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Hard pregnency and delivery process after being raped and abused…

I had always wanted children….
I had always been afraid …
I was afraid they will be hurt … I was afraid I would hurt them… I was afraid I will Not protect them …or ill protect them too much … I was always afraid …

And then it happened….

It was both planed and not…. I wanted it so much that I preferred to suppress the consequences … Not to think about them … Agree between me and I to just ignore it until ill have no choice…

Apparently I wanted it with all my heart because I actually succeeded… I managed to “forget” that at the end of every pregnancy there is a delivery…

I am a 31 year old Woman … I was raped, molested and sexually abused many times in my life … I want to share a small part of the experiences, feelings and emotions that I had during my pregnancy and delivery process …

The Pregnancy did not go by in peace … I was constantly full of fears … like a factory of thoughts… Was the pregnancy the right thing to do or not … Should I continue…. Have I made a mistake…? Do I even deserve to be a mother…? How do I deal with the medical tests…? And what about the father…? Family..? Is this right to bring another child to this family…? To this world…? The fear that a Human creature is inside me…. just The sound of “inside me” has always bugged me … When I discovered the fetus was male it only intensified the difficulties .. The Anxiety… the Thoughts … How will I take care of him … How is he even in there at all … do I associate this barely human creature to my negative feelings about men .. About the Male sex….??

I think these thoughts and others accompanied my pregnancy from the day I found out about it… And some even up to this moment… and maybe forever…?

Some days I thank God that the procedure of having an abortion is so invasive and not less threatening (perhaps even more) than delivery, because if it was not so … Today I would not have my dear son, my beloved beautiful baby boy ….

Almost every morning began by thinking of how to end it… How to end everything…. But every day something else happened… something that made me hang in there… Someone who made me hang in there … Just like that … Sometimes it was a matter of every hour or every minute that I needed encouragement … Support … Or someone to remind me why on earth have I tried this thing to begin with … I needed someone to Believe that I can do it…

So the days went by … With the support and treatment of the right people… And yes, there is such a thing right people … everyone who had met the wrong people can tell you that… So With the help of these people … I went through each medical exam … with this amazing Sensitivity and understanding that I did not believe even existed in this world… Certainly not this monsters threatening world (so I saw it) of Gynecology….

And I’ll explain….

My first ultrasound experience was not very pleasant … Because I did not know what was going to happen… what it would be like… (Again trying to ignore and preferred to suppress …) I tried the approach of “just go with it “….
“flow” … I got to a woman health care center … I entered the room where I was told to lie on the bed. Then, without any preparation, a technician lifted my shirt …poured gel on me as she murmurs something about it being cold or something like that … and started moving the Transducer on my bare belly…. All this time she did not say a word …. The room was dark … and this whole situation made me feel this huge fear mixed with nausea that I could not control .. I barely remember listening to her final conclusion about my baby … My baby … that I wanted so badly!!….

One time,
I went to the gynecologist to for a regular, “normal” … Blood pressure measurement, a listening to the fetus, etc. … After a few quick words .. She commanded me to Undress and go lay down on the bed (I call it a Monster bed and later ill explain). It should be noted that this clinic forces you to have another staff member present in the room .. This is not for the patient to choose… In my case there was a nurse present…. I tried to stammer softly that I’m not interested in this exam … And immediately the doctor’s face changed sharply … She asked me what do I mean I am not interested …? what do I mean I don’t want?? It is not a question of will at all … When I tried to explain to her that it’s hard for me .. She said she did not understand what is the problem and that I am not a little girl so I should stop acting like one!….

