Archive for My Daughter’s Trauma

My Daughter’s Trauma

One thing that people always ask when I tell my story is whether my daughter suffered any damages because of the traumatic nature of the birth.  At the tender age of 4, I can assure you that cognitively my daughter is just fine, however, the first few months, weeks, and years were fraught with endless worry from me, her mother, about lasting physical and emotional damages from the traumatic birth.

At birth, my daughter suffered complete facial bruising and lacerations on the cheeks and top of the skull.  Namely, extensive bruising and cuts were located where the forceps had clamped upon her to hasten her exit from my body.  While she was not able to tell me her pain from these lacerations, I have to believe that she was uncomfortable, to say the least, judging by the extent of her wounds.

In the hospital, my daughter was also unable to rest effectively on her back and would only sleep in someone’s arms.  My understanding of this now is twofold; 1.  she needed comfort that all was OK and 2.  she had bruising on the back of her skull that proved uncomfortable to sleep upon.

Upon returning home from the hospital (about 50 hours after her entrance into the world), my daughter would not sleep.  She cried, cried, cried, and was unable to be soothed.  In fact, the first night in our home we needed to phone the on-call physician for advice.  Repeating her performance the second night home, the on-call physician was once again called and we were advised to bring her to a pediatrician on a Sunday morning.

Citing bruising and colic as her points of discomfort by the doctor, we were sent home with our daughter.  Her endless crying ceased at about 3 months of age.  Although never verified by the doctors, it truly makes me wonder whether her crying out and inability to soothe was an emotional function of her early birth trauma.

When our daughter started eating foods, we began to notice a severe flush in her cheek where the laceration had been most prominent.  When we brought her to the allergist (thinking it to be allergy related) we were asked if she had been a forceps baby.  While answering in the affirmative, we found out that she had nerve damage in her cheek, caused by the pinching, pulling, and tearing from the forceps.  The impact of this damage was described to us by the doctor as an involuntary response, a blush, that would occur when our daughter ate novel foods, or other foods that caused extreme sensation in the mouth such as sweet or sour.  My daughter still experiences the impact of this damage on a daily basis while eating.

So, while cognitively my daughter is fine, physically she still bears a scar upon her cheek where the laceration ran deep. She also suffers from the nerve damage in her cheek, while not painful, may prove bothersome to her as she becomes older.  My point-my daughter’s birth trauma was not the worst, by far, that could have happened. However, I think we all wish as mothers that nothing terrible happens to our children.  Birth trauma is all-encompassing, and, in my case served to impact not just me.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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A Gift from my Daughter

For mother’s day this year, my daughter filled in a book titled “It’s all about my mom.”  By “filled in” I mean that she provided her answers and my husband scribed the words.

Besides being an awesome gift, the meaning of some of her candid responses struck me.

Some answers were definitely given from a 4 year old’s perspective.  For example:  “My Mom’s favorite flower-my daughter’s response: dandelion.”  “My mom likes to-my daughter’s response, get me a sucker at the bank!”

Other answers seemed wise beyond her years.  This answer caused me to pause, emotionally, for a very long time. “My favorite memory with my mom-my daughter’s response: when mom protected me from getting hurt.” 

After ascertaining that my husband had not fed her that response, I pondered her words. Why was this her response? Does she remember?  Does it matter if she was talking about then or now?  I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never know exactly what instance she was talking about.  I am overjoyed that my daughter knows I will protect her, knows I have protected her, and knows I will continue to protect her.  And that, my friends, is the gift that my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

A Letter to My Daughter

So, I recently figured out that one day my daughter may read my blog.  And, I’m OK with that.  In fact, I’m more than OK with that.  However, I want her to read this blog when she is older, and I want her to read this post first.

Dear Daughter,

Please don’t ever feel guilty about what happened to Mom.  It’s not your fault.  I love you with all my heart and would gladly be torn apart again and again just to have your joyful face in our lives.  I cannot tell you how much I have worried that my mental illness and physical ailments could have impacted you in your formative years.  However, all my worry is for naught.  You have grown into a happy, productive, smart, and clever 4-year-old.  A 4-year-old unencumbered by Mommy’s trials and tribulations, but instead, supported by Mom and Dad’s strengths and unconditional love.

You are an amazing human being.  You intuitively recognize the times when Mom needs your help and you give me that extra support.  You provide me with the best reminder that something beautifully grand can come from a  devastating experience.  You fill my heart with joy and love each day.

I love you, sweet girl.

Love, Mommy

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Is she OK?

Yesterday, my daughter ran away from me.

We were in the locker room bathroom at a local gym.  She flipped the lock (as I was using the bathroom), ran out, and hid herself. (in a locker)

As what seemed like the longest three minutes ever passed by, where I frantically searched, cried, yelled her name, I heard a scuffling in the locker next to me.

It was her.

It seems fitting that the panic of losing her, the stress of not knowing if she was OK, the fear of never holding her again, all fell on her day of birth, the day of my trauma, and the day where I experienced similar, if not identical feelings, 4 years ago.

I guess we never lose that feeling when we feel our children are in danger. 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren