about pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum time. It is truly difficult to find present day birth stories, told in the voices of the people who experienced them. With storytelling, we reclaim our voices, and thus, our experiences. A story helps us reach out, forge an understanding, and inform a new cultural tide. 

 

Storytelling is also healing. Even if one has not had a traumatic birth, birth has a way of shaping us. To go back and recall details of our lived experience is a way of processing, absorbing, and settling. In the postpartum time, we may find our brain continually going back to certain details of birth. This is our heart and mind trying to attend to something important. It is essential to notice, and to give those thoughts the time and space to surface. Writing our birth stories is a great way to gently come back to our experience and let our feelings and remembrance flow.