Written by Lisa Norman
Birth trauma is talked but if it has too much coverage people start commenting about how women are being unnecessarily scared about the minority of birth cases. After going through my own birth trauma I really wish I had been better prepared. I have gotten to know Jessica over the last few years and when she reached about putting a book together about birth trauma I was intrigued to know more. It wasn’t going to be a book with everyone feeling sorry for themselves or competing to tell the worst trauma story. The aim was to highlight that trauma happens but to talk about how they recovered afterwards.
It was definitely something I wanted to be a part of. So once again I set about typing up my story of having my son 10 weeks prematurely. I find the writing process quite therapeutic, but I know others found it very emotional. Every author taking part in the book was glad to get their story out of their heads though so they could see it writing. I’ve read a copy of the book and the stories are emotional, even heart breaking. However, reading the strength of these author to recover from their trauma’s is inspiring and admirable.
Jessica can be proud that the vision she had for this book has been spectacularly delivered. It is no easy task putting a book together not to mention doing it where multiple authors are involved! There are 14 stories in total from 13 mums and a dad’s perspective. Jackie Allerton also has a great chapter about positive birth.
My road to recovery
It didn’t happen overnight. Recovering from a trauma takes time. You need time to process what happened to you. Work out all your feelings and there will be plenty for you to deal with and sometimes you need to deal with more than one at a time. I could feel sad and scared at the same time. Or angry one minute to emotionally drained the next. You also need to recognise any symptoms that could indicate underlying conditions.
For me I was diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). On a day to day basis I could function absolutely fine. However, nightmares were creeping in and the need to constantly check my baby boy was breathing was getting too much. I soon realised I needed help. It was so hard to go to the doctors and admit I wasn’t coping as well as I portrayed I was.
The doctor was great though and she talked me through some options. We discussed medication and talking therapy. Talking therapy was definitely my preferred option, I was scared that medication would make me less alert and I might miss when my son was in danger with one of his health conditions. It was the best decision that I made. It was hard work and it was so tiring to face the trauma head on in the treatment I received but looking back the benefits of putting this effort in have been life changing.
I’m currently pregnant with my second son and I honestly don’t think I would have coped as well as I have without the therapy. I don’t claim that I haven’t worried at all in this pregnancy or found parts of it difficult. Using the techniques I learnt I was able to take good care of myself though.
The other Birth Trauma authors
The amazing lady behind pulling this book together, Jessica Prime talks about her anxieties she had throughout her difficult pregnancy and birth. The lack of help available to her afterwards and how education and awareness were key to her road to recovery.
The other authors tell their experiences of the perfect pregnancy that they breezed through. While others were in pain from very early on. The book covers being pregnant in a different country, being treated differently as a first time mum compared to a second time mum. Hospital staff being absolutely amazing and helpful to being so overworked that they didn’t provide very good support physically or emotionally.
The book also covers how relationships affected their pregnancies, living with a drunk or being in relationships they knew weren’t right. Also dealing with other life events such as dealing with depression or having to fight cancer 4 times.
This book not only tells of the traumatic births but how different other births have been. The authors have shared what made those experiences so different. There are stories of preemies, term babies and NICU stays. Mums who lost their identities and didn’t know where to turn to get help.
All the stories talk about how they have dealt with their trauma, the challenges they have faced to be able to deal with it and how they are now. The book is beautifully finished with a chapter from Jackie Allotson. Jackie covers how to have a positive birth. Jackie was a midwife and went on to train as a Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner after seeing the need for this service. Birth trauma has only recently been recognised by the medical profession as something worthy of looking in to.
Where to get your copy of the book
In my opinion this is exactly why we need people like Jackie helping and this book to share stories. It shows that birth trauma is not only real but that treatment is worth investing in!
The book will be available on Amazon which you can find here Life After Birth Trauma
Did you see the last blog? If not here’s the link to Introducing Stacey Matthews