Struggling post birth.(14 Posts)
I gave birth last friday and I'm struggling emotionally with what happened and the aftermath I am left with.
I had an amazing home birth, very very quick at 1 hour 38 mins. Painful as hell but worth it as soon as I held my baby girl.
After the birth is when it all went to shit. I had a massive PPH with retained placenta and a cervical tear. I was rushed in to hospital and our newborn was left with my partner as I was too poorly to hold her in the ambulance. My partner had the drive from hell as he was trying to get to the hospital as quickly as possible but also drive carefully with our newborn in the car. At this point he had never even held a baby!
I lost 6 pints of blood in total. Ended up in emergency surgery having a manual removal of products with an epidural and also cervical stitches. I had 2 blood transfusions over the next 24 hours but my haemoglobin level is still really low at 78.
10 days later I'm still feeling as rough as anything. I have no energy. A shower wipes me out. I unfortunately have a newborn who suffers badly with colic so sleep is impossible at night at the moment. I'm worried sick about my partner as he has struggled with what happened as he was thinking the worst. The hospital even said it was touch and go to get fluids and blood back in me.
I get very teary when I think about what happened. It's not a PND feeling. It is just teary that I could of not been here to be with my family. And feeling so rough with temperatures, aches, headache, flank pain etc.... does not help.
Is this normal after a traumatic birth?
I should also of added that my milk still hasn't come in either so I am bottle feeding. I really wanted to give breast feeding a go so feel a bit rubbish that I can't feed her as I was going to try and do.
I know fed is best, and she is happy (other than the colic) on formula. Just wish my body wasn't letting me down so much.
It is totally normal to feel the way you do. I would talk to your midwife or health visitor about whether there are any local services to help you and your partner process it. If not there are specialist birth trauma counsellors.
Your body isn't letting you down, it's recovering after major trauma. As are you and DP. Can anyone help you both? It sounds as though you have had an incredibly rough ride, and a bit of help would go a long way. Talk to your HV/GP. You may both need a bit of counselling to help you move on. I had a (much less traumatic) post home birth hospital stay, too. Some injuries that needed attention. It's disappointing.
Congratulations on your lovely new arrival!
Do you think you might have a womb infection too considering your last paragraph. Get swabbed?
Huge hugs. Recently home birthed which was perfect on paper but had issues around the birth (son stunned, cord cut to get him rubbed up, no skin to skin) and another issue meant ambulance ride.
Debrief with midwife helped loads. Give your team again. Be honest with them. Don't get discharged from their care til 28 days either.
Congratulations on your baby! That does sound terribly scary - I have some experience of traumatic births, including manual removal of placenta after fast labour (DC2) and crash CS (DC1) and I can imagine how utterly wrecked you feel right now, and remember all too well the ' what if ' thoughts of the first couple of weeks. Even though you feel horrible now you will recover physically, and your partner will recover emotionally (my DH was also traumatised by my first birth). Can he help with the settling of your DD as much as possible? Try and get as much sleep as you can (I know it's difficult) as that will make you feel 100x worse.
At the very least, in addition to all the challenges new parents face, you also have adrenaline surges and other stress hormones to recover from. Don't worry too much about it, but get help where ever you can as well. It's fine to feel like this, fine to ask for help.
Poor you. You've lost a lot of blood. It's normal to feel drained. It will take time to process all of what has happened (for you and your partner). Pick a few close friends you can talk to and go over your story for as long as you need. Writing your thoughts as they come might also help.
Personally I'd ask your GP if you could be reviewed regularly (every week / other week?) until you feel better. If they have counsellors, even better. Your partner should also follow the same steps.
Get in touch with the Birth Trauma Association as they may be able to help you talk about what has happened.
Trauma works a bit like bereavement in the sense that you're likely to experience different stages before you've processed everything and feel settled again.
Unfortunately newborns feed every two to three hours for the best part of three months. You need maximum support (ie a relay of people every day who nurse you back to health, make food, deal with laundry and wind baby while you go to sleep).
Things will get less frantic eventually but the first few weeks (months?) are crazy. Accept any offer of help.
