I think most mothers remember the birth of their children like it was yesterday, no matter how much time has passed. Sure how could any woman possibly forget such a powerful, life-changing day when their bodies did the most incredible thing and brought a new life into the world? They say every pregnancy is different and every birth unique, which makes perfect sense because even though the mama might be the same, we’re talking about a whole new different human being and all of their individuality playing such an important role in the pregnancy and birth process.
Storytelling is such a powerful medium, so powerful that we find them everywhere we look: books, films, plays, tweets, soaps, news reports, magazines, songs, poems, pictures, illustrations, blog posts, a yarn over a coffee or a pint. We love them and I think Irish people in particular can’t get enough of a good old story. They fill us with wonder and awe, they terrify us, they make us think and return to again and again. Most of all they influence our thinking, even when we don’t even realise it.
Birth stories have such a strong influence on women. They’re real. They happen every day but every single one ends in a little miracle. They happen to people we know. They happen to us.
The Irish maternity charity AIMS Ireland is launching an exciting new campaign on 9 June 2013 called 42 WEEKS, so called because 37 – 42 weeks is the length of a normal human pregnancy. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the normality of birth and provide information that is evidence-based on how to achieve a normal birth within the Irish maternity setting.
An integral part of the campaign will be a dedicated website called www.42weeks.ie which will showcase positive birth stories and images of women who are birthing in Ireland. In this way AIMS Ireland hope that it will create a space in which women can share their birth experiences in a safe environment and give mothers coming up behind them an opportunity to learn everything they need to know to help them have a positive birth experience too. To complement the website, there will also be a Pinterest board of beautiful birth images to highlight what birth looks like in all its beautiful glory.
In advance of the launch on 9 June, AIMS Ireland are doing a call out to mothers who would like to share their birth stories and images with the women of Ireland. If you’re reading this and thinking “well, this obviously doesn’t apply to me because I didn’t have a drug free, home birth with candles and plinky music etc etc”, well you’re wrong! More than 99% of birth in Ireland take place in a hospital setting. So many of them are positive experiences but we often don’t get to hear about them in the din of horror stories and media misrepresentations of what normal birth looks and sounds like.
So, if you’ve had a positive birth experience in Ireland and you’d like to share your story and/or your photos, AIMS Ireland and the 42 WEEKS campaign would be absolutely delighted to hear from you.
They’re looking for positive stories about natural birth, induction birth, birth past due dates, birth before due dates, epidural births, Caesarean section births, vaginal birth after Caesarean sections (VBACs), unexpected births, breech birth, multiple birth. You name it, 42 WEEKS wants it!
What do you say? If you’d like to contribute you can email 42 WEEKS at:
42weeks at gmail dot com
or you can follow on Twitter at @42_weeks