Birth Trauma Survivor and Maternal Health Advocate

“True rebels hate their own rebellion. They know by experience that it is not a cool and glamorous lifestyle; it takes a courageous fool to say things that have not been said and to do things that have not been done.” Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

Within an hour of hitting the “publish” button I had over eight hundred page views on my website. No turning back. I logged onto my Twitter account to see if there was any activity there. There was a tweet to me from a South African woman. She explained over a series of tweets and private…

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“I am not functioning very well. Living with the knowledge that the baby is dead is painful. I feel so far away from you, God. I can only try to believe that you are sustaining me and guiding me through this. Please continue to stand by my side.” Christine O'Keeffe Lafser

The miscarriage happened just a little over a year after my postpartum hemorrhage. I was back in the hospital again needing an emergency surgery. Dr. Mig explained to me that I had to have a D & C (dilation and curettage). D &C ‘s treat uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or clear…

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“Debriefing-style counseling after a trauma often aggravates a victim's stress-related symptoms, for example, and 4 in 10 bereaved people do better without grief therapy.” Winifred Gallagher

I never found any comfort in talking to my psychiatrist, Dr. Jones–I was only seeing her twice a week because she suggested it. I dreaded every appointment. Instead of feeling like I was making progress, I often left feeling much worse than I did before. During our sessions I saw her eyes constantly dart back…

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“Talking to a therapist, I thought, was like taking your clothes off and then taking your skin off, and then having the other person say, "Would you mind opening up your rib cage so that we can start?” Julie Schumacher, Black Box

I arrived about ten minutes early for my first session with Dr. Jones, the postpartum psychiatrist. I sat on a couch in the waiting room of her office, along with two other patients. I sized them up, wondering what their problems were.  One woman looked visibly upset about something, she was on the verge of…

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"I've never found therapy to be a sign of weakness; I've found the opposite to be true. The willingness to have a mirror held up to you definitely requires strength." Brooke Shields

The first time I sought therapy was shortly after my grandmother’s death–I was eighteen years old. It felt embarrassing and pathetic talking to a stranger about my feelings, but it was also relieving being able to unload on an objective outsider. I was a little amused by the fact that my experience in therapy was…

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“You've probably read in People that I'm a nice guy – but when the doctor first told me I had Parkinson's, I wanted to kill him.” Michael J. Fox

Often, doctors have to give people extremely bad news. “You’re in bad shape, kid. Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna try to stop the bleeding. I gotta do an embolization to stop the bleeding. If that doesn’t work, you have to get a hysterectomy. You have to realize that if you get a hysterectomy,…

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The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection. -Thomas Paine

This past spring and summer were full of changes–similar to the spring and summer after Miss J was born. We have recently uprooted ourselves and made the big trek from the city to suburbia. This transition is mourned by some, welcomed by others and often necessary once you have children. I got so caught up…

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“Although she was giddy with exhaustion, sleep was a lover who refused to be touched….” ― Janet Fitch, Paint it Black

I wanted Miss J to lay next to me all night but the night nurse/army sergeant made Bobby put her back in the bassinet. That’s the thing about being a patient–you don’t get to make decisions, especially after a traumatic accident. Everyone not only tells you what to do, but also when and how to…

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Reunited with Miss J: A Few Pictures

Miss J is almost three years old now. Lately she is in the habit of getting out of her “big girl bed” every night and getting into our bed in the wee hours of the morning. There are times when this irritates me because a good night’s sleep is hard to come by nowadays. But…

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“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus

I was hooked up to so many gadgets. Oxygen under my nose, IV’s in both arms, a catheter (yuck!) and random sticky circles on my chest connected to long cords. I was still afraid to close my eyes. Bobby and my best friend, Erica, were waiting in the hallway when I got off the elevator….

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