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Traumatic birth ending in hysterectomy...anyone else?

(21 Posts)
emma2617 Tue 04-Jan-11 00:32:30

Hi, I wont go into too much detail in case im posting in the wrong place, I remember being a firt time mum and wouldnt have enjoyed reading my birth story for ds2 prior to having ds1!

I had an elective section on 15th december (ds1 was a crash section, had to have general anasthetic so wanted to guarantee id be awake to hear ds2s first cry), long story short...i had placenta accreta, haemorrhaged and the surgeon did a hysterectomy to save my life.

I am so conflicted and still a bit numb about it all. I know i should feel lucky to have my 2 boys, but i always wanted 3 children, and secretly longed for a girl. Also, im only 24 and the thought of never havung anither baby breaks my heart, when people commented during my pregnancy about 2 being enough i actually said i couldnt imagine going from 24 to dying without having another baby. Well i now mot only have to imagine it, it is my reality.

Everytime i even think about the word hysterectomy i want to break down in tears, I just feel very much alone, even though i KNOW im not the only person who this has happened to.

I guess im just hoping someone here has been through the same. I am really struggling to cope.

Thanks in advance

ShowOfHands Tue 04-Jan-11 00:39:24

I'm so sorry.

Are you receiving any help? Counselling?

I think you can get to a place where you celebrate the family you do have instead of mourning the one you don't but I think it's a long road and not somewhere you'll reach overnight. And you are rightly grieving right now for what will never be.

You've been through a difficult time physically and emotionally and there must be some help out there for you.

And you need never apologise. Feeling this way doesn't mean you don't appreciate the two lovely boys you have or that they're not enough, it's grief about what isn't not disappointment about what is iyswim.

NumptyMum Tue 04-Jan-11 00:43:04

I'm so sorry to hear your story; I'm not surprised you are struggling to cope. I've never had to contact them, but I'm wondering if it would be helpful for you to contact the Birth Trauma Association. 'Fraid I must go, but didn't want your post to go unanswered - really hope you can find good support both here and in real life.

Ealingkate Tue 04-Jan-11 07:52:18

So sorry to read of your experience, nothing useful to add, just wanted to bump this incase someone more qualified is around this morning.

Northernlebkuchen Tue 04-Jan-11 08:01:46

No personal knowledge but just want to express my sympathy for what you've been through. I suspect that you are suffering not only from accepting the hysterectomy - which is hard enough at any stage - but also from the cause of it - you've survived a life threatening emergency and that's very scary. You need to talk to someone in RL about this.
Also I know you can't have another child yourself - but you've got time on your side if you want to adopt. I know that's no comfort atm , probably not something you'd even want to consider but it is the other way to be a mother and you may at some point still have your daughter.

chipmonkey Tue 04-Jan-11 08:38:48

Oh, Emma, you poor thing!<<hugs>> I have not had to have a hysterectomy, but did have an emergency CS with ds3 for placenta praevia. I did go on to have ds4 but am now 42 so more babies are unlikely and like you, I did have a longing for a little girl and had never imagined that I wouldn't have one, IYKWIM.

The worst thing, I think, for you, is that all choice has been taken out of your hands. If you had decided that two was enough and that you were happy to have an all-boys club. I think that can make you angry as well as sad.

Also bear in mind that you have lost a lot of blood. Did you have a transfusion? I didn't after ds3 and my haemoglobin levels were through the floor. That also means that you feel tired and weepier than after a normal birth.

Do consider adoption, as someone else has suggested. Don't get me wrong, I know it is a long hard road and expensive and time-consuming but it could be a way of having your daughter and also giving a little girl a much better life than she would otherwise have had. And you do have time on your side.

But before all that, take the time to get to know your new little boy. I think, as mums of boys, we can tend to romanticise girls and think they are all sugar and spice but many MNers who are Mums of girls will tell you it ain't always so! And I was gutted when I found out ds4 was a boy but he is so adorable and different in his own way from his brothers that I wouldn't want to change him for the world.

