Birth Trauma

If you’ve read my birth story post you’ll know what happened when my son was born. If you’ve read this post, you’ll know that his birth is the reason why ghostwritermummy is here today. Writing this blog is a kind of therapy for me and since publishing my birth story I have been in contact with many other women who have experienced some kind of birth trauma. While I do not want my blog to be solely about birth trauma, it is a large part of who I am today and it is a subject that it painfully close to my heart now. Reading the many other traumatic birth stories brings it home to me how easily it can all go wrong, how precious life is and how easily we can take chidlbirth for granted when we do not know how frightening it can be.
I used to envy people who have had a ‘normal’ delivery. I know now that there is no such thing. Every birth is different and painful -physically and emotionally- in different ways and it is the methods we choose to deal with events that shape us and our perceptions of what happened. Perhaps I did catastrophise my son’s birth, especially in the first few days when I was full of pain killers and drowning in the baby blues. Perhaps not.
I decided that a separate page was necessary for this subject as there are a few women who have agreed to allow me to link to their blogs and their own stories about birth trauma; I don’t want birth trauma to be the main focus of my blog but I don’t want these stories to be missed.
There are many more posts that I want to write and hopefully I will find the courage to do that. In the meantime, please take the time to read these birth stories.

Singlemummy’s story

Mummy Beadzoid’s story

Not Even a Bag of Sugar’s story
Over The Hill Mum’s story
Crazy Mum of 3’s story and her story of the aftermath.
There is an open discussion on my facebook page if you would like to contribute, or if you would like your story to be added.

** Alyson at Alyson’s blog has very kindly shared one of her birth stories with me. Please read her story here.

Kylie at Not Even A Bag of Sugar has also very kindly written a guest post for me, The Aftermath, in which she talks about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A lovely, honest post.
I have written a guest post for Nicki at Curly and Candid, A Nice Cup of Tea. Its all about the kindness of one midwife at the hospital when my son was born- my account of MY aftermath.
Read my opinion on NHS Birth Trauma Counsellors
Read my experience of Induction in I Was Pregnant For Almost Ten Months

Introducing Maternity Matters
Real Parenting Article: How to Cope After a Traumatic Birth
A Headline that Hit Close to Home

Healthy mind, healthy pregnancy

Stepping out of the comfort zone

Midwife shortages are still a real problem

Twelve Weeks

The first Scan

Saying goodbye to the past

The Gallery: birth

Those two blue lines

Ignorant People

If you want to help raise awareness of birth trauma or you want to know more, you can visit the Birth Trauma Association. They also have a facebook page.

19 responses to “Birth Trauma

  • Sarah

    My story

    Makes you feel less alone when you read other stories x

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  • mummywalker

    That word catastrophise has just resonated with me. Never thought of it like that before, but looking back I really did catastrophise and fell into PND.

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  • kidspartyheaven

    My first daughter’s birth was very traumatic too. Although she was eventually born vaginally, both she and I were in a total state. Her heart beat kept stopping and the cord was tightly wrapped around her neck a few times. She was blue and her head was swollen and moulded with holes where the scalp clip had been screwed in . The labour in all was around 36 hours in total. I prepared to die during the labour and had mentally panicked when I realised that baby’s daddy would not be able to cope if I did. I wasn’t dying, it was a panic attack but it was emotionally identical.

    My daughter was a very distressed baby. She cried for the first 6 months and I would spend most nights ( when I wasn’t feeding her) walking her up and down and rocking her while she screamed. Nothing worked.I held her close and bit my lip and persevered.

    Fast forward 19 years and she turned into a young woman with terrible digestive problems and ended up with bulimia and self harm tendencies. Considering our very first nervous system is our gut, ( hence the butterfly feeling when we are nervous) it didn’t surprise me that this was where my daughter felt her pain.
    But the story does have a happy ending.
    After therapy and a change in boyfriend and some unconditional love ( after it being severely tested) from her parents, she is smiling again.
    But that traumatic birth left it’s legacy for both of us.

    I’m glad to say my second birth was idyllic, and my youngest is emotionally balanced.
    I’m convinced it makes a difference.

    • ghostwritermummy

      I’m so sorry you had such an awful experience. Have you been over to Maternity Matters? You might find there are so many women like us


      Why does everyone on here try to blame their ‘traumatic’ birth experiences? I had a idyllic birth with my 2nd child, a girl. She is now 13 and hasn’t coped well with her transition to her teenage years and high school, suffers from regular stomach pains and has self harmed. She too has had some counselling and is feeling better about herself, now we’ve realised she has been suffering from a stress, because of unkind comments from her fellow peers about the way she dresses. Maybe your daughter was suffering from some sort of digestive disorder due to stress (eg IBS) which was the result of what was happening in her life rather than due to her birth.!!

