In light of birth trauma awareness day (14th march) I wanted to dedicate a post to my experience of birth trauma and PTSD. #HearMyVoice is a campaign to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding birth trauma.
For those who haven’t read my birth story I wanted to share a brief recap of what happened and how it’s afffected me.
I always wanted a homebirth, from the minute we decided to have a second baby I knew I would have a homebirth. I’m stubborn as anything and the ideal of being in my own home, a tranquil, familiar setting to birth my baby and clamber into bed as a family post birth was all I could ever have dreamed of. Frankly my experience was the polar opposite. While things started well the ending was nothing I could have imagined. We had a complicated delivery with shoulder dystocia, something which honestly could have cost my beautiful baby his life. His head had been delivered, but his shoulders were stuck on my pubic bone, he was there for several minutes before being freed. I had to get out the birth pool and be put in a position on my back which I would never have chosen myself. There isn’t many things I feel lucky for in terms of his birth but him coming out and letting out a cry is something I count my lucky stars for every single day. I held him, we cuddled and he begun to feed perfectly showing no complications until I began to bleed heavy.
I suffered a large loss at home which required an emergency transfer to hospital. Things started to get scary for me when I collapsed while getting up for the paramedics. The journey to hospital is pretty much gone from my memory – thankfully, it isn’t something I wish to remember! After having a total loss of around two litres of blood I miricalously avoided a blood transfusion and later that night – mostly down to my stubbornness.. we were discharged. Only after I had time for things to sink in did the trauma set in. The what ifs and the flash backs begun.
It’s been 13 months now, things are slowly improving. I can now see ambulances, travelling at usual speed with no lights and sirens on without any thoughts of the birth at all. Everything comes rushing back the second I hear sirens and see an ambulance with lights on. I hope that one day these stop but for now I can’t see it happening.
I’m still left with anxiety and worry that every day my precious baby will die, I feel that I’m not good enough for him, and I don’t deserve him and I think that is down to the trauma I experienced.
I get saddened when I hear the line ‘a healthy baby is all that matters’ intact sometimes, it angers me. What about those poor mums suffering the heartbreak because they didn’t get a healthy baby to take home at the end of it all.
I wanted to speak out, and share that it is okay to not be okay.
You matter. Every mum matters.