Cardiac arrest during elective caesarian section. Nevergoogle in need of a bit of support.

(226 Posts)
nevergoogle Sun 06-Apr-14 23:07:26

DS3, who is a lovely bundle of loveliness, arrived by elective c-section a week ago.

For unknown reasons (so far) I had a cardiac arrest during the surgery where my heart slowed to a complete stop. I was resuscitated with CPR and adrenaline before surgery was completed and I was transferred to intensive care. All tests so far point to an otherwise healthy heart. (Usual obs monitoring, ECG's and US)

In time I will be having follow up input from cardiology/anaesthetics/obgyn/perinatal mental health team/intensive care psychology. I'm now home wearing a 24 hour heart trace.

We haven't announced this in RL (apart from close friends and family), so if you know me please be discrete, we're still getting our heads around what happened.

But just WTF? How do I process this? How do I rebuild myself, DH and I feel completely steamrollered. All the while DS3 is BFing on demand 2 hourly, and I have all the usual c-section recovery to contend with. The other two children aren't aware but are starting to question why I keep crying and me saying I'm just so happy to be their mum is being met with hmm.

I have zero concentration, tv/radio/music is just noise, I can't face phonecalls/visitors and apart from a birth announcement on facebook I just can't do it. I'm not even sure i'm ready for this thread so may bow out if it gets overwhelming.

On the upside, DH and I are being spectacularly kind and patient with each other and the children. We are having lots of quality time and keeping life simple and there is an atmosphere of calm in between my moments of despair and sobbing.

Anybody been through similar?

sad

Kormachameleon Sun 06-Apr-14 23:10:38

Jesus, I'm so sorry to hear this

I haven't any experience but just take your time, don't rush for anyone, only do what you feel comfortable with, don't let others push you

Can you speak to a member of the team for a kind of debrief

I truly hope you are feeling better soon and that it is just a terrible freak one off x x

Congratulations on your lovely newborn also x

TeamEdward Sun 06-Apr-14 23:12:20

I can't offer any advice, but didn't want to read-and-run.

You don't have to face visitors and phonecalls. Take time to process this, it is a big shock to you and your family.
I pray that nothing untoward is found and that you have a swift recovery, to fully enjoy your motherhood and your beautiful new baby.

CocktailQueen Sun 06-Apr-14 23:13:37

First, congrats on your lovely baby.
Second, I couldn't read and run, so hugs for you.
Am sure that someone knowledgeable will be along soon. I'm not surprised you're so worried, and hope you get some answers soon.

Can you make an appt at hosp to discuss it all and make a plan? Can you access counselling?

nevergoogle Sun 06-Apr-14 23:14:55

I just keep thinking about how much I love my children, they make me laugh all the time and that I'm really not finished doing my job as their mother.

ImRonBurgandy Sun 06-Apr-14 23:15:06

Oh gosh how scary for you all. I wonder if you perhaps have PTSD? I had this after a horrendous (but not as awful as yours) hospital experience. I'm not someone who expected to suffer from such a thing so it was a shock. I had counselling. I'm thinking of you flowers

nevergoogle Sun 06-Apr-14 23:16:55

There will be a debrief and lots of professional follow up support is being organised.

tethersend Sun 06-Apr-14 23:22:19

Just moving from your other thread.

Have you been offered any therapeutic support at all?

Isabeller Sun 06-Apr-14 23:25:02

I don't have the same experience but your reaction reminds me of a cancer scare I had several years ago where I was in a kind of shock for a while.

I had a rather nasty c-section last December, could you practice the cover story which is kind of true that the c-section was more complicated than normal and you are still getting over it. Maybe get your DH or a friend to put this about?

When I had the cancer scare I relied quite a bit on the Macmillan helpline and the Samaritans who do say 'whatever you're going through we'll go through it with you'. Obviously Macmillan is no good to you but maybe this Heart helpline would be?

