Are you curious about birth? Are you pregnant and wonder how it feels to give birth? Have you ever wished you could hear authentic and dynamic stories of birth from talented storytellers? Please join us October 30, 2021, for this intimate, one of a kind experience to hear award-winning birth stories and a live music performance by Kim June Johnson!
This virtual event is called a Birth Sharing Circle, and is the culmination of the Doula Support Foundation’s third annual Birth Story Writing Contest. Personal stories of the diverse and compelling experiences of birth from around Canada were submitted by talented and breathtaking writers, and an expert group of writers, maternal health professionals, and birth nerds selected the winning stories. For this event, the jurors and readers will present winners of the Birth Story Writing Contest 2021 who will share their birth and writing experiences.
We created the Birth Story Writing Contest and this culmination Birth Sharing Circle to provide a platform for people—from expectant parents to seasoned birthers to birth workers—to hear real, diverse, and always beautifully written stories that focus on the voices of those who birth. We believe that everyone along their reproductive journey has the right to be heard, cared for, and respected, and this event is a wonderful opportunity for the contest winners to share their stories, be heard, and have others gain wisdom from their courage and power.
You can read the birth stories here. We will publish one birth story every week until Christmas.
The programme will include the sharing of :
Dear Diary - October 1979 by Jennifer Ashton
Jenn Ashton is an Award-winning author and visual artist. Her book of Short Stories, People Like Frank and Other Stories from the Edge of Normal (TidewaterPress 2020) is shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award (2021). Jenn was a Teaching Assistant in the Simon Fraser University's Writer's Studio and is now studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Professional Education. She is currently the Writer in Residence at the British Columbia History Magazine.
Winter Rose by Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt
Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt is a mother of four. Her fiction, essays and poems have appeared in Best Canadian Essays 2019 and Best Canadian Essays 2015, The New Quarterly, Grain, EVENT, Prairie Fire, Malahat Review, subTerrain, carte blanche, Antigonish Review, Queens Quarterly and Room, among other publications. She holds an MA from McGill University and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Tanya is the author of the poetry collection Chaos Theories of Goodness (Shoreline, 2021) and Peacekeeper’s Daughter: A Middle East Memoir (Thistledown, 2021). Read more about Tanya and her writing at https://tanyaallattbellehumeur.com/
Mama Fits by Alison Milan
Alison Milan (she/they) lives on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory with their partner, daughter, and two cats. Her interest in birth and desire to empower to-be parents of all sorts sparked a desire to share the story of her daughter’s birth. Alison loves to explore food and the great outdoors, studied Geography and Education at York University, and works as a Policy Analyst with Natural Resources Canada.
And a short talk about maternity care by:
Karen is professor at Queen’s University. Dr. Lawford is an Aboriginal midwife (Namegosibiing, Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty 3) and a Registered midwife (Ontario). Her research focuses on comprehensive, gender-inclusive sexual and reproductive healthcare for Indigenous Peoples with a particular focus on the provision of maternity care for those who live on reserve.
All donations will be used towards providing Birth, Postpartum and Bereavement doula care for low-income families in the Kingston area.