I had a textbook pregnancy, everything was great the entire 9 months. In fact I loved being pregnant. I was not at all prepared for my chaotic labor experience. Brianna’s entrance into this world was not an easy one. In the last stage of my labor she had shoulder dystocia, which is just a fancy word for her shoulder getting stuck under my pubic bone. When she finally came out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and her body with a knot. She also swallowed her meconium. She was blue and an emergency healthcare team was rushed in.
Like I said I was not prepared for this, so I took it pretty hard. Throughout my pregnancy I envisioned this beautiful labor, with my baby girl draped across my chest after delivery. Instead they took her away immediately, no cutting cord, no skin to skin . And after what seemed like an eternity, I finally heard her cry. It was pretty traumatizing.
When we took her home it took me a while to get over that, and the baby blues weren’t helping either. I was home with a new baby who had a brachial plexus injury. And instead of creating nice images of my labor and delivery I was having flashbacks of what seemed like a horror movie. I couldn’t look at baby commercials, or watch my favorite show on TLC, baby story. I was envious of everyone around me who had a beautiful labor. My beautiful labor was tainted.
When I was finally able to talk about my experience without crying , I did, and to everyone. I got the typical cliche responses “you have a happy, healthy baby, just forget about it” Forget about it? If it was only that easy. I was having nightmares, flashbacks, and panic, how can I just forget? I then turned to blogging, mostly reading at first. You would be surprised how many people went through the same exact thing. It felt great connecting with people that shared the same experience, because for a while I thought the baby blues were getting the best of me and I was just being ridiculous.
So the point of this story is that talking about your traumatic labor helps, but it has to be with the right audience. I came across an awesome site where you can chat with someone or find local help http://www.postpartum.net/. Another great one is Solace for Mothers, It also deals with more serious birth trauma. It has two online communities you can join. One is a healing community, where you can share similar stories with other women. The other is if you want to learn how to help someone you know that had a traumatic labor experience.
After I talked about it with other women, I felt great. They understood. I wasn’t nuts. I felt like my experience made me a better, stronger mom. I could finally start enjoying mommyhood and figure out how to get my baby to sleep:) Let’s move on…