If You’ve Been Wanting a Birth Journal, Your Dreams Just Came True
My kids love hearing stories about the day they were born.
“Tell me again, Mama!” they beg. My kids know all about how I made their dad do a quick drive-through to McDonald's before we went to the hospital (hey, Mama needed a McMuffin, what can I say?) to have my son, how Daddy was off mowing lawns and didn't want to stop when I went into labor with my second daughter, and how I walked for miles and miles in the woods with my first.
My kids giggle when I tell them how I yelled at Daddy or how their aunt accidentally wandered into the room and immediately ran out because I looked so scary. And they love hearing the small details about how the nurses fixed their little sister with a tiny pink bow or the horrifying moment when my son, at two years old, upon meeting the baby for the first time, took it upon himself to suddenly and without warning, lick the hospital floor outside of the bathroom. (Seriously, I still can't think of that moment without shuddering — SO gross.)
The point is, their birth stories never get old and when I came across a product called The Birth Journal, meant to help mothers preserve their birth stories and all of those small details forever, I thought it was a brilliant idea.
According to a feature in Click on Detroit, The Birth Journal was birthed by a Michigan mom named Julie Tobi, who described herself as a “birth story junkie.” I read Tobi's feature with interest because I am definitely the same way — I'm a bit of a birth story junkie myself and having worked in labor and delivery in the past, I definitely never got tired of the labor and births I got to witness there. And like, Tobi, I'm a Michigan mom, so I loved seeing her local business thrive.
Tobi, who has two young children herself, described to the outlet how she had written down her own birth stories, but found the typical typing out in her computer to be entirely too impersonal. She wanted something that would be cherished by her children, passed down, and felt much more personal.
The result was something beautiful. She partnered with a local artist to design the actual journal. Even from the pictures, you can tell that The Birth Journal is meant to be a purposeful reflection on your children's journeys into the world.
“I wanted them to see the lines and curves of my handwriting, to know that I had touched the pages and that’s where I’d written my birth stories for them,” said Tobi. “I also wanted moms to have a space to connect the power of their birth story through their handwriting. Birth is incredible, powerful and sometimes a little processing around that experience is needed and helpful.”
Tobi's words about the processing that is needed sometimes in birth is so necessary because let's be real: birth isn't always beautiful and sometimes, at first glance, we might not even be sure that we want to remember our birth stories. But Tobi discusses even how journaling can be helpful for processing birth stories and trauma that are not exactly beautiful. “While not the outcome anyone wishes for, it's okay to have negative emotions about your birth experience,” she writes on her blog. “In a birth world where much emphasis is put on the beauty and strength and miracle of birth, we may be hesitant to give ourselves permission to express how we really feel about our birth experience. Let those emotions out. Cry. Be angry. Be sad. Be whatever you need to be to work through the experience.”
I love the idea of the Birth Journal, because it is something that you could do at any time, even if your kids are older, and either use it for yourself or give it as a gift to your children. And as Tobi herself details on her website, it's not something that has to be done in a “right” way and it's not overwhelming like a traditional baby book — it's just yours.
“The Birth Journal is different from a traditional keepsake baby book and is not meant to replace it,” she explains on her site. “Most traditional baby books capture moments across your baby's first year or more, while The Birth Journal is for you to connect with your birth story specifically in a meaningful and beautiful way… through your handwriting in an heirloom quality journal.”
Do you write out your birth stories? Do your kids like hearing their own birth story?