I realised this morning I had had no flashback or triggers in last three weeks since my CBT session where we didn’t need to do EMDR in end as I just um wasn’t traumatised enough by the memories (see here).
Now my flashbacks/triggers are nowhere near as bad as some struggling with PTSD so I am very very lucky in that regard. Usually I get a panicky hysterical feeling and then burst into tears for a while. My worst ever experience of this was back last November watching one born every minute and I struggled for days afterwards. Also when I had my first midwife appointment for Womble and she asked about Munchkin’s birth and I got hysterical and couldn’t talk about it. Oh and of course the yelling I wanted a termination at the birth reflections midwife if I couldn’t get an elective C-section when she said I might not as there was no medical reason for it. But since the ELCS was agreed I have been feeling so much calmer. I was still triggered a couple of months ago when a midwife friend of mine and another friend were discussing birth experiences with me and I burst into tears and had to ask them to stop talking. But since then mostly I have been ok so long as I supressed the “thinking about thinking about it”. But then since that appointment I haven’t actually really thought about it that much, partly because my headspace has partly been filled with other wobbles but also partly because I haven’t been worrying about being triggered.
As a pregnant woman second time around- general conversations turn to birth alot. In the last three weeks there have been 3 conversations that ordinarily would quite possibly have triggered me or caused some kind of anxiety or overthinking. But they didn’t really. This is great! The first convo was with a lady more pregnant than me, I said something about C-sections and she said “oh no I don’t want surgery”, and I think ordinarly I would have got all stressed about it and been like “oh god she will judge me for wanting a C-section” etc etc. But I really didn’t worry about it. We just carried on the convo and all was fine.
Second convo was in my house with two other friends- both of whom know my history and whats going on and one is pregnant and due same day as me. They both started sharing their birth stories. Normally in this situation I get really anxious as I don’t necessarily want to talk about mine or hear theirs as I often compare to mine and then feel sad, but again this time it was fine- I recognised I didn’t really want to talk about my stuff so I just engaged myself with playing with the toddlers and the conversation moved on and at no point did I feel like I normally do about such situations. There was a fleeting moment of “oh god not birth stories sharing I can’t/don’t want to do that” but it was gone and I recognised just because they were talking about theirs didn’t mean I had to talk about mine it was fine.
Third convo was at playgroup- again my pregnant friend due same day as me, another friend who has had two sections and a stranger who our kids were playing with. Again convo typically turned to birth stories (I think us ladies must actually be quite dull creatures really or maybe its because it is the one common experience than unites us as mothers even though our experiences are very different.) any how it was fine and I was able to share my experience but this time probably for the first time ever with no emotion at all. Normally I have a pang of sadness whenever I talk about what happened but this time it was so weird- it was like I was emotionally detached from it. Very odd as I have never actually felt like that about it and am not used to it so it kind of felt wrong to feel like that about it if that makes sense. But it was also fab- I mean I know what happened to me was shit but it isn’t still managing to have the same power over me as it was.
This is a big deal. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
In fact at the minute I’m not even particularly bothered about how I end up giving birth. I’m not stressing about it- I’m just not really thinking about it. It’s not a decision that needs to be made yet. Awesomes.