feelings child parents

We Need to Celebrate New Parents Who Make Mental Health a Priority

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I never disclosed that I was an abuse survivor to the staff at the hospital where I gave birth to my first child, but when I was in my 50th (yes, 50th) hour of back labor and third hour of pushing, a nurse took my husband aside and asked him if I had a history of sexual abuse.

She explained that she “sees this a lot” where labor does not progress well in traumatized women. I eventually gave birth to my magically perfect child, but I was too lost in the pain, past and present, unable to think, speak, or function, due to what I now understand to be complex PTSD (C-PTSD).

I didn’t know it as trauma at the time; I only knew it as shame. All I was able to feel when I brought a magnificent being into this world whom I love with my whole heart was a debilitating toxic shame for already not being enough.

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