Understanding a traumatic birth.

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TW: Birth Trauma

I had a traumatic birth experience.

Even writing that is difficult, it fills me with dread and fear and a whole other mix of emotions. It makes me feel light-headed and shakey and uncomfortable. I think for a long time I was running off adrenaline and the thought that “well were both here safe and sound and that’s what matters”.

But I wasn’t safe.

I wasn’t safe from the memories of the birth I’d had that didn’t feel like it was even mine, because it wasn’t supposed to go that way in my mind. I wasn’t safe from seeing certain words and phrases and feeling instantly trigged to the point I wanted to be sick. I wasn’t safe from the constant guilt of feeling like I should have been happy regardless of how things had happened because I had my baby and he was beautiful and healthy and wonderful.

I never believed or felt like I had postnatal depression, I was absolutely fine the majority of the time and I was happy don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t until Grayson was around 10 months old I’d really discovered there was such a thing as birth trauma, but I discovered the birth trauma association and I also found an Instagram called birth trauma support family and sent both places and email just detailing how I was feeling and what I’d been through.

I expected them to come back and be like “lol girl, you didn’t have a traumatic birth, put on your big girl pants and deal with it” but they didn’t. Both came back to me and said that I was completely justified with how I was feeling and that if I found my birth traumatic, then it was traumatic.

That was the first time I really cried for what I’d gone through.

I was then pointed in the direction of an official support group set up by the association on Facebook. Since joining I’ve come to understand a lot of my feelings in certain situations that I wouldn’t usually understand. An example is that, the night before Grayson’s first birthday, I held him whilst he was sleeping and couldn’t stop crying and I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. After talking to a number of the lovely ladies in the support group, they all said that birthdays were especially hard for them.

I still haven’t written down every single detail of my birth with Grayson, and I haven’t actually told anyone every detail and either just try to change the subject or make light of it. I plan on going back to therapy one of these days to help work through my emotions, but I also hope one day I can sit and write every detail out and get it all out of my system.

I am thankful every single day that I had Grayson, I love him with every inch of my heart and soul. But my birth with him was shitty and I deserve to feel sad about that. He is healthy and happy and perfect, and yes the birth could have been a lot worse but it was traumatic for me and that’s what matters.

If you believe you’ve had a traumatic birth, I’d seriously recommend speaking to someone. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to anyone you know personally, I’d seriously recommend contacting the birth trauma association.

Just try to remember that however you’re feeling, your feelings are completely valid. No one can tell you that you haven’t had a traumatic birth, because if YOU feel it was traumatic then it was. If this sounds like you, I hope you can get help and feel better one day.

4 thoughts on “Understanding a traumatic birth.”

  1. My son was born over 36 years ago now, it was not a very traumatic experience and I loved both my children.
    But recently my son and his lovely wife had their baby boy.
    My son was phobic about childbirth so I suppose I did wonder if indeed he could be there without fainting.
    He did, but the whole experience was possibly the worst, ending in an emergency ‘C’ section.
    My grandson is lovely but I am watching my daughter in law fall apart. She is stubbornly saying I can cope, and she can.
    For me the trauma is being pushed away.
    Granny trauma.
    I am an ex teacher and children’s author, my children always hated the fact that children naturally gravitate towards me. But they smile really.
    But I am very worried that I will be pushed away.

    • I’m really sorry to hear that your son and daughter in law had such a hard time. We’re taught that a baby is a blessing regardless of how they get here, which of course is true, but it can still cause trauma and negative feelings. Unfortunately all you can do is love and support them for now until they feel ready to admit it to themselves (it took me nearly a year). They are some incredible resources and charities out there that help people who have experienced a traumatic birth (male and female). They are lucky to have such a caring mother / mother in law / granny though! I truly hope that you all heal together soon xx


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