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|What's mainly standing out for me right now is I think the possible birth trauma (although I'm not sure whether to even think of it that way) has affected me sexually, as since the birth, although I still desire sexual connection with my partner, I feel very disconnected from my body, very inhibited and 'weirded-out', and just can't relax. After an intimate encounter last night I felt horrible and the feelings and images from the birth came back. Most of my labour was very positive, it was just the last 4 hours that were agony. I couldn't cope with the 'pushing' contractions, and felt totally unprepared for them. Anyway, I wondered if there is anything I can do to start to heal this, and get my sense of myself in my body back. Thanks so much to anyone who managed to read through all of this, sorry it's so long, but it feels really good to get it out!|
it's gonna be okay, mama. yes, you had a birth trauma, and yes, it's affecting your relationship with your body. it can do that
my suggestion is to try and find a therapist who does EMDR. it helped me immensely. it sounds weird, but it isn't scary, i promise.
it can help you to disentangle the trauma from other events/places/people so that you can stop reliving the birth when you don't want to (e.g. during sex, or when watching a video of someone else's birth).
it helped me so so much--i NEVER thought i would be able to watch the birth scene in "knocked up" (things like that totally panicked me before and would keep me up all night--i avoided all the baby shows on TV, as well as any dramatization of birth)--but i'm a normal person now. or at least, when i decide not to watch a birth-related thing on tv, it's because the style of it irks me and not because of my PTSD.
birth trauma is very hard, but it gets easier once you realize what you're dealing with.
Helping women overcome postpartum depression and birth trauma. http://www.postmommyhood.com
thanks everyone for your responses. What exactly is EMDR? I'm open to trying new things. I had some EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) a few months ago (just one session) and found it enormously helpful, but I didnt deal directly with the birth during that as hadn't yet realised that was, as you say, what I was dealing with.
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