Trauma is described as experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope. So for me, the fifty-three hours of labour was not traumatic – it had difficult times certainly, but it was a process through which I learned much about myself, my body and met my daughter. Twenty minutes following the birth is when the violence and trauma began. My midwife called the doctor in because of some complications I had. The method was difficult and did save my physical life but I was brutally and angrily denied pain management through out and following because of the doctor’s rage that I had had a midwife(I discovered this several years later). I clearly remember the three nurses and the midwife, backed up against the wall, watching what was happening in horror. Several of them came back in the following days to quietly apologize for the doctor’s behaviour.
My baby daughter lay alone in a basinet as my husband was stunned and in shock watching the distress and trauma of his wife. These were among the first sounds and experiences that welcomed our daughter into the world.
I am lucky enough to have a friend studying to become a midwife. As she and I emailed a bit about this post, she wrote “When women enter labour they are starting a process that nature designed to welcome a new being into this world. Women will have to be more open and vulnerable than they have ever been in their lives to be able to bring forth a new life.” Violence that occurs at the hands of those that are to care and protect, combined with the vulnerability of birthing is particularly devastating.
Five years later, my body began shutting down on my daughter’s birthday and it took us a long time to find any type of treatment that would help. When I finally learned about BodyTalk I was barely functional and the very first story my body revealed was this one. It was all stored inside and my body desperately wanted to be able to let it go. I didn’t understand at the time that it was one of the keys to regaining my health and being able to live again.
If obstetric violence has been a part of your story and you are ready, or your body is indicating it is time to let it go and find healing, book a 30 minute free Discovery Call and we can discuss safe and gentle options for you. Whatever your story, you can find healing for yourself, your spouse and your children – it affects you all. You can also write and post your story here, as I did, and perhaps at your hospital or a trusted friend, support person or group. Please make sure you have support.