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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Episode 95 (Epilogue): Writing Your Birth Story

Before we delved into tonight's topic, we welcomed Charlie Rae Young, a mother and student midwife who is all over Florida news lately for her Barefoot Bus Project. The refurbished bloodmobile will be taken into the Tampa Bay community 1-2 days per week to see women for prenatal visits, using local Healthy Start Coalitions, local churches, and public women's health services to make expectant mothers aware of where the bus will be situated for visits each week and how they may go about referring people for care. Women will be able to access information on women's health, pregnancy, early childhood health, find assistance with applying for Medicaid if needed, and be seen for prenatal and/or postpartum care. No births will take place on the bus. If you would like to support this amazing project, please click here.

Next we heard from our very own Carmela, who brought us exclusive footage of midwife interviews about yesterday's Royal Birth. "Everybody seems to be very excited, although we've got no details yet," said mentor midwife Sue Noble. "It would be nice to know precisely what happened, but I don't suppose they're going to share that with us."

On tonight's episiode, Laura and Ryan talked about the act of writing your birth story, and transforming what many consider a transcendent experience into words on a page. We referred to this post from Birth Without Fear about the reasons women write and share their birth stories.

We next introduced our guest, Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood (to be released in October) and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers. Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, and a Sustainable Arts Grant. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Brevity, Literary Mama, The New York Times online and Poets & Writers. She is an editor at Literary Mama and teaches writing online and at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she lives with her family.

During the conversation, Ryan mentioned this piece from Renegade Mothering, reminding us to TELL THE TRUTH, for the partial truth--the story about the image, the perfect mother, the one who is never unhappy or experiences discomfort or orders fast food for their kids--hurts, not only our own self-images but those of future mothers as well.

Kate lead us on a journey from starting with a single image, to listing words and ideas, to essay to story, through tense and voice and character. We highly recommend her book for anyone trying to get those words on the page, whether about birth or any of the other bazillion evocative maternal experiences we share.

To learn more about Kate's work, please visit her website at or her blog at

Finally, at the end of the show we were thrilled to announce that after almost 100 episodes on the local airwaves, we are thrilled to tell you that a sister community radio station from Bend, Oregon, KPOV, is picking up Maternally Yours and will air it every Sunday morning at 8am! This is a dream come true for us and we are so grateful that The Conversation will be carried in the Pacific Northwest.

1 comment:

  1. Laura and Ryan, it was so much fun to talk with both of you. Thank you for taking the time to discuss motherhood & writing with me.

    And congratulations about being broadcast in Bend! What fabulous news. And what a gift for Bend to have you on air there.