Can someone talk to me about my birth experience please?

(28 Posts)
BabyPain Tue 04-Mar-14 20:15:24

I'm a regular. Have NC. Naice ham, pombears etc.

My DD was born 14 weeks ago. I was induced on a Thurday and she was born on the Monday. I needed 3 pessaries, my waters broken manually and the syntocin drip turned up full. I started having strong contractions with the first pessary but they weren't doing anything really. I was given paracetamol and a heat pack although I did ask for stronger painkillers as I was stuck to the bed almost all of the time with DD's heart rate being monitored and she was back to back with me so it was agony being unable to move but I wasn't given any. When I got taken to the delivery suite to have my waters broken I was given juice to drink but that was all. At this point I had been contacting strongly for nearly 3 days and hadn't eaten in over 24 hours because I was stuck to the bed and couldn't get my own food. I had a 2nd degree tear which, although wasn't that bad, did get infected which was more painful than childbirth. My epidural didn't work, neither did the pethidine and the way DD had engaged meant that she was blocking my urethra and I was unable to pee. They were also unable to get a catheter in so my contractions and the pushing stage were really excruciating since my bladder was so full. I nearly needed an episiotomy which I have a huge fear of and the mw got her kit out complete with huge scissors and laid it all in front of me and I had a panic attack. After she was born, I lost a lot of blood and needed lots of internal and external stitches. They were going to take me to surgery so catheterised me but I didn't need it in the end, but the catheter wasn't removed for over 7 hours and I still have pain from it. My perineum still hurts (scar tissue is too tight) and I still have abdominal pain (feels like a huge bruise all over my belly). After she was born (3 in the morning and I had been awake for over 3 days) I was taken up to the ward at 6 and woken up at 7 because "it's time to get up" and they wouldn't let me sleep. I was also given absolutely no help with breastfeeding (ended up watching youtube videos to figure out how to do it) and really really struggled for the first couple of months of my DD's life.

Sorry it's so jumbled. Writing it down, it really doesn't seem so bad but I can't stop thinking about it and we're ttc number 2 but I'm terrified of giving birth again. I'm not sure what I want from this, I just had to get it written down.

Littleturkish Tue 04-Mar-14 20:20:01

I hope writing it down helped, it does sound like a very painful experience. Do you feel like your body has started to heal now? Is the scarring etc still uncomfortable?

Obviously, everyone has different situations, but if your DD is just 14 weeks, is it the right time to TTC? Your body will be no where near it's pre pregnancy fitness, is it a good idea to put it under the pressure and strain of pregnancy before you've recovered?

louloutheshamed Tue 04-Mar-14 20:20:18

I'm so sorry you had such a traumatic time. Well done for mastering bf without any support, that's amazinggrin and of course congratulations on your lovely dd.

I had a traumatic birth with ds 2 and went back to the hospital twice for a debrief, one with a midwife and one with a consultant. Could you see if your hospital offers a debriefing service to talk things through? It did help me.

Contact the Supervisor of Midwives at your hospital and ask to meet with a midwife who can offer you a debriefing. Lots of hospitals have a dedicated service with a specialist MW, but if not you should still be able to talk to somebody.

BabyPain Tue 04-Mar-14 20:35:45

We've always wanted a small age gap and I would love to give DD a brother or a sister and I do want another so that's why we're ttc.

I don't know if I want to speak to someone really, I feel kind of ashamed that I found it so difficult.

BabyPain Tue 04-Mar-14 20:40:37

I mean, it wasn't really that bad when you look at it and people go through much worse, I would feel so silly asking to speak to someone.

apermanentheadache Tue 04-Mar-14 20:41:58

Good grief! I am not surprised you are deeply affected by that. It sounds really awful. I have no idea if the medical aspects were properly handled or not but..m no food for 24 hours because no-one could be bothered to get you any?! Waking you up after one hour following a 4-day labour?? That is just plain cruel.

TippiShagpile Tue 04-Mar-14 20:44:48

The hospital I had ds1 in had a traumatic birth unit where you could talk to midwives and go through what happened to you. I cannot tell you how therapeutic I found it. It was amazing.

