At this point in my career, I did not have the knowledge and understanding that I do now regarding the care of these individuals, but the obstetricians knew that I already had a way of caring for patients that was gentle and respectful, so they asked for my assistance. I had no idea that this particular patient would be the one to start me on the path that I am on now, which is to bring trauma-informed care practices to all obstetric providers. Little did I know that she would enlighten me on how I was doing things “all wrong” and inspire me to be a catalyst for change.
Our framework for navigating her childbirth experience included the following:
Next Few Months
Within One Month of Delivery
“Anything put inside me” - Huge FLASHback
“Laying down flat while people stand over me”-Flashback
“Medical table” - Flashback
“Naked - my clothes protect me. I HATE having to take off my underwear”
“All medical things and places...once I walk into the building”
“Any loss of control over my body."
“I am terrified to be restrained- I can’t fight a bad guy off. I have to be able to protect myself. It hurts My BRAIN very bad. It will cause more trauma to me."
“Light-any exam light. He used a big industrial light, the kind you use for drying paint. I HATE big lights, but any light. I will never forget the heat I could feel coming off the light when he was hurting me.