She Said, She Said: Interruptive Narratives of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Alison Happel-Parkins, Katharina A. Azim


In this article, we explore narrative inquiry data we collected with women who attempted to have a natural, drug-free childbirth for the birth of their first child. The data presented come from semi-structured life story interviews with six women who live in a metropolitan city in the mid-southern United States. Using creative analytic practice (CAP), the women's experiences are presented as a composite poem. The (re)presentation of the women's narratives in the poem emphasizes the tensions between what women desired and planned for in contrast to what they actually experienced during pregnancy and birth. The poem illustrates the politics of agency, the ways in which consent is bypassed or assumed in some medical institutions in the United States, and the resilience of the women.



natural childbirth; medicalization; narrative inquiry; creative analytic practice; composite poem; informed consent; agency

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2017 Alison Happel-Parkins, Katharina A. Azim

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.