True … I admit … I have a problem with authority .. Especially this type of authority that expresses anger or frustration with me … I immediately stress and right away tend to please that person … But in this case .. Because I was so ashamed and scared … I managed to glean a bit more of my strength and try again to ask her not to undergo this threatening exam … This doctor than became really angry .. again “she explained” that I’m not a baby and that it’s a short exam.. She is very gentle and in 2 minutes it will all be over …. I wanted to shout at her that within two minutes I myself will “be over” as well if I’ll do it… but she and her nurse, who kept Trying to be the “reassuring” one, Kept pushing me more and more towards the bed … The doctor told me I first have to lay down … It should be noted that I had already lost myself and detached once giving in to them and started to undress … I tried to cover myself with everything possible … I laid on the bed terrified to death .. I felt with every bit of me .. almost literally, the meaning of the words “die of shame …” I felt just a few breaths away from there … And inside myself it felt like my insides died of shame… the Sense of humiliation … My helplessness … My disappointment with myself that I did not stand up for myself… that I failed …. A g a i n … just tortured me…

She did her test … And she was far from being gentle … I tried with all my strength to switch to the “don’t-care …” mode,
but I, that Detachments are my second name .. I somehow stayed more connected than ever …
My body just took charge and became its own master … I was trembling, shivering, unable to control myself .. I cried, unable to stop …
yeah … Now I really acted like a baby ….

Not the gynecologists was so insensitive … Also when I had to have some simpler tests I ran into difficulties …
right at the beginning of the pregnancy I developed many large veins in my legs .. And after long arguments with my husband I had finally agreed to try these elastic socks that are supposed to make it better.. or easier to handle..
I was told that for this purpose I need to see a blood vessels doctor … My large veins were located only at the knee area of my right leg, other than that no other veins bothered me any where … I went to the doctor … As soon as I entered his room, he told me to take off the entire lower part of my cloths and to lie down on the bed … Of course, I was very scared … (in this case I didn’t even imagine he could request something like that and it had truly surprised me) … When I asked why I had to undress He replied angrily … “Because I need to see.. who here is the doctor???” Of course, his reaction did not make me feel any more confident … I tried to explain to him again that my problematic veins are located only in the knee area … But he angrily dismissed me and said that he doesn’t have time and I should just do what he wants … I got a hold of myself and I told him politely that I am giving up on this exam and thank you …

I left the room upset and crying ..a nurse saw me coming out of the room crying and asked what happened .. I told her briefly what happened with the doctor .. She asked me to wait .. she Went into his room, and After several minutes she came out and said he’d give me the prescription for the socks without examining me … I do not know what she told him … And to tell you the truth, I only went back in there to get the prescription from him not to disappoint her … He gave me a prescription for the socks .. But I could never bring myself to wear them …..

After these experiences I’ve shared my fears with my therapist … She hooked me up with an amazing gynecologist .. I can say unequivocally without question and without any doubt that because of these two, and them alone I have managed to survive the pregnancy and the delivery ….

From that moment on the rest of my medical follow-ups were done by this doctor angel …
Even before I met her .. I was so surprised when we corresponded by e-mail. her sensitivity .. Availability were rare … Not once did I get a feeling that I was Too demanding … Too troubling … that I have strange requirements … that maybe I might be crazy ….and I was.. I was too demanding.. I was troubling .. I did have strange requests and yes.. Sometimes I did act in a way that may be interpreted as madness …
The First time I meet her, my anxiety level went down quite significantly from this whole process of giving birth …. As I mentioned before .. I Really did not believe that there really exits somebody who understands .. that does Not mock .. Not disparage … Who actually has the patience and the time for a person like me …..this unbelievable doctor sat with me without any time limit … Without giving me not even once, the feeling that I am a burden …. She explained to me over and over in various ways what exams she thought were absolutely necassery and which exams we can skip …. And she told me the most relaxing thing … she told me I do not have to undergo an internal examination … not for a while ….. It may sound strange … But even the words “internal exam” instead of gynecological examination .. Or vaginal examination gave me tremendous confidence even though it may be a little disproportionate since these are only innocent words ….

and so during each pregnancy follow-up she always knew how to choose the right words … words that for me felt like safe words ….

