Riveting stories of the human condition have found their way to page and screen for as long as they’ve all existed. But the vast majority of epic tales have passed over honestly depicting the most universal experience- childbirth. Until recently.
It took decades, but now it seems that popular culture has caught on. There is a rising presence of birth stories on prestige TV, from the popular BBC series Call the Midwife, for which labor is the crux of the drama on a regular basis, to recent intense birth scenes on Starz’s Outlander and Cinemax’s The Knick.
We’ve also seen a rise of the birth story in prose. After complaints about the dearth of such scenes in literary writing, the drama of labor is slowly becoming a literary staple. Ariel Levy won a National Magazine Award last year for her powerful New Yorker essay “Thanksgiving in Mongolia” in which she describes giving birth to a five-month-old baby who didn’t survive. There was also a terrific essay on Longreads by Meaghan O’ Connell about her C-section, one of the many of birthstories being published online these days.
Read the full article at The Week: Childbirth is finally getting the cultural treatment it deserves