Oscar’s birth was beautiful. A wonderful and empowering experience. There is nothing as womanly as pushing another life out of your body, I think.
So, when Ru was born via an emergency C-section, I expected it to hit me.
The physical recovery has been hard. I had severe bruising on my abdomen where the Drs had been less than careful with me to get him out quickly. I also had awful anaemia, which meant my legs were bruised from being moved about on the bed. I narrowly escaped a transfusion.
I couldn’t look at The Wound for two weeks because I felt mutilated, the numbness on my tum a reminder of the scar below it.
Ru’s due date came and I felt a moment of grief for the birth I could have had. The one that didn’t happen. This was quickly followed by guilt. Ru is here. He’s OK.
He’s OK because of me.
I’m not going to go through his birth here. I’ve been asked to do a guest post for a very special friend, which I’ve been putting off with a feeling of dread. I started it yesterday, got to the bit where we couldn’t find the heartbeat and found that the emotion was physically crippling to the point where I couldn’t continue. I will write it, but I need time to deal with the whole experience.
I also spoke to a health visitor. She is an ex-midwife and she picked up on the lingering anxiety I have; not so much from the birth itself (the hospital staff and my midwife were exceptional) but from the events leading up to it and the short time I spent in the hospital before we were rushed to theatre. She’s arranged to keep close contact with me.
I find myself becoming very upset and distressed if anyone mentions reduced fetal movements and I’m having weird flashbacks to the feeling of Ru sliding about in there.
Even thinking about it now has raised my heartrate and I’m sweating, shaking and feel a bit sick.
I didn’t understand birth trauma before, but now I get how these experiences can be life-changing and, in some cases, life-stopping.
And why it can be hard finding the right help. I didn’t really know where to turn. I’m a member of birth trauma groups and I talk about it to anyone who’ll listen. I can’t write it though. For some reason, writing it down digs deeper and makes it more real and vivid.
So, I’m plucking up the courage to contact Birth Afterthoughts. .
I’ve found it hard to admit, just like I did when I had PND after L.
I have had a traumatic experience and I’m seeking help.