I’ll go into more detail about the surgery in another post, but I feel it’s so important to touch on the importance of speaking up to your care providers about past sexual trauma.
I didn’t realize this was important until I had a traumatic uterine biopsy in the summer of 2016. It wasn’t until I was done with the biopsy, shaking, and working through the emotions that night with my wife that I realized that sexual trauma does pop up during fertility, and now pregnancy, procedures.
And it’s so very important for your care providers to know.
One, their reaction and care after knowing is a huge indication on how well they can treat your specific needs. The care provider who did the biopsy (and the residents who attended) werent sensitive to that particular need and we eventually changed facilities (for the best).
Two, it allows your care provider to give you the absolute best care possible. They become extra sensitive, they tend to be softer and explain in full detail every single thing, they are aware of the why behind anxiety attacks or why you make clench up.
Sexual trauma and fertility treatments and pregnancy can cause a thin line and it’s important to realize your boundaries and needs.
When it comes to emergency pregnancy complications you usually don’t get a choice in the procedure (you’ll do whatever for babies) and having a caring staff helps.
Today I was so insanely nervous. Mostly because I would feel pressure around and inside my labia and vagina. The spinal was amazing but I still felt them swiping and sanitizing me from my clitoris to my anus. I started to freak out a bit, but my providers knew my history and we talked previously about giving me something to help with the anxiety. When they asked, I immediately said yes and felt at ease.
Having this conversations are hard. Acknowledging that your trauma may linger (and most do despite all the work you do on it) is really rough, but talking with your care providers before can be so helpful. You come up with plans. You come up with coping tools. And, in some situations, you create routes of medication that can help calm a situation demanding a body that is completely relaxed.
During this surgery, I feel like all care providers present (there were about 7 or 8) we’re highly sensitive and treated me very kindly and gently. From the moment I started vomiting and the main Doctor immediately came to rub my head and hold a bag to the anesthesiologist who was very keen on my reactions and emotions and making sure I had the medication to the nurse when we arrived making sure that my wife was with me during the surgery.
It’s scary to talk about sexual trauma but it’s empowering to speak up and receive the best care for myself and the babies.
Sometimes, in the best situation like today, you still might feel icky afterwards due to those emotions being brought up. After my wonder spinal and cocktail of medications wore off, pain settled in and it immediately reminded me of the trauma. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the why for the surgery and for wanting to save your babies and that your babies are actually there. For me, sitting with these emotions and acknowledging them and being at peace helps me be able to feel more at ease and realize why the pain is there.
Speak up. If you can’t and you have a partner, ask them to talk with your care team. They’re there to care for you and, believe me, they hate seeing you in discomfort and pain as much as you want to be in it.