I hope all turns out well for you and your dear family xx

SlinkyB Sun 06-Apr-14 23:26:28

Hi again nevergoogle. Like I said on your other thread,I too spent time in ICU immediately following the birth of my son recently.

I had meningitis and lost my memory for a while (even forgot I'd been pregnant, had another baby, didn't know where I lived or worked etc).

All I can say is, as hard as it is, try to just live in the now and take each hour as it comes. Don't rush to do anything, or see or speak to anyone if you're not sure. You're probably shattered, and no doubt highly emotional (I'd forgotten all about the effects of the "baby blues" and that's bad enough when you've had a normal delivery).

It's too soon for a debrief, I had mine last week (ten weeks post delivery). Great that so far the tests have shown your heart is fine. I'll keep everything crossed that it was a freak one-off too.

Try to rest (too hard to sleep I know, your mind is no doubt racing at a million mph) as much as you can, and think positively.

Oh my god! shock I don't know what to say except glad you are still with us, and your DS sounds lovely.

That is a hell of a lot of serious emotional and physical stuff to deal with all at once. My heart really goes out to you, although I only 'know' you from MN.

My DH was in the 7/7 bombing. He walked away with minor injuries when people around him died. It took us a long time to feel connected to the rest of the world again. Everything outside of life and death seemed so trivial. It made us angry and sad to hear the rubbish that people thought was important. There were certain people we just didn't want to be around.

Try to make it as easy on yourself as you possibly can, for as long as you need to. Please have these un-Mumsnetty hugs (()).

nevergoogle Sun 06-Apr-14 23:30:46

yes, the referrals all in the process. I'll take the support. I want to get well again physically and mentally. Midwife was here today.

At times I feel fine, laughing, enjoying nonsense then there's a wave of overwhelming dread and what ifs and fear that it's not over yet.

Having a newborn certainly takes most of the focus. Breastfeeding established and milk is in now. So glad ICU allowed me to keep him with me although to be fair I was quite insistent.

NeverGoogle,this must be terribly traumatic for you. I do have experience of being mostly dead rather suddenly as a result of childbirth. I don't want to post too much detail because this is about you. I did lose my dd2. But the feelings of zero concentration, the clinging to my other dc with no idea how to explain how close it was and the tears all chime. Some of mine was grief too.

Feel free to pm me if any of that resonates with you. I have dealt with it all as far as my near miss goes. I understand what happened which was important. I don't like it but I understand.

Best wishes.

sleeplessinderbyshire Sun 06-Apr-14 23:36:38

My Brother in Law had a totally out of the blue cardiac arrest in his late 20s. He was fortunate enough to be in a room with a defibrilator at the time and in a hospital at a meeting. It took him about 6-12 months to get back to "normal". The anxiety/flashback stuff was quite distressing I think and he still several years on, says he wakes up every morning thinking how lucky he is to be alive.

Take it steady - you're going to be emotional and hormonal anyway and this is huge horrible thing to have happened

TheBigWhiteSyringe Sun 06-Apr-14 23:41:18

The only experience I have had of this is from a professional point of view many years ago when I was a student.
Very similar circumstances. A healthy, young lady came in for an ELCS, combined spinal epidural done and her heart just stopped. She was resuscitated and recovered without problems. Had a barrage of tests, no problems were found. To this day it remains a mystery.
She's from the same small village I grew up in and when I go to see my Mum I see her and the child around. The baby is 13 now.

Please get all the help and support you can. Definitely get counselling.
Congratulations on your baby, hope you feel better soon.

nevergoogle Sun 06-Apr-14 23:44:31

Thanks for all your posts. I'm not feeling up to replying to everyone at the moment but am reading. So sorry for those that have been through trauma of their own.

SlinkyB Mon 07-Apr-14 00:02:02

That's fantastic you had ds with you in icu and bf is established (I was in an induced coma for first few days so neither of these things happened for me unfortunately).

