Two years ago, Breena Bard’s first son was born, an experience she calls comedic inspiration. Her birth plan didn’t include any of the challenges she faced. She had intended to have an unmedicated delivery but after days of painstaking labor due to the position of her son’s head in her pelvis, Breena and her OB decided it would be best to have a Cesarean. Breena’s difficult postpartum recovery, both physically and emotionally, was a catalyst for opening up about the challenges of embracing becoming a mom.
Breena has often considered the parallels between a birthing experience and the creative experience. Before her son’s birth, she would gestate a creative idea and when it came to fruition she would compare the experience to giving birth. There is no trial run in either experience. Breena and her husband joke that their story was a flow-chart for all the different things that can happen during labor and delivery.
During the first six months of being a mother, Breena was able to integrate her creative passion with the challenges of new motherhood by writing and illustrating, Hey Baby: A Comic Memoir About Becoming a Mom, a graphic novel many readers are finding therapeutic. We loved Breena’s candid and humorous take on motherhood, and the way she has found deep joy and meaning in her life as a mama.
In This Episode:
Not identifying with the birth goddess persona
Before her son’s birth, thinking she would put aside her creative ambitions and focus solely on being a mom
Being in labor for days and pushing for three hours before she decided to have a Cesarean
How trouble initiating breastfeeding contributed to a difficult postpartum transition
Realizing her creative energy was always there hinting she should write about her journey
Discovering through releasing Hey Baby that her readers identify with her journey and find comfort in reading the book
Feeling so much better prepared for birthing her second child after her painful first birthing experience
About Our Guest:
"Breena Bard is a writer and cartoonist living in Portland Oregon with her husband Zech and their son Harvey. After the long, frustrating, and sometimes hilarious labor and birth of their first child, Breena created a series of comics to document the process, resulting in her first graphic memoir, "Hey Baby." She is currently working on a graphic novel for kids, and is weeks away from the birth of their second child, who may or may not inspire another volume of birth comics."
You can find Breena on Instagram.