I'm sorry in advance if this is the wrong section, I'm not pregnant yet but most of my questions are about pregnancy/delivery and not so much about conceiving. This post might be upsetting to rape survivors, so proceed with caution.
When I was 18 I was raped my a gynecologist and I am just freaking out about being pregnant and delivering. I have been in therapy for years, group, one on one, I promise I've done everything you can think of. I still can't be in hospitals/doctor's offices without at least feeling fidgety and nervous, at worst I'll pass out from the anxiety. We're going to try with buying sperm from a bank first and inseminating at home first before we look at IUI and IVF (which in all likeliness will be necessary but maybe we'll get lucky :) )
Anyway, these are my biggest concerns. We live in Norway (I'm American, my husband is Norwegian) where they like to let things happen naturally. You have to actually petition for an elective c section (I can't find a lot of info on this in English yet) or go private which will get expensive. I know it's a long shot but maybe one of you has experience with something like this? I mean, I would like to have a home birth but because of my history I can see myself having a very, very hard time. I know without a doubt laboring and delivering in a hospital would be unbearable. I don't like to not know what's happening or going to happen, which is part and parcel when it comes to birthing so I'd rather have as much control as I can and schedule a c section (one of the biggest things is also being stuck with male doctors/nurses, with scheduling there's at least more reassurance that I will have my chosen doctor.) Again because of trauma I won't be breastfeeding, which is a very difficult decision to make in Norway. I just wish "my body my choice" expanded to birth as well.
Any advice would be appreciated! I have bookmarked a few articles that advise doctors how to treat patients who are rape survivors that I am thinking of emailing to the doctor that I choose and see how she responds, does that sound like a good idea?
I didn't want to read and not respond. Because of your background I can see why you would consider elective c-section. It's rare that I read a reason for that that makes all that much sense to me (not that it matters what I think). I would look into doctors who specialize in abuse cases for sure. You may find one that you just click with and go from there.
I would also use MDC and reach out to other abuse survivors to see what they have chosen. There are quite a few compassionate and outspoken mothers here who have survived abuse that would be happy to talk to you.
If homebirth and breastfeeding appeal to you, I urge you to at least look into the idea - it's possible for both to be healing. Especially in the case of breastfeeding I encourage you to be open to the idea.
MDC has a private "Surviving Abuse" forum. I think you may need to be a member a bit longer to join but if you hang in here for a while it may be an ideal place for you to find other members who have gone through a similar trauma.
Here is the link: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/328/surviving-abuse
The previous posters have already given some great suggestions. I just wanted to add that, personally, I wouldn't eliminate the option of homebirth with a midwife. Of course, I don't know exactly how you would respond to that, or why you think you would have a hard time with it. But as a survivor of abuse and also someone with considerable anxiety in medical situations/settings, I've found that having a midwife for my pregnancy has been a godsend. She comes to our house for every appointment, so I never have to go to a doctor's office. And the appointments last for 2-3 hours, which makes me feel valued as a whole person. I really feel like she cares about every facet of my experience--not just what's happening physically and medically, but also what I'm experiencing emotionally and mentally. Now, I haven't had my baby yet, so I don't know how the birth is going to go. But honestly, I can't imagine being pregnant again and not choosing a midwife. Wishing you all the best as you wade through these difficult and complicated emotions.
32, married to DH, 35--expecting our first sometime around Aug. 20!
Thank you for all the replies everyone, they are so appreciated. I have been looking at those books on amazon and will probably order them soon!
The reason I have pretty much ruled out a home birth is that as wonderful as most midwives must be I have had negative experiences with some in the past, I used to go to a midwivery clinic for screenings and it was just as hostile an environment for me, very judgmental under the guise of being woman centered. The other side of the same coin, essentially. When I think of having a c section I feel calm, as they are relatively routine. Vaginal births are more unpredictable, though obviously c sections can have complications as well but for me the pros for c section outweigh the cons. I don't personally have any desire for a vaginal birth at all, it's not something that's important to me and I don't feel like I would be missing out on anything which I know is somewhat of a rare attitude. I just want my baby safely and I want to manage my mental health as best as I can. I guess the thing I'm most worried about is not being allowed to make my own decisions.
kernsy- I am not going to convince you to have a vaginal birth, because I think your reasons for wanting a c-section are valid. I do urge you to really educate yourself on c-sections. They are not as safe and predictable as most people think.
Ellie, partner (12.2.08), mommy to E (7.5.10) & my Baby Belugas H & L (2.25.13)
Agreed. Also keep in mind that it's major abdominal surgery and, generally speaking, the pros don't outweigh the cons. There are reasons why reputable doctors don't do it on demand. The risks aren't just for you; they exist for the baby as well. Recovery times vary, which makes taking care of a newborn challenging. Some women feel better after a few weeks, but others still have pain at the incision site for years.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ~Dylan Thomas
<3 LBM <3 AHM <3
Generally speaking perhaps, but like I said I have done my research and this is what I feel is right for me. My husband will have at least three months of paternity leave and his mother will likely be staying with us as well. There are always risks to the baby and trying to incite fear in mothers about killing or harming their children is not helpful, those are the techniques of doctors who push c sections on women who don't need them so they can get to their vacations faster, I am disappointed to see so much of that in mother communities as well. Different side of the same coin, no matter what we want women can't win.
Any potential physical pain (which, as the technique continues to advance, has statistically decreased and recovery times decreased as well a lot in the past few years) is worth it for me to be able to have a birth experience in which I feel in control so that I am not thinking about being raped while my baby is being born. I know this may not make sense to people who want vaginal births but we are all different. I would really rather not continue to defend myself, I came here wondering if anyone has talked to a doctor about trauma and how to go about it without being judged and told that my choices are wrong.
I wasnt raped by a doctor, but Im a rape survivor. I can tell you that from my experience, I had no association with birth and rape (although it was a fear that I had going in to birth). What I did have an association with was the similar pain that I had during an abortion I had in my early 20's. Labor feels very similar to me as that, and when DD was born I can remember thinking about it. But then, my body took over and I moved passed it.
Personally, I feel that if you feel like your main issue here is being in control. If I were in your situation, I would take childbirth classes, and try to understand as much about birth as possible so that I could feel as in control as possible. Getting in touch with your body and realizing what your body can do is an amazing what to feel like you are in control and empowered. I just dont want you to feel like you cant be in control of something. It is one of the most amazing things to witness your body being so incredibly in control of a situation.
That being said, if you feel like you need to schedule yourself a c section for your mental health, dont let anyone tell you otherwise.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
You don't have to defend yourself, mama!! I don't think anyone meant to not support you if you have made your choice. I think they just want to support you if you are still deciding and, also, some of the info I think was coming as support for choosing CS. Not to scare you but to prepare you. I haven't experienced CS but lots of my friends have and I think it's important to be as prepared as possible for birth...no matter how you're going to do it, yk?
If you want specifics on talking to your Dr. about trauma, I think you will find it here.
But, yes, too...I can see how some of the things said could make you feel unsupported. I'm sorry for my part in that. It's hard sometimes to give help because we want to support you by giving you info and our experience.
Do you have doulas in Norway? Perhaps you could find one who has experience working with survivors of abuse. Doulas can be helpful even if you have a c-section. When I did my doula training we did talk some about how survivors might react during labor. You can't predict how you will feel at the time, but if you are open to talking to a doula about your past and your concerns, she could be a lot of help to you. I'm sorry you had negative experiences with the midwives you worked with. I would hope they could be more sensitive to you and your needs. I hope you find all the support you need. Best wishes for a happy and healthy birth.
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
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