Hope you manage to get some sleep tonight and feel a little less shell shocked tomorrow <hugs>

Mamtothree Mon 07-Apr-14 00:06:06

I too couldnt read and run ...

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your baby!

Breastfeeding is exhausting so just take it easy hun....

I know nothing about c-sections as Ive never had one but the first thing I thought of when I read your post is...maybe...negligence? if theyve said your heart is completely healthy, how could it just stop during a medical procedure? Too much anaesthetic or something?

Mamtothree Mon 07-Apr-14 00:13:51

only just read bigwhitesyringes post about the same thing happening to someone else.

Mamtothree Mon 07-Apr-14 00:17:15

one other thing though...I used to work in a bank and used to advise people on their finances. couple came in for a loan and they mentioned that the husband had had a heart attack 6 months previously which he had fully recovered from.
I had a list of all of their products and services that they held with the bank. they were paying for insurance for illnesses but they didnt realise what illnesses it covered. i checked the policy and it covered heart attacks. they claimed and, as he was young, they paid out over £100k!

Just thought I'd mention it hun in case you have something similar xxx

BluBurd Mon 07-Apr-14 00:22:04

For different reasons I had trauma and your reaction reminds me of my own. I actually ended up having a breakdown. I couldn't cope with noise, couldn't focus on anything, ha absolutely no emotions and the anxiety was absolutely horrendous. I was constantly feeling things weren't real, that I should have died, didn't feel connected to life anymore. I was convinced I would never ever be the same again.

That was three months ago and I am in the process of recovery now thanks to meds. I have a ptsd diagnosis and I suspect it will be the same for you. I am miles miles better than what I was.

I remember how utterly impossible I found it to listen and take in what was being said to me. It takes time, and in my case medication to control the anxiety. Be kind to yourself and don't google anything please. The zero concentration, it's normal. You have been through a massive trauma but you will come out the otherwise, promise.

My kids were a huge support to me when unwell. Take care x

1944girl Mon 07-Apr-14 00:34:50

A similair thing happened to me 45 years ago while I was having a crash ceasarian section for my first child under GA.
I was in labour when life threatening complications to my DS1 occured-he went into transverse lie and passed meconium and his heart beat slowede down so he had to be got out very quickly.All sections were done under GA then and as I had not been prepared for the GA I inhaled vomit while being intubated and stopped breathing it was called a respiratory arrest.
Another aneasthetist was called out and I had to be put under again to get my baby out.My son was delivered with an Apgar of 1 and he and I were very ill for two days afterwards, in fact I can remember nothing of those first days except lying in bed with a oxygen mask on and having needles stuck in me constantly.
When we got home I was very weepy and could not bear to be parted from my baby who had recovered. I still get flashbacks now.
My second and last child was also born by EMCS under GA but no complications like the first time.I went through hell all through the pregnancy right up to the very minute I was put under again and to this day have a fear of general aneasthetics and hope I never have to have another.I had the tubal tie done during the second birth to make sure it would never happen again.
My thoughts are with you I know exactly what you are going through xx

HanSolo Mon 07-Apr-14 00:35:22

Goodness, I have no experience to share I'm afraid, but I was just staring open-mouthed when I saw the thread title in most active. We didn't meet, as neither could make it to MNHQ in the end, but I've 'known' you for years on here. Sending you lots of love and good wishes- I hope your recovery is swift, and you know you'll always find support on here thanks

1944girl Mon 07-Apr-14 00:43:13

I apologise for giving all my details.
As another poster who had a similair miss said it is all about you not me.
Only people like us know what it is like.
Feel free to pm me also.

LunaticFringe I am sorry about the loss of your baby. I feel for you as well.

nevergoogle Mon 07-Apr-14 07:37:24

Please don't apologise for sharing your experiences. That's what mumsnet is all about. I googled first and couldn't find any first hand experiences of what we've been through. It's not all about me, I'm sure others will find support on this thread too. At the moment even the health professionals are looking at me in horror and saying this is 'highly unusual'.

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