I remember having contractions that would stop and start all day for 4 very long days.
I remember waking up and thinking “oh I had a few strong ones last night”.
I remember getting out of bed and feeling that my waters had broken.
I remember taking two steps and *knowing* my waters had broken.
I remember seeing what can only be described as sludge instead of amniotic fluid.
I remember thinking I would need to have a section.
I remember bringing Alex to playschool as an only child.
I remember the contractions starting.
I remember the look of shock on the nurses face when they saw how much meconium I had in my waters.
I remembered the slight panic in their voices.
I remember the wonderful midwife and student midwife who cared for me.
I remember thinking that my body was going to break in half from the pain of the contractions.
I remember being told that after 7 hours of contractions (that were 30 seconds apart) that I hadn’t dilated from the 3cms that I was 5 days before.
I remember not having any pain relief as the hospital didn’t provide anything unless you were in dire straits.
I remember walking for an ultrasound and being doubled over on the floor during a contraction
I remember the doctor telling me that baby was back to back.
I remember getting something to relax me to try and help me dilate.
I remember thinking I was dying as the pain was horrendous.
I remember being examined an hour later and baby’s heart rate was dropping rapidly.
I remember being examined and there was blood everywhere.
I remember being told I was 10cm dilated but I was going to need a section.
I remember the panic and being told that Michael couldn’t come with me.
I remember the pain.
I remember having to be held down on the bed to get the spinal in as I couldn’t sit still from the horrendous pain.
I remember crying and begging and pleading for Michael to be allowed to come and help me, but he couldn’t.
I remember the doctor was unable to get baby out as baby was so stuck inside of my pelvis.
I remember being told she was a girl.
I remember the pediatrician telling me that she was okay.
I remember the nurse handing her to me and I had no clue what to do.
I remember being told it was okay to kiss her.
I remember the doctor telling me that they couldn’t stop the bleeding.
I remember seeing Michael 3 hours after Emma was born.
I remember meeting our little lady for the first time.
I remember the blood transfusions and the spinal headache in the following days.
I remember the nurse laughing at me when I started to cry because I bled all over the bathroom when I stood up.
I remember thinking that I had no right to feel this way because no matter how awful I felt as a result of the birth, I had a healthy baby and that is all that mattered.
I remember thinking that I was so traumatised by what had happened that there was no way on earth I was ever going to have another baby.
I remember thinking that I was never going to put myself through this again.
I remember being told that my experience was just as important as having a healthy baby.
I remember finding a birth trauma councillor who helped me validate my feelings and talk about what happened.
I remember the panic attacks when I was driving and the tears that would flow when I was on my own.
I remember looking at Emma and not knowing how she had gotten here.
I remember the heartache.
I remember a lot of work and talking and beginning to feel better.
I remember the flood of love I have for Emma.
I remember deciding that maybe having another baby wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. In fact, maybe it may be a very healing experience.
Just because I had a healthy baby, doesn’t mean I didn’t experience birth trauma. Just because I agree with all the medical decisions that the doctor made, doesn’t mean that I don’t feel tremendous sadness and anxiety when I think about the day that Emma was born. Birth trauma, like most mental health issues, has a stigma attached to it because we should be happy that we have a healthy baby. How can a mum possibly come to terms with what has happened her and her body if society repeatedly tells us that we should be thankful and not complain?
Please speak up if you are going through a birth trauma. Find your tribe who can work with you and get you to a place of peace. Get your notes and have them reviewed by a professional. Seek help from a birth trauma specialist. Don’t suffer in silence, I promise you, it’s not worth it.
A wonderful source that I used (and can be accessed worldwide) is Mindful Birth