To still be affected by DS's birth 7 months later (Possible TMI)

(40 Posts)
FoonaLagoona Tue 13-May-14 23:06:22

Hello everyone, I have name changed for this, I'm sorry it is so long.

I had the perfect pregnancy with DS, except that I found out I was GBS positve so had to give birth in the consultant lead unit.

I was due to be induced because DS was overdue, however the morning of my induction I went into labour (albeit early stages) so I was sent up to the ward so they could keep an eye/induce me if I hadn't progressed much by my appointment time. By the evening, I was in a lot of pain, mainly in my back and lower legs, each time I went to the loo I was unable to go so I hadn't been all day, I could no longer feel the individual contractions and began to panic, at one point I even had an urge to push. Myself and my DH kept asking if one of the midwives could examine me/give me some pain relief (specifically g&a) and each time was told they would have to come back as they were busy, they were very snappy. One midwife gave me codine which gave me really weird hallucinations that I wasn't really in Labour I was on a weird TV sitcom and that someone was in the room with me telling me that because I was in pain I should be screaming (very odd!). At changeover time around 11pm I was seen by a lovely midwife who examined me, (I wasn't even 3cms!) gave me gas and air and actually began the induction process (she apologised profusely about it being so late as I was meant to be induced at 3pm) later I was taken down to the delivery suite.

I dont really remember much about being in the delivery suite, allthough I do remember bleeding alot so the midwife got my DH to put a maternity pad in my knickers (poor bloke). At one point I stood up and a massive gush of blood went through the hospital pad and onto the floor. Sorry about the TMI, have no idea what this was, allthough the midwife told me it was not my waters.

I was induced again later on and despite getting to 10cms and pushing for a long time, I was not getting anywhere and DS was confirmed to be back to back so the consultant suggested forceps in theatre. I asked if at this point a c section would be safer for baby, to which the consultant said "it's safer for baby but not for you" I asked to go for the c section, however the consultant said "no, we will try forceps first". Once in theatre the surgeon said DS was distressed so they would be going straight for the c section, I was so relieved!! The C Section was great, but DS was taken down to SCBU. They brought DS up briefly when I was in recovery but took him down again as he had hypothermia and got too cold. Once the anaesthetic wore off I felt really unwell, I was out of it but DH told me that the Drs told him that my blood pressure was very low and my pulse was fast, they found out that my HG levels were at 6 so they would have to give me blood transfusions (I had three), they told DH that my Hg levels must have been incorrect before the op due to dehydration and that I did not loose an excessive amount during the OP so it must have been in labour. They estimated that in total I lost around 2000ml.

Once back on the ward the staff were awful, I kept asking if someone could bring me a breast pump or if the lactation consultant could come and see me (I was told I had to remain bed bound still), each time it was the same thing that they were busy. Unfortunately DH was now only there during visiting hours and divided his time between me and DS and I didn't have the strength to argue with them. I was on a large ward and was the only lady without her baby there. I was eventually able to get up and visit my DS in SCBU, I was told he would have to stay in becuase he had a condition where he could not feed so he had to be tube fed, the SCBU ladies were brilliant. On day 5 post op, I was told by the midwife I could go home that day, however when the doctor came round he said my Hg levels had only risen to 8 and that I should have more transfusions, he gave me time to think about it during which the midwife came back and told me that they know better that the Drs and I should be discharged with Iron tablets and told me that "more women are being admitted today and they all have their babies with them" so I turned down the transfusions and took up the midwife's offer of hospital accommodation which we paid for ourselves which was "as close to the SCBU as the ward" total bullshit as it was a long drive away off the main hospital premises so DH took me home.

We were allowed to take DS home a few days later. He is a dream baby now 7 months old, however I am always replaying the events of his birth over and over in my head always wondering what exactly caused the blood loss, will it happen again if I have another baby. I have never felt so out of control and that thought is terrifying. I also feel like a failure and I always wonder if there was anything I could have done differently, I feel like it is my fault DS ended up in SCBU. My heart breaks when I hear of friends having natural deliveries and getting to be with thier babies as soon as they were born. Even seeing pictures of friends in hospital with their babies sets off this odd mixture of fear, jealousy and guilt. I also feel so bad that there are women out there who have had a far worse time than me, however here I am not coping with mine. I feel like these feelings are not good and need addressing so I can enjoy my DS's newborn stage more, but I am too scared to seek the help of another medical professional and tell them things I can't tell those close to me about.

Sorry again that this has been so long, and that bits of it are a bit muddled, I have no idea of times and things. Thank you if you have got this far, sorry I sound so self pitying but I just want to stop feeling this way.

FoonaLagoona Tue 13-May-14 23:07:13

Gosh sorry that is long! It feels like a bit of a weight off to have written that all down

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 13-May-14 23:12:15

It sounds like a normal reaction, what it suggest is to ask for a debriefing on what happened.

