chapter  Chapter 6
Re-enactment? The women’s experiences of giving birth
WithLis Garratt, Mavis Kirkham
Pages 23

To all women, becoming pregnant requires a leap of faith into the unknown, but to survivors of CSA, the long journey into motherhood can be fraught with unexpected pitfalls. The majority of the interviewees described their pregnancies as planned, although some recalled having had mixed feelings about pregnancy and birth. As we saw in Chapter 4, several of them expressed surprise that they had been able to conceive at all given their unwillingness to engage in sexual contact, or because they were convinced that their bodies must have been ruined. Despite having planned their pregnancies, some women perceive pregnancy itself as an invasion of their bodies over which they have no control. 1,2 Jo described her unease on becoming pregnant with her first child:

I knew there were things going on inside and I didn’t … I didn’t like it at all really. […] I just felt that I shouldn’t have done it … really, I shouldn’t have got pregnant either.

Jo