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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

Time and Healing Wounds

As I look at Vienna, now as an 18 month old, there’s such a range of emotions. The capabilities of her growth are endless and each day there’s something new that amazes me. But there’s still that grief that comes with each passing day she gets older. The grief that I try to process by reading and writing my thoughts about birth trauma and PTSD. I just now had to sit down and write in the midst of reading a book about healing my birth story. I've been reading it for the past year, not being able to get through it without crying and needing a break and that's ok.

The lines get blurred between remembering the past year and a half with a smile or with crippling anxiety and anger. It’s hard to explain to others what you are experiencing. Mothers with PTSD and post partum mood disorders experience a range of symptoms from sadness, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, feeling out of control, intrusive thoughts, overly sensitive, guilt and low self-esteem among so many others. It’s more prevalent in women who have mental health issues prior to pregnancy. Most often the post partum crept in during the perinatal period itself.

The level of stress is triggered by so many things. The change of seasons, the growth of your child, a friend giving birth, smells, sounds, images…the list goes on. For example, looking at her closet and seeing the size of her clothes get bigger while the storage containers of previous sizes get even bigger triggers a panic response.

The hardest part is talking about it, which is why so many of us feel alone. Many women say they had had a beautiful pregnancy and/or are feeling great post baby and you wonder why you couldn’t feel great. It’s grieving the loss of what you thought was supposed to be a beautiful experience. The trauma you had ripped that experience away from you and you become more and more angry. Many women who say they feel good may only utter those words to make themselves feel as if they are not suffering, or are too embarrassed to reach out for help thus repeating the cycle. Even mothers who had a great experience can feel guilt over hearing about someone who did not. Every situation is ok. The level of trauma does not dictate how you should feel.

If you’re struggling, please know that I see you. With each book I read, journal entry I write, each little laugh I hear and every hug and kiss reminds me that I’m taking things still day by day and feel proud that I have come this far. I hope you are proud of yourself too. The stages of grief do not come in order, they come in waves throughout minutes and days... ❤️ but I can't forget there are moments of pure joy in between.

Book references from Maureen Campion's Book- Heal Your Birth Story

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