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Things that have helped you find peace

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

What things have helped set you on the road to peace and healing, mamas?

 

I wanted to share that for me, having long talks with our midwife, getting all my medical records from her and the hospital, and researching what happened during the whirlwind 70 hours it took for my son to be born has really, really helped. I understand much better why we ended up at c-section, what happened to my body, and what was going on with my baby. 

 

Also, talking to other mamas with similar experiences has been a godsend. Mamas who have also been through this won't say to you, "At least you have a healthy baby." There is something about mourning and processing with other women that is truly empowering.

 

post #2 of 18

Getting my birth records was very helpful. It took me 2 years to work up the courage to request them. I was just so afraid that I would find something in them that would "prove" that the whole mess had been "my fault." What I discovered instead were some details that helped confirm that I really had chosen the right moment for the c-section, and some questions that will probably never be answered. Also, for some reason it was really comforting to me to see the name of the resident who had been present for the last 12 hours of my labor & for the c-section. She was far kinder than the attending OB, but I couldn't recall her name. It's just so weird to go through so many intense moments with a bunch of total strangers...somehow seeing her name made her feel less "anonymous" in my mind.

 

My physical recovery was very slow, probably for a bunch of factors, including my age, the fact that I had a lot of pregnancy weight to lose, my DD's nursing patterns, which made it impossible for me to sleep, and the breast infection I got immediately after DD was born & took 3 months to clear up. But anyway, when DD was 8 months old I bought a bicycle and started using it to commute to work, and it did wonders for my body & psyche. For a long time I felt like the oldest, slowest, fattest thing on the road, but slowly I found myself getting stronger & my rides getting longer and easier. Now I bike year-round in Wisconsin and I sort of relish the physical challenge of biking when it's super cold or windy. I've never been much of an athlete, but the loss of confidence in my body was so great after the birth, that it's been very helpful to put myself in situations where I can push myself to my limits & feel like I'm up for that challenge. Frankly, a tough bike ride on a cold windy day still feels like a walk in the park compared to my labor. I still don't have any confidence that my body could handle birth again (not that I'm going to give it a try), but I have restored my faith in my body's strength & endurance & resilience, and that has been HUGE.

 

When I was about 6 months out from the birth, I started dance therapy & kept it up until DD's first birthday. That was enormously helpful. I talked, moved, drew, and wrote with my therapist. It was so helpful to be witnessed and heard by someone who could handle the intensity of my story. And it was literally the only activity that I did purely for me during that first year of DD's life.

 

And connecting with other women, yes. That is so important. Joining MDC and being active on these boards has been very healing to me.

post #3 of 18

I have only found healing by vaginally delivering my other two children. Without an epidural I was fully in tune with my body and my baby! It's the only peace I've found.

post #4 of 18

I just want to add another thought...

 

I don't think of my recovery as being "at peace" with my birth, and I'm not sure I ever will. What I do know is that the sense of trauma has lessened considerably. I am not obsessed with the birth, and it takes up far less real estate in my head than it did for the first year. I can think and talk about it without immediately bursting into tears. When I start to feel overwhelmed with negative emotions, I have the capacity to stop, take deep breaths, guide my response, and find a way to be OK. I feel like I can talk about my experience in forums such as this without being "triggered" all the time. I can hear about other women's births without immediately being overwhelmed by my own trauma.

 

But I don't know if I'll ever look back at the birth with a sense of pride or accomplishment. I doubt I'll ever find a way to regard my transition to motherhood without recalling the misery of those first 3 months. I don't expect to have an experience that makes me have complete faith in my body. There are always going to be wounded, grieving parts of me.

 

I'm OK with that. I've had a lot of experiences in life that have wounded me and brought me grief. I'm becoming an expert in carrying that grief with grace. The humility and compassion that my experience has brought me are true gifts that I'm grateful for. I'm sorry that my arrogance had to be stripped from me in such an extreme way, but I'm glad that its gone. And as I move into a phase of my life where I feel that I can actually be supportive of other women, my difficulty and suffering take on new meaning.

 

But "peace"? That's probably stretching things for me...

post #5 of 18

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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

I'm OK with that. I've had a lot of experiences in life that have wounded me and brought me grief. I'm becoming an expert in carrying that grief with grace. The humility and compassion that my experience has brought me are true gifts that I'm grateful for. I'm sorry that my arrogance had to be stripped from me in such an extreme way, but I'm glad that its gone. And as I move into a phase of my life where I feel that I can actually be supportive of other women, my difficulty and suffering take on new meaning.

 

But "peace"? That's probably stretching things for me...

