Click. Click. Click. The noise of two pieces of metal coming together. The sound of a fork scraping a plate at dinner, keys jangling, money jingling. The sound that could instantly put me in a tailspin, a panic, a mind shattering experience when my PTSD was in full force. The sound of forceps. The sound of trauma.
The sound of metal. The sight of forceps-like things…salad tongs, cooking utensils. The sight and the sounds, in combination, left me in the fetal position on the kitchen floor, holding my ears in a booth at a fancy restaurant, in tears at a guest’s house for dinner.
These reactions were not pretty. PTSD is not manageable without treatment. My treatment for PTSD, although long and arduous, was successful. But, I still cannot believe what I did this week. What I COULD do, and what I DID do. I did a Google search on “forceps deliveries.” I clicked on videos. And I watched. With the volume up, and the picture large, I watched a forceps delivery. And I almost puked. NOT because of any remnants of the PTSD, but simply because of the barbaric nature of this form of delivery. I watched as the forceps were placed, placing an instrument that is much too big for the vagina, and will more than likely tear the vagina, in the vagina. I watched the doctor use some other medical device to further expand the vaginal opening by slicing the flesh around the vagina. I watched the doctor apply an extreme amount of traction to pull a baby from a mother’s unwilling body. I heard the mother moaning and screaming. I heard the click.
And, I think to myself. My cesarean section was a piece of cake compared to the butchery of a forceps delivery. The elective cesarean section, the “major surgery” that I had ,was controlled, defined, and calm. Each “click” was accounted for, each slice meaningful, each stitch done with the precision of a skilled doctor in a controlled environment. It will always baffle me WHY forceps are used in a non-emergency vaginal delivery. Although it baffles me, it apparently does not baffle the birthing community. It seems many women still view a forceps assisted “natural” vaginal birth as a better option than a cesarean delivery. The idea of women being stigmatized when considering their options between forceps and cesarean at the moment their delivery may deem necessary sickens me. I feel that women should always have an informed choice and it is my mission to advocate for that choice.
Thanks for reading,