We are coming up on Jax’s 2nd birthday, if you can believe it. All kinds of memories and thoughts are swirling around in my head. On one (very happy and very grateful) hand, our tiny 23 weeker is doing amazingly well. He’s meeting most of his milestones and he’s growing into a not-so-tiny “tank” of a little boy.
But on the other hand, there are so many terrifying memories that come along with his birth day.
I’m better than I was last year around Jax’s first birthday, which is a relief. But sometimes, PTSD rears it’s ugly head when you’re least expecting it. It’s just something that many preemie parents, I think, keep in mind for many years to come after the birth of their preemie.
For me, it was healing to return to the scene of the biggest trauma of my life. You can read about it on the Preemie Babies 101 website today:
Going Back to the Scene of a Trauma: Finding Closure and Healing
Here’s a picture of “Jax’s” first year at Boy Lake. This photo was taken the day before Jax was born, when we still thought he was going to be a little girl!
Here’s a picture of our tiny tough guy up at Boy Lake when he was one year old.
I hope that when we go this year, it will be more like a “vacation spot” again instead of a “trauma spot.”
Have you been back to the scene of a traumatic event? Was it a healing experience for you? Have you been back more than once? Did it get easier for you?
4 thoughts on “Going Back to the Scene of a Trauma (Guest Post on Preemie Babies 101)”
As a former preemie, I can relate, from a sort of secodhand perspective. My parents told and retold the story of my early start over and over on my birthday. My 28th birthday is this Friday, and I have myself just realized about a year ago that prematurity can be traumatic to the preemie themself. I knew this theoretically already, but have started to feel the pain of early attachment loss. I can also say that the secondary traumatization of my parents having PTSD symptoms fro my birth can be difficult to handle. I don’t mean this to discourage you from sharing with Jax when he’s old enough, as that can, when done the right way, be a healing experience for both parent and child.
Thank you for your comment, Astrid, and for your insightful blog post about this subject. You give a unique perspective. I am sorry you are struggling with attachment issues, but I think you are very strong and wise to write about it so honestly. It is sad to think that Jax might have to deal with similar things when he gets older. Prematurity sucks!
I hope that I am able to work through my issues with preterm birth in a healthy way so I can use my experience to become a better mom and person. Because of your comment, I have been considering more how Jax’s birth story (as told by me) might affect Jax when he is older. I think honesty and respect for his life and his individuality will help guide me in telling him the story. Eventually, I want him to be able to read all of my blog posts, so he knows just how damn much he means to us! Regardless of if his early arrival caused (causes) me sadness and anxiety, it is our story and it is important to tell in it’s entirety. I hope, that when the time comes, it is a healing experience for both of us!