I *think* I may have a problem

(6 Posts)
stillfeelingsad Mon 09-Jul-12 20:41:16

Ok, this is going to be long but I just want to get out as many details as I can remember as it might help me.

DD was born 7.5 months ago and is a sweet, lovely, patient little thing.

Pregnancy was very straight forward and I was hale and hearty throughout.

I then went 41 + 3 and was induced one morning at about 11am. After about seven hours of TENS and then a bit of gas and air which did nothing for me, I asked for an epidural which was administered really quickly and I felt much better. A catheter was inserted at this point as well.

Though the pain was gone, I was still very uncomfortable as I could feel the pressure of DD's head squirming very low down like she was trying to headbutt her way out. Which is probably true as she was born with a very big bruise on her head!

I progressed to about 9cm dilation at about 1am but when they checked me at 3am, it wasn't going any further so at 4am they put me on a Syntocin drip to ramp up the contractions. However, after 4 hours of this, it still wasn't going anywhere. Oh so near, but oh so far! sad

In the end, they decided to call it quits and advised me to have an EMCS and DD was born at about 10am. However, when they pulled her out, I didn't get the skin to skin I had asked for as her right leg was a bit funny. It looked as though it was bent back the wrong way at the knee. Luckily, it did straighten out by itself after about two weeks and was just due to position in the womb.

I then spent six days in the hospital.

At first DD didn't want to latch on and I think this may have been due to the epidural. I had to hand express the colostrum and give it to me by finger but after a while she did indeed get the hang of it. Her weight loss by the end of the week was only 5.5%.

I was also running a temperature for quite a few days.

However, I think it was on Day 2 of being hospital a few bad things happened. They tried to get me up for a shower but I was in a lot of pain so one of the nurses/helpers pushed me onto my side in bed and I yelled out in pain. They then decided to leave the shower for another day and gave me some oral morphine. The docs were also worried about my drain site as it was giving me so much pain. Unfortunately, even now it gives me some problems. sad

On the night of Day 2, I was really exhausted by this point and being a new mum, didn't really know DD's feeding cues. I had no idea that she was really hungry. sad A maternity support worker marched into my cubicle at about 4am and told asked me if I was going to start taking motherhood seriously by feeding my baby and if not, she was going to get me some formula. I told her that she was not to talk to me like that and I was hurt by what she was saying. She did then apologise and I would put this down to it being partly due to the fact that English wasn't her first language.

On Day 3, by this point, DH and I were exhausted, he was sent home by the nurses (he had been sleeping next to me on a camp bed for days) and I had a huge crash of baby blues and basically cried all day. I also broke in the morning and DD had a mini formula top up. However, since then she has been EBF when my milk came in.

I think it was also on this day that my catheter was taken out. However, no-one told me that there was a time limit as to when I was supposed to pass urine twice and then next thing I knew, it had been 13 hours. When I told a midwife this, she looked liked it was my fault and I just couldn't go. I have subsequently been told that urinary retention does happen in about a quarter of EMCS!

They then put the catheter back in and then it fell out, no idea how and they tried to test to see if the system had gone back to normal but it hadn't and I ended up having the urogynae docs come down in the early hours of the morning to re-catheterise me. This was definitely one of the worst parts of my stay in hospital where I could feel the urge to go but simply physically couldn't do it.

I was pacing the corridors in pain with DH looking utterly helpless and so sorry for me.

In the end they put the catheter back in and I was discharged with it still in for another week.

My recovery from the EMCS has been slow and I think the fact that my pregnancy had been so textbook totally threw me. I think that the pain of the aftermath of her birth has got mixed up with how I feel about DD and though it isn't her fault, I have linked the two things together and have resented her. I feel as even though I have done my best by DD, my heart hasn't been totally in it.

But a couple of weeks ago, she ran a fever and was poorly and my maternal instincts finally kicked in and I feel as though I am bonding well with her finally.

But I still feel so guilty that my full heart hasn't been it for so, so long.

I did finally tell a doctor how I felt a few weeks back as I have been having some more urinary probs and she has referred me back to the urogynae team. Cue flashbacks here and the general dread of going back to hospital. I've also been having pain around my c-section scar too. The doc I saw has referred me for counselling to see if I can explore what happened as well as trying to set it up for me to speak to the consultants who handled my EMCS to see about my scar pain.

Now from what I've read, it seems as though I am a candidate for birth trauma/post traumatic stress disorder and I just wanted to see if anyone else had had similar experiences?

Thanks for reading.

GooseyLoosey Tue 10-Jul-12 09:58:03

Go to the doctor and explain all of this to them.

It can take a while to bond with a child, I think it is a myth that all mothers bond with their babies at birth. It was certainly not my experience.

You have not failed your daughter, you have been doing your best in difficult circumstances. She will not remember how it has been so far so don't beat yourself up about it.

My experience was very different but included post birth surgery so leaving my baby in the first hours, a poorly baby, weight loss of 20% in first week and six nights in hospital. I felt ok for the first five months or so. Shattered, but emotionally ok. Around six months it just hit me. Mostly in the shower which I think is because that was the only time i had by myself to think. I would just get flashbacks and cry.

I emailed a friend who volunteers for the birth trauma association. She gave me brilliant advice but actually just emailing her my story and her validating it by taking me seriously helped tremendously. If you message me your email address I will forward you the info and advice she sent me.

Boobybeau Sun 15-Jul-12 20:57:52

Def go for the counselling, I had a traumatic birth experience and due to lack of support from health visitors etc I had no help and l

Boobybeau Sun 15-Jul-12 21:05:57

Sorry, stupid phone! As I was saying, I had no help with how I was feeling and think i would have recovered emotionally much quicker if I had had some support. I would say though that what your feeling now is a type of grief for the birth you wanted and didn't get and it will get easier with time. I used to think I would never be ok with the way my birth went but am now pregnant with my second and the things that seemed important the 1st time just don't seem to matter as much this time. It's hard to explain but you will notice one day that you havent thought about it so much in a while and it is getting easier. You will be ok with it one day love, it's just all very raw still x

ImaCleverClogs Sun 15-Jul-12 21:35:31

I had post traumatic stress from ds birth, also an induction and I didn't bond with ds for a long time. He's 2.0 and I feel like I'm getting there.

What really helped me was seeing a counsellor who specialised in ptsd and having emdr therapy. I didn't have flashbacks but I blocked out everything to do with hospitals, labour, newborns - I physically couldn't stand even overhearing a stranger's conversation about it. Then I had one session of emdr and it just went.

I still found it hard to bond with ds due to other issues but it sounds like you are getting there with that already.

Also you can have a de-brief with a midwife from delivery ward to explain what happened with your labour, why they made the decisions they did etc. This was very helpful for me, I think most hospitals do it.

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