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Comment of the Week: I Realize That I Can't Remove Fate

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By Jill—Unnecesarean

Dana left this comment on the September 20 open thread.

I shared this thought the other day on my FB page, in a less than coherent manner. I heard a stat on NPR, that of all drivers who survived fatal car accidents, those that were innocent in the crash were more likely to to suffer PTSD. A doctor (a psychologist, I think) explained that it was because these survivors had to face the fact that they were at the mercy of fate. I had birth-related PTSD following the birth of my son 17 months ago. In a few words, the show explained to me why my feelings of failure were so acute, and why for so long I have felt that my next birth will be a planned c-section — I “failed” at birth because I couldn’t control the process, but I could more easily control it if I choose to override it, to opt out of it from the beginning. I wanted to take fate out of the equation. It took me 17 months to figure that out, and now that I have, I realize that I CAN’T remove fate. It’s scary, but it’s liberating.




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Reader Comments (6)

Isn't it the fickle finger of fate? Well go with the flow & believe in yourself. Be ready for whatever comes your way. Look how strong you are. It took 17 months & I'm sure you went through every emotion imaginable. But you did it! For some it will take their entire life to get through PTSD. I Recommend Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Remen M.D. She suffered through an illness most of her life, but has such a great attitude & an ability to help others through their suffering. Your VBAC will be the next step in your healing.

September 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Honey

I saw this comment last week and wanted to respond but just couldn't. Now I see it again I thought "bugger it, why not?"
I also had PTSD after the birth of my son 14 mths ago, luckily I found a wonderful councillor who agreed with me that I didn't have PND and she said it was PTSD. I also had a C-Section.
But, this is where we differ, I am going to have a HBAC because I don't want to control the process nor do I want other people to control the process (which is where it all went wrong with I was in labour with DS). I think the natural process of labour is a wonderful thing and I enjoyed it, while I was at home.
Might I suggest that you didn't fail, the system that you (and I) put our trust in failed us. I am looking at what I can control next time, I can control where I birth, I can control where I labour, I can control who will be there, I can control alot of things and that is the difference between going to hospital and staying home.
((((((HUGS))))))))) PTSD sucks. You didn't fail.

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

I'm with Anne. I was so traumatized by my C-section that I knew the only way *I* could be in control (to a degree) was to remove the hospital and its staff from the equation. My HBAC was wonderful and I felt safe, respected, and empowered....three things that NEVER occurred during my first labor and C-section.

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill P.

I too had/have PTSD from my oldest daughter's birth. I was so traumatized that I vowed that my baby factory was forever closed, even in light of the fact that my husband and I had previously discussed having a large family.

I felt very much traumatized because I was an innocent bystander. That idea, however, made me feel even more angry because it was MY BIRTH. How can a woman be an innocent bystander to her own birth?! But, in hindsight, I was just that. I handed my power over to the machine the minute I allowed the IV I knew I did not want and in that moment was merely able to stand back and watch as the cascade of interventions flowed over me like a river of paperwork and fear.

As it turns out I did go on to have another baby. Prior to becoming pregnant I sought the help of two wonderful counselors, one in particular who practices EMDR therapy. I was able to get through the day after over a year of living in a self imposed mental cell. This baby was very much planned, and very much wanted. We utilized the services of a homebirth midwife who understood my fears, my needs, and my trauma. She never did anything except hold me in the highest regard and treat me with all of the dignity and respect a woman could be treated with.

And I still ended up with a repeat cesarean.

This time around, however, it was not for not trying. It was not for anything except a last resort. I walked in demanding respect. I had my husband and midwife on either side of me demanding it as well. And respect I was given, along with quite a few raised eyebrows and questions along the lines of "are you a nurse?" because I "knew too much". And I can say with 100% certainty that this cbac was not in any way, shape, or form traumatic. Sad, yes. But not traumatic in the least.

If only every woman was given such a gift.

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Consider this my obligatory shout-out to the mamas who have experienced PTSD after birth. I did too. I agree with Anne, it sucks. Solace for Mothers is an organization where mothers who have experienced PTSD and trauma from their birth experiences can find understanding, resources and information to help them heal. I hope all those commenting and having experience in this area will consider joining the online community and give strength and encouragement to the other mothers there.

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjenne

I remember seeing a study that showed that high levels of vitamin D dropped pre-term birth rates significantly...

Such a huge difference in infant mortality is completely unacceptable

September 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimbriel
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