I went on to have ds2 12 months after a hideous birth with ds1. It can be done. smile

Please don't be ashamed. You did nothing wrong and feeling upset by this series of events which were all outside your control is very normal.
They wouldn't need to have dedicated debriefing services if there wasn't the demand for them from women who want to understand more about what happened to them.

louloutheshamed Tue 04-Mar-14 20:47:07

Do not feel ashamed at all. On here so many women have had birth trauma it is very very common and nothing to be ashamed of in any way!!

Debriefing is recognised as an important part of overcoming the birth trauma and good hospitals should offer it.

14 weeks is still vv early days. Go easy on yourself and think about giving yourself time to recover (physically and emotionally) before ttc.

curiousuze Tue 04-Mar-14 20:47:46

It sounds very similar (but worse than) what happened to me. I didn't complain but my MIL did and someone came to visit me at home and took what happened very seriously.

Also I would not be trying to conceive yet - your body hasn't remotely recovered. Also it could affect bf-ing. I think they recommend you wait till 6 months and if DH had put his willy anywhere near me before then I'd have cried, I was in so much pain still

Theo2005 Tue 04-Mar-14 20:49:58

Sounds like you might need to write to your hospital and have a debrief with the senior midwife team. They can go through all the concerns you have with the substandard care you received.

This will really help especially if you are going back to the same hospital with your next baby.

Hope you begin to feel better about your birth experience.

shimmymummy Tue 04-Mar-14 20:52:10

Do go for the debrief OP. I had a horrible time if it with my DD and the debrief with the consultant midwife did help me get some perspective. She went through my notes and pin pointed things that, based on my experience, could be better next time around and the types if decisions I could make. It took me 4 yrs to build up the strength to go for a second and my DS is due in 7 weeks. I had another debrief and consultation with a midwife and a consultant and its helped so much. They have ruled out induction for me - I will have a C Section if I need to be induced, but all going well I am planning a home water birth. A hypnobirthing workshop also really helped me put my bad memories vehind me. You will feel better.

Lavenderhoney Tue 04-Mar-14 21:00:00

I had a terrible birth experience with my ds and this is what I did and what happened to me.

What do you want? An apology? I ask because I was advised that I would get nowhere as the Mw would say I was a troublesome patient and very hormonal. I had to be prepared for a very defensive letter back.

- contact PALS at the hospital with a full written account.
- look on your home and car insurance to see if you paid extra for legal advice.

In the end, for me, the registrar was taken off work ( on full pay of course!) and I sued for damages to ds during the cs. Ds has until he is 18 to sue as an individual. He was cut round the eye during a normal non rushed cs, required stitched at birth, and my pre/ after care was appalling and I nearly died due to maltreatment and negligence.

I never got an apology but the maternity unit has since been closed due to similar treatment and complaints.

Write a full account, send it off, see a lawyer ( they come to your house and the lady I saw said she was always incredibly busy with stitching issues and it was disgusting that surgeons left it to Mw)

Then concentrate on your baby. Its extremely stressful and you don't want to allow it to affect your time with your baby.

Bikey86 Tue 04-Mar-14 21:04:04

Had to comment on this as my experience sounds very similar, I too have struggled to deal with the birth of my son as it was so unnatural and not the way I had planned it. I too was induced and my son was born 48 hours later, only one pesserie but although I was contracting progress was very slow. Waters broken artificially on day two, then contractions stopped so had the drip which made contractions v painful. Constantly stuck to the bed coz they had to monitor me and baby, on a drip for dehydration and catheterised. Pushed for two hours but was so tired and baby had moved to back to back so I made little progress. midwife did epoisitomy and then i was about to have forceps but managed to push him out. Lost a lot of blood so iron level was low and had to have a blood transfusion. 4 days after coming home I noticed my episiotomy scar was painful, turns out it was gaping open as the stitches had disolved and i had MRSA in the wound. They have left it to heal on its own so it is still open!!

All this is far from the natural water birth at a midwife led unit that I had planned, and I'll be honest,my experience was traumatic and disappointing. I am sure you feel the same way. And people say 'well it doesn't matter you have a beautiful baby'. Yes that is true and I love him to bits but I still feel a shiver down my spine when I think about the awful birth experience.

Do you know if the hospital you delivered at offers a 'listen to mothers' service. When I left hospital they gave me a leaflet and explained that if I wanted to discuss my birth or ask any questions I could make an appointment and a midwife will go through my birth notes with me. I plan to use this service as it might help. Maybe you could enquire? Dont feel ashamed...what you went through sounds awful.

