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Childbirth and disassociation?

Roland

MyPTSD Pro
Any of you that have given birth, did you disassociate while giving birth? I'm 36 weeks pregnant (or so, it's been hard for me to keep track lol) so really approaching. I'm having an unmedicated natural home birth. I'm doing my research on breathing. I'm kinda worried about having a bad disassociation-episode while giving birth and that being overwhelming/scary. I haven't had one in a good while, but when I do have them, it's scary for me to "have a body" and to "focus on my breath" etc, and I know obviously that childbirth is a lot of emphasis on the body. Any ideas for how to ground myself? I think visual things like looking around the room and if that happens, telling the people around me, and probably talk about it with like my mom and husband before I'm even in labor. Counting is stressful for me and doesn't work, so people that say "Name five things you can see" or whatever, doesn't work and is counter-productive. I'm not into hypnobirthing and won't be getting an epidural, both of which I think would exasperate disassociation (for me).
 
Any ideas for how to ground myself?
Think of the last time you had MASSIVE diarrhea. Completely out of your control, doubled over, stomach burning with muscle cramping, sitting on the toilet, waiting for the next wave. Stand up, walk 5 feet, dash back to the loo.

It’s -rather disturbingly- like that.

Naked.

With people circled around you giving you advice about it.

I WISH I could have zoned out even a little for it.
 
did you disassociate while giving birth?
both times i gave birth. the first was a premature birth and the ER staff gave me some drugs to help me dissociate further. during the second birth, my baby doc had a herstory to work with and monitored my dissociation carefully as soon as i entered the birthing center. no drugs needed. the big strong daddy wished i'd had dissociated a bit further from the hand i broke bones in during the more intense pushes. the broken bones didn't distract him much from the awe of that still greasy son. treatment for the broken bones was conveniently available on another floor of the hospital. daddy was quick to forgive the breakage.
 
did you disassociate while giving birth
I didn’t know what dissociation was when I gave birth. I had two unmedicated home births. I have to say that for me giving birth was so different from anything else in my life. And in terms of being grounded? It was like the most wild space ride because time was completely different. Hours and hours went by in a moment, like one moment it’s 1am the next moment the sun was rising. And also time would practically stop, a contraction could feel like an hour and be 20 seconds long. Then in between contractions you could be laughing or cooking or dancing. It’s so weird. You are in a bubble and people are just coming in and out of it.

Something I wished I had known about in my first and second births? Was that *pushing* when you have a contraction, helps so much with the pain! Breathing is cool but pushing feels good, and gives you an active role, rather than just waiting and feeling overcome with the pain..

Also, when the contraction happens and you’re pushing, when it’s getting strong? You can reach in and feel their little head with the cervical ring around it. That really helped me to feel like I was connected and doing something and I realized that the idea that you move from 0-10 cm in that order? Not true. It’s opening and closing as it goes, and when you push it opens, then it closes back down.

And probably your midwife already told you this and will remind you but do not push when the baby is crowning, that’s when you breathe breathe breathe.

In terms of staying grounded? I think water helps. And essential oils that you like. And your partner holding you if you like it. I made the mistake of cuddling with my kitty—and that’s how I learned that petting a loving cat releases tons of oxytocin—big contraction!
 
Think of the last time you had MASSIVE diarrhea. Completely out of your control, doubled over, stomach burning with muscle cramping, sitting on the toilet, waiting for the next wave. Stand up, walk 5 feet, dash back to the loo.

It’s -rather disturbingly- like that.

Naked.

With people circled around you giving you advice about it.

I WISH I could have zoned out even a little for it.
Sounds about right xD lucky for me, I have a small team who will respect whatever I say, so like I can tell them all to leave the room, or shut the f*ck up, etc.

both times i gave birth. the first was a premature birth and the ER staff gave me some drugs to help me dissociate further. during the second birth, my baby doc had a herstory to work with and monitored my dissociation carefully as soon as i entered the birthing center. no drugs needed. the big strong daddy wished i'd had dissociated a bit further from the hand i broke bones in during the more intense pushes. the broken bones didn't distract him much from the awe of that still greasy son. treatment for the broken bones was conveniently available on another floor of the hospital. daddy was quick to forgive the breakage.
Wow, that's pretty badass that you broke his hand, but I'm also sure you felt bad xD
 
I didn’t know what dissociation was when I gave birth. I had two unmedicated home births. I have to say that for me giving birth was so different from anything else in my life. And in terms of being grounded? It was like the most wild space ride because time was completely different. Hours and hours went by in a moment, like one moment it’s 1am the next moment the sun was rising. And also time would practically stop, a contraction could feel like an hour and be 20 seconds long. Then in between contractions you could be laughing or cooking or dancing. It’s so weird. You are in a bubble and people are just coming in and out of it.

Something I wished I had known about in my first and second births? Was that *pushing* when you have a contraction, helps so much with the pain! Breathing is cool but pushing feels good, and gives you an active role, rather than just waiting and feeling overcome with the pain..

Also, when the contraction happens and you’re pushing, when it’s getting strong? You can reach in and feel their little head with the cervical ring around it. That really helped me to feel like I was connected and doing something and I realized that the idea that you move from 0-10 cm in that order? Not true. It’s opening and closing as it goes, and when you push it opens, then it closes back down.

