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Should I talk to someone or should I just man up?

(14 Posts)
glovesoflove Mon 29-Nov-10 17:16:40

I had what I'll call an unpleasant experience giving birth to DD. I still feel pretty scared and upset now (a few months later) and have been looking round the internet for help. I posted on another forum and was basically told that I should get over it by a rather patronising individual (she called me "hun" too, grrr), as apparently unless you both nearly die it's just normal and "labour does hurt" - thanks, that's a big help.

I've only seen my HV once so don't feel inclined to approach her, and don't know any of the GPs very well to know if they'd think I was wasting their time, but I would like a debrief as read about here on MN, as the thought of going through labour again makes me not want another baby and I sometimes have nightmares.

What do you think? Should I speak to someone or would I be wasting their time and should I just carry on trying to forget about it?

AbiAbi Mon 29-Nov-10 17:23:39

You should DEFINITELY have the debrief, you have a right to know why what happened happened.

You wouldn't be wasting anyones time, and don't let anyone make you feel silly for wanting to talk about it.

peppapighastakenovermylife Mon 29-Nov-10 17:25:38

Of course. I had a perfectly normal labour first time round by medical standards but was traumatised by it all. I couldnt contemplate getting pregnant again.

I actually hired a doula even though DS was one and we talked about what happened, how things could be different etc.

Wigeon Mon 29-Nov-10 17:27:21

Ok - you had a scary and upsetting birth experience. Whatever the "facts" of the birth were, you are still worried about it, to the extent that you have nightmares (not the case for most women). Hospitals offer de-briefs about upsetting births. Who do you think these debrief are for, if not for women who found their births upsetting and still have nightmares about it?! I can't see that you would regret a de-brief and if you didn't have one you might always wonder if it would help. They wouldn't offer them if they thought they were a waste of time.

Hopefully someone who's actually had a de-brief will be along in a minute!

gailforce1 Mon 29-Nov-10 17:27:59

Have you thought about contacting the Birth Tauma Association? They can offer you lots of support. I would encourage you to speak to someone as some women go on to develop PTSD after a traumatic birth. Article in The Times dated Tuesday 23 November on this which you may find helpful.

You could approach the hospital for a birth debrief which some find very useful.

I cannot believe that someone told you to get over it - hope that it was not on MN!

SpiderWilliam Mon 29-Nov-10 17:36:39

Definitely talk it through with someone. My hospital has a listening service that all mothers are told about upon discharge does yours have anything similar?

After DS1's birth I really wish I had had a debrief and that wasn't a traumatic experience as such - an induction ending in an emcs. I then spent 2 years going over the birth in my mind and wondering if I had failed in some way. It wasn't until I got pregnant again this year and had a proper debrief in preparation for a vbac that alot of old anxieties were put to rest. The second labour was so different and positive and in part that was due to resolving the old questions about the first birth.

Good luck.

SlightlyTubbyHali Mon 29-Nov-10 17:37:17

Oh gosh, even the most smooth labours can be pretty overwhelming and frightening. It's a lot to process and entirely normal to want to talk.

It's not a waste of time. I pursued a debrief with the hospital where I had DD1 when she was about 5 months old but then "didn't want to be any trouble" and somehow I never followed through. Two years later I was still crying about it. Don't put yourself through years of wondering. In the end, when I finally got pg with DD2 I hired independent midwives partly to talk through my first experience in an attempt to avoid a repeat. And the second time was much better, quite healing really.

cardamomginger Mon 29-Nov-10 17:38:31

you poor thing. so sorry and big hugs. like you, i had a fairly horrendous experience with some nasty after effects some of which i'm still trying to sort out. and like you i still feel scared and upset and like i don't ever want to go through it again. and, yes, i also that you basically had to almost die before you were "allowed" to feel traumatised. but that's not true. i guess one of the plus sides of having to consult so many healthcare professionals to try and get myself mended after giving birth is that they have, pretty much without exception, agreed that it was horrendous and that my emotional reaction to it is natural and only to be expected. my gp and the gynae i saw went as far as to say that they would support elective section next time! so you are not alone in how you feel! we had a doula and so i was able to have a debrief with her and talking things through with my dh and the hcps i've seen has helped. i don't feel the need for a formal debrief with a mw, but i think that's because i've discussed enough. if you feel like you need to have a talk, then go for it. i don't think you would be wasting anyone's time at all - and from other threads here i'm sure that whoever you speak to will agree. lastly, HOW DARE anyone tell you to just get over it?? big hugs xxx

glovesoflove Mon 29-Nov-10 17:39:45

Yeah, I was a bit shock as I didn't realise it was a competition. Normally I would have told this smug type to stick it ("hun") but it was the first time I'd actually dared to say I thought I might need some help so I cried and deleted my OP instead [very mature and grown up face].

I did just have another look and quite a few people have posted nice things and been cross that I was "told off".

(It wasn't MN btw)

clarabellarocks Mon 29-Nov-10 17:47:05

That's just the thing, some people do see it as a competition. One of my friends who hasn't had a baby believes everyone has the same pain threshold and some people make more of a meal of it than others. I really hope she gets to find out how much it bloody hurts!!

Defo have a de-brief. I thought my labour was fine at the time but now I'm pregnant again I realised that even though it was normal I had a bit of a hard, stressful time and it's only now that is coming out. I won't go into details but as a result I'm having an elective section and feel so much happier.

Defo seek help and don't feel like you have failed. You get this with so many aspects from birth to breastfeeding to babies sleeping. We all do our best and all have very different experiences. Nobody has the right to judge another woman who struggles to deal with a situation.

glovesoflove Mon 29-Nov-10 17:51:56

I would have another section in a heartbeat, that bit was great. The thought of a VBAC, on the other hand...shudder. No.

Marjee Mon 29-Nov-10 18:52:03

I had a debrief when my ds was 8mo and I'm so glad I did it. I experienced similar reactions to you when I tried to tell people I felt traumatised by the birth, it was so quick and everyone kept going on about how lucky I was to have a fast labour but it was the speed of it that made it such a scary intense experience.

Most areas offer a birth afterthoughts service, your hv should be able to give you the number or if you don't want to ask her PALS will be able to help.

I agree with what everyone else has said, its such a personal experience and no one has the right to tell you how you should or shouldn't feel xx

peppapighastakenovermylife Mon 29-Nov-10 19:23:45

Marjee - I felt similar to you. Labour was about 1.5 hours but really really intense - I couldnt move and was just rocked by the contractions. I didnt even believe my baby was out and they kept having to tell me to pick him up. Was home very soon after that evening and just kind of went to bed like normal. All very surreal and shocking. Kept waking up thinking I was still pregnant for quite a while after that one.

glovesoflove Mon 29-Nov-10 20:54:47

I think I'll contact PALS. Thank you all

I don't really understand what went "wrong" with my labour, it was all progressing normally and I was coping well and then boom, it was horrendous and ended in C section. Would probably really help me to understand a bit more about why it happened, I have a vague idea that it was to do with the baby's position as I was fully dilated.

My friend had a very short labour recently and found it much more distressing than the long one she had with her first baby. I can sort of imagine if you went straight into the awful bit, it must be terrifying.

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