So many of us are busy with our new baby, we forget to document their births. Birth photography/videography can be a large cost for many families so opting for a Fresh 48 session and writing up your birth story is a wonderful way to document it for you and your family to cherish for years. Just imagine your little girl, preparing for her own birth experience and reading your story. I can't imagine a better way to bond over the experience together. I wanted to write this blog to help mothers document their birth stories, professional imagery or not.
My first tip to you is this – just get your phone and record yourself talking about your birth. Even the most fresh details will fade before you know it, so just record your sloppy thoughts and then you can go back and organize your birth story to be typed up, or written, whatever you please. When you're talking, think about your feelings and try to project that into your story.
When I went into labor I was (where were you physically located? How were you feeling emotionally? What was the weather like?) Example – It was a cold winter day when I went into labor at home on January 1st, 2018.
If you were in the hospital, why? Were you induced? Did you have complications? If so, talk about your complications that landed you in the hospital and how long you were in the hospital or on bed rest before you went into labor. Example – It was a cold winter day when I went into labor at the Jasper Memorial Hospital on January 1st, 2018. I had been there a few weeks due to my doctor's orders for bed rest because of my blood pressure.
Did you get an epidural or any other pain medicines? Example - After 25 hours of labor, I knew getting the epidural was something that would help me feel better, so we called the nurse.
What is a memory you have of your birth coach supporting you? (Husband/Significant Other/Mom/Nurse/Doctor) Example - I remember my mom feeding me ice chips while I was laying there, and my husband was still trying to settle on a name with me. It's a wonder you ever got a name at all, as we had a list as long as my arm. We finally decided on Angel. I knew that was fitting for you, and your dad agreed.
What is one special memory you have about your labor? Example - I really wanted to walk around but everyone kept telling me it was best for me to just rest in the bed, so I tried to make the best of it and settle myself a bit.
Did you have a C Section or Vaginal delivery? Anything unique you'd like to tell for your child to read when they give birth? Example - I was excited to stay on the birth plan we had envisioned with a vaginal delivery, and I'll never forget your father cutting the umbilical cord for himself. He was so proud.
How did it feel when you heard the baby's first cry? Example - It felt wonderful to hear your first sounds of life. I was so happy to finally have you in our arms.
Did baby have to go to the NICU? If so, why? Example – Once you were delivered, the doctor's allowed me to give you a quick kiss, and then they whisked you away to the NICU. I was so happy your father went with you, as I could not.
How did it feel when you first got to hold your child? Example – When I finally got to hold you, I'll never forget how tiny you felt to me, which is hilarious because your feet felt much bigger in my ribcage.
What was the first thing you did when you got to hold your child? (Nurse/feed, count fingers and toes, noticed unique features about them) Example - I counted all your little toes as you nursed and noticed you had the same little freckle your daddy has on his foot. You also had a sucking blister on your wrist, so I knew you were going to be a great nurser.
Did any visitors do or say anything special or unique about your baby that you'd like to remember to share with them? Example - I'll never forget when your great grandma, Angela visited us in the hospital. She was determined to meet her namesake and so honored when she found out that you were named after her.
How did the older brothers/sisters interact with their new family member? Example - Your big sister was so proud to meet you. She had stayed the night before with your grandma June, and they anticipated your arrival all night. Grandma June told her how important it was to protect you as her baby sister, and that's the first thing she said when she saw you. She said “My baby sister. I have to protect her.”
Did you watch any TV during your hospital stay? What were some current events that were happening? Example - Your dad brought the new Captain America movie to watch and help us relax when there were no visitors, but we ended up falling asleep anyway.
When you went home for the first time, how did you feel? Did anything happen you'd like to note? Do you have pets that interacted with your baby? How did they do upon the first meeting? Example - When we went home for the first time, I remember strapping you in the car seat and we were so nervous about buckling you in correctly. The second time went much better considering the first try we attempted to buckle you in while you were still swaddled. The dogs were so happy to meet you, but we kept them out of our room for a few days so they could get used to your smells and sounds. Once they did get a chance to really meet you, they just sniffed you once and laid down next to you. I think Rover knew that he wanted to keep you safe because he followed you around the whole day and anyone who held you was his new companion.
What are you looking forward to as a parent? Example - I can't wait to see your first crawl and hear your first words. I wonder if you'll like peas as much as your daddy does. I love you so much, and can't wait to see where this new life leads us.