The Birth Trauma Association is currently looking for media volunteers and has requested that those who feel they may be of some help get in touch. I am a media volunteer, having seen their request a few months ago. You can get some more information from here or you can visit the Birth Trauma Association’s Facebook page.
If you visit the BTA’s homepage you will also see that there has been a request for regional support volunteers. Those interested would receive training and could help to make a real difference in the lives of families who suffer from birth trauma.
The work that the BTA does is so important to women like me and families like mine. When we first brought the baby home from hospital, it took a lot of mental courage to step through my own front door with my baby in arms. The first thing I did was to hand him to my husband and call my mum. My heart literally ached to hear her voice, her excitement at having a grandson… and how her voice fell when she realised I was actually falling apart.
Released- or rather, forced- from hospital a mere two days after my son was born, medication refused and body covered in bruises- I was a mess. We sat in our son’s room after his first birth, that night, and it felt as though the walls were closing in on me. My precious, tiny son was but a stranger to me. The way his arms flailed and his legs squirmed. I’d laid out clothes and a towel a week ago, in preparation for that moment. It was a green hooded towel which his sister had used as a baby. It was all wrong. It didn’t seem right to wrap him in the same towel because nothing was the same anymore. He was a tiny stranger.
The next day the midwife came to do the heel prick test. I remembered this from my daughter’s own test, how the fear had caught in my chest to see her bright blood swell up and trickle down her perfect little foot. This time I felt nothing; I pretended it was awful to see him in pain but… you know, nothing.
My parents and my sister drove the three hour journey to see me in a snow storm, which took them six hours because they were unable to drive any faster than 30 mph all the way. I sat by the window half watching Polar Express, hoping the baby would just sleep and sleep and sleep. I wanted my mum.
That hug from my mum, outside the bathroom as the heating shuddered to a halt and the shower expelled only cold jets of water… that hug as she heard my heart breaking and felt my soul shaking. That hug as she told me it was going to be ok. That hug as she told me I would get through this, it would be ok. Mum, I didn’t believe you.
The Birth Trauma Association literally picked me up and dusted me down, when I was ready to let them. That’s why I am proud to be a media volunteer and why I have decided to put myself forward as a regional volunteer supporter. That hug from my mum… I’m ready to pass it on.
*This post will also appear on Maternity Matters, in an attempt to raise as much awareness as possible.