You are currently viewing What Was Birth Trauma Like for Me?
Photo by Amit Gaur on Unsplash

What Was Birth Trauma Like for Me?

Birth trauma isn’t something you expect to experience. At least, I didn’t. I always imagined the birth of my first child to be a beautiful, almost cinematic moment. But reality had other plans. Let me take you through my journey, and maybe it will resonate with you if you’ve gone through something similar.

How Did My Birth Plan Fall Apart?

It all started when I found out I was pregnant with my son, Ethan. My husband, Matt, and I were over the moon. We meticulously planned everything—prenatal classes, a birthing playlist, a natural birth plan, and even a backup plan. Little did we know, our best-laid plans would unravel in the most unexpected ways.

As my due date approached, I felt a mix of excitement and nerves. My water broke two weeks early, which wasn’t part of the plan, but we rolled with it. Matt grabbed the hospital bag, and we headed to St. Mary’s Hospital, a place we had toured numerous times. The familiar halls did little to calm my growing anxiety.

After hours of labour, the contractions intensified. I had hoped for a natural birth, but after twelve gruelling hours, my doctor recommended an epidural. I was exhausted and in unbearable pain, so I agreed. The relief was almost immediate, but my sense of control slipped away.

Why Did My Labour Take a Dangerous Turn?

Things took a turn for the worse when Ethan’s heart rate began to drop. My doctor and the nurses moved quickly, monitoring the situation closely. I could see the concern in Matt’s eyes, but he tried to stay strong for me. I remember gripping his hand, trying to draw strength from his presence.

My doctor explained that Ethan was in distress and that we needed to consider an emergency C-section. Panic washed over me. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. I felt a mixture of fear, disappointment, and helplessness. Matt reassured me that everything would be okay, but I could see the worry etched on his face.

The operating room was a blur of bright lights and masked faces. I felt a cold shiver as they prepped me for surgery. The anesthesia numbed my body, but my mind was racing. All I could think about was Ethan. Would he be okay? Would I be okay?

How Did I Cope with the Unexpected C-Section?

The C-section was quick, but it felt like an eternity. I heard Ethan’s first cry, and a wave of relief washed over me. Matt was allowed to hold him first, and seeing them together brought tears to my eyes. He was perfect, with a full head of dark hair and tiny fingers that grasped Matt’s thumb.

But the relief was short-lived. As they stitched me up, I felt a strange sensation—a pressure and then pain. The anesthesiologist adjusted the medication, but I still felt discomfort. My body shook uncontrollably, and I struggled to stay calm.

After what seemed like forever, they finally finished, and I was wheeled into the recovery room. The physical pain was intense, but the emotional turmoil was worse. I felt disconnected from the experience, like I had missed out on something important. This wasn’t the beautiful birth story I had imagined.

What Helped Me Heal Physically and Emotionally?

The first few days were a blur of pain, exhaustion, and overwhelming love for Ethan. Breastfeeding was a challenge, and I struggled to bond with him the way I thought I would. The birth trauma lingered, casting a shadow over those precious early moments.

Matt was my rock. He took care of Ethan when I couldn’t and reassured me that it was okay to feel the way I did. We had long talks about the birth, allowing me to process the trauma. The doctor also visited us, explaining what had happened and why the C-section was necessary. Her kindness and transparency helped ease some of my guilt and fear.

I joined a support group for mums who had experienced birth trauma. Sharing my story and hearing others’ experiences made me feel less alone. We cried together, laughed together, and supported each other through the healing process. It was in those meetings that I found a sense of community and understanding.

How Did Birth Trauma Change My Perspective on Motherhood?

As weeks turned into months, I began to heal. The physical scars faded, but the emotional ones took longer. I learned to be kinder to myself, to accept that not everything goes according to plan. Motherhood, I realised, was about adaptability and resilience.

Ethan grew and thrived, and with him, so did I. The bond we share now is unbreakable, forged in the fires of our shared struggle. I learned to cherish the small moments—the way he smiled in his sleep, the sound of his laughter, and the feel of his tiny hand in mine.

Looking back, I see the birth trauma as a chapter in our story, not the whole story. It taught me that it’s okay to seek help, to lean on others, and to embrace the unexpected. Life, much like motherhood, is unpredictable, and that’s where its beauty lies.

Today, as I watch Ethan play in the park with Matt, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Our journey wasn’t what we planned, but it brought us closer and made us stronger. Birth trauma was a detour, not a dead end, and it led us to a place of profound love and resilience.

If you’ve experienced birth trauma, know that you’re not alone. It’s okay to feel what you feel and to seek help. Your story, like mine, is unique and valuable, filled with strength and hope. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it guide you to a place of healing and love.

Leave a Reply