All the best
Thanks ladies. I have the midwife tomorrow and it should be the last time but I will see if she can visit us more.
I am also going back to the Dr's later on this week. I spoke to the GP today and she said it will take months to feel completely well again. Just got to get more rest I think. Easier said than done.
I think if it was just tiredness it would be easier. It's feeling so shit like I have the flu that's the hardest thing.
That does sound awful - very similar to me post birth. Rest when you can and don't worry about feeling sorry for yourself, I found it exhausting trying to put a brave face on. If you feel crap, say so.
There is nothing wrong with bottle feeding but if you do want to breast feed then your milk will only come in if the baby suckles - removal of milk (by baby) causes more milk to be made. She may feed for hours and hours and hours and cry and through her little head around, then sleep for like 15 minutes then do it all again and it'll feel like you don't have enough milk for her but you do, and that's normal, but exhausting! I think I fed for like 16 hours out of every 24 for the first 4 weeks!
I know exactly how you feel. I had a similar haemorrhage after my labour (though was in hospital) and I felt horrific for ages afterwards. The main thing that helped me recover was sleep. It sounds hard if your little one is colicky, but you will need your DH to be caring for them and letting you sleep. Also, get as much fresh fruit and veggies into you as you can, and red meat too. Do you have family close by? Ask them to make some bolognese or chilli and bring it over. Do you have a blender? I lived off banana smoothies in the first few weeks- 1 frozen banana, 2 dates, some almond milk, 50g of oats, 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp of nut butter, handful of frozen spinach leaves (you don't taste the spinach, but it does make a green smoothie!). The oats and flax will help with milk supply, banana will give you some slow release energy
Sorry, hit post too soon! I would put the oats, almond milk, flax and dates in the blender in the fridge the night before and get pop the spinach, frozen banana and nut butter in in the morning. Also some ice and a bit of water to loosen it up.
If that doesn't sound appealing, overnight oats for breakfast will be good too, and can be warmed up quickly (much better for you than instant porridge). Add ground flax and nuts/nut butter for extra protein.
With helping your milk, get some fenugreek tablets, take 2, 3 times a day. On that note, make sure you're taking a high-dose iron tablet and take it alongside a vitamin c tablet to ensure it had the best chance of being absorbed. Be topless with your baby, doing as much skin to skin as possible. There are medications your GP can prescribe to help with supply too.
And lastly, enjoy your gorgeous baby. I still feel upset about my birth and a few things that happened, but I've found as my daughter grows and is becoming more fun, it's getting easier to look forward to all the wonderful things ahead than look back and feel scared. Your brain won't be functioning properly right now because of the blood loss and it will make things feel so much worse than they are, but things will get easier.
Fucking hell divadee have some
I'm with the other ladies - you need to talk this through with someone so you can process it properly. Ideally a counsellor used to dealing with trauma. I would be completely honest with both the MW and GP about how you are feeling. My (completely unqualified) worry would be this could develop into PND or PTSD. Your partner needs the same help as he could potentially suffer from them too. My MW has been very diligent in asking my other half about his mental health since our baby was born 2 weeks ago, so male PND is definitely a thing.
Congrats on your baby. In time this trauma will all be a foggy memory.
Thank everyone for the help and advice.
Our midwife and HV have been fantastic and are going to refer us for counselling. We have said we want to wait a few weeks for things to settle down and we can really focus on it. DD is very unsettled and we are trying to work out if it's colic or silent reflux so got our work cut out at the minute.
I am not so teary and find that talking to people about what happened really helps. I also find talking about the positives really helps. Yes it all went to shit... but... I'm still here. It could of been horrendous, I could of completely bled out as the paramedics couldn't even get a line in as my body was shutting down. But that didn't happen. I'm here I have a beautiful (if somewhat screamy) baby who I adore and love more than I could ever imagine.
We do want to do some counselling. I think it will help getting closure on what happened. And also closure on my child bearing days I think. I'm soon going to be 40. And the midwife has said after what happened it might be wise not to have any more.
Join the discussion
Please login first.