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I think I need help

(43 Posts)
CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 22:06:32

Today I broke down and started to sob in front of the gynecologist who just did my smear test. Poor man had only asked if we were thinking of having another baby.

DD is 3. DH and I just agreed to TTC a few days ago, and since then, I can't sleep. My horrendous birth experience, the month long hell that followed, and the years it took me to feel normal again keep turning in my head. And I am not even pregnant yet.

Good news is that gynecologist said not to worry, that he will do a cesarean section if I so wish. Bad news is that I can't get over the horror that was DD's birth.

Not sure what I expect as a reply to this, but just wanted to tell it to someone.

Wade Mon 07-Jul-08 22:14:08

Why was it so bad?

Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 07-Jul-08 22:14:43

oh no you poor thing. I don't have any advice except that I know that someone more knowledgeable will come on here with pointers towards how to deal with traumatic births.

I do however know that however it was for you, you have done an amazing thing - your DD would not be here without you.

luckylady74 Mon 07-Jul-08 22:17:00

I have seen lulamama advise on this sort of thing - perhaps you could give her a shout. I really think you need to deal with this because you'll have 9 mths of hell otherwise - so sorry for you.

madmouse Mon 07-Jul-08 22:17:17

Get in touch with the hospital where you gave birth and ask for the 'Birth Afterthought Service'. A midwife will go through your birth experience with you and help you come to terms with it and understand what happened.

Is this a good time for you to start trying again. Looks like you may suffer from at least some symptoms of post traumatic stress. Speak to your gp.

take care

LuckySalem Mon 07-Jul-08 22:18:09

Agree with MM - speak to your GP and the hospital.

Also wait for Lulu! She's ace!!!!

umberella Mon 07-Jul-08 22:20:10

if it is ptsd i might be worth getting in touch with your nearest mental health mother & baby unit who will have lots of experience of working with ladies who have had similar problems.

I was horrified to be referred to one due to a severe needle hobia (therefore TERRIFED) of the birth, but they were absolutely fantastic.

umberella Mon 07-Jul-08 22:20:27

phobia, rather!

amazonianadventure Mon 07-Jul-08 22:30:43

I agree with whats alread y been said before you can even think about conceiving again,you need to address these issues.The hospital should be able to advise you or even try and get ahold of Sheila kitzingers birth trauma group (www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk).I think you need some sort of debriefing/understanding before you can move on.

If you have postnatal issues as well then your gp can refer you to a specialist.Depending on where you stay you may have a mother and baby unit nearby that would keep in touch throughout your pregnancy and up to your LO is a year old.

good luck

Pruners Mon 07-Jul-08 22:33:40

Message withdrawn

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 22:48:03

We can't much longer to start to TTC, as DH and I are both 37 years old this year. I think pregnancy will be fine as long as I know c-section is an option at the end.

DD was a big baby, over 4 kgs (almost 9 lbs). I was induced a week before due date. Terribly painful contractions despite epidural, but that doesn't really bother me in retrospect. Midwife cut a huge episiotomy although I protested against it ("4 kg babies don't come out just like that") which then got infected, probably because I was told by stupid nurses that washing with disinfectant was not necessary ("You are not dirty, madam. That is just blood. Wash with water, that's all"). It is the three weeks I spent crying in pain, breastfeeding DD standing up because I couldn't sit nor lie on my side.

Episiotomy scar tissue hurt so bad for so long (more than a year) that gynecologist offered to do an anesthetic injection to the area which would kill the nerve there and I wouldn't feel any pain. I wouldn't feel anything at all, in fact hmm Thankfully, I refused this and instead found a cream made to heal scar tissue after gynecological operations.

It is only in the last six months or so that I feel normal down there and sex is easy again. I want another baby but can't bear the thought of going through the same things again.

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 22:51:40

I live in France. There isn't much hand holding after the birth here. In fact, the very doctor who saved me by prescribing antibiotics when he saw me crying in pain in the corridor of the hospital 10 days after birth, said during a smear test a year later "Don't worry, I will do the episiotomy myself next time, over the old scar, and it will be different this time".

I cried all the way to the hospital, just the thought of going through the same thing again was too much, a year after DD's birth.

Pruners Mon 07-Jul-08 22:56:28

Message withdrawn

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 22:56:49

Honestly, I am not usually such a crybaby.

This is the only subject I can't talk about without dissolving in tears. Is that a sign of trauma?