People find it hard to understand why some things that may seem very unrelated to the abuse can be difficult… and yet there are sometimes intolerably difficulties in “regular” tests .. to My doctor it was obvious … For example, she asked me if it’s okay for her to take my blood pressure …and indeed, I do not like the feeling of any machine touching my skin .. especially not that someone puts on me … Do not like to feel attached or bound or connected to anything ….
My doctor made sure to ask every period of time with her amazing intuition right on time … If I’m ok .. If I had anything to ask or say .. If I understand what she explained … If she said something wrong … Do not know where she acquired this almost artistic sense of asking “in the right dose” … How to also not exaggerate ….

When we got to the parts that were a bit more difficult, such as the ultrasound my experience was quite different than the initial experience …

First, I did not have to lie down .. For me it made all the difference in the world …
I am very afraid of being on my back and watching people over me ..
Even people I know … it is Very unpleasant for me to be touched … I hate it…and mostly I was Very very very scared of THE monstrous bed… the gynecology bed… that monstrous bed That forces you to be in a position you fear most…that you hate most.. that forces you to be in a physical position that takes you back to the worst pain you have ever experienced in your life!!!

My doctor made this bed look like a regular bed … and even to a chair before I actually saw it is a bed from threatening kind …she never missed … Always when I came into her exam room the bed was already “folded” …
Words cannot express how important this thing was for me.. this thing that might be considered small for most women in the world ….

when we went on to doing the ultrasound..Before she put the gel on me .. She asked if it was okay ….and believe it or not she even waited for an actual answer …. she Spoke to me while doing it … Explained about my baby all the time ….all that helped me concentrate and even succeed in actually seeing my baby on the screen .. this Amazing small miracle and for a moment forget that I have fears and concerns from him and from giving birth to him …
Immediately after she was done, she showed me where there is a tissue to clean up the gel from my stomach and she let me take the time behind the curtain alone .. I guess that also in this case it may be difficult to understand what is so hard and threatening about a several milliliters of harmless gel … But for me it was so much more than just gel.. it was so many moments from my past …it was not a gel … it was a thick and sticky thing spread all over my body …. And that was familiar …. It reminded me of the past … Painfully memories…..

I wiped my stomach hard again and again and again and again and again … This feeling .. Oh how I hate this feeling .. Always accompanied by a palpable sense of how I was filthy and disgusting .. As it reminds me of them .. all of them and the stuff they left on me…
My doctor Apparently noticed how much it bothered, hurt and triggered me, and in a moment she saw fit she Told me they are considering heating this gel so it won’t feel so cold when its being put on someone’s body…all I could think of was thank god they haven’t.. thank god it was at least cold…

So I went on a series of tests skipping on each test that was threatening or not absolutely necassery…

Of course, later on, my doctor’s sensitivity just gave me this tremendous confidence … a confidence that was crucial for what was about to come…
I really hate things penetrating my body … Anything.. Any kind …anywhere …. And that includes needles … No .. I’m not afraid of a blood test .. And transfusion … I just hate it … just Do not want anything to enter my body … Surely and certainly not something that is dripping in!!
And here again my doctor found a solution … Only did what was necessary always giving me a chance to ask … Consult … Regret … And as always .. With the most pleasant and comfortable feeling….

Slowly came the frightening moment of all … delivery ……..

As time went by faster and faster, I became increasingly paralyzed ….
I felt almost every feeling possible .. Towards myself … my husband… The baby …. Family .. the World … EVERYONE … Almost as if no emotion could get away from me …. I was angry … I hated…. I Liked …. And Especially especially afraid…. I was big … Awkward … And stuck with this creature inside of me … A little boy … a Baby that I’m supposed to love …
right from the beginning I felt like I was a bad mother .. I felt I was neglecting him … Letting him be in this filthy place inside me … Dangerous … Despicable place … He lived in this place for 9 months and I’m not doing anything to protect him from this dangerous filth inside me….

