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Not sure how I feel about my Son's birth...!

(29 Posts)
felicityheather Wed 22-May-19 21:26:52

Hello to anyone reading this... I'm home from hospital currently on day three with little one and suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed and feel I need to share my birth story. I don't quite feel able to share with husband / family / friends and I'm not entirely sure why? I was hoping to share on here and maybe that will help me feel a little more in touch with everything...

Also fully aware today's the dreaded 'baby blues' day and I feel a little emotional so maybe that's part of it.

DH and I found out we were expecting this little one on the back of a chemical pregnancy, following three more miscarriages in the year prior and several years of infertility investigations / PCOS. We were naturally excited but nervous. I found pregnancy hard and had severe morning sickness from five weeks to delivery. Through my second trimester I developed a more severe anxiety about the health of our little one and got to the point where I was having thoughts of suicide / abortion around 20-26 weeks.

Around 28 weeks my blood pressure was high and I ended up being monitored by the hospital twice weekly. Baby was also measuring 97th percentile so didn't help my anxiety.

Through the third trimester, my bp stabilised and my anxiety improved as we approached my due date. Then last week I felt the symptoms of high birth and at my routine community midwife appointment if was 170/105 and I had protein again. I was asked to go straight to hospital and advised they were likely to induce the same day as I was 38+3. My parents drove me in as DH was at work and they admitted me, diagnosed me as pre eclamptic and started the induction with the 24 hour pessary that night.

Saturday was a long but reasonably uneventful day with plenty of mild contractions and boredom. Saturday night the pessary dropped out early hours a little early and the midwife said they'd probably go for the next step in the morning. I dozed through the early hours, my contractions almost non-existent disappointed that not a lot was going on. When I got up, I had no contractions and felt very disappointed.

At 7:30 I had a sudden painful contraction. Then I had a few more, maybe ten minutes or so apart. I rang DH to come in thinking I'd need the moral support if I was already finding things hard. I asked for some painkillers and had some paracetamol and coedine with breakfast. I had set up my tens machine the previous evening for my more mild contractions so I continued to use this, and spent a couple of hours leaning on the window sill breathing deeply through them frustrated at how difficult I was finding things already.

The midwife offered to examine me saying maybe I wouldn't need the next pessary and things might progress on their own. I think she was surprised as I was that my waters are bulging and I was 9cm.

DH and I happily moved through to delivery and met another lovely midwife. I was told I couldn't use the water as I would have liked due to my high bp which I expected but found disappointing. They set me up with a continuous CTG but luckily it was mobile as I couldn't imagine sitting or lying down. They set up a cannula in my hand which I didn't like especially.

I felt like I needed to go to the toilet but couldn't work out which muscles to use. I kept sitting on the toilet and getting frustrated when the automatic flush kept going off!

I think this went on for around an hour. Midwife was struggling to get a good trace on little one's heart rate I think due to my movement. Eventually she suggested we break my waters which she did. I was still 9cm I think.

I got very anxious around this point and scared about how to do the next step. I asked for gas and air as I was concerned I wouldn't manage without it. I didn't love the gas and air but it did seem helpful/ distracting and I used it on / off for this stage, trying to keep my anxiety in check.

Midwife still didn't get a good trace. She was saying she wasn't sure if baby's heart rate was low or if she was picking up mine instead. She asked to put a clip on baby's head which I reluctantly agreed to. I got on the bed for this which was very uncomfortable. Almost immediately she was saying baby's heart rate wasn't good and we needed baby out. I was almost immediately pushing and unable to get off the bed. I'm not sure if the position change or the news was what triggered it because I had felt the urge for a little while before but hadn't been very committed?! I know my eyes were closed almost entirely from then until delivery. There were three midwives in the room then coaching my pushing, I think because of the concern of heart rate and I was put in stirrups pretty quickly. I remember just saying 'breathe' every time I wanted the gas which DH was holding and refusing to open my eyes. I also wanted to put my hand down to the canal, I think to relive pressure as he was crowning but couldn't because of the cannula. Eventually I accidentally tore the cannula out of my hand in the last few minutes. There was a lot of coaching about pushing baby out quickly and not resting because of the concern over heart rate. Suddenly they were saying just breathe, head was being delivered but all of a sudden he shot out. I think I hadn't worked out how to slow the pushing and he fired out in a oner much to everyone's surprise.

