Birth is Not Therapy is a wise piece by Chloe Bayfield and every woman contemplating a VBAC or any birth after a previously hurtful, disappointing or traumatic birth should read her story.
Chloe is absolutely correct. We should not expect a particular birth, like a natural birth, a drug-free birth, or an ecstatic pain-free joyous birth to be the answer or to heal our hurts and make us whole.
My second birth was joyful, pain-free, empowering and inspiring! I did feel like a goddess! Yet it doesn’t erase the impact of my first birth. Birth can truly be wonderful, empowering and awe inspiring – but only a woman can do her healing for herself. It is her own emotional work, her own reflection and learning, her own story to process and integrate… and it can be like peeling back layers of an onion.
Each time I revisit my first birth story, I discover more – more grief, more tears, a little more anger, and more lessons for me. Strangely, I now also find inspiration and a greater understanding of myself. And this somehow makes meaning out of a birth that while not outwardly traumatic – left its mark on me.
It is each woman’s journey that changes her and makes her feel strong, wise and whole again and this journey goes well beyond birth.