      • ghostwritermummy

        Hello “annoyed”. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
        I appreciate that, having had an ‘idyllic birth’ with your daughter, you perhaps find some of these stories a little difficult to understand. May I ask, please, which story you are referring to? May I also kindly ask that you take the time to read a little on the Birth Trauma Association’s website? I only ask because the ladies that shared their stories with me have been through some difficult times and may have found sharing their stories a painful process. Your comments may not be as constructive as they could be.
        Birth trauma is a fact and perhaps with a little more understanding about it, there would be little need for you to be so “annoyed”.
        That said, I do appreciate how difficult it is to understand something you have never experienced. If you have any questions, please do get back in touch with me. I am always looking to raise awareness of birth trauma so that women like me and the lovely ladies who shared their stories can be better understood in the future.
        ps: Also, take a look at Maternity Matters too.

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    I am referring to the story above my comment. Yes, although I had an idyllic birth with my 2nd child, I also had an extremely traumatic time with my first childbirth and post natal period,. Therefore I HAVE had first hand experience of birth trauma and suffered from PTSD. I was merely trying to point out that my 2nd child has had similar problems to ‘kidspartyseven”s daughter which have got nothing to do with a traumatic delivery!

    • ghostwritermummy

      Ah, I see. I’m so sorry you have had a traumatic birth, please accept my apologies. I think that kidspartyseven was merely stating that she believes her daughter’s birth has affected her into adulthood, maybe due to the stress that she herself has felt due to the birth? Of course, we are all different and I do actually believe that birth trauma can have an affect on babies. My son was very unsetlled after birth due to reflux and un-diagnosed lactose intolerance. I took him to a cranial osteopath and he was able to identify birth trauma from the alignment of the bones in my son’s skull and spine. I’m not 100% sure about all of this but I did not tell him what had happened, so who knows?
      Anyway, I guess we all deal with things differently and I suppose we will never really know whether or not birth trauma has a lasting psychological affect on babies. Its really interesting though and I would love to find out more. Thanks for clarifying your comment for me. I hope that you have been able to come to terms with your first birth.

  • Leanne - Second Time Mummy

    I had 2 pretty stressful births due to retained placenta and 2nd time round the added complication of a DVT. Here’s the story of my Little E’s birth…

  • Jessica

    Thank you for your honesty in your blog 🙂

    I had a glorious 9 months and a hideous labour. My daughter was back to back, and stuck in my pelvis. My contractions started at 5 minutes and quickly progressed to 3 minutely. I was turned away from the hospital twice. The first time due to not being in active labour, the second I wasn’t even examined but said that my contractions were not close enough together. I was frightened, exhausted and in more pain than I could cope with and didn’t know how much closer together my contractions had to be!
    After 14 hours, 300 70 second contractions, I could not cope and I demanded to be let into hospital. I was sneered at and I heard “neurotic” being used to describe me. I was checked and found to be just 4cm. I was devastated. I wasnt even half way and the first 4cm I had been told were the easiest!
    I asked for an epidural and one was put in quickly, but after an hour it failed and while the doctor fiddled around it pulled it out. I was 7cm.
    The doctor had multiple C-sections to attend in theatre so my epidural could not be re-sited. The last 3cm of dilation took 4 hours and I cried with pain and on being checked my daughter was still high up and back to back. At 10cm I pushed for over an hour with no urge to push. I was told it was the epidural (which had fallen out 4 hours previous?!) that was stopping me. In fact it was my baby in a very strange position and when her heart rate dipped I was surrounded by on call doctors and rushed to theatre. I had a spinal block which numbed me from the breasts down and through my weariness I do remember shouting “NO FORCEPS” which to my amazement were put down and a vacuum was used instead. I had an episiotomy and my daughter was birthed safely with a high apgar score.

    I felt so distant from her though. So exhausted, so much pain, being frightened for so many hours left me numb. Breastfeeding was difficult as the spinal block had rid me of any feeling in my nipples for hours and her latch was lazy.
    I didn’t bond with her at all for weeks and felt raw by my birth, and then hated myself for how selfish and self indulgent I was. My daughter was safe and happy and healthy, and I was pitying myself. Couldn’t help it though, I had night terrors and cried frequently over it.

    I hope my next is different.

    • ghostwritermummy

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m so sorry you had such an awful experience 😦 I just wanted to let you know that next time CAN be different. I am sat here now watching my 8 day old daughter sleep peacefully in her crib and I cannot stop smiling. At last i know what it is like to have a calm and peaceful birth and I fee truly blessed. Stand up for yourself, believe in yourself and most of all take care of yourself.

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