The Purple Roomers have been embarking on a new birthday tradition this year which has added an additional level to what that special occasion means to each child. A birthday is so much more than a time to eat cake and have a party – it is a celebration of the day that the child came out into the world!
This idea came to us when two classroom mothers came in to share their pregnancy experiences and when a teacher’s own mom came in to tell her adoption story. We realized that there is much to learn about everyone’s individual birth story. By reframing the idea of a birthday through that perspective, the day becomes a time for child and family to enter the classroom as experts in their own narrative, with peers and teachers in the role of learner.
The more birth stories we hear, the more we understand each child’s unique experiences. For some children, they are the youngest of many siblings who were eager for a little brother or sister. For others, they are the first child, changing the dynamic of the entire family.
The stories have also brought light to the variety of ways children enter the world. We’ve learned about the role of midwives, doulas, doctors, and nurses. We’ve learned that some children are pushed out of the vaginal canal and others need the help of a doctor to perform a cesarian section. Some mothers are only in labor for a few hours and others spend days in the hospital. Some babies are born before their due date and others are born after. Some babies need to spend extra time in the hospital to make sure that they are healthy. Some babies have a birth mother and a mother who has waited eagerly to adopt them.
A detail that has been shared in every birth story is the love and joy felt by the family members who waited patiently for their child to join them. All births, all families have differences. But everyone in the Purple Room has love. We look forward to the rest of these important stories as we continue to understand and make connections with other people’s experiences.