I had an unnecessary, “emergency” csection during the winter of 2016.

I took birth classes. I read Ina May’s books. I prepped. I hired a doula. I watched The Business of Being Born. I worked at the hospital I delivered in. I knew the head of OB, the hospital administration, the CEO. I have a degree in communication and was a former women’s issues editor and journalist.

I was unable to stand up and stop my labor and delivery abuse.

I lived in the mountains with my husband, without any family nearby, and very few friends able to assist me postpartum. I was isolated, afraid, and traumatized. I suffered immensely.

The birth of my daughter and the months following have been the most traumatizing days of my life, and all of it could have been prevented had I been treated with respect, advocated for, and given the opportunity to give or refuse consent over my body during the labor and delivery of my daughter.

Instead, I was abused, assaulted, lied to and made to feel that I was being punished for wanting to labor and deliver the way I felt most comfortable.

My daughter’s birth was stolen from us, and my spirit will always have a hole where empowerment and bonding should have bloomed.

This is my story and my journey to prevent other moms and babies from the same heartbreaking beginning of motherhood and life.

I believe birth, while physically painful, can and should be spiritually empowering, healing, and a lasting solid foundation for the beginning of motherhood for the mother, and the beginning of life as we know it for our babies.

I believe all women have the right to this foundation, and that hospitals, and many OBs and nurses, particularly in the United States, do not understand this foundation, how it is built, or the dire spiritual and psychological consequences of stealing it from mothers and their babies through non-consensual delivery assistant practices and psychological abuse.

This is an epidemic of abuse that we need to speak up about.

I’m sharing my story here and I hope you will join me and share yours.