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Who can I talk to about this?

(10 Posts)
berri Wed 24-Nov-10 15:05:58

DS was born 9 weeks prem and as such obviously everything happened in such a rush and seems like a total blur now (2 years ago).

Anyway I'm thinking about ttc again, but I'd really like to find out what actually happened when I was in labour...i.e I know I had a lot of stitches but I'm not sure if I tore or was cut, and whether it was 'bad' or not, and also I wondered why I wasn't offered an epidural or any pain relief apart from gas and air, even though I was in agony (having not done ante-natal due to the early labour, I didn't ask for any either....!)

I'm also not sure why it hurt so much, he was only 4lb!! I know all labour is incredibly painful but it actually brings tears to my eyes thinking about it, and it's totally putting me off having another baby, which is awful.

There are loads of little questions I have, and I can't quite believe I still don't really know what happened! I suppose he was the main focus of my mind back then so perhaps I've just forgotten everything.

Who has my notes do you think - would it be my GP? I'd really like to have a look to see what happened, and also have a chat to someone about what would happen if I got pregnant again in terms of being monitored etc due to DS being prem, but I don't know where to start.

I know it all sounds a bit trivial but I'm so scared of going through labour again (prematurely or not), I think it might help to get things straight in my head before we go for it.

Feel free to call me a wimp and tell me to get on with it.

mrspear Wed 24-Nov-10 15:15:43

First congrats on the birth of your DS.

Second you are not a wimp.

I would contact the hospital and ask for a copy of your notes and if there is anyone you can discuss them with?

I went through prem labour at 10 weeks - it was very quick second stage and brutal with me pushing and doctor pulling. [mrspear shudders] But i did not tear, although very i was swollen and brusied. I have unanswered questions too and like you i want them cleared up before ttc for the second.

So go for it and ask

mrspear Wed 24-Nov-10 15:17:12

Oh and like you i have very few memories of the birth - most of what i know comes from reading my yellow notes that were left briefly on my bed in hospital!

eaglewings Wed 24-Nov-10 15:21:28

When you meet with the midwife, she should be able to go through your last birth with you. Not sure how you go about meeting with a mw before you conceive though hmm

Contact the hospital or your GP, any good dr will understand your concern. You are not alone

squiggleywiggler Wed 24-Nov-10 15:22:52

Hi berri

firstly you aren't a wimp! It sounds like a frightening experience especially with DS being so premature.

The hospital where you gave birth will have a midwife whose job it is to meet with women who've had traumatic or difficult births, go through their notes with them and help them understand what happened. Give your hospital a call and they will be able to put you in touch with them. I'm sure that midwife will be able to give you a steer on what might happen in a subsequent pregnancy too.

There's a great, free, service called 'Birth Crisis' which you can ring to talk through you previous birth. They provide a great listening ear for women in exactly your situation. More information at www.sheilakitzinger.com/birthcrisis.htm

You might also want to consider getting some extra support in your next pregnancy by way of a doula. I've worked with women who've had difficult first births, supporting them and their partners to explore their anxieties, make a birth plan they are comfortable with, talk about ways to deal with the pain etc and be there for them at the birth. You can find local doulas at www.doula.org.uk/ and trainees will work for under £200. I know I'm biased but it is one of the best things I can suggest to help you feel supported and make the next experience less stressful for you.

Well done for having the courage to face up to this now before you are TTC - it's a really wise move.

Give me a shout if you need anything else.

berri Thu 25-Nov-10 09:53:37

Thanks for your replies - I think I'll give the hospital a call and see if they can arrange for me to have a chat with someone.

Sometimes I can't understand how the world isn't full of people with just one baby!

sh77 Thu 25-Nov-10 16:17:40

Hi
You should contact the Patient Access Liaison office (PAL). They should be able to get hold of your notes. Might take a few weeks and might cost you something (less than 20 quid I think).

Also worth checking out Birth Trauma Association.

berri Fri 26-Nov-10 17:14:02

Just wanted to say thanks sh77 - I rang the hospital PAL lady and had a really useful chat with her, she's arranging for me to have a chat with a midwife to go through my notes.

Feeling better already....

fearnelinen Fri 26-Nov-10 17:32:07

Hi Berri,
I've had 3 premature births, and I've learnt more each time.
Firstly, it hurts just as much because you have to stretch to 10cm and that's quite a stretch so labour, contractions e.t.c. all just as painful with a 2lb or a 7lb baby.
Secondly, you are rarely 'allowed' to have much pain relief as you can't do anything that may make the tiny baby drowsy - they need all their energy to attempt to expand their very stiff lungs. This excludes epidural, which I had in the early stages of labour with my first - 26 weeks, although DS was positioned awkwardly and I had got to 10cm while they were still trying to delay birth. So the epidural was in case an emergency section was needed (it was) and also to stop me pushing, the pain makes you bear down.
Lastly, if, like with my 3rd, baby just insists on coming regardless of how dilated you are (DD2 came a 30 weeks, I had only dilated 8cm) then your pelvic bones may not have softened enough. Mine hadn't and I literally felt her crunching through - not trying to scare you, I am all tickety boo down there now! That may have been another reason for the pain. It's so annoying when people presume that because she was small, she just slipped out, she didn't and I couldn't even have a paracetamol.
I will say this about ttc after a premmie birth though - I was told there was a minute chance of it happening again after my 1st, even got labelled as paranoid when I knew something was wong with my 2nd. DD1 came at 24 weeks and didn't survive. So when it came to ttc for DD2, I insisted on weekly scans after 16 weeks and fortnightly appointments with the wonderful consultant I had tracked down for the job.

PLEASE don't think you're a wimp and also please don't think I am saying that my experiences will happen to you. I'm not a professional in the field but my advice is to find someone who is.
Good luck smile

berri Wed 12-Jan-11 10:49:49

Hi fearnelinen I'm sorry, I don't know how I missed your post but I didn't see it a while ago when I was following this one.

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. I really appreciate your advice and it's so useful to hear from someone who has also had 2 pregnancies which didn't go to plan.

Just a quick update - I'm actually seeing a midwife tomorrow for a talk through my notes. Nervous but excited as hopefully after this chat I'll feel a little closer to wanting to ttc for DC2.....

Thanks again sh77, this was all arranged through the PAL service and they have been great.

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