Hi Bandwagon – It’s Me!!

**TRIGGER WARNING: If you were raped, had birth rape, had a miscarriage, had a bad birth, this post might bring up some of those memories.  Please do not read if you are not comfortable with this.**

Rape.

What does that make you think of?  It probably goes to a very ugly place, whether you have experienced it or someone you know has, or even if you just know what it is.  It does not envoke happy thoughts.  It is an ugly thing.

When a woman says she is raped, do you question?  Do you ask what happened, or wonder if she is telling the truth?  Do you ever say that what she felt wasn’t rape?  Do you even have the guts to say anything at all?

So, I ask you, how is it okay to question someone when they say they were raped during their birth?  Is it because it doesn’t stem from your tiny idea of what rape is?  Is it because it is just birth, not sex, so there is no way the two of them could be linked?

When I went into the hospital when I miscarried my son in August, the OB that came in to help me I had never met before.  I met him as I was wondering if I was losing my child.  He gave me a lot of very false information, tried to scare me into having a D&C, and then did an exam to see what we were working with at the time.

I consented to the exam.  I knew that the only way I would get answers is if he did an exam to see if I was dilating or rather, what was actually going on.

After he pulled my son out of my vaginal cavity, he pulled out my placenta.  He didn’t ask.  He just did it.

And it hurt.  Like when you peel a band-aid off your arm and it sticks to all the hair?  It sounds and feels like velcro.  I was already crying because of my son, so I doubt he even knew that it hurt me.

He then said he was going to feel if my uterus was firm.

Instead, he stuck his hand inside my uterus and explored around a little.

I did NOT say he could do that.  He didn’t even tell me he was going to do that.

I didn’t even know what he was doing until he was almost done.

If I thought that pulling the placenta out hurt, this was worse.  I can’t even describe how it felt.

My labor, which was painful, was nothing compared to his hand probing around inside my uterus.

Now, a lot of people could say that since I consented to the exam, this was also covered.  That I shouldn’t feel violated.  That he was already there, so that makes it okay.

One little thing is missing here.

MY BODY.  MY UTERUS.

I gave him consent to do an exam to see if my son was still safe inside my uterus.  I gave him consent to see if things were okay.

I DID NOT give him consent to pull my placenta out, and I DID NOT give him consent to stick his hand inside my uterus.

For me, this is birth rape.

My body was used for a purpose that I did not consent to.  My vagina, cervix, and uterus were abused.  I was so sore for a week after this that it hurt to even wipe with toilet paper.  I was 14 weeks pregnant.  Passing my child should not have hurt me.

Even after my vulva and vagina stopped hurting, my insides hurt.  It hurt to laugh, to cough, to sneeze.  It hurt to bend over or pick anything up.  Yes, I had a 12+ hour labor, but that would not have caused lingering pain.

I woke up for days with nightmares of this happening again.  I would wake up in a cold sweat crying.  I was terrified of anyone even going near my bottom half.

Eight weeks out, I still shudder and cry and wake up screaming.

Now tell me that I was not birth raped.

Please.

I dare you.

When you try to define other people’s experiences, you yourself are changing the definition of rape, in this context.  You are telling women that their experiences don’t matter.  You are telling women that how their sexual organs are used when in a birth setting is not rape.

You are telling women that what they feel, what they are, doesn’t amount to anything.

Regardless of whether or not you believe in birth rape, know this.  A woman’s experience matters.  A woman’s body is her own.  A woman has every right to say no to anything someone wants to do with her body.

A woman has every right to say no.

Please, don’t take that away from them.

Please.

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9 Responses

  1. I love you! Speak up speak out change definitions and open peoples minds about what is going on out there. I am so sorry that this happened to you but so proud of you for being able to share your experience to help other women identify that it is out there and it does happen. ❤

  2. What an AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL experience!! I don’t know what else to say!

    I’m glad that you decided to post this – It’s an important message to get across.

  3. I saw him on his bike the other day and had to try VERY hard not to hit him.OOOOO! He is so…AGHHH…there is no word strong enough!

  4. I’ve been talking on twitter about this, and maybe because of my tweets you wrote this post.

    Here’s my problem. People throw around the term “birthrape” so loosely, like it’s nothing. Anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, is automatically deemed with the term “rape.”

    If you have never been raped, you don’t understand the concept of having people throw this term around loosely. I do believe in birthrape, I do believe it’s a horrible experience. I don’t believe that every birth that was the slightest bit negative is automatically a ”birthrape” situation.

    Just the same as saying you were raped and saying you were molested aren’t the same things. They are both horrid, unthinkable things to happen to someone, but they aren’t the same.

    We clearly have a history, and hope not to have that affected because of this comment. I just wanted to give my two cents too.

    • I don’t think every negative birth is a birth rape situation either. And neither do those that have experienced it.

      My experience was negative overall, but I don’t think I had birth rape when Glade was born. This last time, I did.

      Not every birth is the same. And regardless of what you feel, a woman is entitled to how she views her birth.

      • Kayce-

        I am sorry you went through that. It was a horrible experience and it never should have happened.

        You are exactly right. Every woman is entitled to feel the way she wants to about her birth. Birth and pregnancy are very intimate and what happens during those times can leave feelings deeply ingrained in a woman. I know from personal experience that bad births can be traumatizing and have long-lasting effects.

        No one has the right to discount what a woman goes through during pregnancy and birth, good or bad. The only way a woman can process her feelings is to talk about them, write about them, express them in some way, without the fear of being judged by others.

        Thank you for writing this. You are incredible.

  5. Crap! I’m really sick of the internet eating my blog comments! Here goes again:

    My coworker had a similar experience with the birth of her (only) daughter and was do traumatized that she has decided not to have any more children.

    I keep telling my SIL who is about to have her first baby any day now, to treat medical care like a menu and refuse ANYTHING she’s not comfortable with.

    Of course, that won’t always work if you’re already in pain/upset. Pisses me OFF that people (male doctors, mostly) think they can treat women’s bodies like meat. Disgusting.

    I am so, SO sorry that that happened to you!

  6. My heart goes out to you and to every other woman who is mistreated by a doctor. Violation is violation. It is not right. No one deserves to be touched in any way they are not OK with…and doctors are not excluded from those rules. It is very difficult to think clearly when you are in pain…whether emotionally, physically or both. It stinks that you were taken advantage of. Yes…you can call it rape. You have every right to!

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