Warning: Language (and trauma, and why birth isn't beautiful)

I wrote this up a few months ago, when I was just remembering all of it, and wanting to scream because I’ve always felt that no one really understands or understood my vehement desire to remain childless, or why every time labor or pregnancy (or children, for that matter) come up in a conversation, I start raging. The emotions of this are still raw, 11 years later – and what follows is still raw and vivid, I still feel livid about it sometimes, and scared (and for the faint of heart, there is strong language. I don’t usually use it here, but it’s an adult blog, so adult talk is allowed – in the future, read at your own risk ’cause I’m not going to disclaimer everything anymore).

They didn’t even consider that maybe an 11 year old who knows nothing about labor could be severely traumatized by being forced into a blood splattered bathroom in the middle of it to tie the umbilical cord with johnson and johnson’s dental floss (which I can’t have in my house because all I see is that scene). Since then I’ve never been able to see any of that (pregnancy/labor/birth) as healthy, natural, or beautiful; just messy, unnatural, and horrifying.

The inconsideration, the fact that I am still severely scarred because of this event – to the point where I can’t have a brand of dental floss because of it. I remember writing, vividly documenting the event when I was 11 because I didn’t know what else to do or how else to process it. I didn’t want to be there, I ran out the first time but they made me go back in. I was fucking ELEVEN. I didn’t know anything. People still expect me to be okay with this whole concept, they don’t realize, I can’t be.

Blood ruined my shirt and I liked it and then I couldn’t wear it anymore.
There was poop and bright red blood in a white bathroom and there was lots of it.
The umbilical cord was long, greenish grey and slimy and squirted me when cut.
The baby was red and goopy and looked like someone didn’t get the soap off something.
And that wasn’t the only time they called me. The second time they had the presence of mind to plop towels on the floor and just hand me a baby in a blood splattered blanket.

And then they asked me, when I was 16 to watch the birth of my other brother. I said no, and no one understood why. I felt like a horrible daughter but I absolutely could not put myself through that again. They and the other people were like, oh you should watch it’s so beautiful. And I was like, no, I’ve seen it, it’s not.

That aside: listening to parents scream breathe! at yet another stillborn alone is enough to turn anyone off from the idea of having kids. Or should at least make it fucking understandable.

6 comments

  1. Yeah, I get that. I don’t think I’m quite as traumatized by it as you, but I am traumatized. Then again, I was the only one that almost died and I can’t remember that. Still, I worried every time my mom went into labor. The situation always seemed bad. I generally just had to take care of the other kids when it happened, but not always.

    The idea of birth still scares and disturbs me as a grown woman. I secretly pity pregnant women, even the ones I know are happy, and I think if I was to do it myself, I’d need therapy to get me through it. I really honestly would, so I get it. Nobody can tell you a thing about how you should feel and nobody needs you to bring children into this world. It is a personal choice.

    Still, some part of me wonders if this happening ruined something that could have been somehow seen as beautiful part of being a woman. I have a gut feeling that it has and that makes me sad. That’s a side I don’t see.

    1. Every time someone announces their pregnant (and the last year and a half/two years so. many. people. have.) I feel really really sad for them even if they’re happy. I can’t make myself be happy, I just feel sad.

      I think if I hadn’t had to help with birth, and if my parents had stopped *at any point* before the last one, I wouldn’t feel so violently against it (though, probably still wouldn’t want it. I just wouldn’t end up checking myself into a mental institution).

  2. “That aside: listening to parents scream breathe! at yet another stillborn alone is enough to turn anyone off from the idea of having kids. Or should at least make it fucking understandable.”

    Just one word: heartbreak. </3

    And yes, I understand.

  3. 🙁 This just breaks my heart. I think it is atrocious for them to include you in something like that without any forewarning or preparation (videos etc). This angers me for you. I never wanted children, but for other reasons. I now have a 4 year old I wouldn’t give anything for. And I’m not telling you this to say you’ll ever change your mind, but my experience with labor was different. I labored for many hours then had a c-section. I never saw one wee bit of blood and my son was handed to me cleaned up. (all at my request, as blood causes me to faint/vomit) Hospitals are good like that. I couldn’t imagine people treating their children this way.

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