And probably your midwife already told you this and will remind you but do not push when the baby is crowning, that’s when you breathe breathe breathe.

In terms of staying grounded? I think water helps. And essential oils that you like. And your partner holding you if you like it. I made the mistake of cuddling with my kitty—and that’s how I learned that petting a loving cat releases tons of oxytocin—big contraction!
Thank you, all of this is really helpful actually. I'm working right now on a birth plan specifically related to trauma/ptsd, because I know I need that stuff written down so I don't have to verbally say much if I do get triggered.

But once again, lucky for me, home birth with small staff makes me feel safe. Obviously, there could be an emergency and we have to go to the hospital and I'm making backup plans for that as well, but the home birth plan is going to be comfortable to me.
 
Any ideas for how to ground myself? I think visual things like looking around the room and if that happens, telling the people around me, and probably talk about it with like my mom and husband before I'm even in labor. Counting is stressful for me and doesn't work, so people that say "Name five things you can see" or whatever, doesn't work and is counter-productive.
Whoops! Forgot to mention…

Aural & Olfactory (Sound & Scent) have the most profound effect on zeh human brainz. Which is a big part of why people tend to use music & strong scents during birth. Whether or not that will cut through pain? Is very individual.

I tend to trigger pretty hard around the scents of blood/shit/pain/fear… which is why I refused to voluntarily spend ANY time in L&D (those are the overriding scents of birth, as well as death)… but keep camphor/tiger balm in my purse/pocket to put under my nose when I had to. Lavender? Sandalwood? Sage? Vanilla? And most of the scents people bring with them as soothing in normal life? Ain’t gonna cut it. It’s not a random Tuesday, or hard day after work, it’s not even walking into a house/bathroom wih stomach flu. STRONG scents. Directly under your nose. And also, preferably, in your mouth/under the tongue. To have any impact on the miasma.

Distraction (talking with people, getting them to tell stories, etc.) is another way to YANK people’s attention onto you, when THEY are in pain. If someone is trying to keep your attention on them? Do try letting them.
 
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I've had 4 living children. My pregnancy with my oldest daughter was a roller coaster ride. We were told to abort, did NOT, were given ultrasound pics and test results showing the horror to expect, then everything changed, and we were told to expect a medically-documented miracle (the story is in my diary). Labor was long, I surely dissociated, but I would have gone to hell and back to birth that baby. Lamaze classes helped me tremendously with all 4 births to be educated and recognize what was happening, what stage I was in, what to expect next, and to control my breathing. Having a focal point was essential. But don't let them try to brainwash you that you are feeling "discomfort." I felt PAIN bringing these little darlings into this world - it was NOT discomfort!
 
For me music ended up being the same as people trying to get attention—it all had a story to tell which was distracting—but that was in the days before binaural beats. There’s an album by Mickey Hart, “Music to be born by” which I did find helpful because it’s repetitive and has the heartbeat of his son from in the womb.
 
Whoops! Forgot to mention…

Aural & Olfactory (Sound & Scent) have the most profound effect on zeh human brainz. Which is a big part of why people tend to use music & strong scents during birth. Whether or not that will cut through pain? Is very individual.

I tend to trigger pretty hard around the scents of blood/shit/pain/fear… which is why I refused to voluntarily spend ANY time in L&D (those are the overriding scents of birth, as well as death)… but keep camphor/tiger balm in my purse/pocket to put under my nose when I had to. Lavender? Sandalwood? Sage? Vanilla? And most of the scents people bring with them as soothing in normal life? Ain’t gonna cut it. It’s not a random Tuesday, or hard day after work, it’s not even walking into a house/bathroom wih stomach flu. STRONG scents. Directly under your nose. And also, preferably, in your mouth/under the tongue. To have any impact on the miasma.

Distraction (talking with people, getting them to tell stories, etc.) is another way to YANK people’s attention onto you, when THEY are in pain. If someone is trying to keep your attention on them? Do try letting them.
Thank you for the tips!
 
I've had 4 living children. My pregnancy with my oldest daughter was a roller coaster ride. We were told to abort, did NOT, were given ultrasound pics and test results showing the horror to expect, then everything changed, and we were told to expect a medically-documented miracle (the story is in my diary). Labor was long, I surely dissociated, but I would have gone to hell and back to birth that baby. Lamaze classes helped me tremendously with all 4 births to be educated and recognize what was happening, what stage I was in, what to expect next, and to control my breathing. Having a focal point was essential. But don't let them try to brainwash you that you are feeling "discomfort." I felt PAIN bringing these little darlings into this world - it was NOT discomfort!
Haha, yes pain 😂😂😂

What is lamaze classes?

I’m intrigued by your story ❤️ I’ll go looking for it later when I have the brain capacity
 
For me music ended up being the same as people trying to get attention—it all had a story to tell which was distracting—but that was in the days before binaural beats. There’s an album by Mickey Hart, “Music to be born by” which I did find helpful because it’s repetitive and has the heartbeat of his son from in the womb.
That sounds interesting, for those of you suggesting music, you and @Friday what about sensory overload? With everything going on with your body, multiple people, etc is sensory overload likely? I mean everyone is different but I’m not sure about playing music
 
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