Do you believe you deserve to heal from fertility/pregnancy/birth trauma? The answer may seem really simple and obvious. You might quickly say, "Of course I do!" But let me share a story to show you how nuanced it can actually be.
Birthdays are a big deal in my family so when my birthday came around after my son came home from the NICU, my family wanted to know - in how many ways were we celebrating?
I avoided calls & texts. I pushed the decision on to anyone else who would make it for me, when they wouldn't, I felt utterly paralyzed. "I don't know!" I finally shouted in tears that morning when no plans had been made.
It was through those tears I could see clearly - it's not that I didn't know what to do on my birthday. It was that I didn't feel like I deserved to celebrate it after all the ways I felt my body failed my 24 weeker.
I see this so often in our community, whether they're a preemie mom, a NICU mom, have gone through a high-risk pregnancy, experienced loss(es) and/or needed an emergency c-section.
It shows up as buying everyone else new clothes or shoes when you're still wearing shirts with holes in them.
Needing to justify a break for yourself by proving you're doing enough for your family or friends.
Avoiding healing because you feel you need to always remember what your body did. Because you feel you don't deserve to feel better.
Did you feel that last one? I felt that deep in my body when I realized I was withholding healing from myself as a form of self-inflicted punishment for what my body had done wrong.
If any of this resonates, here's what I want you to know: You are not bad at self-care. You are not trying to be a martyr or gain sympathy. You are not being annoying or unreasonable.
This is trauma.
If you've been following my This is Trauma series, you know that trauma means a nervous system frozen in "danger" mode. The good news is, you're not destined to feel this way forever. Nervous system regulation is possible and when you re-regulate your nervous system, you heal from trauma.
It doesn't take years to do. With the right techniques, you can start to feel shifts within a matter of a couple of weeks! That is what many of our The Whole Story members have experienced and if you're ready for the same, you can too.