Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sixty-Seven Hours of Homebirth

I've been writing and rewriting this birth story for years.

After an inspiring talk with my mama/writer friend Kai I started writing again this year, and the first thing I worked on was editing my birth story down to submit to the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association contest. I didn't win (or even expect to), but it got me back into writing, and now I've got 20-something new published pieces to show for it, and more slated to come out in print in Raise Vegan!

PNWA submissions receive two professional critiques, and I got my critiques in the mail this week.

There were some useful criticisms, which informed my editing today, some great compliments, and some criticisms I'm just going to have to disagree with:

"Additionally, some details are simply too personal for strangers to absorb, and do not need to be shared outside of one's loving family."

homebirth birth story Darcy Reeder

Both critiques mentioned that my pacing was spot-on, following the rhythm of my contractions. That was something that came naturally when I was writing it, and I loved that they both noticed it!

One thing I've struggled with was where to publish this, who exactly is my audience. When writing it, I didn't want to hold back on the "TMI" details (that's the problem with most depictions of birth--not enough reality), but who exactly is going to publish this sort of thing? I decided on Medium. Now it's out there, and it probably won't make any money, but hopefully pregnant people will read it (I was so hungry for birth stories when I was pregnant!), and if it gets some claps, even better!

1 comment:

Gammyjill said...

I’m a new reader of Medium and I found your birthing story quite interesting. Yes, it probably is TMI, but I found I lost most sense of modesty after having twice given birth with doctors and nurses looking on. It happens to every woman who gives birth, either in a tub of water or on a delivery bed in a hospital.

I was interested in your comment about - it seemed - not being able to nurse. You’re “forgiving” yourself is sheer nonsense. Your child looks quite happy and healthy after being on formula. There’s nothing to “forgive” yourself for; your goal should have been to raise a healthy chil, and breastfeeding is just one way to that goal. You’re making the “means” into the goal and that’s wrong. As you can might be able to tell, I didn’t breastfeed either of my two sons. And they turned into wonderful, productive adults who each has two young children. One of my daughters-in-law breastfed her son and daughter, while the other DIL didn’t. All four kids (all under the age oh 6) are blooming and healthy, no matter how they received their nourishment.

So, please, forgive yourself and move on.