BabyPain Tue 04-Mar-14 23:46:58

I am so sorry that others have had such awful experiences.

I really appreciate the advice about ttc and I know it won't be good for me but my desire for another baby and a sibling for my DD overrides my concern for myself.

Would I not look incredibly foolish turning up to talk about my birth experience as it was? They'll think I'm such a silly little girl but it's really affected me.

BabyPain Tue 04-Mar-14 23:51:35

Also, loulou, thank you. That means a lot flowers

"it's really affected me."

Which is exactly why they will be happy to talk you through your experience, and exactly why you deserve some insight and answers so that you can move forward.

You don't need to say anything else.

Theo2005 Wed 05-Mar-14 19:31:31

They def won't think your a silly little girl they are there to help you an your family in any way they can.

TribbleWithoutATardis Wed 05-Mar-14 19:45:58

Please go for a debrief, I had one after similar experience and it was helpful if only so I knew that it wasn't my fault. That circumstances conspired against me and I ultimately did my best.

I did end up with PTSD and depression. I also went on to have a relatively ok birth with ds2 which went some way to dealing with the issues from my first birth. If you feel you can't handle the thought of another vaginal birth, ask for a c-section.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 05-Mar-14 21:12:01

I know it won't be good for me but my desire for another baby and a sibling for my DD overrides my concern for myself

Your absolute priority right now is sorting yourself out for the sake of your current baby.

Its far far too soon to be trying to conceive right now.

Look around you, ,millions of us have given our children siblings, look at peaches geldof! But we and they all manage fine with a smaller gap.

I strongly urge you to contact PALS, about your dreadful birth experience, if your left feeling ashamed I hope YOU can understand the system of care you received or didn't in this case has failed and those people should feel ashamed not you.

I also urge you to see your doctor so he can explain about your body right now from a medical point of view and why its not a good idea to ttc so soon and esp after such a nasty experience, mentally and emotionally.

As a Mother its now your main job to not only care for this darling little baby but also you, as this little baby is 100% relying on you, if you go down its a bit stuffed.

Apologies, if you are a medic who knows all the risks etc.

No one has the right to treat you like a silly little girl in the medical profession when you go to complain or ask for help and anyone who does, complain about them.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 05-Mar-14 21:12:27

Larger gap

Lavenderhoney Thu 06-Mar-14 07:42:16

To add, are you on a thread on here for babies due? You may find it useful and supportive to get on the one even though your baby is here, babies born in feb for example?

People won't mind and you will get support of new mums as well.

Get it written down so you don't have to keep explaining and hand pals a copy- give them a call.

Next time - well, it's a bit soon tbh, but you can get a doula if you like- but for now, concentrate on writing it down, take someone with you to any debrief and do it ASAP so it's not hanging over you.

Sid77 Thu 06-Mar-14 07:55:26

I don't think you should be ttc now - let your body recover.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Thu 06-Mar-14 07:58:08

OP, 3.5 years ago I could have written your post. I had a very similar experience to you, except my complications were bowel related rather than to do with bladder. It resulted in horrendous pain and I swore I'd never have another child. I
I also felt 'silly' and like I had no right to be traumatised.

I've just had my second baby 5 weeks ago and the whole experience was amazing. Here's how I think that happened.

1. I paid for my notes to be released and read through them carefully. I didn't get a debrief because I didn't feel I could return to the hospital where it all happened. I was too traumatised and felt they wouldn't sympathise. But reading my notes really helped me.
2. Because I lost 2L of blood in my first labour I was put under consultant care with 2nd baby so I felt comforted and supported by that. Everything was on standby in case it happened again. They were also aware of my bowel problem so I was on lactulose during pregnancy to prevent a blockage forming.
3. I moved, so went to a different hospital to deliver. Not suggesting you move but could you opt for a different hospital next time?
4. That old cliche of 'my body knew what to do'. It really did. I didn't have to be induced (did need 2 sweeps though but nothing like drip induction with DS), and the labour was straightforward and even enjoyable.

Please be kind to yourself and accept that you have a right to feel traumatised by your experience. But know that you can hope for better next time, and get the support you need.

Hope I haven't rambled on too much. I'm a bit sleep deprived with my 5 week old!!! smile

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