© 2017 Chiara Beth Colombi

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onceuponabirthstory@gmail.com

Washington DC Metro Area

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Perhaps you've heard a friend's birth story. Perhaps you've read the many stories shared in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Or perhaps you've spent the last three months peppering your mother with questions about her own experiences a few odd decades past, while pressing her for details not even the most meticulous medical record could provide. One way or another, you've come to understand that every birth has a story, and every story is unique.

These unparalleled tales of triumph and tears, of heartbreak and love at first sight, become our badges of honor and our battle scars that we share with pride and store in the deepest parts of ourselves. They change who we are and what we're made of. They make us stronger, closer, more aware, and less uncertain. And yet, so often they are half forgotten. Half because some things you can never forget. But that moment that your partner took your hand, and it melted your concern. Or that your nurse paused to watch you without saying a word, and you knew you were giving it your best. Those are the moments that are all too easy to lose.

As unique as they are, almost every birth story shares one sentence in common: "Things got a little fuzzy at that point." Whether from late-stage, active-labor transition or an epidural or a sudden deviation from a well-laid birth plan, things tend to get "fuzzy" at some point for every laboring woman. And the more time passes in those topsy-turvy, life-altering, sleep-eradicating days to follow, the fuzzier things become.

 

Birth writing is a lens of the highest resolution that allows you to keep all the details forever in focus and the story as strong as the day it unfolded. So that when your loved one is expecting a few odd decades into the future and spends three months peppering you with questions about your own experience, you'll have all the answers, emotions, dilations, unfulfilled expectations, surging twists, and first turns at the sound of your voice ready and waiting to be shared.

How I Work

Shortly after your birth (within the first 3 weeks or as soon as you feel ready), I'll pay you a visit to gather the details of your story. If you're in the greater Washington DC Metro area, I'll come to you in person. If you're farther afield, I'll gladly visit you via FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp. We'll discuss your pregnancy and expectations leading up to your birth, the big day (or days!) with details provided by as many sources as you'd like (relatives, birth attendants, birth workers, friends, etc.), stylistic storytelling choices (such as 1st person vs. 3rd person, poetic vs. factual, and length), and your objectives in recording your story. With notes in hand, I'll then draft your story and get it back to you within a week of our meeting, while the events are still fresh in your mind so that edits and additions are easy to make. Depending on the service you choose, I'll then revise your story based on your feedback or work with your birth photographer to create a storybook that singularly captures your "Once upon a birth...", complete with pictures, text, and the memories of a lifetime.

How I Share Your Story

Your story is yours alone, in every sense of the words. I'll share it with you. And if you would like, I'll share it with our friends on social media. But your privacy -- not my 'click-throughs' -- is my primary concern.

Where to Begin

I'm happy to meet with you in advance, to answer any questions you may have and to explore what you're looking for in capturing your story. Feel free to drop me a line at any time, whether you're looking for a birth writer for yourself or for someone you love.

Why Birth Writing?