‘You have a healthy baby, the birth doesn’t matter’
I originally wrote this post a couple of months ago and couldn’t decide whether to keep it to myself or share it. This was mainly because of the fear I would receive unkind comments, like ‘surely you should have got over this by now.’ (Yes this was actually said to me) However, I have realised that by keeping this to myself birth trauma will continue to be misunderstood, ignored and ultimately mothers shamed and silenced
Over a year has already passed and my tiny premature baby has grown into a strong, mischievous little boy with a whole lot of joy and love to give . In the early days when my feelings were still raw and too heart breaking to focus upon I naively thought this time next year things would be back to normal. My feelings around birth would be put to bed, a thing of the past (You can read the original post here). I would love to say that this is the case but unfortunately it is something which plagues my thoughts every day. Always popping up in my mind triggered by the smallest of things, forcing me to relive the pain and fear of those 3 days in labour.
Many of you will probably be wondering why I have decided to write this post I have the most important gift, my son. However, over this past year the more I have researched birth trauma the more it has become apparent that it is a hidden problem, which is often misunderstood and ignored. I can’t count the amount of hurtful and insensitive comments I have received when I have been brave enough to express and share my trauma…
‘You had a baby, stuff like this happens.’
‘Every woman has a birth horror story’
I completely understand these comments were well meant with no malice intended, but they completely ignore and discredit the immense hurt and guilt that I am still unable to let go of. When I initially heard comments like these I would feel as if they had physically pierced straight through my heart.
I have spent a year trying to understand why I can’t move past this trauma, tried to pinpoint what I did wrong, if anyone did anything wrong, was there something I missed? I have recently been able to understand that no one can apprehend what it is like to be forced into a position of extreme fright, pain or distress. Should I really expect them to?
I have come to a point were I can readily admit that nature isn’t going to fix this. It is now time to rebuild the huge part of myself, which I have lost. I need to find away to begin to ease the deep sadness I feel about the way my perfect little boy entered this world and the subsequent treatments we have both had to endure. More than likely I will probably have to live with this pain forever but if I don’t try to quash it I will never know if it is possible to ease the burden of the hurt, guilt and grief I am enduring.
If you know someone suffering from birth trauma please give them the space and time to deal with their pain. Don’t try to take it from them or guilt trip them into burying it deep down. Birth trauma needs to be spoken about, shared and understood.