Get the answers you need. Also ask why the midwife suggested tablets and over ruled a doctor.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 13-May-14 23:13:00

I don't think you sound self pitying.

There's a lot there and it sounds like you have processed it now as much as you can. First step I think is to contact the hospital and a counselling midwife should be able to talk you through what happened to help you make sense of it all.

Pleasejustgo Tue 13-May-14 23:13:29

I've been where you are and tou're doing bloody amazingly.

allisgood1 Tue 13-May-14 23:14:29

Have you been in contact with the hospital to meet a midwife and go over what happened and what they should have done differently? I know it's all in hindsight but will make you feel better. If you have the time and energy I would also lodge an official complaint to PALS. After that, see you GP for some CBT or counseling. So pleased you are both ok though smile

Pleasejustgo Tue 13-May-14 23:17:08

Posted too soon! Your body needs time to recover from the trauma. We almost didn't make it and it was terrifying, utterly terrifying so it's all quite unknown territory.

My advice is to not rush yourself. If your maternity ward has women counselling/psychotherapy attached they are highly skilled at helping you get through the recovery stage from a physical perspective too.

Burren Tue 13-May-14 23:17:39

Sympathies, OP. It sounds disempowering and frightening, and you were clearly enormously unlucky in your midwives. Of course YANBU to still be traumatised. I believe some hospitals offer a sort of debrief, where you might be able to get a better sense of the medical issues like the blood loss, and the possibilities for any future births. You could also feed back to the maternity unit about the poor treatment, but for your own mental health, it sounds like some sessions with a good counsellor might help, and give you a safe place to talk through your trauma.

I wish I had done it, when I was disgusted with myself for ending up with a heavily medicalised birth and MIT being able to breastfeed.

Ronmione Tue 13-May-14 23:17:50

For a start you didn't fail! You went through a hugely
Emotional time, with little support from the professionals around you. Your body and mind need time to heal and mill things over which is very hard when you have little one around to care for.

I had problems 2 years ago with ds 2 and it still plays on mind a lot. Particularynay night time as often it's the only time I get to think.

Don't dismiss seeing someone it would heal to get more info about what happened.

MsJupiter Tue 13-May-14 23:18:55

No, you are not being unreasonable. It sounds like you had a scary time and you haven't processed it fully yet. It took me over a year to come to terms with DS's birth and it wasn't half as traumatic as your experience. The feelings reached a peak around his first birthday but have since subsided.

I really relate to the feelings you describe and still find it difficult to hear about others' birth experiences. I didn't seek help but probably should have - it sounds like you are working up the courage to do that which is the right way forward. Best of luck.

FoonaLagoona Tue 13-May-14 23:22:11

Thanks for your responses, does it sound like I should make a complaint?

I would like a debrief, however I am worried about how accurate the notes will be as my community midwife had to chase up loads of information that was missing on my discharge paperwork. Also when I went down to delivery it had not been put on my notes that the induction pessary had been removed, even though DH told the midwife it had they still routed around to find it. I wish I had opened up to my community midwife at the time as she was great. I feel like I have let to much time pass since and I am wondering if I would be able to pluck up the courage to speak with the GP.

Ponkypink Tue 13-May-14 23:23:58

YABNU at all. Unfortunately I think a lot of time in hospitals the staff don't have the time to be sensitive to people's situation- I had an operation under general anaesthetic, and the surgeon rushed in about 5 minutes after I had come round, told me what they'd found and showed me a couple of pictures then dashed off again by which time I was still trying to work out wtf he had told me the problem was, and I am still not clear on it years later. If you go to your GP, they might have your notes or something that can help you make sense a bit more of what you missed. Otherwise they may be able to arrange for the hospital to write to you with some kind of explanation of what went on perhaps?

FoonaLagoona Tue 13-May-14 23:24:56

Sorry I cross posted. Sorry some of you have had similar experiences, yes it's mainly at night when it hits me.

Lanabelle Tue 13-May-14 23:27:53

I don't think you are unreasonable. I also think if you were to have another baby you would be more likely to feel comfortable demanding better 'service' for want of a better word from them. That said dot let it get to you too much - it happened and it was shit, absolutely horrible to be the only woman on ward without a baby I know but you have him now and that's what counts above all else

TwoNoisyBoys Tue 13-May-14 23:34:22

No, you are definitely not being unreasonable AT ALL. I had a pretty traumatic time with DS1, resulting in an emergency CS and had various other complications too. I found myself going over and over and over the birth, the reasons why it happened, what I could've done differently etc....I really did dwell on it for a long time. I found that talking about it was the very best thing for me, as it kind of 'normalised' it, in that I learnt to accept it. It's very therapeutic to do so.

BiscuitMillionaire Tue 13-May-14 23:35:42

I hope the birth trauma association can help you. Anyone would be traumatised by that experience. Be kind to yourself.