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Tue 04-Jan-11 08:55:34

So sorry that you had to go through this. Somehow you have found the strength and generosity to post in an incredibly considerate manner.

It's no wonder you are so distressed. Any woman after even the most easy of births can very emotional and easily upset at 3w post-natal. You have a big trauma to process and cope with on top of it all.

Contacting the BTA us a good idea. Also the NCT has a Birth Experiences register, and may be able to put you in touch with someone who has gone through similar. Your GP should be able to refer you for counselling.

Please remember to be kind to yourself. You are allowed to grieve for your losses, for what you had and for what you will never have. You don't need to feel guilty about that.

emma2617 Tue 04-Jan-11 09:24:05

Thank you for your replies ladies, I never thought of it as a grieving process. I am at the hospital at 6 weeks post partum for a debrief so hoping that may help. People keep talking about adoption but at this stage im not sure how i feel about it, i guess i will just have to bear it in mind when im ready to move on.

chipmonkey yes i lost nearly all my blood volume so had to have a transfusion, 5 units in theatre, then my haemaglobin dive bombed again so had to have another 3 units at 2 days post partum.

I will have a look at the birth trauma association website today, i didnt know such a thing existed.

darleneconnor Tue 04-Jan-11 09:34:34

Did you have a total hysterectomy? Did they save your ovaries so you could have the option of surrogacy in the future?

You have had an awful experience, I really feel for you.

emma2617 Tue 04-Jan-11 09:44:34

darleneconnor it was a sub-total so i still have my ovaries and dont have to suffer with menopause on top of everything else, dont get me wrong i am entirely grateful for that, but my uterus feels like the most important bit iyswim? Plus the fact it was home to my 2 babies and now its gone. I feel like there is a physical void in my body and cant help touching my stomach and imagining a big black hole.

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Tue 04-Jan-11 11:03:23

It doesn't help you to visualise negativity. I don't mean this in a criticising way. I understand that it is difficult for you to see it any other way at the moment.

I have been in the position were I had a shock discovery of a large benign growth - it wasn't going to kill me but it caused a lot of distress and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I couldn't help but visualise it as an angry red malevolent alien. This did not help. A naturopath friend helped me learn to visualise it as a passive, undemanding accidental visitor. I became calmer, less distressed, and was far better able to cope. 10y on I still have the growth, could now have it removed if I was bothered, but honestly don't give a damn about it.

You have a lot of healing to do, both physically and emotionally. Could you try visualising your insides as a warm, healing space, closing up and filling in? Put your hand on your stomach and send a message of love to yourself. Don't be angry with your body - you did the best you could.

I hope I don't sound trite. I don't mean to. If what I say offends you, then be angry at me - a well-meaning blundering stranger - but not at yourself.

mosschops30 Tue 04-Jan-11 11:14:13

Hi emma i didnt have a hysterectomy but did have a traumatic 3rd birth which has left me physically and emotionally unable to have another child.

I initially had a de-brief, then my fabulous GP referred me to the PTSD clinic (post traumatic stress disorder), where I have been having regular sessions. A year on I am still not over it and have just started medication to try and help.

I get those terrible feelings of never having another baby, and it saddens me, I feel robbed of my birth, robbed of quality time with my new baby and robbed of the chance of another child.
There is nothing that can change this though, and its just something else Im learning to come to terms with slowly. I am sure that even women who have no problems with childbirth get to a point where they say 'ok no more children' and then feel sad about it. Although I realise its not the same as 'NOT' being able to have another, I think you may have felt like this somewhere down the line, as would I.

Sorry Ive waffled a bit there, but main points are see your GP, and some counselling and see where you go from there. Wish you lots of luck and un-MN hugs

muslimah28 Tue 04-Jan-11 11:23:18

wow thats tough. Give yrself some time and be kind to yrself. And wise words from prettycandles. I did lots of visualisations for pain management post natally, its amazing how positive thinking can affect yr wellbeing.