Pruners Mon 07-Jul-08 22:57:46

Message withdrawn

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 23:00:10

I don't care if next birth is vaginal or c-section. Just want to survive it with a healthy baby and minimal damage to my body.

It would be nice to actually enjoy the first month of baby's life this time.

CarGirl Mon 07-Jul-08 23:03:24

I am so angry that they induced yo before your due date (I hope there was a real medical need) then told you you couldn't deliver a 9lb baby without being cut - it's barbaric.

Induction is such a poor start to the birth process and the thought of being cut just because your baby is a little larger than average angryangryangry

You really need some trauma counselling it sounds horrendous, what should have been a joyful (although not without some pain I admit) experience sounds like some sort of torture where all your wishes were completely not listened to at all.

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jul-08 23:11:38

CarGirl - My uric acid levels in blood were above normal and increasing - I was heading for preeclampsia. So induction was probably the right choice.

I'm not that forgiving about the episiotomy, though. Even if I tore, I can't believe it would have been any worse.

CarGirl Mon 07-Jul-08 23:17:20

It does sound like a botch job. Although my first baby was average size my last 3 were large and I never tore I am so angry that the pushed you into it in such a vulnerable state. Having always been induced and the epidural not blocking the pain I can imagine how tired and in how much pain you were. I am so so grateful I left childbirth 99% intact and with healthy babies. I really can see why a c sec would appeal, although a positive VB would probably do so much more for you mentally but you cant guarantee that happening.

Are you allowed access/copy of your birth notes in France it may give insight into whether they really did need to cut you (baby vitals dropping etc) or whether that is just more standard practice, how experienced the person who stitched you up was etc.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jul-08 08:20:05

Stayed awake in bed until 2 AM last night and was up at 6 AM with thoughts on what to do if I am pregnant.

Decided that my first step should be to see if I can get access to my records at hospital.

Because nobody talks about these things and all I hear from other women is how "It was not a big deal", I don't know how common/unusual my suffering was. So were the days & weeks post partum just slightly uncomfortable for everyone then?

lulumama Tue 08-Jul-08 08:24:45

cote, i am so sorry to hear this. i am really sad and angry for you

your wishes were not respected and your body was essentially violated.

i would get in touch with one of the birth trauma support groups.. one of the most important thigns you can do is to write and/or tell your birth story, in full, in as much detail as you want to . really purge yourself, and get it all out

then you need to have your feelings listened to and validated. that IME and IMO seems to be a good way to start the healing process

4kg babies can be born over an intact perineum with good management of labour or in fact witht the mother being 'allowed' to labour how she wants to. any position other than flat on your back and/or in stirrups is far better for birthing. especially a big baby.

so yes, of course you could request a c.section, but before you even get to the birthing room, you need to move forward from DDs birth

lulumama Tue 08-Jul-08 08:27:10

i can tell you IME that your story is sadly, not uncommon. but the level of pain and suffering is not right. you should not have felt like that, you should have been taken care of a lot better.

you should not have needed to wash your episiotomy with disinfectant , good hygiene should be fine.. but lots of women do get post partum infections of some sort or another and if not treated swiftly, can be horrible

Maria2007 Tue 08-Jul-08 08:52:42

Hi Cote,

I haven't given birth myself (am 36+1 today, pregnant with my first baby) but I would just like to say that I'm really sorry this has happened to you... and I agree with the others that talking through the experience would really help, and actually maybe more than once, talk about it as much as you need. I would suggest you find the right listener (or listeners, and all the suggestions everyone made are great, but counseling/therapy might also help) & go through the experience in as much detail as you need & how ever many times you need. As for the cesarean, I agree that that perhaps would probably be much less stressful for you under the circumstances, once you've talked through the previous experience in detail... maybe you may feel differently once you've worked through the initial experience, maybe not, you know what's right for you. The important thing is to find the support you need, I know it's not always easy to find the right support & the right listener, but once you do I'm absolutely convinced it will make SUCH a difference.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jul-08 08:56:21

lulu - Thank you for your reply. I understand how writing it all down can be cathartic. And I would probably be more coherent in writing sad

lulumama Tue 08-Jul-08 09:02:34

if you want to email me , you can do. not sure how mcuh help i can be, but i can 'listen' \read your story if it helps. smile

i can assure you, it will get better. i had terrible PND after DS birth, which was not that traumatic, but the way i felt after was ignored by everyone, which was the worse thing. DDs birth very healing, but took 5 years before i could get pregnant due to how i felt. so i sympathise entriely

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