For Mother’s Day: the untold story

So far, I have spent almost seven years trying to come to terms with my experience of giving birth.  I was beginning to wonder if I ever would, and then I read this, by psychologist Daniel Stern (pictured), who assured me that I wouldn’t.

I am enormously grateful to have my experience articulated so very accurately.  (And it’s interesting that it was a man who did this for me.)  I would like to share it as Mother’s Day approaches.

“After many years of talking with women about their motherhood experiences, it is clear to me that almost without exception, the birth of her baby (especially her first one) is a central event in a woman’s life, in equal parts miraculous and traumatic, packed with unforgettable emotions and implications.

“For most women it is an event so primitive and profound as to be difficult to fully assimilate or put into words. It is a story that never gets fully told, not even to the mother herself, and therefore remains a partly-known unmovable cornerstone in the construction of her life story.

“Whether the birth experience was good or bad or a mix of the two doesn’t matter.  The memory remains vivid, no matter what.”


From The Birth of a Mother – How the Motherhood Experience Changes You Forever by Daniel Stern

Comments: 2

  1. jane says:

    Yes,I like that. Stepping aside and beyond whether it was wonderful or terrible or both. But that it was and is. And cannot really be described! ! But is that comforting for women who experienced it as debilitating or humiliating or terrifying?

  2. That is a good question. I also wondered if it really is true for women who have straightforward labours. Interesting, if it is. Very interesting.

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