Anyway … It was clear that he had to get out of there … Along with my amazing psychologist … We tried to find a solution … What is the least difficult least traumatic Way for me to give birth ,Caesarean section Or regular delivery? ….

On one hand surgery is less invasive in terms of the specific problem I had… (all the vaginal area). as less time as possible dealing with the areas that for me are the “red areas” …. On the other hand such delivery has its difficulties …. “Tying” the hands sideways … Catheter …. Transfusions … Neutralization during surgery … the Environment was more intimidating for me … Strangers standing over me and I’m not covered …. It just seemed hard, But more than anything, I felt that by giving birth by Caesarean section I will be missing something I might regret later and feel incomplete ..defeated …. failure……
This was my dilemma ….
I do not know if it’s the right thing for me .. Or if there is such a thing as “the right thing” …
But I thought of many considerations … Some are “normal ” the kind that Every woman probably thinks of … And some concern specifically my problem Supposedly I have every reason in the world not to have a regular vaginal delivery…I could not Almost find any argument to put on the “pro”…
But there is one thing .. One big consideration, and it’s very, very significant for me …

As I come to think about it .. I think that the fear or rather “lack of will” to decide on having a cesarean is due to the fact that in some way … Or not just some way but in EVERY way.. me having a cesarean means I let them win!!! All of them….
All those who attacked, ruined and destroyed me all these years .. those Who took over my life so perfectly …. Prevented so much from me And caused so much damage!!
Those that made me waist so many years of my life … those that due to them I am still wasting so many precious days, weeks and months … Those that prevented me from sleeping for so many nights and when I finally did fall asleep, I woke up so horrified and confused that it made me regret the second I dared to be stupid enough to let my eyes close.. those that made me find myself in places I had no idea how I got to ….
those who made me have so many scars carved on my body .. And some also on my soul ….
Those that hurt me even before I knew how to define pain ….
who made me not know how to trust people … Those who made me not capable of feeling loved .. Not really .. not like I would wish to…
Those that because of them I’m always afraid …. That make me panic so quickly … That because of them I always have marks of nails on my hands and arms … that because of them I pushed and keep pushing away anyone who tries to get close… that because of them I lost so many people…

Those that so many times made me feel tired and exhausted and totally devoid of strength … Those that left my body to rot like a corpse … and because of them I never even wondered how come no one smells this rottenness.. that Because of them it was clear to me that no one should notice… that I’m not worth noticing.. that because of them I never manage to make a sound no matter how hard I scream.. those that sometimes make every cell in my body scream in pain … Those that made me so afraid of intimacy … That for so many years I did not know what real intimate touch is .. Those that made it so that even with such real pure touch it will forever be accompanied by an unpleasant feeling to say the least ……
Those that make me live a double life and I already lost myself and my identity ….. Those that made me always look back even in a well lit street ..even in my own home …
Those that because of them there will always be a part of me who is sad and hurt and yet numb .. Or unable to feel …..
Those that make me always have “bad thoughts “….
That make me starve my body for so long ….
That make any sense of happiness always be accompanied by fear and sadness ….
That made It so I can never trust myself …
That made so I could never believe … truly believe.. that I could be a good mother ….

and Precisely because of them …..I Want to have a ‘regular” delivery ….!!

this is exactly the point where I do not want to let them win!!! Do not want to let them take that away from me as well!!! Do not want the first encounter with my baby to be one of weakness …. like mommy lost again … failed again to overcome the difficulties and let them win this round, too ….
the Best of all rounds!
I want the first encounter with my child to be a meeting of victory!!
Of – at last after so many years – I did something different!! I told them to stop! Enough! No more!
And so it was …..
I gave birth to my baby in normal vaginal birth ….
I’m ashamed to admit that I was even scared of him at birth … I was afraid it would hurt me … hurt down there and Ill blame him, and He will join the long list of people who hurt me that way.. I was afraid ill hate him…

