Obstetric Violence: How it Made Me a Better Doula & Educator

I’ve planned to tell my birth story for two and a half years and for the first time today I truly feel ready.  There were times I thought I’d never publicly share the details of my birth because I didn’t want my truth to negatively effect my relationship with medical professionals, my network, my family, my students and clients.  There are people close to me that have only heard the truth of my birth in the last couple weeks and still some friends & family who won’t know the full story until they read this blog.  I wrote a version of this story that shares every detail and it is a novel! So I decided to get it down to something readable and honest.  I realize this short version will leave a lot of questions and I’m prepared for that.

Reasons I’m Sharing My Birth Story.

  1. For my own healing.  I’m doing some deep work to prepare myself for a possible 2nd birth in the future and being able to get my story out has helped with that healing. Since I got it on paper all I could think about was sharing it and sending it out to the universe and saying, “This is my truth”. This is how a violent attack, loss of autonomy and lack of consent hurt me. This is how it made me grow. Now I’m moving on and planning a birth without violence.
  2. For other victims of Obstetric Violence.  A week after my birth my midwife sent me a blog from a birth worker in another state who had experienced 2 traumatic births.  Her words helped get me through the first months of my daughter’s life.  I want my story to be that for someone.  Even just one person and it will be worth sharing.
  3. To start a conversation. I don’t often hear conversations about obstetric violence that are building bridges. My trauma will be used as a means to create lines of communication, understanding and change.  I’ve waited long enough, healed enough and had guidance to share my story without hysteria, hate and judgment.  Instead I share my story to say, “Not all nurses and Doctors are this way.  Let’s create relationships that relieve tension and protect the mothers we serve”.
  4. So you can have a personal look into what drives me, why I created the My Sunshine Birth Services Network and why I’m so fiercely dedicated to passing legislation that will improve maternity care and hospital transfer protocol.
  5. Lastly my students and clients ask me all the time to tell them my birth story.  This story is on my website now under the About Me section so I can lead them there and keep the conversations in class and prenatal from becoming about me. Because in the end my birth story matters, but when I’m your educator or Doula it is about YOU!