This is wise on so many levels.  I am not at peace even after 7 years.  Until I read this I never realized what my true feelings about all this were.  It was an intensely humbling situation.  I have never had my own arrogance stripped from me so completely.  It really has been time that has dulled the intense *judgment* I had, for I did not cry or grieve but was forever pissed off at myself for being such an idiot.  The thoughts are still with me, but the sting has long faded.

 

And yes, my beautiful 7yo daughter has also eased the negativity.  This scar on my belly is part of her story.  And it does help me, it does, to have this wonderful child with me, no matter how she got here.
 

 

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to share a very healing experience I had this weekend. I went to see what's called an Intuitive Healer. This is a person who does something akin to therapy, but they do a lot more silent meditating with you. They try to use their intuition and connection with spiritual energies to help you uncover things you might not have been able to resolve before. 

 

I know, sounds a little cookaroo.

 

BUT. I went anyway b/c a friend of mine got me a gift certificate for this (it's at a massage/energy work type place). And it was AMAZING. The woman I saw was able to connect my grief about the c-section birth to a number of things from my past that I had not realize were helping to feed the pain I felt over this. It was a difficult hour, and I cried a lot, but there was so much release. It was wonderful. I left with a meditation to do to help me heal further and it was been amazing. 

 

I slept for two hours when I got home and woke up feeling like a different woman. I am usually kind of skeptical of alternative therapies, but I have to say, I am glad I was open to this. It really helped. I guess the lesson I learned that I want to share is don't be afraid to try different things to help you cope or to heal - you never know what your body/heart/mind might need.

post #8 of 18

That's awesome!

post #9 of 18

Hey, ladies, I wanted to share a story about a ritual that I found really interesting & inspiring. Here's the link:

http://pncminnesota.com/2012/09/13/shedding-the-past-a-rite-of-passage-interview/

 

This is about a rite-of-passage ritual that is practiced by women in Guinea, West Africa to celebrate overcoming some kind of adversity in her lifetime. I would LOVE to find a way to do something like this someday, and to help other women do similar things. We all deserve to be honored and supported by our communities for the difficult things we have overcome!

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

That is beautiful. Circle Sanctuary isn't too far outside Madison in Mt Horeb, which it sounds like is where this took place.

 

I have been dreaming lately of being able to go out into the desert somewhere (I love desert landscapes), shave my head, and put on something like sack cloth, and just cry, and drum, and beat the earth and really really grieve in a physical, whole way. That sounds so dramatic, I guess. I don't mean for it too. But I just mean that I want the space and the permission to unleash my grief so that it can fill me and then I can push it out of me into the air.

 

Thank you for posting this. So wonderful. These rituals are the kind of strong medicine we need and deserve.

post #11 of 18

I still cannot find peace. I feel like less of a person for having only cs and not a vb. I can't stand to be around pregnant people and yesterday found out my other sil is pregnant and I had a complete melt down. I feel like people think I "chose" the soft option. I am happy to have the children that I have and that they are healthy, but it still hurts me that my body let me down!

post #12 of 18

Welcome to our group! Please keep sharing. You're not alone in your experience.grouphug.gif

post #13 of 18

welcome to MDC julst632

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Welcome to MDC, mama.

 

I am so sorry for the grief you must be feeling over the way you gave birth. It wasn't what you planned or wanted. Of course you love your children. You can feel both- joy at the fact they are here, grief and pain in how they arrived. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

 

For what it's worth, I think you are a warrior woman who faced down deep personal disappointment to do what had to be done for your babies. I honor the sacrifice you made- the sacrifice of your desired type of birth. I think there is heroism in your journey. No soft options here. You are one tough lady.

 

Keep sharing. You are not alone. 

 

Hugs

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

Welcome to MDC, mama.

 

I am so sorry for the grief you must be feeling over the way you gave birth. It wasn't what you planned or wanted. Of course you love your children. You can feel both- joy at the fact they are here, grief and pain in how they arrived. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

 

For what it's worth, I think you are a warrior woman who faced down deep personal disappointment to do what had to be done for your babies. I honor the sacrifice you made- the sacrifice of your desired type of birth. I think there is heroism in your journey. No soft options here. You are one tough lady.

 

Keep sharing. You are not alone. 

 

Hugs

me too!

post #16 of 18

Hi Ladies,

 

I wanted to be sure that you all saw this thread:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1366231/emdr-for-birth-trauma

 

It's about a therapy called EMDR and it appears that many women have found it helpful in healing from traumatic births. Might be helpful information for some of us!

post #17 of 18

Here's a quote that I came across today that I wanted to share:

 

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of human kind as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all."
- Helen Keller
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

I love that.

 

I also read this quote today that I wanted to share:

 

"There is no agony like an untold story inside of you." - Maya Angelou

 

Thank you to everyone here for holding a space for us to tell our stories.

 

<3

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