From my own traumatic childbirth experience, I began to pursue midwifery as a career to help other women.
In 2004, the births I attended almost ruined my profession for me. I’m still dealing with PTSD.
As Lauren Crosby Medricot said, this is a midwife’s story.
I became Midwife In 1999, the degree I was pursuing in architecture determined that I didn’t feel passionately enough, as I did about the birth of a baby.
After my daughter gave birth at the age of 18, I learned that my goal was to empower and support my mother through childbirth.
After a three-year training course, he was qualified to work as a midwife and spent most of his time in the labor ward. There, I met the most vulnerable women and showed them one of the most memorable experiences of my life.Birth Most incredible I found such satisfaction in the world, and in being part of it.
In 2004, after 5 years of practice, I childbirth The experience that almost ruined the midwifery profession for me. It came back to bother me during the birth of my grandson.Showed me How difficult is the job Was: The pressure is huge and you literally have the lives of moms and babies in your hands.
A birth that changed everything for me
It was a cold night, so one of my colleagues who gave birth at my home in the area called me to support her as a midwife.
It was a strange birth from the beginning. All the windows were open and the inside was frozen. Mom didn’t want our help, and her husband was pretty hostile to me. As she progressed in labor, I quietly spoke to her and listened to her baby’s heart rate. But despite my continued insistence, she didn’t make eye contact, talk to me, or use a handheld Doppler to see if the baby was okay.
When a woman is contracting very strongly, there is a normal physiological decrease in oxygen through the placenta. Most babies can cope with it, but an important point for midwives to participate in childbirth is to detect abnormalities early. But mom told me to run away from her.
When the baby was about to be born, she decided to let me know her heart rate. It was incredibly low. Before we knew it, we looked at the top of the baby’s head and prepared the equipment to revive it. My colleague had to make an episiotomy on the shivering mom to get the baby out immediately.
The baby basically arrived dead — white and floppy. I tapped him and immediately started resuscitation. He was desperate to get his heart rate above 40 beats per minute. Rescuers began to take the baby to the hospital, and when I left, I looked around the house — blood, colds, handshakes. It was all imprinted in my heart.
Three days later, the baby died.
I treated PTSD by participating in more home births
For the next few months, I unknowingly treated the post-traumatic stress disorder caused by this event. According to the American Psychological Association, PTSD is “Long-term exposure“—Instead of avoiding the triggers of trauma, you are exposed to trauma and overcome the triggers and fears.
Instead of running away from home, I wanted them to continue, but I wasn’t responsible for life or death, and I was able to remember that a positive childbirth experience was happening only from an observational standpoint.
But that night bothered me with a slow-motion flashback that didn’t cause anything in particular. Years later, there are still moments of panic, recreating what happened and thinking that it might have been different.
Recently, my daughter gave birth and demanded that I be there to support her as a mother, not as a midwife. I was waiting in the living room while my daughter was working, and a midwife came to talk to me.
“Why is my heart rate low because babies break through the pelvis and are born soon,” she told me. “I called the rescuer just in case.”
My grandson was born flat and dead. He needed to be resuscitated. When I didn’t know what would happen for those 20 minutes, the incident many years ago came back like a bad dream and scared me. But my grandson was fine after all.
I am no longer a clinical midwife. Instead, I teach the next generation of midwives. The PTSD I experienced was horrifying, but I couldn’t abandon the profession. The miracles of life are so addictive that they cannot be ignored.
Editor’s Note: Midwives remain anonymous for patient privacy.
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