Wow delivery.. … I was so afraid of that …
I went on a pre delivery tour . it’s a Tour in the maternity ward … It was scary and threatening … There I saw the monstrous bed …. Pipes .. .. Devices Machines …. So many people … So much potential of harm …
They explained to us that there is basically a midwife, but if it is not her shift or if she is busy with another case or any other reason there may be a male Obstetrician… there is no guarantee who will be available in that situation …. They also explained that the general staff can enter and exit the room … And that we should understand that several deliveries occur at the same time and because of the large number of births they do not always have time to explain or be patient … the staff changes and it includes male figures….
One woman’s question whether treatment will be guaranteed by a woman was granted in response that nothing is impossible .. they can of course try .. But certainly can’t promise anything…

Again I was filled with a sense of fear mixed with despair …
I decided to give birth at the hospital where my doctor worked ….. It was perhaps the best decision I made in life ….
Of course, even my doctor explained to me that nothing is certain in life … That it can happen that in a certain situation she cannot be reached … But it’s a small chance and that she will do everything possible to be there with me every step of the way … But if for some reason something happens and she’s not there… well She’d done something unbelievable …. (Of course after consultation with me and my husband and getting our full approval) … She spoke with a small number of midwives who work with her … Told them about me .. Described to them the situation .. Asked them if they will be willing to take part in my delivery and Help …. These lovely midwives responded positively immediately! My doctor instructed them on the smallest detail … and made sure that we meet with them several times before giving birth ..
And so it was … These meetings .. And knowing my doctor took care of the smallest details made me feel so hopeful and strong full of strength I almost forgot existed in me ….my doctor came every time we met these midwives… showing her presence and support.. and especially to reassure me and help me stay calm…

From time to time she asked me if I would agree to have an internal examination … I didn’t feel ready and of course she did not press … she Explained that it was important and that Maybe my first experience with such an exam shouldn’t be during labor … But she never pushed too hard ….

delivery day came … My doctor stayed with me as usual from the beginning .. She was the pioneer … Before my every move … I mean almost literally every step .. She made sure to clear the way .. Checked and made sure that the way was “clean” .. That all people concerned know the sensitivity of the situation and will behave in the appropriate sensitivity …. I have no words to describe … And here I must emphasize that more than anything else a moment or situation … Here I felt more than anything in this long process … The help of her really, really like oxygen is pumped in me … I felt complete strangulation … Without a drop of air … This help of paving my way … Really gave me air …. Like she was constantly breathing into me …
She made sure that I would have my own room …. this Might sound like a simple treat to some people .. But I felt it was necessary .. It lowered my stress levels dramatically … I was Less afraid to fall apart … Less afraid to be hurt … Less afraid period.
when the water broke I was very scared!! All this sudden feeling of wetness shocked me and my body … I ran to the shower and washed and washed completely madly shaking and crying … Crying ….
In the delivery room … As before … Anyone who approached me knew all the details and the sensitivity of my situation… Here I should note that since the beginning of treatment to end all except one anesthesiologist staff throughout the treatment there were only women entering the room.. even the pediatrician who came after the birth to take my son !!!!!!

The team who was aware of my situation was very limited and very skilled.. not only medically .. Their sensitivity was enormous … and here I was so surprised for the better ….
than came the “no choice” moment … I had to undergo an internal examination to find out how advanced (or not) the delivery is … I think it was the moment I was afraid of most!!!! with all the sense of trust and confidence in my doctor … It seemed like the end of the world! How the hell am I supposed to do that …?!?!?!?!?

