Two nights ago I spent an hour and a half with Shelley Rahim (http://www.prenatalyogawithshelley.com/bsm.html) working through my birth trauma. I left her house in awe of the clarity I had experienced. Although I have talked and thought about my birth experience for over two years I never realized the root of my anxiety. When Shelley asked me to replay the birth in my mind and to tell her about the moment that stood out the most for me, I laughed and told her how ridiculous my moment would sound. The worst part of my birth was when I got my epidural.
My epidural and the doctor who gave it to me torment my birth memory. Once Shelley helped me to process and delve deeper into the moment I realized my anxiety was more than just the epidural, it was a result of feeling that the rest of my birth was a series of mistakes that started when the anesthesiologist said "oh no, I have to redo the epidural because you bled."
For months after giving birth I could not sleep without reliving the birth. I would see the face of the anesthesiologist swimming in my vision every time I closed my eyes. Giving birth shocked my system. Two years later birth scares me. I have been through a pretty traumatic birth once, I know what it's like to be rushed for an emergency C and to be put to sleep and not know if you or the baby will make it. I'm terrified I will have a repeat of that situation when trying for my VBAC.
After our session was over Shelley gently told me she thought I was struggling with Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I couldn't disagree with her, I knew deep down she was right. In case you are curious what this entails, go here for a complete description: http://solaceformothers.org/PTSD_info.html. Due to not treating PTSD for two years I have developed some phobias I cannot shake off. Shelley recommended I see a professional and referenced this site as an excellent tool: http://www.postpartumhealthalliance.org/
I'm sharing this very personal information because I want women out there to get the help they need. Birth is a traumatic experience, there is nothing like it. It's a wild ride where you hold on, hope for the best, and hopefully release a human being from your body into the world. You and the baby within your womb are fighting together. Doctors, nurses, your husband - none of them are experiencing your contractions, the feel of your baby moving inside you, the fear coursing your body as you will everything to turn out the way you want it to. Sometimes, God forbid, it doesn't work out. Sometimes it works out but not in the way you imagine it. There is help out there and I am planning on taking full advantage of getting the support and counseling I need.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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