Still upset about my birth experience(21 Posts)
My son is almost 8 weeks old and just perfect. I completely adore him. He is my only dc.
However I am really struggling getting over how he came into the world. Here's my story, I'll try to keep this brief.
When I was 39 weeks pregnant I woke up and there was liquid trickling down my legs. I rang the delivery ward at 11am because the liquid was still coming out, slowly. They told me to go in and be examined. Midwife had me lie down for half an hour, while explaining about front and back waters and the differences in how they break and leak. After half an hour she examined me and said, no, waters haven't broken (I don't think) so go home.
Sunday came and I was still losing waters so husband and I went back in. A different midwife had me lie down for 2 hours and then examined me. She said they had definitely broken and they would take the break from Friday. So I had gone over 48 hours with broken waters. I was induced that night.
I was in established labour at 3pm Monday and moved into delivery. I decided to have the epidural as contractions started. The epidural went wrong and was agony getting it in. Once it was in it worked for about 2 hours then it moved and only worked on the right hand side. My left side had been baldy affected by SPD and I was in agony and terrified of the epidural going wrong again but had it replaced and it worked.
I was on the drip which had to be increased as not much was dilation. The drip made me sick every 20 minutes. By 3am they said I was ready to push. The epidural wore off and I was pushing. Baby wasn't moving. They put me in stirrups which moved my pelvis and damaged it even more, the pain from my SPD was preventing me from pushing. They made me keep going for 2 hours, then the doctor said they would do a vontoose (sp) in theatre. By this point I hadn't slept in 36 hours, had vomited a million times and my pelvis was in pieces. In theatre they tell me they are doing a forceps, which included an episiotomy without really consulting me. My son was born at 6:54 with the cord around his neck but he was breathing!! He was amazing and perfect.
I then had a major hemhorraege (sp!!). My son and husband were taken out of the room and the consultant was called because the doctor couldn't stop the bleed, turned out she had torn my cervix with the forceps.
My son was born with an infection (due to my waters being broken too long without labour starting) and was on neonatal special care for 5 days.
My recovery has been very slow, my pelvis is so out of alignment you can see it from standing and moving about is hard (i have a physio appointment coming up). The stitches etc were horrific and took weeks to heal (have just healed).
I am angry. Angry that that midwife didnt recognise my waters had broken which ultimately led to my son being born ill, his infection was in his spinal fluid. I have since found out that a suspected hind water break should have meant I was lying down for 2 hours min before being examined.
I have nightmares of when I was in theatre, on my own and all I could hear was 'major hem...can't find the source, get help". I thought I was going to die.
Am I over reacting? I am really struggling to get over this. Sorry this was so long!!!!
Simba, didn't want to read and run...
You are definitely not overreacting! I think it is entirely reasonable to feel traumatised by what happened.
Have you been able to talk to someone about this in real life? Hospital should offer you a debrief of your birth with a midwife - although you might feel that it is too soon to go over it. It can be helpful though as the midwife can explain why certain things happened as they did.
I hope your pain and physical symptoms are getting better day by day, and remember that psychological pain is just as valid as physical pain.
No you are not overreacting. You feel what you feel.
Have you asked the hospital or GP for some post-birth counselling? I believe they have specially trained midwives for exactly this.
I also had a birth with DS1 that was quite traumatic. Without boring you with the details, an emergency situation occurred completely unnecessarily leading to some unpleasant birth injuries (now healed!).
I used a 6 week check up at the hospital to put across my views on what went wrong. I didn't continue with official complaints but asked to speak to the consultant about the issues that came up. I did get this chance - that probably gives you an idea that my birth was quite traumatic as the consultant was happy to meet me and hear my feedback. I felt good about that because I put across some points about my care that hopefully helped the hospital prevent it occurring again.
In your case, I'd ask for the counselling and go from there. I felt very okay about my DS1's birth once I recovered physically but I just had DS2 and found myself intensely scared of the hospital procedures this time although I had a c section. I was shaking all the way through. Probably some counselling would have actually been a good idea beforehand.
I'd definitely ask about the counselling - if nothing else, it's a chance to air your views and it will hopefully help you move past the experience and enjoy your time with your new baby even more.
Oh my goodness you are not over reacting. What a scary time for you. I think you should contact the hospital and organise a proper birth de-brief. Either with one of the midwives present or with a consultant midwife who can sit down and go through your notes and discuss your take on events.
Congratulations on your perfect baby
Thanks ladies!! It's good to know I'm not over reacting. It was just so different to how I imagined it to be. My husband is amazing and we talk about it often, he always listens and talks me through things I had forgotten about.
We really want more children but I'm so anxious about having a labour like that again. What do you think my chances of a c section would be? I'd like a c section if they have to induce me or use forceps!