It felt exactly like it used to in the past… when I was being hurt !!!!! How can I lie on the bed and willingly LET someone do to me what they did and hurt me so ….?? And consciously … by Choice …..???
I was so ashamed …. I cannot describe that sense of humiliation .. Fear … Disgust … Confusion and pain I felt just thinking about it ….
Even now at this moment .. as I write these words .. after all this is done my face change colors between shame and pain … Between fear and disgust …. Even now … I Cannot believe I could do it …. Do not feel like it’s over ….
But I did it … I did it .. and I’m here …. And Yes its mostly Because of the remarkable sensitivity of my doctor … Every step .. Every second … She shared with me and explained .. she Waited patiently even when I asked her to leave the room … Wait for me to say I’m ready … She was not angry at me or said she was busy and there are another 1000 mothers to be just like me She did not mock me that I behaved just like a baby .. like a little girl … She just went out …. Waited … and Only when I was ready (as much as possible) she entered back in the room …. Sat next to me … NOT stood over me … Did not ask me to lay down…. Leaving all the covers over me .. Not looking down there just strait at me .. spoke to me … calmed me down … and then, When she had finished … (Just a second before I died from the pain and shame) she asked if I wanted her to go out or stay … I asked her to leave… And even when I ran out a second after she left to be by myself … Clean up .. and in my own Special ways to relax … She was not angry … she Did not lose patience even for a second …. she Even called me on my cell .. Just to know if I’m okay .. and let me know everything is OK with her ….and that she is not mad..
I write these words … And remember .. Not believing…. Do not believe I was blessed with such a doctor … Because I know (from experience in other Medical issues) … I would not have survived it without her …..
So we went during labor … Step by step … The internal exams I need became more frequent .. And I did not run away anymore … I was still hurt and ashamed … Still I asked her to leave before the test until I felt ready Still asked her to leave immediately after … But I was there ….. and I believed in her … Believed in me … I trusted both of us … And I was not mad …

During labor there were some very difficult moments … We decided to use an epidural …. Here too, the decision was far from simple …. On the one hand I was afraid of this movement neutralization … Temporary paralysis .. Prohibition of getting out of bed … The need to rely on human Help ….
But on the other hand I was terrified that the pain will throw me back …that It will cause uncontrollable flashbacks … Lack of self control … One of my biggest fears in the world..

the Epidural did not work perfectly… it only numbed half of my body … The epidural insertion process itself by the anesthesiologist was hard .. Perhaps one of the most difficult experiences in this delivery … it was done by an anesthesiologist that was not sensitive to say the least … His manly touch and manly voice combined with the lack of sensitivity kicked me far into bad flashbacks that only with the help of my doctor who kept me strong calmed me down held my hand tight and kept talking to me have I survived this and managed to stay sane … I remember the effort I had to invest in staying there Staying focused … This effort was more difficult than most of the pain of labor…
During my very long delivery process .. There were many moments in which I broke down… There were times I insisted on getting out of bed and I was Answered with a lot of patience and understanding that helped me to understand it’s not a good idea .. And give it up …. There were times when I found it difficult to concentrate .. focus … Stay on the here and now …. but the Constant support helped me move on ..
.
With all this … Throughout the delivery I wanted to die … I wanted to die of shame … Almost all I remember from that delivery process is the humiliation I felt .. Humiliation and shame … Even pain is dwarfed by the shame ….

This feeling of the lying with Open legs… the Blood .. Provisions … the helplessness … Crazy pain… Unknown environment… Even now makes me a feel terrible.. Nausea and a terrible anxiety …
Even at the end of the delivery.. completely exhausted both emotionally and physically I can remember the humiliation and shame so strongly and intensely as if they had a life of their own throughout the process in which my doctor sewed me.. and my huge strong desire to pull some magic stick that will make me just diminish and disappear …

My doctor has stayed with me … Even when she could not .. Although she had to go … Although she was there with me for over 36 hours …. She stayed right there with Me … All the way .. Available more than I could ever ask of my closest family and friends … But beyond the physical presence .. Just knowing she was there made the whole difference … She’s the one that helped me overcome this … She pulled me out …. Gave me the physical and mental strength to survive this … The process I did not believe in any way I could go through ….
Today .. Today I have the most charming boy that I could have asked for … and without the support of this amazing angle doctor I wouldn’t be here… and neither would he….

2 comments

  • libby
    • CP

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