Warning: this post will be triggering for birth trauma survivors
When watching this video, I was reminded of the pictures taken of me holding my babies for the first time after their births. They are starkly different. I've pondered over the differences before and now that I've seen this video, I feel like posting the photos to illustrate to others what trauma looks like.
After a traumatic birth, described as birth rape:
The joy at meeting my baby comes through (and a sense of my victory over the system's efforts to control me), but look at that far away stare showing the disconnect between me and my baby. And do you see the timidity and the reservation with which I'm holding my baby boy? And how the smile doesn't make it to my eyes?
When my son looks at pictures from his birth, this is what he is going to see. I hope he never questions because of these pictures, "Why is my mama sad? Did she want me? Does she love me? Is she mad at me because of how I was born?"
And then compare, to this:
From this, and another example from a friend's blog, I see that birth experience matters. Not to the mom's hedonistic desire for self-satisfaction, but to the baby that the mother greets. I feel my babies deserve to be greeted by a mother who feels victorious, respected, capable and empowered; not one who has been victimized, disrespected, dehumanized and demeaned.