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I’m amazed a lot at the ways God finds to speak to me.
When I first started going to counseling for my PTSD, I really wanted to go to a Christian counselor because those non-Christian counselors are psycho and into all kinds of crazy stuff (that’s me being sarcastic)! Or so I thought. So I went to a Christian counselor when the depression got particularly bad in early 2011 for six visits. She was nice enough….very calm and peaceful and she smiled a lot. And had I been in a place where I really wanted to work through long-term issues that I’ve had since childhood, I’m sure she would’ve been fantastic. But when it came to the birth, she was kind of awful, suggesting things like the C-section was better for B because they gently lifted him out (which was evidence in and of itself that she had never had a C-section nor knew much about them) and that was better than him having to come through the birth canal (which he was stuck in for two hours anyway). After that appointment, I was done as I just couldn’t justify spending as much as we were per session for a woman who had no idea where I was coming from.
Almost a year later, I was at an ICAN meeting bawling my eyes out as I recounted, once again, B’s birth story to these women who I often felt were the only people in the world who could understand why I was so upset. One of them had actually written a poem that had resonated so deeply with me just after his birth that it still makes me cry to this day to read it. After the meeting, she came over to me and handed me a card with the name of the therapist she had gone to and gave me a hug.
I debated it for a long time, but finally made the call. She had a waiting list as she was (at the time) the only therapist in Denver who dealt with reproductive and, more specifically, traumatic birth cases. But just a week later (after she told me the wait would probably be a month) she called again and we scheduled our first appointment. I’ve been meeting with her since June now and it’s made a world of difference.
Going back to God speaking, though. I don’t know what her relationship with God is, but she does not mention Him in our sessions which I thought would be bad at first as there’s no room for Him in that. But even while she talks but doesn’t come right out and say these specific things, I feel that He has given me two very important realizations that finally hit home:
- I give myself too much credit when it comes to how much control I had over my son’s birth. This was HUGE for me. Sure I’ve been told this before….I even told myself this before, but my mind couldn’t get past the what ifs. What if the midwife had realized that he was posterior? What if I had gotten a better night’s rest the night before (when I was in labor) so I had more energy? What if I had had a more experienced midwife? What if I had been at home? The biggest one, though, the one that always got a giant lump in my throat and set me down a dangerous thought path was wondering whether or not I started pushing too soon. I still wonder now, but instead of going into panic attack mode at the thought, I sort of accept the fact that it doesn’t matter if I had started pushing later. I still wasn’t in control. And it happened as it happened for a reason.
- I am God’s daughter. We’ve talked a lot about my past and the fact that I spent the first two months of my life in a foster home. Before B, I didn’t think about this much but now that I know how much care a newborn needs, how much attention, how much work….how much love, I wonder how much of that last one I got when I was being handled by strangers. My dad has also proudly stated many times that after he brought me home, when I cried, he would just shut the door to my room and ignore me because he didn’t know what I wanted. I have never been able to fathom doing that to B. The therapist suggested that the next time I nurse and cuddle B to sleep, I should pretend I’m cuddling my little self to sleep, but more of what came through that to me was that I could picture God doing that for me rather than myself. I know it’s an abstract concept, but sometimes when my heart is just overflowing with love for this little boy, I think about the fact that I am loved that much and more by my God. And that is also unfathomable.
So I cling to these little truths. When I start thinking about the birth…when I start thinking about my past. And though it’s not a cure-all that instantly makes me feel better, there’s sort of a bittersweet calm about it.
I’m definitely looking forward to how He keeps speaking through her.