Oh you poor love! I certainly don't think you are over reacting to be traumatised by this or to be anxious about what may happen if/when you decided to have another baby. I had PTSD after my DD's dramatic arrival and found the help of a psychologist was invaluable. Anyone is entitled to request an elective c section and in your case I can not imagine that there would be any resistance to that from the medical teams looking after you in the future. Also, anyone can write in their notes "NO CONSENT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE USE OF FORCEPS" and that must be respected. In my experience, the midwife at by booking appointment told me to do just that and I did go on to have a lovely elective c section with DS which has gone a long way to restore my faith in obstetrics.
Congratulations on your DS! Be kind to yourself and, if you feel you need to, go to your gp to ask for a referal to someone you can talk to. The psychological scars may take longer to fade than the physical ones, but ime they will eventually both almost disappear in much the same way.
You are not over-reacting at all. Your DS is only 8 weeks old and it will take a lot longer to really accept how he came into the world. I had a horrific birth, hind waters broke but no contractions, induction, not very good epidural and it ended in forceps, episiotomy (which tore further), a 4th degree tear, shoulder dystocia and pph so I can fully appreciate how you feel. It was 4 days almost to the hour from the first 'leak' to having my DS.
Speak to your normal GP as soon as possible and ask for some counselling, possibly even CBT counselling. It sounds like post traumatic stress disorder, which is what I had. When now the dust is settling, your baby is healthy and ok now, and you have time to reflect on things and question what happened.
I agree with the other posters about arranging to go through your notes, it really will help as you can take your time to read them and ask questions about why what happened when it did etc.
I'm 17 months down the line and still find it hard some days, but most of the time now I'm able to accept what happened. I don't feel I will ever 'get over it' but I can live with it as I know I will never ever have to go through that again.
Oh, and regarding a C-section for any further children you should definitely be able to realistically ask for one.
No you aren't overreacting. I had a similar birth to you, but luckily I had a better outcome. My water breaking was my first symptom. I went into the hospital as advised, but they were too busy to even look at me. Contractions started on that day. I stayed a day in the antenatal ward, and was sent home. Then roll over the second day, then the third day. Only at about 5pm on the third day they came to see how far I was along, and they want to give me a sweep to speed it up. As you have worked out. It was over 48 hours before they got around to me. I wasn't even offered any pain relief as I couldn't be in active labour until they have admitted me. And they refused to do that as they can't escalate any case due to staff shortage.
I couldn't stopped crying whenever I talked or thought about the birth for a year. I didn't went to the afterthought service as I was still too traumatised about it. I'm pregnant again, and I broke down talking to my midwife at booking in.
I know I'm no help to you, but just want to tell you you aren't alone, and that it could take a long time to heal. DD is 2yo now.
Horrific. You poor thing. I wish hospitals would do away with inductions and go straight to c-sections. It seems very cruel and inhumane that so many women suffer so horribly due to failed inductions.
Its only been 8 weeks you are definately not over reacting! I had a few of the same issues as you (& a few different ones). My dd is 10 months now & im not sure i have come to terms with it really & am still dealing with some physical consequences but most of the time i dont think about it because dd is a hectic little bundle. Give yourself time & give your ds a cuddle.
Shocking, sounds to me that you were badly let down by the NHS. Not easy but try to focus your energies away from the thoughts of the birth and on your recovery. I do hope this doesn't put you off having another baby- I did the Marie Mongan hypobirthing course and would recommend. Completely different approach to the HNS ante natal classes.
Thanks so much! It's good to know I'm not alone. My main problems physically is the SPD, walking hurts and looking after my ds is getting harder. Luckily my dh (whose in the army) has 2 weeks off now and we're going to stay with my mum for a few days so she can spend some time with ds and look after him for us at night so we can both get some proper rest at night etc.
I will go and get some help, I'll speak to the gp and get proper help.
I'm sorry so many of us have these horrible experiences!
Simba your story is very similar to mine although I was kept in first time of asking and my ds was born at 34 weeks so the nicu was likely anyway,
I do know exactly how you feel, my ds was so badly bruised we were concerned initially that he had suffered brain damage and then he had prolonged jaundice which was a worry. He missed some milestones in his first year and didn't walk until he was almost 22 months. His birth was difficult as he was also back to back and my coccyx is "curly"( this was mentioned by a midwife just after labour)
My coccyx suffered badly and even now is painful at some point most days. Ds was born in December 2010. My epidural scar is tough but thankfully doesn't bother me and I'm left with sciatica
I do sometimes still get upset but, and its a big but, my ds is now 2.4 and is AMAZING. He is exactly where he should be developmentally, is bright and talkative, physically fine and an absolute joy to have.
The time in nicu was tough but I look back on it quite fondly now, we had bloody brilliant support in there, and the amazing doctors and nurses and assistants and machinery made ds what he is.