He was placed straight on me, concerns relieved, and I assume I was given syntocin to expel the placenta which I delivered a couple of minutes later (apparently it was over 4kg on its own!). The doctor had turned up by now and was examining me. I vaguely remember being told I'd torn badly and hemmoraged with around 1 litre blood loss and was still bleeding heavily. They told me I'd need surgery immediately and I was wheeled through and a spinal placed around 30 mins after his delivery. Dh was allowed to come in with our little one and I was very upset that I couldn't reach them or touch him.

I ended up loosing 1.5-2 litres of blood. Apparently I had a second degree tear backwards and a long tear forwards very close to my clitoris and urethra. I'd also torn both labia, one more than the other. This was repaired and they offered to let me hold baby as they wheeled me back but I said I felt 'spacey'. They took my bp and it was now 60/30. I was put on the high dependency unit. I obviously had no movement in my legs, a catheter, a bp cuff on my right arm doing five minute checks and a cannula in my left arm delivering drugs and fluids. I could barely move. They put baby in a crib right next to my bed but I couldn't reach him and was so upset. I just wanted to touch him but couldn't reach my arm over.

Eventually as I stabilised I was given baby and felt much better. Baby was weighed at 8lb11 (chunky for early, but still less than his own placenta!!!) He fed just a little and the midwife dressed him for me. After shift change we had another midwife, still 1:1 I assume because of all the drama and extra checks. We had the room to ourselves and DH actually had a pull out bed. Baby was reasonably settled and fed a little. Midwife helped me express colostrum to keep him cosy.

My pulse and temperate were high so they treated me with extra antibiotics for risk of sepsis.

I was sick a few times but generally ok. In the morning I was helped out of bed and managed a shower. I was advised to catherta needed to stay in for another 24 hours due to how close the tear was to my urethra but moved onto the postnatal ward.

We had an ok day here but I felt very helpless. I found the cannula frustrating and in the way for feeding etc. Both my patents, DH's and his brother and girlfriend all came to visit ... tag teaming in for the Visiting hours while peadstrician did his checks. Apparently as I was being treated for sepsis baby should have his own via IV but doc agreed that it might be overkill as we both seemed well. I found this stressful as baby was also fussy and not feeding as well through the afternoon : evening.

OP’s posts: |
felicityheather Wed 22-May-19 21:38:49

Afternoon / evening.

Baby fed almost continuously through the evening / night and wouldn't settle unless he was on the boob. My pulse / bp and temp all went back up and they wanted to give my more IV antibiotics but my cannula was leaking. They spent nearly two hours trying to site a new one and eventually gave up and gave me oral antibiotics.

My catheta was removed in the morning and after lots more checks I was discharged mid afternoon with a bag full of drugs and daily injections I need to give myself for 6 weeks.

We had a reasonably good evening at home. Baby fed for hours after dh went to bed. Eventually he settled around 2/3 and we had a dozy night/morning. Today has also been pretty good. Made it to the gp for my community Check (need to go daily for now) and my parents came for a quick cuddle. Baby has done another marathon feed. Feel like my milk is coming in well. He's now dozing on my chest and dh is fixing my dinner.

I think I just don't know how I feel about everything.

In lots of ways I feel it was positive. The induction was smoother than I could have hoped. I managed contractions and labour with not a lot of pain relief and I'm proud of that. Baby is well and we bonded well that first day. But so much else happened that was so hard. I feel like maybe the induction and labour (maybe birth) were positive but the hospital stay in general was not?

