I’ve written before about what a traumatic birth my eldests sons was. An unexpected emergency C-section which had serious complications. One blogger thats always inspired me in terms of dealing with and accepting my own birth trauma is Ghostwritermummy. Today she wrote a post about how that experience doesn’t just affect that one day. And it is SO true.
Yesterday was my eldests birthday. He was 7. Its 7 years since a day where things couldn’t have got much worse for me aside from me losing my life. It wasn’t good. It took me a long time to get over what happened. I remember the initial period where I was really clueless. I didn’t understand why the people around me were so affected by what had happened. I couldn’t remember much. And then the flashbacks started. Little snippets of moments that happened. Sound snippets too. My own screams and not from labour. And then it really hits you. When you realise that wow that was a pretty serious situation. Over time you are learning to live with it. But I never really dealt with it.
Then I fell pregnant with no2 and at my first midwives appointment we discussed the last birth. I got a bit tearful. She suggested I go and see the birth reflections midwife, she said that although it was 4 years ago they would still see me. So I did. And finally I gained a proper insight into what happened. It did really help. It was like having a huge puzzle with dozens of gaps and she was able to fill them. She was able to make sense of it all for me and give me that clarification that I needed. What she couldn’t give me though was relief of the guilt I feel for not having my dream water birth. Thats something I don’t know that I will ever come to terms with.
Its funny because when people ask what the biggest challenge is that I’ve overcome I often say childbirth. It is afterall a challenge for many women. But for me the overall outcome of that first birth was both emotional and physical damage. The physical damage healed after 4 months or so when I was no longer in any pain from being totally butchered and my bladder had healed up nicely. The emotional damage is long lasting though.
I don’t remember that moment when my son was born.
I don’t remember him being weighed or anything. I was drifting in and out of consciousness.
I don’t remember him first being fed, again I was unconscious. My mum respected that I wanted to breastfeed and they cup fed him instead.
What I do remember is a doctor shaking me awake to tell me I’d feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest because of the drugs they were giving me for my heart.
I do remember shaking violently as I felt so cold, I now know my body was in severe shock.
I do remember screaming whilst on the HDU ward, I now know that was the doctor removing clots.
I do remember waking up in the middle of the night and trying to make sense of the fact there was a baby lying next to me and he must be mine.
They say things get easier with time. I’m not convinced they do. I guess you just get used to it? All I know is that one day does still have an impact on me as a person. And thats something I can’t change.