This is the story of someone who use to be a Midwife. She wanted to share her story about her experience of being at a birth trauma and how this has affected her whole life.
It shows how not only are families affected by Birth Trauma but staff caring for families can be too.There needs to be support in place for all.
Please be aware that some stories may trigger difficult memories and emotions so remember your own self care as everyone will be at different stages of healing.
If you wish to contribute a story, or an experience or something else please contact us.
I used to be a midwife.
I attended a traumatic birth, a birth that because of circumstances should never have happened how it did, that left us all horribly helpless and then so horribly alone.
And now I can no longer be a midwife.
I can’t believe in birth the way I used to, I no longer have faith that women’s bodies are made to birth and that with patience and support everything will be alright. In fact I no longer even believe that birth is beautiful and majestic and powerful. Now I find it ugly and shocking.
I can no longer be low-interventionist and facilitate normal birth. Without faith I cannot be a midwife. I did everything right that night and still it happened, I have been over and over it and there wasn’t anything to spot, there were no warning signs, genuinely there was nothing to miss.
“Birth isn’t beautiful for me anymore”.
For a while afterwards I carried on working, pretending everything was OK, that I was OK, needing the income and not knowing what else to do, where to turn for help, all the while facilitating water births whilst a twisted ball of nerves inside. The fetal heart seemed fine, but what if it wasn’t? What if there was something I couldn’t see? I was too twitchy, too hyper-vigilant, too strained. I didn’t become a midwife to be defensive, to intervene ‘just in case’, I refused to work like that but now I also didn’t feel safe.
The labour ward started to trigger me, I would transfer and leave as quickly as possible, on one occasion leaving theatre without doing the simple job I had been asked to do. I never knew what happened because I was out of the building already. I can only imagine the names they called me.
And I still get triggered. I was at the GP’s recently and the midwife came in to do her clinic. I started thinking about what would happen if there were an emergency, if I were the midwife, what I would do. And I realised I can never be a midwife again. People ask me why I gave up; it’s almost impossible to answer. The truth is complicated and most people don’t want it anyway.
I have done a lot of healing on this story. I can’t say much more because it is potentially going to court soon. Very soon. And yet I still don’t view birth the way I used to. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I now earn much less than I used to, the dynamics with my husband have been rocked. I want to help heal others’ stories, including birth stories, but I don’t want to be immersed in the birth world.
Birth isn’t beautiful for me anymore and that’s the part that still breaks my heart. That bit still feels like a loss. I guess I still have healing to do, it’s a long process.