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Sexual abuse/other abuse history and childbirth - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Just have to second the energy-release work recommendation. I have been doing tons of it in the last six weeks, and for the first time in my life, I believe that anything can be healed. In particular, my abuse history, and the pain surrounding my son's stillbirth five months ago are healing dramatically. I feel like a new person, and I am more grateful than I can ever express. Certain things that used to trigger flashbacks now have no effect on me. It's astounding.

I am certain that my abuse history has directly led to my three c-sections. The first two were a protection, because I had not yet remembered that I had been vaginally raped frequently until age seven. For those memories to have surfaced during a vaginal delivery in a hospital, with a less-than-empathetic OB and staff, would have been a true nightmare for me. With my stillborn son, I did so much emotional work, and we were planning a homebirth. For other reasons, the c-section was still necessary. (I believe one reason is because of old scar tissue--that's a spiritual belief and hasn't been documented medically.)

Thanks so much for this thread and all the excellent information and resources.
post #22 of 31
I have recently begun to believe that my birth actually helped me to heal a rift between myself & my body caused by sexual abuse. Though I didn't do any work emotionally during my pregnancy to achieve this, it seems to have happened. I think that during the birth I was able to give myself over to my body in ways that I had never imagined. I think that this has resulted in my trusting my body as I never had & in a stronger libido. I think that this was a final step to push emotional work that I had done previous to the pregnancy into action & into my real life.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by annakiss
Though I didn't do any work emotionally during my pregnancy to achieve this, it seems to have happened. I think that during the birth I was able to give myself over to my body in ways that I had never imagined. I think that this has resulted in my trusting my body as I never had & in a stronger libido. I think that this was a final step to push emotional work that I had done previous to the pregnancy into action & into my real life.
That is really amazing and wonderful to read. I'm so happy it helped you. I do believe birth can be (was meant to be) a transformative, empowering and POSITIVE experience for women.

If your birth story is online somewhere, I'd love to read it.
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello! Sorry I've been away for a while.


KatherineinCA: Really cool about the healing work you're doing! I'm just getting into it, and so excited to learn that I don't have to always carry around the *&^% for the rest of my life, ya know? I'm curious to know what other energy release work there is. I'm just familiar with NET. I'm sure that my history has impacted my premature labor in both pregnancies (fear of baby getting to big?). I'm anxious to do some clearing before being pregnant again.

Annakiss: I'd love to read your birth story too. I relate. My second birth was so amazing. A huge door burst open and I began to understand and claim what personal empowerment meant. I had an emotional clearing for a while postpartum, which would have been much easier had I known what was happening, but the results have been phenomenal. I rejoice with you. Planning any more babies?
post #25 of 31
Tanibani & Mamajamz - I'm working on that birth story, I'll PM you a link when I get it up...
post #26 of 31
wow, i was looking for a thread like this!! i didn't even think to look in this forum for it...

i was molested as a child, and raped when i was 19. i never really thought about those experiences could affect my gynecological care or my birth experiences, but they most certainly did. until i went to a birthing center, no ob/gyn asked me if i had ever been abused. it became a huge issue after my ds was born, because i never knew that birth could trigger flashbacks, particularly because i had an episiotomy which i did not consent to. that caused a lot of problems for me, and it really affected my relationship with my dh. i wish that i would have known before i gave birth so that i could have had support in place.

the information in this thread is so vital for practitioners. i never even thought about the weight thing--one of the mw at my birthing center made a couple of remarks about how much weight i had gained : things like that do not help you trust someone!!!

on a positive note, being in a birthing center, having the privacy i needed, knowing my care givers, and knowing that i wouldn't be subjected to unnecessary and unwanted interventions made all the difference in my experience with my second birth. i also think i'm doing a lot better pp than i did with my first.

anyway, i'm so glad to see this thread!!
post #27 of 31
In my experience, the trauma of sexual assault and giving birth are in no way related. I speak only for myself and I don't mean to say that giving birth couldn't bring up these kind of wounds. Birthing can bring up any wound of any kind, I think.
But for me, I didn't think of being raped at all during the pregnancy of delivery. Being raped was something that happened to me by another person. Giving birth is a process of me and from me...no body else is doing anything to me. It feels like two totally different things. I felt like I was in control the whole time of the labor. I did tell the midwives that although I want a natural labor and want them to support me in every way if I ask for medication or to go to the hospital for an epi. that they would simply help get me what I wanted/needed. So I knew not to say I wanted the med's if I didn't mean it. I did not want to be in a position of begging and convincing them I want it becasue that did seem like a power struggle and challenged my sense of personal control.

I think it all depends where a woman is with her past and her experiences. If the wounds are fresh it can be a big deal but if she has worked on the issues and isn't hurting from the past then it may not emerge as an issue at all.
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Mary-Beth, I think you hit on something REALLY REALLY important, and thanks for bringing that up. I think it is so wonderful that you had grown to the point that you could make choices that would enable you to hold onto your power. I know with both of my first two births, I somehow didn't "get it" that this was MY body and I had choices. With the second one I was beginning to see the truth of this, but was far from being able to really grasp it in such a way that I could say "yes I want this. NO I don't want that." to the fullest extent that I now do. Too many times, not just in my own experience, but with other birthing moms I see women believing that they must hand over their bodies to their caregivers, not so much out of trust but out of a belief (that is taught and reinforced) that they have to give away their power. How wonderful that you had such a great experience of personal freedom and power!

It is truly powerful when we can step out of the past and say "I was victimized, but I am not a victim."
post #29 of 31
just to clarify, i didn't have flashbacks during pregnancy or birth; they happened sometime after, particularly when i was starting to be intimate with my dh again.

but i agree that it's really important for women who have been abused to feel in control and not feel like birth is happening to them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mary-Beth
But for me, I didn't think of being raped at all during the pregnancy of delivery. Being raped was something that happened to me by another person. Giving birth is a process of me and from me...no body else is doing anything to me. It feels like two totally different things.
post #30 of 31
Couple more resources. Hope it helps...Joyce in the mts.

About sensitivity for caregivers:
http://www.cwhn.ca/resources/csa/links.html

From Radical Midwives:
http://www.radmid.demon.co.uk/abuse2002.htm
post #31 of 31

Energy-clearing techniques

Mamajamz:

You asked what therapies I've used. Unfortunately, the practitioner who has been most helpful uses a hybrid approach that doesn't have a name or web site. However, some similar therapies are RET (Rapid Eye Technology), Emotional Freedom Technique, and Donna Eden's work. I've found information on all of these at CarolTuttle.com. Carol Tuttle also has a book, "Remembering Wholeness" that is probably the most important book I've read during my healing process. I've also benefitted quite a bit from Reiki, although the releasing with Reiki hasn't been as specific or as dramatic. Please keep me posted when you do more energy work, this whole subject fascinates me. I am thrilled that we are not meant to carry our traumas with us. We really are created for joy.

Love,
Katherine
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