Trigger Warning: This birth story contains details of birth after birth trauma, caesarean, episiotomy and PTSD. If you are triggered by these topics you may wish to skip this blog or read it once you have support available. If you are seeking support for your birth trauma, you may wish to contact our Peer Support Service.
The birth of my daughter 3 years ago didn’t go to plan. I laboured quickly. Got caught in Friday night footy traffic on the way to the hospital arriving at 7cms dilated. No time for an epidural. Scared. Confused. Exhausted. My baby got stuck during delivery which required an episiotomy. I wasn’t even sure what was happening at the time, it was all very traumatic.
Once my daughter was born, I remember holding this little baby feeling utterly broken and shocked about what had just happened, and I found it hard not to look at her and not feel a sense of distress.
I never dealt with what happened. Life became so chaotic that I didn’t have time to worry about me and my feelings, I had a new baby to look after. So all those thoughts and emotions were stored away. Until I reached the halfway point of my second pregnancy when those feelings, traumatic memories and uncertainties come flooding back.
I was utterly terrified of going through all that again. I reached out to my husband, best friend and obstetrician. They all agreed I should see a counsellor to process what I now know was PTSD. That was the best decision I made!
After working with my counsellor, I decided to have a planned caesarean for the birth of my son, and wow, what a difference! It was such a stress-free experience because everything was planned – I knew the date my son would be born, the time (almost to the minute), who and what was involved, how it would be performed and I knew this birth would be pain-free – the complete opposite to the birth of my daughter.
Sure, the recovery has been difficult but I’ve been able to prepare accordingly and I don’t find this recovery that much worse than with my natural birth.
I would highly recommend anyone who is struggling with the same trauma I did to consider a planned caesarean. For me, it provided the comfort and security I needed to enjoy the birth of my son.