Are you on iron supplements? These may be important to get yr haemoglobin levels fully up to normal so check with yr mw/hv/gp

woolymindy Tue 04-Jan-11 12:48:16

I have nothing helpful to add but really, what a terrible time you have had you poor love. This is so so unfair and do try and access some help via counselling

flootshoot Tue 04-Jan-11 13:10:15

When I used to nurse, we were taught that people who had received serious diagnoses or other life changing news went through a smilar grieving process to those that had been bereaved.

You have suffered a loss, and you need to mourn. There's nothing wrong with that and I second those above who've suggested counselling.

carrie12 Tue 04-Jan-11 13:24:01

Emma, something v similar to this happened to me in October.except I am 30 and it was my first child.I am so sorry it has happened to someone else. I am not really comfortable posting to an open forum but will try to pm you (not sure how though yet as new to mumsnet).

JustOneMorePlease Wed 05-Jan-11 20:54:24

You are going through a difficult time and one of which you imagined I guess that should be a time of great joy.

You are very likely to be going through a grieving process not only for your bodies sake and for your 'future' children but also for that time you should be having with your newborn.

Your debrief may help, but I know that time will be the key factor. Shock is a difficult thing to get over and I would have imagined you are still in shock.

I am a physio and have previously worked on a few intensive care units and have seen women on there in the same situation you were in. Of course sadly some of them didn't pull through and sadly their baby never would know it's Mummy. So I'm sure your OH and family and friends were very worried about you and are probably so relieved you are ok.

Take lots of care and hold your ds's close, I think depending on how your debrief and hospital aftercare goes, some counselling would be a good idea.

Thinking of you at this difficult time, lots of bug hugs.

JustOneMorePlease Wed 05-Jan-11 20:54:53

Sorry hugs not bugs!!!!

pooka Wed 05-Jan-11 21:08:08

I haven't had a hysterectomy and my third birth was lovely. But a blood issue means that I was strongly advised by the consultant that further pregnancy would be high risk and could be problematic.

Given that was hell dealing with dc3 being unwell but with all hope of getting better, there is no way I could cope with a high risk pregnancy/possible health implications for possible dc4.

So my experience pales into complete insignificance in comparison to yours. Congratulations on DS2, but I am so sorry you have had such a rough time of it.

I still (and dc3 is 16 months old) think about what happened often and feel confused and conflicted. Before dc3 I only wanted 3. Now I've been advised to stick at 3, I am loving ds2 and cannot imagine not being pregnant again. Also all milestones (sitting/crawling/walking/no more night feeds) are bittersweet because they wont happen again.

You are still so recently recovered physically and your ds2 is very young. I think it would be definitely helpful to contact the Birth Trauma Association as recommended and use the debrief to ask as many questions as you need answers to and to try and make sense of what happened to you and where you go next.

pudding007 Sat 08-Jan-11 20:10:49

Hi there!

I've just seen the above posts and wanted to say that I also had to have an emergency c-section which,despite all effects,ended in a hysterectomy, this was when my one (and only) child was born.

I won't go into the details but I wanted to say that over time the tears do dry up, the number of times you want to throttle other pregnant woment will subside, you do grow a slightly thicker skin to comments from other people. Your experience will never go away but each day it does get slightly easy to do day to day things.

I am nearly 5years after my experience and its amazing how different you feel when I look back.

Don't get me wrong, I am in a good place at the moment but I do still have my tears and tantums about the whole thing.

I am part of 2 wonderful and supportive groups. One is an internet group of women who have experienced the same and I would strongly recommend joining, they know how you feel, that you have crappy moments, that life really gets you down for no reason or because some inciderate colleague who knows what you went through conveniently forgets and asks you when your having more when you know all along she just wants to rub in that she is currently pregnant and having a wonderful time!
Just click on tion/signUp?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpphsurvivorsnetwor

Also a Near Miss Research project has been set up (view link for details and For more details please please email Dominika and Lisa on

Please feel free to ask me any questions, I can only image your minds are running ten to the dozen especially as you have babies to look after too.

Thinking of you,

Heather, Sheffield
Hyst - 04/05/2006 (I was 30yr)

1944girl Sun 09-Jan-11 18:06:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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