How she got through it.

She got through it by fighting.
By screaming she needed to “get the fuck outta here”.
By begging for it all to stop.
She got through it by hissing at those of us trying to help with her eyes wide and wild.
By shoving our hands and our attempted words of comfort away.

By spitting at us.

She got through it by purposely swinging her head around and vomiting all over the front of my shirt.
By screaming that she needed to go for a cigarette.
By relaxing a little only when she was finally, mercifully given an epidural.
Fentanyl infused to help with the violence of laboring.

Labouring withdrawal.

She got through it by screaming her baby out of her vagina.
By turning her head away from her newborn when he was out.
She got through it by finally ripping out frantically tubes and IVs.
By leaving the hospital against medical advice.

She got through it the only way she could.

 © Sarah Chantler Baughman, doula, 2015

Violence is pervasive across the lifespan of women, a global epidemic in fact, with pregnancy being a particularly high risk time for the impacts of historical and/or current & ongoing abuse to manifest.  However, the collective response of the *birthing community has been to remain silent, claiming for the most part, that this topic resides outside of the doula’s scope of practice. Continue reading

Mapping trauma in the lives of birth workers

“I would like to see some conversation regarding the reasons why those of us with trauma are called to this work. As well some discussion of how to ensure we are not using this work to heal our own wounds. And how to approach conversations without being triggered ourselves” – workshop participant

Time to talk about trauma in the lives of birth workers – because yes, it’s a part of many of our lives too. We’re getting better at talking about the impact of trauma in our clients’ lives and on the transitions to parenting; however, we are less able to call attention to our own. Continue reading

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way”: Birth trauma & the role of the doula

When someone shares with you they’ve had a “traumatic birth”, do you know:

  •  How to respond?
  • Where to refer?birth trauma

We’re seeing more and more clients who report their births were traumatic, but more often than not, the birth story is the window into deeper feelings of sadness, grief & loss, powerlessness and loss of trust which proceeded the birth experience, and gets entangled within the birthing narrative.

It’s important to know what the differences are between Continue reading