OP’s posts: |
Surfskatefamily Wed 22-May-19 21:44:58

That sounds so stressful. The panic at the pushing stage and being unable to stay cuddled with baby must have been awful. I had a horrible induction too and i understand. Honestly your tears sound scary too but iv been assured by friends who had big ones, they heal really well.
It took me about 6 months to feel ok with it. So 3 days later you really arent expected to. Its so recent. Id say, that when you are up to talking with your oh maybe that will help.
Contact your maternity wards birth reflections team too when your settled into motherhood. Mine was great. They talk through every stage of your birth and explain everything. Why it went wrong etc. They help your mental healing a bit.

seven201 Wed 22-May-19 21:46:42

I don't know what to say really. I had a planned c-section so I didn't experience all the unknowns that could happen, although I did have a complex pregnancy including pre-eclampsia. For what it's worth I think your birth sounds hard/complex but not absolutely horrendous. The tearing sounds particularly bad and I really hope you're healing well. It's sounds like you did a fantastic job at getting your baby out safely. You should feel proud of that.

I know it's easy to say but try and focus on the now rather than the past. I'm not saying you should shut it out forever, but you're only on day 3. Congratulations on your baby!!

felicityheather Wed 22-May-19 21:48:47

Thank you ladies. I felt strangely positive about it all until now and now I find it hard to process. Probably just hormones. Thank you for reading!

OP’s posts: |
Tinyteatime Wed 22-May-19 21:58:53

You’ve been through a lot. Just focus on resting feeding and snuggling your baby. Don’t be too alarmed if you feel down on day three. I had a bit of a traumatic birth that sounds similar (induction and iv antibiotics, baby needed to come out quick) and had a bit of a melt down when my milk came in, it’s normal to feel quite helpless but it should pass. Honestly I believe many many births have great parts and very bad traumatic parts. Your feelings may change over time or you may find you come to terms with how it all went. You can always ask for a debrief if you feel it would help. Personally I found it helpful to focus on the positives. Congratulations on your lovely new baby.

Tinyteatime Wed 22-May-19 21:59:59

Also make sure you receive the correct aftercare and physio if needed for the tears. They do heal surprisingly quickly though.

Sleepforaweek Wed 22-May-19 22:01:18

Just sending hugs. I too had a haemorrhage after delivery, although only 1 litre. Because i was so poorly, I didn't get to cuddle my baby for about 10 hours.
It is a very traumatic experience for both you and your DH. Allow yourself to be shocked//upset/ traumatised. It's ok to be upset. It is hard to talk about in RL. Mine was 15 years ago and my husband has only talked about it once - he thought he was watching me die after giving birth to our child.
Be kind to yourself and enjoy your beautiful baby. You have had a really tough time . It all takes time to process and accept. Congratulations on your lovely baby xxx

MoreCookiesPlease Wed 22-May-19 22:05:49

Congratulations on your baby, OP. FWIW I think it sounds like you've been through a lot and you've been extremely brave. Well done for managing to take things in your stride and well done for managing to breastfeed through it all too.

I know this sounds like crap advice... but try not to focus or dwell on the birth too much at this stage. You're very hormonal at three days post birth (with the dreaded 'baby blues' too!) so everything might feel very negative and unsettling. But in a few weeks/months you might feel more ok with the whole thing.

If you're still feeling upset after some time has passed, contact your hospital's birth unit and tell them that you want to speak to a Midwife Supervisor about your birth experience and want things clarified. Then you can meet up with a midwife Supervisor who can talk to you about your birth experience and this may help.

Jamhandprints Wed 22-May-19 22:13:45

OP, well done, you've done an amazing job! It sounds like you've had a difficult pregnancy as well as a difficult birth and now you have a newborn so no chance to process it all.
You will be fine. You will feel like yourself again. You will feel in control again.
For now, feed, cuddle, eat and rest. All day, all night. Nothing else.
Cry as much as you want. Eat as much chocolate as you want. It will all be ok again.