I must say I only think like this because ds is so well, had he been harmed in the long term I'm sure I'd feel differently.
I was traumatised for a long time which made me quite anxious and marred my enjoyment of the early days.
It's excellent you have such a supportive dp. Enjoy your ds as much as you can, utilise all of the practical help you can, and talk to someone early about your feelings.
8 weeks is no time at all, even to get over a ln easy birth I'd have thought so go easy on yourself too, don't pressure yourself about how you feel.
Good luck x
Get in touch with BirthRights - www.birthrights.org.uk/. They set up to help people in your position. They will know what to do and how to help!
Congratulations on the birth of your son, I hope things get easier for you xxx
I agree with contacting birthrights, they will give you access to the help you need. Im no expert, but you weren't just someine who experiwnced an unfortunate birth; you are the victim of medical negligence and you and your son suffered (your lives were put in unnecessary danger) and you have sustained physical and emotional injury because of it. They could kill the next mother/child. So so soery you have been through this.
AIMS could also be of help. And the Birth Trauma Association.
I am so sorry you went through this. I had an almost identical experience but it was me who ended up with the infection and on a drip in for 5 days.
Afterwards I went through the hospital's birth reflections service. Yours should hopefully have something similar. I was referred to a psych and diagnosed with PTSD. I was in counselling until dd was 1 and then I did start to feel alot better it was a bit of a turning point.
Like you I had alot of stitches, tried to do too much too quickly, don't walk lots or lift things if you can help it.
I felt it very difficult to get across to friends and family how much it affected me, I have one friend who apparently was saying how pathetic I was that I couldn't seem to get over the birth. I was extra as she has suffered with mental health issues for years. Do you have anybody that you are talking to about this stuff? It's important to keep talking even though you won't want to.
If you can afford to see a private psychologist there is something called EMDR which may help you with this.
I also thought I was going to die afterwards after a hem and then the infection taking over I honestly thought that was it. But nobody told me otherwise to reassure me either.
Feel free to pm me whenever
It took me 21 months and the perfect birth that was dc2 to get over the trauma of my sons delivery, and it wasn't as scary as yours (no haemorrhage but did have the spd thing with the stirrups, one sided epidural, 72 hours of agony, episiotomy for ventouse that didn't heal for months, uterine infection)
I had flashbacks for months afterwards, and thinking about it in detail still makes me feel a bit shaky and panicky 8 years on.
I went on to have 2 perfectly normal easy births for my second and third children, although my birth plan was very clear both times, mention stirrups and I will not be responsible for my actions, no ventouse, no forceps, no episiotomy, cs only in case of difficulties.
I felt very much that things were done to me rather than me consenting first time around, and that feeling of helplessness was terrible.
I still have mental issues about the scarring from the episiotomy, it's not pretty down there and dh therefore hasn't seen it in 8 years, the thought of him seeing that makes me cringe. Also, my pelvis is still not right and ive accepted it never will be.
Places that kept me (semi) sane after my first birth was a bit of a disaster...
Birth Trauma Association - they also have quite an active (and closed - doesn't show on news feed to other friends) FB group.
Bliss - helped me a tonne in terms of getting over the whole neo-natal/special care experience (we weren't well-treated by the NICU as a family which made things worse).
I ended up with a severe anxiety disorder and on medication from my GP as well. I'll be honest - in my subsequent pregnancy I found the specialist midwife for women with tokophobia and previous traumatic births to be blooming useless (and ignorant of the reality in terms of her own hospital's proceedures at best, an out-and-out liar at worst), but the labour suite staff were all incredibly good with me having written in very large letters all over my notes that I'd had a previously rotten experience and was still suffering the mental health effects of that... they really did go above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate things which were triggering me into flashbacks and the like. If anything they made THEIR lives harder by constantly reinforcing that I had rights, options and had the power NOT to consent to things - something I'd lacked in oodles the first time around!
I also had some long-term damage from the SPD and stirrups combination - the one thing that hospital did well though was their post-natal physio setup... she concluded lots of it was just me lacking any muscle strength from the time running up to the delivery when I'd been essentially housebound with the pain and gave me some exercises to do which did make a difference - my hips have never been 100% right since though but it did go away in time... think the worst point was about a week after the birth and then it began to fade - it definitely got slightly worse before getting better. The other thing which made it much more painful was the trudging about on hospital floors constantly - they're soooo hard that it really hammered my poor joints, once we got home and into the world of squishy carpets and comfy shoes (rather than slippers) the pain eased a lot.
Poor, poor you. What a terrible birth experience. I haven't read the whole thread so sorry if I am repeating.
Please get in touch with the birth trauma association. They will help you to be able to move forward and can advise you on complaining. Please do complain too, and loudly. If we don't complain about bad experiences like this, things won't improve for those who come after us.
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