Your Stories

B!RTH is inviting people all over the world to share their experiences of birth, whether it was you giving birth or a birth you experienced. Click on the excerpts to read the stories people have shared already. To submit your own story, click here.

Yirgalem General Hospital, Ethiopia

Dr Mary McCauley

Bishop's Stortford, Hearts and Essex Hostpital

Husbands were not allowed in those days

the second left me with an increasingly painful reminder for thirty-two years

Salford, Manchester

I felt helpless

I knew something was wrong as I'd had successful surgery for TTTS and was only 5 months gone. Labour had come to early.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I gave birth in my 2 bedroom apartment in Calgary, Alberta

19 hours of labour in my small apartment was at once the most difficult, gratifying, and beautiful experience of my life.

Stoke on Trent, England

I have been a midwife now for sixteen years and my baby girl is 20 and beautiful

I was terrified that once my baby girl was born, I would no longer be able to keep her safe.

Leeds, England

Bright lights and confusion

Birth was exhausting, sleepless for days; arguing with Consultants about policy and statistics and room availability.

Bury, England

My son was born in our front bedroom in our terraced house

Through our midwife's support I was lucky enough to birth my son naturally in our bedroom at home.

Western Uganda, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo

It was a hot day with not much room to move

It was a hot day with not much room to move but it felt right for us all to be there to share the experience together.

Read, England

A birth pool with a puncture

It was a long stop start labour over 3 days.

Abergavenny, Wales

Overwhelming, painful, exhausting and ultimately joyous

My first birth felt like it happened to me, my second birth feels like something I achieved myself.

Manchester, England

Oh god, it was awful. So bad

A doctor cut me, and then he cut me again and again and my daughter was born.

Oddanchatram, India

The patient was in considerable pain

To me, the lack of privacy made the experience hard to watch instead of a joyful occasion.

Wakiso, Uganda

Without a bathroom and clean water

There was no bathroom or indoor toilet facilities and only one tap with running water.

Manchester, England

You’d think quick would mean easy

I felt like all I could do was open at both ends and shout for my life as my child kicked her way out.

Oldham, England

I had no family there

Emotionally and mentally you need someone with you in labour, a woman needs that you know.

Liverpool, England

It made me feel like wonder woman!

I just couldn't believe how amazing my body was, it just knew what to do.

Stockport, England

It was the most traumatic experience

I experienced a total lack of care.

Maidstone, England

That unbelievable rush of love and fear

Giving birth for me was the most creative, profound life changing experience I have ever had.

North Wales, England

She was as white as a marble angel

The cry never came, her first breath was never taken.

Hythe, England

Garilbaldis, flowers, grapes.

He was a boy.

La Jolla, California, USA

A natural birth was far more painful that I’d really expected

I was very determined to push myself to my extreme limits to achieve what women for generations have been able to do, without medication.

Burnley, England

Jane Margaret Tudor

I am a contemporary, conceptual artist concerned with emotional responses to stillbirth...

London, England

I felt incredibly lucky that we were both ok

We had electronic tealights and Bjork playing in the delivery suite.

London, England

They didn’t listen to me and trust that I know my body and my limitations

I found the whole experience traumatic and did not enjoy spending longer in surgery to correct the tear.

Cornwall, England

Two years after our daughter’s birth I arrived on the same delivery suite as a trainee midwife

My midwife was one of those amazing human beings who have the capacity to inspire, enlighten and give a sense of safety.

Manchester, England

The midwife was my mental guide to the journey

I felt completely capable of delivering the babies but also completely terrified about how I could possibly cope with two.

Manchester, England

Everything was different and new

I'd tried to prepare, reading everything and doing classes, talking to people, but all that went out the window.

St Peter's hospital, Chertsey, England

The toughest but most incredible experience of my life

I was moved from the birthing centre to the labour ward due to pre eclampsia.

Manchester, England

Lou Conran

Shropshire, England

I felt very calm and very focused

I'll never forget seeing my baby for the first time, uncurling the little person in front of us with my husband to find out we had a boy.

London, England

My husband was so worried, but I was full of drugs

The doctor told me her stitching was beautiful, but I didn't look.

London, England

I assumed I’d swear a lot during labour

She was born hand first, and thereafter slept with one arm wrapped over her head for about six years.

Bournemouth, England

Labour was painfully unbearable

Natural birth with gas and air.

London, England

It was not a positive experience

I just stared down at him for days on end. First time I ever had something that was 'mine'.

Manchester, England

Both births were in hospital but v different

The things I was worried about weren't the things that bothered me at all - sweary, raw, fast, rewarding. Worth it.

Preston, England

I didn’t think my body could handle it

As soon as he was on my Chest all that pain tears and sweat had been forgotten about as I saw those small dark beady eyes.

Manchester, England

We had a late stage termination

It was an incredibly traumatic experience emotionally but the bereavement midwives and the hospital were wonderful and made us feel incredibly cared for.

Douglas, Isle of Man

It was an emergency section

Despite millions giving birth I felt so special to finally hold my own baby.

London, England

It was secure, quiet and in my control

It was steady, rhythmic, incredibly physiological and comforting in its natural progression.

Northern Ireland

I have had 14 children

I was always so glad when my labour pains started. I trusted the experienced midwives to look after me.

Swindon, England

Exciting, intense, physically draining, amazing, empowering

Exciting, intense, physically draining, amazing, empowering.

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

It was unwelcoming and sterile, unfriendly and not comfortable

The entire process was terrifying and I spent most of the time afraid and not knowing what was happening.

Wakefield, England

She did not know she was having twins.

My mum thought she was infertile and ended up with 6 kids.

Manchester, England

Bizarre and wonderful – despite his head being very cone shaped.

Labour was a fun day at home pacing round the house while my husband watched TV and told jokes.

Oldham, England

Joseph arrived 11 days late but was worth the wait

It was very long and tiring but the actual birth was lovely and quiet.

Sydney, Australia

The whole experience was extremely surreal

I was in a lot of pain but there were definitely funny moments in between.

Manchester, England

Pregnancy was a 9 month lesson in relinquishing control

My mother’s presence during my first experience of childbirth has strengthened and deepened our relationship, and I know we both feel privileged to have shared that.

Tucson, Arizona, United States of America

It was Christmas day

It was Christmas day, so the place was done up with tacky Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman pin-ups, two-dimensional reefs, and candy canes.

Washington, D.C., United States of America

It began with the intention of having a natural birth (no drugs)

Shouldn’t drugs and surgery be the last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted?

London, England

Learning from my first birth I refused induction

It felt incredible. I was roaring like an animal. I’ve never felt more powerful.

Manchester, England

After a c-section I’d hoped my second birth would be ‘natural’

Tired and thinking I had hours ahead I asked about an epidural but it turned out I was ready to push! I felt I was pushing forever.

Lewisham, London, England

I had refused induction as my baby and myself were fine

I had no pain relief until I begged for an epidural when the drip was ramped up to its highest level.

Klaipeda, Lithuania

It was nothing like I expected

I felt lonely and very tearful. Visitors were only allowed at certain times and for short periods.

Manchester, England

First Birth

It was surreal. 30 minutes earlier I’d been told I was going to surgery and now I was holding my son.