If you ask any mama, giving birth is an experience like no other. It is a physical and emotional turmoil. It is an experience we will certainly never forget.
I am from Spain, but gave birth to my son in Budapest, Hungary in 2017. That experience, and what came after, changed me completely, and the @MyBirthStoryAbroad project, started to grow within me.
Women who are mothers abroad face barriers that are not only emotional. Many women live in countries whose language they do not speak. Or whose culture is very different to theirs.
We tend to associate grief with death, but "grief" in psychology means "loss." Also in the expat world we spend our lives losing some things and winning others: jobs, friends, partners and even bodily functions.
Motherhood in itself involves grief, because it implies losing the lifestyle that one had as a childless person. It is usually not a complicated grief, but it is a grief nevertheless.
When living abroad, there comes the addition of a migratory grieving that implies the renunciation of raising children in our homeland, far from the people we love. And that means, losing comfort and emotional support, amongst other factors.
With time we learn to adapt. Focusing on the gains rather than the griefs, can be a positive survival method when being a mama abroad.
Motherhood is more complicated when we live in another country. The challenges of being a mother are joined by those of being an expat: uprooting, loneliness, language, adaptation in general. Being outside your country of origin, your family, in another culture, and having to make friends from scratch, is quite a challenge, that's for sure. But starting from scratch can bring out the best in us: we find strength that we didn't know we had, we learn to see things with more optimism and to put aside useless self-pity.
Women like you are looking for stories of other mothers giving birth outside of their home countries.
My wish is that through this platform, you will be able to connect with other mamas, and hopefully make a friend or two.
Thank you all for being here
and participating in the #MyBirthStoryAbroad project!
Here is How You Can Participate
in the #MyBirthStoryAbroad Project
You can either get ahold of me from the Contact section or,
You can fill out this form with your birth story details.
Either way, we will discusss details and you can always ask as many questions as you may have about the project.