CountryGirl1234 Wed 22-May-19 22:14:53

Wow you certainly didn't have that easy. I think it takes a few weeks to get over any birth trauma and you really did go through it. Glad you can see the positives and didn't panic, wouldn't have been extremely stressful not being able to stay with your little one and you will definitely feel out of sorts for a few weeks while your body tries to recoup.

I think you've done bloody well and wouldn't be surprised if this stays with your for a couple of months while you heal up. I'm 10mPP and only really just healing myself, had an infection for 6m after and just slow to get back to normal. You should be proud you dealt with it so well and understandably will maybe sit uneasy with a lumpy start. I just hope you carry on enjoying and looking at the positives here. Congratulations o you and best wishes OP. thanks

HeyThoughIWalk Wed 22-May-19 22:16:05

As someone already said, find out if your hospital has a "birth afterthoughts" service - you can go and talk through it all and it's very helpful.

In general, if you want to talk about it, do. I had a bit of a traumatic birth with DD - she was unexpectedly born at home. Because it was quite an interesting story (everyone wanted to know what I did with the cord and placenta) I told and told it a LOT. It was really helpful for me to do that, so I was quite happy to give people the full story if they showed any interest!

The main thing is, you and baby are both safe. Day 3 is really early days; you'll find your mood is a bit all over the place for a few more days - just go with it and take any support you can get. And enjoy newborn snuggles!

CountryGirl1234 Wed 22-May-19 22:17:26

I'm sorry typo galore there: it would have been extremely stressful *
As others have said you should definitely focus on rest, cuddling your bundle, eating whatever you want and being kind to yourself

FannyFeatures Wed 22-May-19 22:17:56

Congratulations to your new little family Felicity smile

What you're getting is perfectly normal, I think women tend to have a rush of adrenaline and hormones to see them through the traumatic early days and as that subsides we crash and the realisation of what has gone on/changed sets in.

Do you think anything could have been done differently to help you? For what it's worth I don't think it sounds like anyone was at fault and the birth went as smoothly as it could have, it still sounds stressful nonetheless and I don't mean to minimise your experience at all.

You can request your notes and a debrief if you feel like you need it but give yourself a few weeks to process everything properly then decide how you want to proceed and what outcome you would like.

My first was a difficult labour with a few screw ups along the way ending in an emergency section which could have easily resulted in DS not being here today but on the whole it was down to circumstance rather than human error, it did help to talk it through and understand how and why it played out the way it did.

Thismummyruns Wed 22-May-19 22:29:06

I just wanted to say that I read your story and send positive wishes your way. I'm 7 days post birth and still feel a little emotional and my birth was straightforward and uneventful in the grand scheme of things.
You have been through the mill a bit especially with the tears which I can sympathise with as I tore with my first- sounds like a similar scenario with the pushing stage.

Lots of rest, cuddles with your new baby (congratulations btw) and enjoy your family bubble for as long as you can thanks

peachgreen Wed 22-May-19 22:36:26

Lots of good advice OP. Just one thing to add - get your iron levels checked and if they've dropped significantly push for a transfusion - I lost over 2l but because my iron levels are naturally high they didn't give me a transfusion and I was ill on and off for over a year. They eventually admitted they'd made a mistake. Hope you continue to recover well and keep talking if you find it helpful. The memories do fade. Congratulations on your beautiful baby.

Passthecherrycoke Wed 22-May-19 22:42:50

Wow- you are an incredible woman! Superwoman grin you should be very proud of yourself. What a lucky little boy you have.

Glad you feel better at home and hope the pain isn’t too bad. You’ve done an amazing job

felicityheather Wed 22-May-19 22:44:48

Thank you all. If feels good to have gotten it out there to some extent.

