During the childbirth class I help teach we encourage parents to write up their thoughts soon after the birth - whether it's a detailed journal entry, a letter to their child, or just their random thoughts about what happened. So quickly those memories that seem vivid at the time can start to fade and shift due to the sleep deprivation and just time passing. Having at last a few notes jotted down can give you a reminder when you have a few minutes to write up the birth story.
This applies to moms AND their partners. The other parent's have a unique perspective on the birth and are witnessing and experiencing things the laboring mom may not have even noticed. My husband wrote up the story of our fourth baby's birth and she LOVES it, having that in her scrapbook lets her read through it and it's become one of her favorite bedtime stories, to hear her dad's thoughts about the day she was born. Imagine being able to go back and read what your parents were thinking as they welcomed you into the world? Not to add to the long list of things the exhausted new parents already feel like the should be doing, but truly - it will be a priceless gift you give to your partner and your children.
If you've not written up your baby's birth story yet then it's not too late! Joy created a list of questions for The Birth Interview Project, which is currently on hold (as Joy is busy tackling some amazing new adventures) but she's given me permission to include the questions here. I didn't fill them out until over a year later for my sixth baby, and it was still a wonderful way to reflect on the experience. You can read the interview about my littlest here.
And here are the questions:
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
Please give a brief, one paragraph synopsis of your birth.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
What do you remember the most about your birth?
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
How would you describe your recovery?
How has your perspective of your birth experience changed in the last year since the first week of having her?
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
If you've not done so already, write up your birth story! Even if you did write it up soon after the birth, consider going through the interview questions above to see what your thoughts are now. Encourage your partner to also write up THEIR version of the birth! Your children will one day thank you!