Trauma— how does trauma of all types impact or influence your pregnancy, labor and postpartum?

 

Today’s episode is beautiful, but very serious.  We’re speaking with Midon, who has experienced a long journey of learning about early childhood traumas, and how they greatly impacted her most recent birth.  We’re going to share about the importance of talking about these traumas, not leaving them unattended to fester, which can feel like the easier path.  Now, I always do my best to be up front regarding difficult content so that you can make the choice to listen now, or perhaps save it for later when you feel more prepared or in a safer mental place.  This is very likely an episode that you’ll want to listen to with ear buds if you’ve got young ears around. Starting now, because I’m going to tell you what’s coming.  We will bring up some very triggering topics including growing up in a cult, sexual assault and mention of rape, birth assault and trauma, and alienation from family members.  I know it sounds heavy, and it is, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and Midon is an absolute joy to speak with.  You’re going to gain so much from what she shares about herself and several clients who agreed to let her share bits of their stories, and even if you don’t relate directly to her experiences, this story has given me a whole new compassionate lens for the experiences of others. 

 

Let’s thank our reviewer of the week, Blessed Momma 0525

 

And finally, before we head in, here’s something really exciting: This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat

 

I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.

 

Show Notes

Midon was born into a cult in 1983 in Missour- her great grandfather was the Patriarch

Had barely any memories before the age of 10

She lived in 2 cults, lived there until 18- met her husband and was married 4 months later

Midon became pregnant 1.5 years later

She’d been told her whole life she’d never have children- because of a bicycle accident (that she had no memory of)

She wanted a midwife, but ended up with an OB in the hospital- it was an incredibly traumatic birth- forceps, couldn’t stand up for 9 weeks, broke her tailbone

The nurse forced her to keep her eyes open

6 months later she became pregnant and husband ok’d homebirth

When she left the cult, she was shunned by her family

Her family left the cult, her mom contacted her and wanted to be there- her body held baby in until her mother left

It was a quick, 6 hour birth- her midwife was very compassionate

She had a great third birth

4th- longer labor- it was a stressful time of life- she wonders how much that impacted her

In her 4th pregnancy she began having pelvic issues

Her husband then had a vasectomy

Midon was legally adopted as an adult

They had the vasectomy reversed- Midon became pregnant immediately after

She had to find a new midwife- it was the fastest birth yet, 4 hours

She became pregnant again- lost the baby @ 12 weeks

Finally called her biological brother and he confirmed a lot of her “dreams”— that they were real events

-7th pregnancy: Lots of pelvic pain began to come up- couldn’t sleep

Had preterm labor @ 35 weeks, but they were able to stop the labor and he stayed in until 40.6

It was the roughest labor she had ever had

She was in so much pain, but she didn’t say anything- she thought she was screaming out loud, but she never did.  It made her wonder, “why does this happen?”

People with trauma don’t know how to speak

-3m pp- broke down to her adopted mom

-Interview with pelvic floor specialist- asked lots of questions that made Midon begin to question her childhood “bicycle” accident.

Healing Trauma Mamas

 

Episode Roundup:

Wasn’t that such an amazing story?  Midon’s still on her journey to healing, and I highly encourage anyone who recognizes a need to heal trauma to join her in the new community she’s created.

As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d like to discuss

 

  1. We need to keep our eyes out for obstetric abuse and report it when we see it.  Midon experienced deep birth trauma at the hands of an abusive nurse and OB team, and this my friends is why we have such abysmal outcomes compared to other countries.  When situations like this are allowed to unfold in the hospital setting, when there is no care for the people you’re supposed to be serving…. This leads to nothing good.  If you hear stories like this from your friends, perhaps you can encourage them to reach out and report it.  We have to be the ones demanding change.
  2. It was very eye-opening to hear how Midon became aware of her trauma over time.  As care providers, you may assume that your clients know if they’ve experienced some sort of deep trauma, but these may be the ones who know the least, as their minds do their best to protect them.  This was a great reminder for me.  I also appreciate the way that Midon expressed her inability to express— she couldn’t speak, and even when she thought she was speaking, screaming even in labor, she wasn’t.  This being the case, we must be vigilant, as so many midwives are, to continue the deep observational skills that midwives are so good at.
  3. Finally, I want to end on the positive note— that there is help.  There are others who have walked this road, if you’re walking through past traumas, and there are so many who would love to walk it with you.  You don’t have to be alone, and you don’t have to be silent.  Finding a counselor or therapist who understands trauma, and even just finding the strength over time to open up to those that you love will hopefully not only work on your own healing process, but also give others the courage to heal, too.  Be sure to look into Midon’s group Healing Trauma Mamas for additional community.

 

Thank you Midon for your willingness to share and expose the difficulty through which you’ve walked.  It was such a blessing to have you on the podcast.

 

Alright my friends. Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and let us know what takeaway or strength you drew from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

 

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