OP’s posts: |
badg3r Wed 22-May-19 23:43:12

Congratulations, first of all!
I would say keep talking about how you feel. Tell the health visitor. Tell your GP. Ask for a debrief of the birth to understand why things happened. Becoming a mother is wonderful but often the process is traumatic and it is completely normal for your feelings about it to change as you process it. Your experience sounds emotionally and physically completely exhausting.

Maybe you can keep a notebook where you jot fine how you feel about it, or make a voice recording, to get it "out there" in the moment and not have to carry the thoughts around in your head?

largecoffeeplease Thu 23-May-19 00:09:12

I'm almost 6 weeks PP now and I had a very traumatic birth. I was in hospital for two weeks and I spent most of the time in hospital just feeling completely dazed and like you said, I wasn't sure how I felt about the experience at all.

I've spent the last few weeks with everybody going 'oh god you've been through hell' but honestly... I feel fine. There have been some low points and my body is still healing but I would just say take every day as it comes and don't push yourself too much. Be really kind to yourself.

If you do feel like you may have some negative feelings about the birth, talk about it. Just keep talking talking talking. With your family, with your friends, your health professionals. It will eventually just become normal.

Nat6999 Thu 23-May-19 00:51:47

I had nearly everything you had except my induction failed & I ended up with EMCS. I was in high dependency for 48 hours, was very ill with HELLP syndrome, then dumped in a room on post natal ward & left to get on with it. I discharged myself 4 days after DS was born as I wasn't getting any care in hospital, went home & spent over a week in bed because my blood pressure was so high, our GP was visiting daily to monitor me because I refused to go back in hospital. I was in shock & felt awful. You need to take time to get your head around everything that has happened to you, rest as much as you can, I imagine you are very bruised & battered from all your stitches & very uncomfortable, take all the painkillers you can, don't suffer in silence & accept any help you can.

felicityheather Thu 23-May-19 19:41:07

Thank you all so much for reading and replying. I'm feeling much better today and will take on everyone's advice. X

OP’s posts: |
MrsGrannyWeatherwax Thu 23-May-19 19:55:59

Congratulations on your little one!

The shock is quite hard to come to terms with especially at this early stage. It definitely gets better with time though, or atleast did for me. I know you can get a review and talk it over if needed in my area, but I preferred to talk to close friends.

The stitches will become slightly more uncomfortable as they begin to heal, I used to have a very shallow bath 4 x a day for the first 2 weeks whilst hubby could have the baby. I used a few drops of tea tree oil and it really helped, plus when it felt bad I asked the community midwives to check the stitches for infection. I also found the general bruising from injections began to annoy me as my body began to recover more, so take it as easy as you can.

Seek support wherever you can for breastfeeding as the cluster feeds combined with everything else can feel like a lot.

And congratulations again!

Malteserdiet Thu 23-May-19 20:06:48

Best thing to do is to talk the whole thing through, including how you felt and what your thoughts were, with someone you’re close to.

My 2nd baby was a traumatic birth. I was induced by them breaking my waters and putting the drip on but had a massive haemorrhage after my DS was born and lost 3.5-4 litres before they finally got it under control. Then only a few hours later my DS got very ill and got taken up to special care where it was discovered that he had a strep B infection. He stayed in for a week on IV antibiotics and for the first 48 hours it was very difficult for us to be with each other due to my own requirement to stay in high dependency.

However, a few days later I had the opportunity to tell my DM absolutely everything I had stored up in my head from those days and as I told her I felt like I was able to let it go and focus only on the now positive outcome that we were both luckily ok. I went on to have another 2 DC so it is possible to move on.

The problem is, you will be sore from your tear and also overwhelmed with the new responsibility of a baby and haven’t had much chance to process and deal with what happened. That’s why it’s so important to talk it out with someone and allow yourself to move past it and focus on healing and enjoying your new baby. It is all worth it in the end!

Sleepinglemon Thu 23-May-19 20:24:01

All the advice I would have offered has already been given, along with lots of fantastic stuff I would never have thought of. I just want to give you a big hug.

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