Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Reality of a Traumatic Birth

The reality of having the day my child entered the world also be the day in which I had the worse experience of my life - a severe deprivation of personal autonomy - is that it has not faded from the forefront of my mind. It has been more than three years and very rarely does a day go by when I do not think about that day. On a good day, it is just there. On a bad day, it brings with it all the negative emotions - the terror, the anger, the abandonment, the pain, the helplessness. On a bad day, there is little reprieve and I find my mood sinking like a lead weight in an overwhelming ocean. The upside is that the good days, the days when it just is what it is, are growing in frequency, while the truly bad days - the days when the thoughts come with all the baggage of the negative emotions associated with it are diminishing.

I have come to the conclusion that this is the reality of my traumatic birth experience. There will always be a psychological scar - it'll fade, sometimes it may not be painful - but it will always be there. The negative experience cannot be reframed as being a necessary evil. Which is why I feel compelled to do something about what happened to me - something concrete, something that might make a difference for another woman. It is why I blog. It is why I am holding my care providers, the hospital, and the health authority to account - in the only way I truly can. It is why I can't just move on - because moving on when things still need to change, means that what happened to me will always just suck, for no good reason - and in some way feels as though it would be accepting that the way things are is somehow acceptable. There will not be closure until I feel like I have done what I could to change what is wrong with maternity care - I do not believe I can move on until I am done doing what I can to make it better for other women, other moms, like myself.

I hope that those who love me, can support me in what I need to do - in order to reclaim the woman I once was. The woman who was confident that what she thought, felt and did - actually mattered. I hope that they do not see what I am trying to do as being the actions of a "selfish bitch" - and see that what I am trying to do, needs to be done. I hope that they can be proud of what I do accomplish - and I hope they might understand a little about why I cannot just move on. I hope that I can make a difference. I hope that I can be the mother my children and husband deserve.


  1. I read your blog regularly. It is so important that these issues -- CDMR generally and your experience specifically -- be discussed, and I'm grateful to you for spending the time and emotional energy to do so. I haven't read much about your lawsuit recently but I hope it is progressing. I cannot imagine anyone calling you a selfish bitch for pursuing either this blog (and related education efforts) or the lawsuit.

    I don't know you, but your post above does sound distressed. I hope you are receiving the care you need to help deal with what happened to you -- self-care, family care, and professional care. What you're doing is valuable, but it must also be draining and I hope it is not pulling you away from your family and children.

    From one mom to another, I wish you much joy.