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Traumatic labour - Feeling upset and confused 3 months after birth(11 Posts)
I had my DD, my first baby, 3 months ago. Although she is now a happy and hopefully normal little baby, I had a very traumatic birth which led to DD being rushed to intensive care and spending the first 8 days of her life in neonatal.
I had a wonderful pregnancy with no complications and was classed low risk. I went into labour spontaneously at 41+4 and spent the first 5 hours of labour in the birthing pool with no drugs, not even gas or air. I became fully dilated and began to push but at that stage the labour failed to progress. I became more and more tired and in pain and asked the midwives to help as I knew I was doing all I could but something was no working.
At that stage the midwives left the room to tell labour ward we would be coming. They left DH and I on our own for what seemed like hours. During that time I was writhing in agony and just accepted the baby and I would both die. Poor DH couldn't leave us and so we stayed on our own until the midwives came to take me down to labour ward.
By the time we got there DDs heart rate was 'pathological' (from her notes). The consultant took one look and saw she was in the wrong position. He tried to turn her manually (excruciating as I'd still had no pain relief) and then decided we had to go into theatre. DD was born by forceps shortly after. She was covered in meconium and hyperventilating and taken straight to the resus table. She was them taken to intensive care before I even saw her.
DD had suffered from two episodes of hypoxia and was in organ failure. I didn't see her until the next morning and didn't get to hold her until 2 days after she was born. When I did finally get to hold her she started fitting. We now know that she had a stroke (of possibly 3 strokes) sometime in the perinatal period, although it took a week of tests to discover this. We took her home when she was a week old although she will need to be monitored for the next 2 years.
DD is doing so well and is a beautiful happy baby. I know I am so lucky to have her but the whole experience was so frightening I can't seem to get over it. DH is just so relieved to have her that he gets cross if I say I feel robbed or cheated as I didn't have he birth I wanted. We requested my labour notes which I thought would help give me closure but they have just brought it all back to the surface. I don't know who to talk to about this.
(Sorry for ridiculously long post.)
I should also mention that whilst the hospital were fantastic generally, there were a few things post labour which made the situation even more difficult, for example:
For 2 nights I was put in a bay on the maternity ward, surrounded by mothers who were with their healthy babies,
Most of the midwives clearly didn't read my notes as their first question was always "where's the baby?" And I had to explain what had happened,
The empty cot was left in my bay,
You are absolutely allowed to feel robbed and cheated.
As labours go, that sounds pretty high on the scale of trauma.
I have no real advice, just wanted to offer my sympathies.
My DH also could never understand when I was still "banging on" about not getting the birth I wanted several years later. We got a healthy baby, what did it matter? This is most people's attitude I'm afraid. Including on mumsnet, in my experience.
The only thing that has laid it to rest for me has been the birth of my second child, which was a more satisfying birthing experience for me (although still not the ideal birth I'd imagined). Obviously, that is something you won't be considering yet.
I believe there are counsellors who deal specifically with birth trauma. I'm not totally sure how you would find one - google is your friend.
I really do feel for you. It's hard.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks so much all.
Flats - you are spot on. That's my DH's view exactly. I do agree to an extent - and I know I'm far from the only one to have a difficult labour. But 3 months on I just can't stop replaying it in my mind still.
HarrietVane - thank you for the link. That's a good idea to ask for a debrief too. I have contact details for the psychotherapist who was on the neonatal ward so will ask her if the hospital have this service.
It sounds totally mad given all the above but at this point I feel the only way to properly get over the labour is to do it again. Flats - I'm glad you had a better time second time around, but sorry it still wasn't what you had wanted.
Hi Rose, My 1st labour was not as i imagined, and the only thing that got me over it was when I was pg with DD (DC2) and had to go for an ante-natal apt with a consultant, nobody knew why i was there, so settled me with a m/w whilst waiting for the cons. She just went through my notes, asked about my labour and did a debrief based on the notes before her. It wasn't planned, but helped so much when she said things like, ah ,they did that as his h/b dipped then etc. A de-brief can really help if you can get one. Don't read the notes on your own.
Also, 2nd time around, don't focus on anything that's been before. As you'll see on here, no two deliveries are the same, even your own! Sometimes it helps to read other birth stories to 'own' your own more.
sorry, x-posted with others whilst typing my message!
Thanks daisy - I think that's good advice. Will definitely ask for the debrief now. I hope your second time around you got the labour you wanted .
well, my 2nd 'birth plan' was some-what reduced! - i think 2nd time around, you realise all different scenarios so have different expectations - i think we just listed DH cut the cord, DH tell us what sex baby is, Midwife advise on pain relief needed according to circumstance, that was about it. I don't think I went through what you did 1st time, but differently, i was traumatised by things and I think that's down to our expectations 1st time around. 1st time, I wanted the perfect labour. 2nd time I just wanted a healthy delivery, however that happened.
I really hope you can enjoy your baby without any worry of what happened. - Crazily, we are now considering DC3 (and I'm ancient )
Your not alone in feeling this way. I'm nearly seven months on from a traumatic birth and the feelings still linger but have gradually become easier to deal with. Sending you lots of understanding hugs xx
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