Athrawes Tue 13-May-14 23:42:53

It took me a long time - over a year, maybe two - to 'get over' the birth of my son. At the start it was all that I could think of - in my head all the time - when I went to sleep, when I woke. After a couple of years I started to tell myself that a healthy baby was the main thing - that the means of delivery mattered less. He is four now and I almost believe myself!

If there are people you can talk to and encourage you to tell you that a healthy outcome is the main thing - please do - hearing it from other people helps. Also your partner may need help as it is very traumatic seeing your beloved go through what you did.

My pfb is 24 this year, and I still have issues surrounding his birth confused
I don't think you are at all unreasonable to be still affected after such a short time - giving birth is a major event, and can be extrememly traumatic, no matter how much people witter on about "modern medicine" and when you and you baby are both technically fine and in good health afterwards. It's all well and good, and obviouslyt does matter, but the actual birth itself can be traumatic in different ways and for lots of reasons, and people seem to just be expected to get on with things and forget all about it, and it just isn't always that simple...
That said, I do have five children now grin in spite of my experience with pfb - time does heal and you can get through/over it, but give yourself time to come to terms with it, as you would with any traumatic major life event. Seven months isn't really a long time, but hopefully it will get easier with time.

SueDNim Wed 14-May-14 00:03:45

It's really normal to feel like you do about a traumatic birth. I had a horrible birth and had counselling with a specialist post-natal counsellor which really helped. But the thing that she said that helped me most was "I hear that from lots if women, it is a rational and reasonable response to the circumstances".

At first I felt horrible even driving past the hospital and responding to threads like this made me cry (in a cathartic way). But reading your OP today is a revelation to me as I genuinely feel like I have moved on. It has taken time, but my feelings have gradually diminished over the course of a few years.

I did go for a debrief. My notes were an inch thick. But I think it is worth warning you that they may be sketchy in places and not record everything that you remember. It is important to recognise that even if something wasn't recorded, if you and your DH remember it, it did happen. I felt a bit fobbed off with our debrief.

RosJ Wed 14-May-14 00:13:25

Hi, I want to echo what most other posters have said so far. There is no need to be apologetic, your response is totally normal and understandable. I very much understand the need to write out the experience in full as well, that can be very healing in itself. I contacted the birth trauma association after the birth of my son, and the person I spoke to was very helpful.

I had a debriefing six weeks after the birth, and another one about 4 years later (I was so tired during the first one that I did not take much in) so you are not too late!

I just want to say that I have reservations about saying that "a healthy baby is the main thing" as a way of getting over your experience. Of course, it goes without saying that this is true.

However, saying it as a way of getting over the way you feel may not be so useful, as it can seem to imply that you should not feel bad in any way, because your baby is healthy. I remember getting this from some members of my NCT group, (who, like the poster above, were well meaning) and I felt like it silenced me-made me feel that discussing how awful I felt was somehow wrong, and self indulgent.

I hope all of these responses help.

Oh my word what an absolutely horrendous time you've had!! So many failings sad I'm so so sorry you had to go through that.

Things like that, such horrendous times can stay with a person it a long time. My friend is currently undergoing therapy for her birth trauma and I hope it helps her as she's really struggling.

I think you're doing amazingly well x

Ricepudding11 Wed 14-May-14 00:24:55

I really understand- I still get really furious with the thought of other people popping babies out and going home the same day! I had a similar situation with my first- long traumatic labour, huge blood loss and transfusion, postnatal complications, absolutely horrific treatment. The experience completely consumed me- I stopped talking about it with those close to me as I simply broke down every time and I was tired of not coping with it- instead I would lie awake every night going over it again and again. Eventually I managed to put it all to the back of my mind...
However, when I was pregnant with my next it all came back- I had a debrief (no notes hmm with a rather dismissive and defensive midwife)- although it did help a lot tell someone else and to be fair, the treatment I received second labour was great as a result of plans she made as a result of 'debrief'.
Tbh I really wish I had made a complaint but at the time It was very raw and I was still a wreck about it Maybe get a debrief and then make a decision?
By the way, don't worry about having another- the best thing about an awful labour is any improvement will seem amazing in comparison

RosJ Wed 14-May-14 00:28:48

Athrawes-I just want to add before I go to bed: I do understand where you are coming from saying that-I just don't think it is helpful for everyone, because it can unwittingly pile on the guilt. I hope I didn't offend you.

Rosalie82 Wed 14-May-14 02:25:43

OP follow this up. Please. I wish I had done with my eldest...years on I still think about the birth and cry if I am asked anything about it.

I didn't get help from the birth trauma association but reading the stories and realising I was not alone (I'm fact realising how common it is) made me feel comforted..Good luck. Some midwives need to think about changing their job.

Rosalie82 Wed 14-May-14 02:30:20

RosJ- agreed- when people said that to me it made me feel as though I was being silly for being affected, despite best intentions. Or, like my gran said, oh well all over now, not to worry. hmm

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