The telling of the story is as vital as the story itself but birth stories have a way of being as harmful as they could be healing when told to the wrong person.
Be mindful if the listener is still pregnant and desperately seeking validation for her fear of the unknown, her anxiety about giving birth and her need for reassurance. Not too long ago the teller was the listener and this knowledge should deepen her understanding to the absolute vulnerability that the listener feels. But the teller now has personal experience of all the things she feared deeply. Her questions about birth have been answered and she has joined the world of women who have a birth story to tell.
She openly shares her most intimate moments and thoughts. She resists holding anything back, and unapologetically shares details of her birth with no thought to sugar coating the things she most deeply worried about during pregnancy.
The listener sits wide eyed and wondrous. She takes everything she hears and adds it to her own personal fears and anxieties about her pending birth. Perhaps the teller experienced the exact thing that she most fears. This validates her fear. The details, the explanation, the reasons are irrelevant. All she is thinking is “It happened to her – it could happen to me.” The damage is done.