Pregnancy. It’s different for everyone – bringing back happy memories of childhood and your own parents, stirring up grief over loss or anxiety about becoming a mother, or complicated because of fertility issues or a difficult pregnancy. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy journey is unique, with its own cornucopia of emotions and experiences.
While getting my MFA in creative nonfiction at Columbia, I took several classes in Narrative Medicine. I also have my MPH in maternal-child health from UNC and my MS in clinical health psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, so the combination of writing and medicine felt intuitive. What is narrative medicine? it is an approach to health that recognizes the narrative of each person – the story of their illness, disability, or health issue. While pregnancy is certainly not an illness, there are countless narratives along the journey, and a woman’s pregnancy and birth stories are part of the rest of her life.
Starting Friday night, September 5, I will be leading a writing workshop for expectant moms at Carriage House Birth, in Brooklyn. Bring a notebook and pencil or pen for a night of writing prompts, writing exercises, and discussion with other mamas-to-be. Writing your way through your pregnancy lets you explore your feelings about your body, your self, and motherhood – but at the end, you’ll also have a notebook of a special time that you can share with your partner, or even your child. Come join us from 6-8pm every other week for eight workshop sessions. Though drop-ins are always welcome, signing up for all eight sessions is preferable, to ensure consistency (class size is limited to 10 students). The full series is $240, while drop-ins are $35, room permitting.
Carriage House Birth, located in Williamsburg, is a doula collective and meeting space for women and families that provides classes, workshops, events, groups, and more. There is always a doula there to answer questions, and is a modern-day village meeting place.
Jaime Rochelle Herndon graduated from Columbia with her MFA in creative nonfiction and also has her MPH in maternal-child health from UNC-Chapel Hill and her MS in health psychology. She lives in Manhattan and is currently studying to become a certified doula.