Rewind to 1953
I was set to arrive on October 13. The news delighted my parents with birthdays on the thirteenth of May and November. Independent from the get-go, I arrived 13 hours late at 1:00 pm today, October 14. At least I contributed to the stories of 13–our family’s lucky number!
My newlywed parents first landed at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas. Pilot instructor dad taught younger men how to fly jet planes. Meanwhile, mom nested. At 21, she also navigated the social protocol waters as an officer’s wife in dust bowl conditions.
The news of my imminent arrival came two months into their marriage. Holy Tamale!
Mamie –my Scottish gram– fearlessly flew from tropical southern California to meet her daughter’s firstborn. ME! It marked her first airplane flight. She headed to West Texas–dry, desolate and depressing. Remember, air travel was expensive and not simple in 1953.
While the slogan is “EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS!” there was nothing big about me. Born with the name Lorraine, my Grandmother Mamie saw me at 6.2 pounds and exclaimed, “Oh that’s too big a name for such a wee one. Let’s call her Lore.” (Pronounced lory like a story.)
For decades, I didn’t know my complete birth story. More and more details unfolded as my mom, and I reminisced about the past couple of days. As a writer and author, I became more intrigued and thought, “I want to write three birth stories: mine, my daughter’s, and grandson’s.”
|Light expressing, age 4
First, what do you know about your birth? Then let’s explore why it’s important to write your birth story.
Here are nine writing prompts to jumpstart your birth story research; these came from my conversation with mom:
*What do you know about your parent’s engagement and wedding?
*How was the news of your imminent arrival delivered to family and friends?
*What details do you know about your mom’s pregnancy and your delivery?
*What did she crave?
*What songs did you hear inutero?
*Who was there and not there from the family when you were born?
*Do you have your birth certificate?
*What names did your parents consider for you?
*How was your name finally chosen?
Once you’ve gathered this information, consider the value of writing your birth story.
| Weimaraner Babe, Momma Clare, Daddy Bear Richard & me, 1954
My research and personal ideas suggest five reasons why women write birth stories. They seek…
1. To celebrate the gift of life. Over the years there will be many endings, so why not connect with your community by telling this story?
2. To chronicle the story. Memories fade and details could be hazy of the birth because of epidurals, drugs, and stress. Isn’t this a priceless legacy gift to yourself, family, and future generations? It also makes for a fun and happy bedtime reading to the kids or grandkids!
3. To capitalize on lessons learned. What better way to share intimate information that would educate, inform and inspire others or heal personal trauma?
4. To cherish the moments. All births are sacred so why not collect the beautiful, spiritual moments by describing them using all six senses?
5. To cement self-confidence. In a world that challenges you with the winds of change and stress, wouldn’t it be grounding to clarify the roots you sprouted up from? Was it an oak tree in Scotland, a banyan tree in India, a sugar maple in New Hampshire, a giant redwood in California, or a frangipani tree in Bali?
There are probably more than five reasons to write your birth story. Perhaps you can share some of your ideas in the comments.Not all birth stories are punctuated with lollipops and unicorns. There are birth stories of angel babies and rainbow babies. Waves of deep emotions for sure.
P.S. I tell my mom’s birth story in Finding Our Wings: A Collection of Angelic Stories and Poems. It was my first published book launched on March 31, 2016!
Copyright Lore Raymond, 2016. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.