Monday, April 16, 2012

Healing From Birth Trauma - Forgiveness

   I tuned into Oprah's life class tonight as I nursed my baby girl to sleep. This particular shows topic was forgiveness. The entire show was profound and contained many "aha" moments. There was one thing that was said that really stuck out in my mind. She said "Forgiveness is letting go of what could have been." This was such a strong moment for me. I thought wow isn't that the truth. It can be true for so many things in our lives.
   Of course my birth obsessed mind is filled with so many thoughts surrounding birth. I thought about the births of my children and felt the trauma from them. There are many things that happened that I must forgive. Things that others did, society did and decisions I made myself. I find that the more I learn about birth, the more I poison my mind with "what ifs." What if my water didn't break early, what if I would have done "insert various coping measures", what if I made a different choice and on and on. I realize now that by doing this I can't move on. I have to let go of what could have been and accept what did.
   There are reasons in which things go the way they do that we do not understand at the time and may never understand. My children were birthed this way for a reason. I want to focus on what positives these experiences have given me. Maybe it makes me a better Doula as I have experienced things first hand that many women who birth in hospitals do. I have experienced the fear of the unknown that comes with having a premature baby and know what its like to go through the harsh unnaturally strong contractions that pitocin provides. Finally I know what its like to feel unsupported and helpless during birth. I can use these experiences to be a better support to others while having empathy and understanding.
We can move on after birth trauma. Yes we will remember our births forever but we can find the positive, learn from the experience, forgive and move on.

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