how long before you could be intimate with partner after birth trauma? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-17-2010, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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HI everyone, not sure I'm ready to tell my story yet, we'll just say I had a traumatic birth, an unplanned hospital transfer and c section from a planned homebirth....I've been struggling with symptoms of PTSD and PPD (yes I am seieng a counsellor/tehrapist, we are doing EMDRs to clear the trauma and it seems to help)... anyway, most peopl pshaw (health practitioners etc.) when I say I am afraid to be intimate with my partner and have no idea when/if that wll change...some of it is our very high needs baby that we have on one of us nearly 24/7, but even though I am physically "healed"....the idea of DTD scares me, the idea of ever becoming pg anytime soon scares me, the feeling of being touched anywhere between my belly button and thighs scares me...
no one really talks about this...close friends with simialr experiences did not wait this long (I am 4 months postpartum now) and I just need some feedback... how long did it take after your traumatic birth? Did things ever feel good again? Did anyone else have major anxiety around this aspect of their relationship? Are some people still struggling? What helps?

DH is fairly supportive and as tired as me, but as DD starts to be slightly less demanding I know it will come up again...

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#2 of 7 Old 06-17-2010, 05:19 PM
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I think it was 4-6 mos before we were able to DTD... and the first few times were more 'attempts' than 'successes' if that makes any sense ... I think just reconnecting with DH, spending time together & physically close (i.e. hugging/cuddling/etc.) helped me begin to feel comfortable again. I really was terrified (compounded by a history of sexual abuse in addition to the birth trauma) but one day we just did it... don't remember exactly when or under what circumstances etc... but if it's any consolation, once we got over that initial fear & anxiety of mine, our intimacy has been better than ever...

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#3 of 7 Old 06-19-2010, 10:24 PM
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About 6 months. I don't remember any specifics, but I know it was a very long time. DH was extremely supportive and never pressured me in any way. He was there when I was ready, and that was good.

I think now, I am not really back to my old "normal" self. And now, being pregnant and exhausted has not helped AT ALL. But, we try to stay connected in other ways as well.

In time, I will be the sex crazy woman I used to be

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#4 of 7 Old 07-03-2010, 12:50 AM
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It's been 5 months for us & I am just now getting to the point where I think I want to DTD. I still have that numbness around my incision & it freaks me out at times.

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#5 of 7 Old 07-06-2010, 04:26 PM
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A long time. But for me it was compounded by feeling abandoned and betrayed by DH during my birth rape. It's hard to want to be intimate with someone who just stood there and watched you being raped and tortured, YK? Not to mention the physical issues.

We 'tried' once at 2 months PP - but I started having flashbacks immediately and was in a huge amount of pain, so stopped straight away. Tried again at 4 months - same thing. Pretty much gave up trying again until after DD turned 1, and after we'd had quite a few discussions about the trauma, which helped me to rebuild some trust in DH again, which was really crucial for me. I think it might just have been a 'time heals' kind of thing, because once the intensity and frequency of the flashbacks subsided I was better able to cope in general too.

Go easy on yourself, and be honest with your DH about how you're feeling. I imagine that if he knows that your difficulty isn't the result of not being attracted to him any more, but just the result of the traumatic birth you experienced that he will be reassured as to his 'manliness' and better able to support you - whatever you need.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#6 of 7 Old 07-09-2010, 11:30 PM
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Oh, please be gentle with yourself. I have a good friend who had a lovely birth and at 14 months PP she had DTD with her partner only once. Having a traumatic birth experience absolutely changes the way we feel about intimacy and being able to let go is a hard step to take. You need to give yourself time to heal. I am 9 months PP from my birth trauma and I think we've done it 5 or 6 times. The first was the hardest. I spent a lot of time explaining my feelings to my hubby, my sorrow, my pain. It was hard for me to even get hugged and kissed by him because I knew what he wanted and I couldn't give it to him yet. That led to many stiff hugs and turned away kisses. I did realize that intimacy has to start somewhere and doesn't need to always end in sex. I told him that I wanted to cuddle and kiss without the expectation that it would go anywhere else. He understood. We had some nice massage sessions and he spent a long time just loving my body, honoring it, and that was all. Allowing him to touch the scar, rub my belly, feel my thighs was intensely scary, I had to trust him completely to allow it to happen. We worked with it and after a few sessions we were able to be more and more intimate. I am still not who I was before, in lots of ways, but sexually as well. Our path is not easy, but please know that you will, with your hard work and love, come out a wiser woman through your struggle. Give yourself time. If your hubby doesn't understand or is inpatient, perhaps your therapist can help to explain. I am also doing EMDR and it is so helpful, I have come so far in the last few months. I am glad you are getting help. It does get easier.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-13-2010, 03:56 PM
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I am glad I have a chance to discuss this...
What is a birth trauma?
I feel like I have it even with my relatively easy uncomplicated birth I had.
Birthing is violent no matter how it happens, I think.
I mean, I've never experienced anything close to that, and it leaves me feeling traumatized, psychologically.

My husband was with me all the time, helped a lot, I was kneeling on the floor with my hands on his shoulders, perfect! ... and still I can't think about sex even after 6 month.The whole idea of intimate time escapes from me, I can't get in mood, I don't even remember what is it all about...

I need support, but where can I find it?
And do I really need help or I better to wait a li'l bit longer for the problem go away by itself?
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