Those who ask aren’t you over it by now? Those who expect you to have moved on. Those who cannot fathom how something so minor can have such an effect on you, still. Those people? Those people will never get it. Those people will never understand. Those people may never be educated otherwise. Because to those people, what you went through was nothing. No big deal. No reason to complain. Or, it was so awful, so horrid and so terrifying that you should really be mindful of scaring other women. You cannot win.
You cannot win because birth trauma already claimed the victory. While you were sleeping, or screaming, or crying, or nothing, birth trauma was there. Seeping through your life, into your being and around your soul. and it’s a long and lonely road. Because even I fall to get it sometimes. Even I struggle to comprehend the enormity, how much my life has changed. How much I have changed. And I’m sick, and tired, of feeling like I need to explain. Or apologise. Or pretend. And I’m so, so sick and tired of feeling this way. Of being embarrassed and ashamed of who I am.
Damaged goods? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean my feelings aren’t valid. That’s doesn’t mean my journey is less significant than anyone else’s. That doesn’t mean that my story should be hidden for fear of upsetting others, or making someone else feel uncomfortable. Instead, we should all be joining hands and allowing ourselves to grieve.
I thought I’d had a healing birth. I thought baby number three had finally shown me how wonderful it could be, to the extent that I would be healed. Healed? That’s going to come from me, if at all.
It didn’t heal me. That nice, calm and peaceful birth wasn’t the answer I was looking for. It didn’t change me. It didn’t help, in the end. If this week just passed has taught me anything, it’s that.
Birth trauma has claimed me. It’s time to accept that. It’s time to understand that I am not who I want to be, not yet. I am not healed. I am not at peace. And what scares me most is wondering whether I ever will be, again.
But I will talk about this. I will write about this. And I will campaign for understanding of this. For women like me, hanging on the edges with knuckles so white… For women who need someone to hear them as they scream against the wind… For women who feel they cannot be healed. I won’t be silenced again.