“What I love about stories the most is the power they have to teach us of possibilities that might not occur to us without them.”

—Ina May Gaskin



I have been asked by expectant parents where they can find inspiring birth stories that reflect birth in New York today. In response, I would like to share stories from couples who’ve recently taken my classes. I have many, many wonderful stories to pull from, but have chosen to post these just-in tales. And so, with the permission of the wonderful parents of Mindful Birth NY childbirth classes, I share recent birth stories as new parents announced their births and babies to each other. Some of the tales are short; others are long (the same is true of the births). The births take place in homes, birth centers and hospitals. The stories are “of the moment.” You will read about coping, pushing, fainting, curveballs, doulas, tangles with medical professionals, support from medical professionals, and of course the amazing moment of birth. I have changed the names of the parents and babies when asked to do so, but I have left the stories untouched. Enjoy!

Claiming My Son’s Cesarean Birth as Sacred By Elana Bell

On August 29th, I gave birth to my son, Surya Elijah Bell-Chakrabarti, by cesarean.

Elana feeding baby 2

Like many of you, I wanted a natural childbirth.  I’d read Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery and drooled, imagining making out with my husband to stimulate contractions in a candle lit room with a giant jacuzzi birthing tub. My husband was not comfortable with …

Why are you still standing there? This way! To the Birthing Center!

We’d both taken Friday off work, waiting for the baby to come. He was three days past due. Davinia had had mild cramping on and off a week before, but it was inconsistendavinia famt and temporary. This time the cramps started in the morning. We walked around the neighborhood as her cramps grew stronger, low in her abdomen, without regular

No Room at the Inn

audrey copy 1Hi Mary Esther! Long time no talk.  After our dramatic exit on the 4th we wanted to let you know what’s happened since.  Long story short: Bethany delivered a healthy, happy girl that night…albeit two and a half weeks early.  The actual events are pretty dramatic.
Here’s where we left off after Bethany’s water broke unexpectedly in the middle of …

audrey copy 1Hi Mary Esther! Long time no talk.  After our dramatic exit on the 4th we wanted to let you know what’s happened since.  Long story short: Bethany delivered a healthy, happy girl that night…albeit two and a half weeks early.  The actual events are pretty dramatic.
Here’s where we left off after Bethany’s water broke unexpectedly in the middle of …

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Dave and I set up in his parents’ not-as-big-as-I-remember-it bathroom, and waited for our doula to arrive…

Hey everyone, I too wanted to share the news that I gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Benoît on Tuesday afternoon. It was simultaneously the most difficult and amazing day of my life. I have a new-found respect for mothers everywhere, particularly those who had long, diffCatee_Dave_Ben_Family_090-3026534730-O(1)icult labors that didn’t go exactly as planned, and all the

Hey everyone, I too wanted to share the news that I gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Benoît on Tuesday afternoon. It was simultaneously the most difficult and amazing day of my life. I have a new-found respect for mothers everywhere, particularly those who had long, diffCatee_Dave_Ben_Family_090-3026534730-O(1)icult labors that didn’t go exactly as planned, and all the

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“We both knew something amazing was about to happen”

So here is our birth story.

Wednesday morning I woke up relatively late and rather emotional.  Slowly, I got my things together and went for a walk in the neighborhood. I felt some cramping and I knew something was different. I felt slower and more focused in my movements. But nothing too intense was happening. I had told my mom …

Tim and I spent time looking in each other’s eyes. Aside from the actual moment of birth — this was my favorite part of the labor. We were so alive and connected.

Whenever I think about my birth story, the song, “All This and Heaven Too”  by Florence and the Machine, plays in my mind. The lyrics encompass the massiveness of this experience: “Words were never so useful/ So I was screaming out a language that I never knew existed before…”

The language of birth is different – separate from the everyday …

Whenever I think about my birth story, the song, “All This and Heaven Too”  by Florence and the Machine, plays in my mind. The lyrics encompass the massiveness of this experience: “Words were never so useful/ So I was screaming out a language that I never knew existed before…”

The language of birth is different – separate from the everyday …

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