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TESTIMONIAL. “My first childbirth was hell. Since then, I have campaigned against gynecological and obstetrical violence”

By going to the maternity ward to give birth to her first child, Marine, a 21-year-old mother-to-be, thought she was living one of the happiest days of her life, but the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. After two failed epidurals, the third is poorly dosed. “I can’t push, she remembers. And it’s not ill will… it’s just impossible. I am in terrible pain, the epidural does not help the pain. On the other hand, it momentarily paralyzed my pelvis. We press in all directions on my stomach to get my baby out. I will discover later that this technique, the abdominal expression, has been prohibited since January 2007. ”

Then comes the guilty sentence from which Marine does not recover: “Miss, you do anything! You put your baby in danger, his heart slows down and it’s your fault!” Her baby will eventually be taken out using a suction cup. “It tore everything from the inside. My vagina literally exploded,” says Marine, who is sewn up. The anesthesiologist arrives half an hour later.

“It wasn’t the baby blues. I was actually in post-traumatic shock”

The operation will last three hours, during which she suffers from appalling remarks: “I have rarely seen such a sissy”, “She made no effort”, “You shouldn’t have a kid if you’re afraid to give birth. ” The young woman arrived at 3 pm, and it is 4 am when she can reach her room. “I’m crying, I’m exhausted. I barely saw my baby. They make me understand that it’s all my fault: if I had pushed well I wouldn’t be there.”

Marine returns home with a beautiful little boy named Gabriel. If the fusion with her baby is immediate, physically, the return of diaper is complicated. “Psychologically, too, it was difficult. I had nightmares and cried a lot. I was told it was just a baby blues, that it was going to pass. I was actually in post-traumatic shock. My distress. was not audible to others. So I just stopped talking about it. ”

“I opened an Instagram account to share my experience. Now, I receive more than 50 testimonials a day”

Marine discovers the expression “obstetric and gynecological violence” on the Internet. This is the click. She then understands that her experience is not so exceptional. In the summer of 2018, the High Council for Equality between Women and Men published a report at the request of Secretary of State Marlène Schiappa, highlighting the extent of this violence. “The massive nature of women’s stories shows that they are not isolated facts, but rather a very present sexism and which affects a large number of women”, notes the report.

The young woman, community manager and website designer, uses the means of her time. “In half an hour, I opened a Balance Ton Uterus Instagram account and shared my experience. I just needed to talk to other women about what I had endured that seemed taboo to me. ” In April 2019, Marine expects to chat with three or four women, but it’s a wave. A year later, Libra Ton Uterus has 41,000 followers and 1,500 private message testimonials. “Now I get over 50 testimonials a day. There are so many that I can hardly answer everyone.”

To share with as many people as possible, Marine then embarked on writing her book, La Vérité au bout des lips, which alternated testimonies and expert analyzes. “Many women underestimate their trauma and still wonder if they have the right to express their refusal, their pain and their experience. This is not to denigrate the medical profession, but no one is untouchable. Times are changing. , speech is freed, practices must evolve. ”

His son Gabriel now gives him the courage to fight against these abuses. © PERSONAL COLLECTION

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