by Kath Harbisher

What words do I want to say to you?  To not dismiss anything no matter how silly or trivial it seems. Not everyone who experiences symptomatic trauma does so with detailed memories of the event. Sometimes people are triggered by a posture, a tone of voice or something that might seem very innocuous to others. It all depends on how the brain has processed, or rather perhaps, not processed the event. To not take anything personally especially if you accidentally trigger your partner. It’s never about you. It’s the resonation, something beyond control, that triggers memory and tips the person into flashback, not you. To never, ever tell a birth traumatised parent, male or female, that they should be ‘grateful that they have a healthy baby’. There is nothing worse you can say. It silences birth trauma sufferers. Every parent is grateful for a healthy child, it goes without saying. It does not ever compensate for having gone through a traumatic birth during which one thought one was going to die, one’s baby was going to die, one’s wife/partner and child were going to die. Being thankful for a safe and healthy baby and learning to live alongside birth trauma are totally separate issues, and the former never justifies the latter.