"Birth makes you vulnerable. When you've faced abuse in the past, that vulnerability can quickly turn to terror. As a survivor of sexual violence, I knew there was a risk of getting triggered during delivery. I tried to be proactive and advocate for my needs but was largely ignored. When I was ready to push, I was forced to lie on my back with my legs facing the door. After fighting a strong urge to push for over half an hour, the male doctor strutted in the room, his sports coat slung over his shoulder. When he approached me, he reeked of cigarettes and asked me 'So, you ready to have a baby?' in a tone reminiscent of a pick-up line. After my baby boy was born, they whisked him away unnecessarily and I was left alone, exposed and on my back, with the male doctor between my legs stitching me up. My past sexual trauma was triggered and that was the beginning of a downward spiral into a deep and severe depression that I believe could have been avoided."
- Andrea, Richmond VA