Friday, August 19, 2011

Listening and Observing: The Power of Birth in Story

Listening and Observing: The Power of Birth in Story

Childbirth may be one of the most powerful events that women experience in life. The sharing of women's personal experiences of giving birth provides an opportunity for greater understanding about how birth shapes and is shaped by our self-perceptions, our culture, and the trajectory of our lives. This evening will provide a safe space to experience the art of listening as we share our personal stories of birth in a way that honors the unique experience of each storyteller.

A part of Beyond Barbie: Piecing Together Today’s Woman – a series of performances and talks about issues important to women today
and in conjunction with Susan Singer's Not Barbie: A Celebration of Real Women 
which opens Sept 16th at 6 PM at Crossroads Art Center.

Who: Women and the people that love them are all invited to participate and/or observe.

When: Thursday, October 27, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Cost: $10 or $50 for the entire 7 evening series.
Tickets may be purchased on-line at, through Crossroads Art Center or at the door. For more information please call 804-278-8950 or email

Further information:
Birth is a transformative event, an everyday act that marks one of life’s most sacred passages. Pregnancy, birth, and becoming a parent are experiences that can empower us to become more than we thought we could be. For many women, telling the story of their child’s birth is an important part of this transformation. In the last decade, birth stories have become an emerging cultural narrative form.
While birth stories can be windows into individual women’s souls, they also have the capacity to enlighten, educate, and entertain. Sharing our stories shines a light on the many ways birth takes place in our culture, helps us transcend fears and perceived limitations, and empowers us to learn from our collective experience. Telling our stories can also strengthen women’s trust in their ability to do the hard physical, emotional, and spiritual work of birth.
For this evening, women are invited to listen to, and participate in, the telling of stories of childbirth in a safe, respectful environment that allows each woman’s tale to unfold without interruption. Stories of home births, hospital births, cesarean births, water births, parking lot births, adoptive births, singleton, twin, and triplet births, births of healthy babies, births of challenged babies, and births of stillborn babies are all welcome. The audience will listen to a variety of birth stories in the first person, then break into small groups where stories may be shared and observed in an intimate setting. At the end of the evening, there will be time for reflection on the experience as a whole.

We are especially interested in the moments during your birth when you faced a fear or learned something significant about yourself or about life. What helped you move through the experience? What made you laugh, what made you cry? What did you learn that might help the next woman walking the path toward motherhood?

Thérèse Hak-Kuhn is the mother of 6 and has been involved in birth both personally and professionally for over 30 years. The Executive Director of toLabor, an international birth doula training and certification program, an attendant at over five hundred births and a facilitator of a variety of birth circles, she understands the necessity for women to able to tell their birth stories and having them truly heard.

Leslie Lytle, MS, CMA, RYT500 is Director of OmMama, LLC which offers prenatal and postnatal yoga and evidence-based childbirth preparation in the Richmond area, and prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher training programs nationally. She has worked with expecting women and new families for over 19 years, and has witnessed firsthand the power of storytelling in transforming women’s experience of birth.

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