Who Knew a Traumatic Birth Could Have Such an Impact?

As most of you know, I recently posted a blog about my traumatic birth experience (thanks for all the love & support!). A few things have happened today to make me feel like I need to put up a blog post.

#1: I saw this on facebook:

I immediately felt emotional about the words in this image because I tend to be really hard on myself and often times feel guilty for still being affected by my birth experience (its been 9 months). I’ve learned more recently about some of the things that happened during my labor and eventual c-section, including the fact that if I hadn’t had the c-section I would have died (and the baby too). Turns out the baby was in “deep transverse arrest” and was literally lodged in my pelvic area. While on the one hand it’s healing to know that my C-section WAS necessary, it’s also hard to move on from the reality that I almost died.

#2: I texted my close pal Christa and said, “I’m having a lot of anxiety and don’t know why”

Well this seems almost stupid now that I’m writing out this blog post. I texted Christa about an hour ago with this message. She is my confidant and we text each other about 100 times a day. Clearly I’m having anxiety about the birth stuff, on top of all the other stuff going on in my life.

#3: As I walked through the legislative office building this morning I discovered it’s “Trauma Day” at the Capitol and they were giving out plants (surviving to thriving was the theme) and brochures.

I have never stopped to chat with anyone doing displays about trauma because I’ve been fortunate to never have had an extremely traumatic experience, until the birth of my daughter. I stopped today, read through the brochure and actually talked to the woman behind the table. The beginning of the brochure says this:

PTSD Facts

Posttraumtic stress disorder, or PTSH, can occur after someone goes through, sees or learns about a traumatic event like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual/physical assault
  • Serious accident
  • Natural Disaster

I decided to suggest that they include traumatic birth on their list because the more I openly talk about what happened to me, I’m discovering how many other women have experienced something traumatic during their birth’s too. The woman was very nice, told me that I had a really interesting point and asked me to email them.

I think all signs today are pointing to writing that email.

7 thoughts on “Who Knew a Traumatic Birth Could Have Such an Impact?

  1. I agree with Melanie ~ this is such an emotionally charged situation, but doctors “may” say things like that to cover their butts. I agree that you should talk to someone not invested in this situation, like a midwife, to uncover the true story, including the risks involved. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you as you process this situation, Dear Sister.

  2. Michelle, it’s possible that the hospital got it wrong and that you weren’t necessarily going to *die* without the c-section. I mean, wow, for whoever wrote that report to just put that in there seems odd to me and highly unusual, not to mention callous … from a quick web search, it looks like a deep transverse arrest can present various scenarios, many of which will ultimately require the surgery, some of which will not, however. Artificially breaking the bag of waters too early is one factor that can make DTA especially problematic, because it makes it harder for the baby’s head to turn. I strongly suggest you consult with a certified professional midwife (i.e., not hospital-affiliated) about alternatives for handling this situation (should it arise again – but don’t get it in your head that it necessarily will!), and your options for VBAC.

  3. Healing can take a long time, whether it’s a traumatic birth, cancer or even just a major surgery. “The world” expects us to heal within days, both physically and emotionally. Sometimes we focus on the physical–we have to, and it’s like being on autopilot–and the emotional hits later. The more we talk about this the more people will understand. Wishing you all the best,
    Leslie M.

  4. No experience is ever the same as a prior experience. When I want to go back to a place that I had a good time at I tend to hesitate. One experience is never the same as another. Something is always different.

    First you must heal. You are strong and you can do that. Take the experience and find a way to put it in a box and then throw the box away. This is figurative or maybe not. Sometimes actually doing something to signify getting rid of the experience is a way of healing.

    Look at all the good that happened when you first conceived Lilly. Think of how you changed during those 9 months. Think how having created a child and having that child grow in you brought you and Dan closer. Think abut how you became a little family when she was born and how every day is more precious because of Lilly and your little family. Concentrate on all the plans that you have for her.

    Put the bad stuff away where it belongs.

    Then consider how happy you are right now and how doubly happy you would be if you were able to do all those wonderful things again.

    Love, Barbara

  5. I have to say “Ditto!” to Katie’s comment. Michelle, I am so sorry you’re having to go through this. The reality of all it…seriously, I can’t even imagine. But I’m so inspired by what you’re doing ~ processing this in a public form is very brave and I know you’re helping so many others just by telling your story. If ANYONE can turn something traumatic into a healing-revolution….it’s YOU. But don’t worry about anyone else right now, just do what YOU need to find peace. I’m here for you and I love you…

  6. You are amazing! Everyday will get a little better and I think it is great that you are going to share with others, that has such a healing effect and also helps others. I know I say this alot but you are my hero! You rock

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