TW: Although I don’t go into specific details within this post, if you have experienced a birth trauma or difficulties surrounding a birth please refrain from reading this post or proceed with caution.
As this week is actually Birth Trauma Awareness Week, I thought I would do a bit of an update on how I’m coping 2 years on.
For those of you that are long time followers of our blog, you may remember this post that I wrote last year. I touched briefly on my traumatic birth, and some of the effects that I was experiencing a year on. This time last year I was definitely still really struggling from the trauma I’d experienced during Grayson’s birth. An example of this is, whenever I’d see the words “forceps” or “stirrups” a feeling of nausea and dread would wash over me and I’d have to really work to calm myself down.
Whilst I still suffer from the trauma of Grayson’s birth, it’s definitely slowly becoming easier in a number of senses. Like when I see those certain words, although I still feel a sense of nausea, I no longer feel like I’m going to go into an overdrive of panic.
Another aspect that I was really struggling from at the time, was the fear of any form of intimacy. The thought of having to birth another baby would leave me in such a panic each month, I would constantly be terrified that no form of protection was going to be enough and that I would end up pregnant again. The birth trauma support group I’m a part of helped me to understand that this was a completely normal symptom, but that still didn’t make the problem any better.
Thankfully, this was again something that improved with time and stopping putting so much guilt onto myself.
Time has been a huge helper. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these people that’s saying “oh you totally forget the pain” because I haven’t and I don’t think I ever will forget the experience for a number of reasons. However, time has been a healer in the sense that it’s 2 years on and I am in a better place than I ever have been since having Grayson.
I’ve also found the support group I’m apart of has been a huge help, seeing so many of the people in the group go on to heal completely from their trauma leaves me with a lot of hope that I can do the same.
Another huge factor has been speaking to a few people on Instagram. Firstly, Jen muir founder of Badass Birth was so helpful in helping me understand certain parts of my induction that I hadn’t before and that hadn’t been explained to me (and they really should have been).
There was also Ali from Good Enough Mama. Ali is a mindful therapist and coach, who came across a post of mine on Instagram about my birth trauma and very kindly offered to do a session of rewind therapy with me. I found the experience so insightful and helpful, and even better is that she recorded the session so that I can listen back and use it to retrain how my mind sees the experiences. (You can also find Ali here on Instagram).
Trauma of any kind is frightening and intense, and it’s difficult to know whether you’ll ever truly ‘get over it’. If you have experienced a traumatic birth, whenever it may be, the first and most important step is to try and voice your thoughts and feelings. It’s scary, and sometimes people won’t understand but even if they don’t – if those people love you then they should try to support you.
If you don’t feel you have anyone, or you aren’t ready to tell the people you love, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Birth Trauma Association who were absolutely incredible help for me. Whatever stage you are at with your recovery from your birth trauma, I truly hope you manage to heal in whatever sense you need.