Dear Childbirth PTSD,
Gotta be honest, bit miffed you are still with me 5.5years after giving birth for the first time, but hey we did a lot of processing second time around and came to the agreement you would hide in the recesses of my brain pretty much dealt with and forgotten about, because my second birth was magic and you were almost defeated as a result.
But you are cunning, you bide your time, and even in the early stages of pregnancy with number 3 you weren’t showing your true colours. You disguised yourself as anxiety and avoidance- until the 12 week scan the baby might not even be there so not even thinking about the birth. Until the 20 week scan- the baby might not make it or have issues that would mean we would have to make the devastating decision to terminate the pregnancy. In fact until 20 weeks I was just pregnant (?) the question mark meant there wasn’t definitely going to be a baby that needing birthing at the end so I stayed in anxious overthinking denial.
Then you started to creep back, first it was the realisation I cannot listen to birth stories in my pregnancy yoga class (sucessfully avoided), then it was the “I’m fine I’m fine but I can’t talk about my first birth”, then the intrusive thoughts kept popping up unnanounced, small flashbacks to what had happened before, not as bad as my second pregnancy but still unwanted.
But I’ve dealt with you once so you are a shadow of what you were before and I shall beat you down again, this time I know exactly what help I need and how to get it and everything is in place for me to have a positive birth experience third time too, and even if things don’t quite go to plan I know how to work this shit through. I’m also blogging everything through again which as always helps me process and eliminate you from my brain.
Also this is likely to be my last ever pregnancy (6times now- my womb has had enough!) so the closure from knowing I never have to give birth again will hopefully put you back in your box for good.
We are almost done.
P.S This post was inspired by my awesome friend @PookyH’s blogpost writing to her own demons and the powerful way she is writing through her current journey reminded me how writing helped me last time and will again.xxx