A Letter from Julie on Journaling your Birth Story

This site contains everything about The Birth Journal. From how it differs from a keepsake baby book, to my love for handwriting and how it connects us to our parents and grandparents and kids, to details like gold foil lettering and number of pages. But I wanted to really talk with you about The Birth Journal, like if you were sitting here with me now. (You kind of are, thank you for that.)

This journal is so much more than a "product." It was an idea I turned into reality over a 15 month period, but if I'm really reflecting back to becoming a mama, this idea was brewing somewhere in the back of my mind for nearly six years.

See, I was pretty instantly obsessed with birth stories as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to read all of them. They held beauty, pain, surrender, strength, tears, laughter, strategies, rhythm, screams, gentle touches, and magic. I was in awe. I was empowered feeling I could birth a baby. Other women's birth stories were everything I needed as I approached the birth of my baby girl. I knew I'd write my own birth stories.

And write them I did, though I didn't actually write them, I typed them. The process was a touch overwhelming. The first time around I was adjusting to being a new mom and was determined to write my birth story within the first couple weeks of giving birth. I didn't want to forget a thing. I was dedicated to getting that story down. Looking back on that first birth story writing experience, it was like I was writing an historical document trying to follow a birth story template in my mind, not the story of one of the most miraculous things I had ever done. Are there moments from my typed birth story that make me cry? Absolutely. Did I capture the beauty? I did. But the actual writing process was, well, uninspiring. And this is coming from a birth story obsessed mama, who was completely taken with her new baby girl.

The writing experience for baby number two was similar. Get the story down. Record it. I typed it again and both of my birth stories just sat in word processing documents. I started to wish my birth stories had been captured in a more meaningful and beautiful way. That I had written them with my hands, in my distinct handwriting. That I cozied up with a blanket and tea, closed my eyes for a few deep breaths, and put the pen to the page. That I had birth story writing inspiration all in one place, right in my hands.

I also realized, three years after my daughter was born and I was pregnant with my son, that I had so much more to process from my first birth story. My birth trauma from my first birth... I knew it had happened and that I had thought about it. I'd done the work of healing. Until I fully realized the extent of that emotional trauma over three years later. And I journaled about it. I cried about it. With all of these reasons and thoughts swirling in my head, I created The Birth Journal.

 I also thought about one day giving my kids a copy of their birth stories and I wanted to give them more than a print out of a word processing doc. I wanted them to touch pages the warmth of my hands had touched and read their story in the same handwriting found on the notes in their lunch box.

I've since written my birth stories in The Birth Journal. Some parts were written exactly the same, intentionally. Other parts of the stories I re-connected with and could see even more clearly with the distance of time. And now two copies of The Birth Journal are in my nightstand, ready to be re-read and added to as I continue to process and reflect on the experience of birthing my babes, something I don't think I'll ever stop doing. 

Mamas, I made The Birth Journal for you and I hope you love it like I do as you connect with your birth story, pen to paper.

Talk soon!