I have admit, my three girls' births have been crazy. I blogged about Siena's birth on my old personal blog -- you can check it out here. And then I told Lucia's birth story here. They're incredible difficult stories for me to share because I felt somewhat alone. I felt alone with my internal fear of natural birth, with my inward struggle with not LOVING my natural birth experiences (my first daughter was vaginal but with an epidural). I haven't loved the two births that were done naturally, whereas I had a pretty positive experience with my epidural birth.

So, I've struggled with this. This crazy thing called natural birth. I've struggled to accept that it was beautiful, despite my screaming and psychotic (to me) self. I pictured rose petals and fluttery clouds when I pictured a natural birth. We're women, this is what we're made to do. It's beautiful. You will feel so great afterward!

Nope, not for everyone. My births were hard, hard, insane amount of work. I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't expecting a birth different than the easy births where the women just squat down and --Op! There's a baby! Easy peasy!

I remember as a first time mom how fearful it was for me - the idea of childbirth. Luckily, I found resources that helped me along the way, but the fear still remained somewhat in the back of my subconscious and has nagged at me for what seems like forever.

Then I read Shannon Brown's Natural Birth Stories: The Real Mom's Guide to an Empowering Natural Birth. And I wish I had this resource from the very beginning of it all. I really appreciated this book. I appreciated each and every unique birth story (32 in all) that made me feel like I wasn't alone.

Someone has been in my shoes.

Hey - I felt that way too!

Finally, she said what I've been thinking all along.

I appreciated the honesty of every single mother, and I loved that they shared their own practical birthing advice throughout it all. I enjoyed reading the birth stories, and often felt like I was right there with the birthing mama, even at parts laughing out loud at their candidness.

Shannon then interweaved extremely helpful birthing information through the chapters, ranging from explaining the different birth classes and their benefits, all the way to explaining the ever-vague contraction and what it feels like. She did a phenomenal service to us, new mamas and veteran mamas alike, by showing us even more of the natural birthing world, so that we could get a better and bigger sense of what natural birth really entails.

I am grateful to her, and grateful to have this book to remind me that I can do this again, and I can be an advocate for natural birth. I truly believe this is an invaluable book for pregnant moms who can all benefit in some way from reading this - whether that be learning techniques to deal with pain or how to be healthy throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

Natural Birth Stories book

In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.