This birth story is a thank you letter, and a wish list. It’s about my start as a new mom. I hesitated to share it, for it is about a most intimate kind of grief. But if there is only one person out there, who finds some comfort in it, it was worth it.

If you’re pregnant and reading this, I’m sad to say this is not a very pretty tale. I have not the slightest wish to scare you. But looking back, there were things  I wish I had known. That in childbirth,  I had fundamental rights. The right to give my informed consent or to refuse possible interventions on the basis of complete information. To take some time, to consider alternatives, to have dialogue.

I think there is much to be gained from discussing human rights in childbirth, both for those who are pregnant and those who are caring for them. We’re in this together.

Whatever the choices you make, whatever kind of birth you may wish for yourself, however you end up having your baby/ies, may it be a timeless moment, that takes nothing away from you, but your breath.