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Birth trauma therapy question

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

After planning an unmedicated birth, I was coerced into having a cesarean because my daughter was breech.  I could go on for days explaining every nuance of the situation, but trust me when I say that I did everything I could to have an unmedicated vaginal breech birth.

 

I'm not in therapy because the experience was so traumatic.  The problem is that I've seen two therapists now and they both seem rather dismissive about the whole situation.  I get comments like, "At least you have a healthy baby," and "You have to accept that you can't control everything and that they were doing what was in your and your child's best interest."

 

My husband and I tried for three years to have our daughter; I appreciate having a healthy baby more than most.  I'm happy to surrender control of my birth to a higher power, but a doctor is NOT a higher power.

 

I did TONS of research on the safety of vaginal breech birth.  Even ACOG says that the decision should belong to the Mama, not the doctor (much like the decision to have a VBAC or repeat cesarean)!  Instead, I was denied medical care unless I had an elective cesarean.

 

I know that if I had been kidnaped and had to decide if I'd rather be raped or murdered, and I chose to be raped and became pregnant, therapists would not make comments such as these.  It would be obvious that having a healthy baby does not erase the trauma, and being raped because it was the best thing that could happen in the situation would not have made it any less traumatic.  (For the record, I don't particularly like this comparison as I've been sexually assaulted and know how traumatizing it is, but its very fitting.  I was FAR more traumatized by my cesarean that I was by my sexual assault.)

 

The whole reason I'm in this situation is because doctors dismissed my concerns and by having multiple therapists do the same thing is just adding insult to injury so-to-speak.  Adding more and more trauma to a traumatic situation is NOT helping.

 

My husband was playing with me today and forced me into our bathtub.  It was just innocent fun, but I started crying hysterically because all I could think about was being forced into the OR.  I would like to have another child, but know that if I had another breech baby, placenta previa, or any other medical condition that could have been caused by my cesarean or that could necessitate another cesarean, I would LITERALLY have to check myself into a full-time psychiatric care facility.  When I mentioned my fears of a future pregnancy to one of my therapists, she told me not to worry about that now.  Yes, that was helpful.  If I could just *not worry about it* then I wouldn't be here, now would I?  I'm starting to think that Master's Degrees must come out of Cracker Jack boxes these days...

 

I have been absolutely disgusted at the care I've received thus far, but feel like no one is going to understand my situation.  I don't want to deem every therapist I see a "quack" and not get any help at all, but I'm a psychology major and KNOW that the first thing that they teach these therapists is to take people's problems seriously, to validate their feelings, and NOT to alienate them any further with potentially disrespectful and offensive comments like, "at least you have a healthy baby."  Yes, I know I have a healthy baby.  That doesn't take away from the fact that people paralyzed me, cut me open like a pig, and stole my baby, all without my permission.

 

Any advice on what to do or what to say or where to go from here?

post #2 of 2

Welcome to MDC EOD Wife Mandi. I am very sorry for the trauma you have been through and for the terrible, disrespectful behavior of the therapists.

 

I wasn't sure from your post if you would still be interested in finding a therapist, but if you are, here are a few ideas. I don't have any personal experience with them, but I have heard ICAN can be a helpful resource and there are local chapters in lots of cities, so a local chapter might have suggestions for therapists who are familiar with the post-cesarean trauma. Also, you could try asking therapists who specialize in PPD or in any kind of trauma (e.g. a rape crisis center) if they can recommend a therapist who specializes in birth trauma. For what it's worth, I think the quality of therapists vary greatly and it's unfortunate that there are some terrible therapists because when you are seeking therapist, having a terrible therapist can make things worse. I do believe there are good and great therapists out there! 

 

Anyone else have suggestions or ideas for this mama?

 

I'm thinking of you and sending support to you, Mandi!

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