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feeling sad - grieving for the innocence of the first few hours

(38 Posts)
madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 21:15:11

Not sure this makes any sense, but i just found myself crying while holding sleeping ds (5.5 months) and still when cleaning the bathroom after.

He was born in theatre with rotational forceps after a long labour. Apgars were 9,10,10 and he did really well despite lots of meconium.

After 12 hours he went blue and it turned out he was fitting. Before we knew it he was in an incubator in NICU, ventilated and soon sedated by a cocktail of drugs. Scans showed that he sustained brain damage and various scenarios were outlined. So far he has defied all expectations and is a very happy smily chatty normal little man. He rolls front to back all the time, almost sits alone, can stand holding your fingers, talks, giggles, is getting to grips with solids and most importantly, despite predictions of blindness sees very well indeed.

So why am I so sad? I feel I am grieving for the sense of innocence of the first hours after the birth, when life seemed so fantastic and amazing. Taking him home after three weeks was terrifying rather than rosy as I was so scared of the fits (that never returned btw). I feel that innocence will not return, as any further pregnancies (and I hope for two more) will be marked by extra checks, scans, probably a caesarian and lots of worry.

Not sure why i am writing all this, but I am home alone and it feels good to write it down. So don't feel you have to reply

If you are still reading, thank you. I would have been lost without mumsnet in those early days.

nkf Thu 17-Jul-08 21:18:06

It makes sense. You've been through and ordeal and it must have been terrifying. We don't always let go at the time. It's afterwards that the horror of it hits us. I'm glad MN helped you. And glad to hear that you little boy is doing well.

IHadABetterNameButYouStoleIt Thu 17-Jul-08 21:19:51

could it be that you are just starting to come to terms with the shock of the last few months? it must have been a really difficult time. were taking it all in or just coping?

LackaDAISYcal Thu 17-Jul-08 21:21:30

madmouse, sorry to hear about your birth experience and DSs trauma sad

I think what you are feeling is perfectly natural after such a traumatic experience.

Did you get any sort of debriefing from your labour or the events that happened afterwards? as it sounds like this might be a type of PTSD. Lulumama will hopefully see this as she has some useful links on overcoming the after effects of birth trauma.

Talking about it here is probably a good first step to make in helping you come to terms with things and you are very brave for having the courage to make it.

Your DS sounds like a real wee trooper, you must be immensely proud of him smile

madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 21:23:01

That makes sense. Things are very peaceful and enjoyable now, and I am not scared anymore, so i guess there is space. Yes, he can at any time develop epilepsy, but there is nothing I can do about that. Other problems may occur, but they are not going to take my little boy away from me.

I just saw lots of images in my head, of rocking him to sleep wih my still numb hips on the obs ward, of just staring at him for hours on end as he slept on my lap. I had practically forgotten that...

conkertree Thu 17-Jul-08 21:23:19

hi madmouse - sure people with more useful advice will come on soon, but just wanted to send a virtual hug.

i had nothing like that sort of experience, really only had a few wee feeding problems at the start - but i felt a huge compulsion to talk about it for weeks and months afterwards, so you must have that amplified by a huge amount.

childbirth is such a major event, and however relaxed you are about it beforehand, you always have an ideal scenario in your head, and i think its very hard sometimes to deal with it when it doesnt happen that way.

it sounds like you had a very scary experience, and of course thats going to go round and round in your head. hopefully, if you talk about it a lot (hopefully you have people in rl you can talk to too) you can start to work it through in your head and deal with it.

and it sounds like you ds is doinf brilliantly, so hopefully the more time that goes past, the less you will remember the start (but i know thats easier said than done).

conkertree Thu 17-Jul-08 21:24:12

crossed posts - by the time i typed, lots of people had already given you good advice grin

Madlentileater Thu 17-Jul-08 21:24:45

Of course it makes sense. You are right, you are greiving for the loss of those first weeks, which you'd imagined to be perfect but turned out not to be. Are you sure future pregnancies will be considered risky?
In any case, may be a good idea to talk to someone who won't try and cheer you up or make you see sense (as in, but you're so lucky to have a healthy baby now)...someone who will listen without judging and wanting to give their own a counsellor. Or if that's not possible, Samaritans will always listen, you don't have to be suicidal.
If you have a DP s/he might find it helpful too...we all grieve in different ways.

madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 21:25:00

Lackadaisical have a look at my pics, you would never think he had been through so much smile

damn, crying again

He's gorgeous and you have been so strong for him.

I didn't have any of the birth trauma you went through but I found around DS's 6th month I got very nostalgic and emotional about things. I think they have a sudden rush of development and you realise how far they've come. In your case that must be magnified enormously, having had such a terrible experience of the early days.

I just think it's normal and OK for you to feel like this - probably some sort of release. He's absolutely beautiful and you should be very proud, both of him and yourself

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Thu 17-Jul-08 21:34:25

oh madmouse, he is a super little guy!!!

I think what IARCFB said is bang on. And a leetle hug for you

simpson Thu 17-Jul-08 21:36:23

Madmouse - sorry you feel so down. You, your Dh and DS have been through so much. You must be so proud of DS.

I agree with Ihadabetternamebutyoustoleit -I think you are coming to terms and mourning what happened. Not having the perfect birth and homecoming etc. The worry over LO's immediate health may have eased slightly. He seems more advanced than my LO who is the same age!!! Therefore other feelings are surfacing. Hope you feel better soon, keep talking...

Do you think it might be worth talking to someone ie GP or HV?

LackaDAISYcal Thu 17-Jul-08 21:36:50

he is gorgeous, fab fab pics smile

and he shares my birthday, so the wee scone is truly blessed wink

sending you some virtual {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

have you told DP about how you are feeling; he probably has similar issues and perhaps talking about them with him will help?

sorry you have the threat of further complications hanging over you, this must also be making things difficult for you all, but you sound like a truly strong willed person and I think that with a little help you'll be able to pput it all in perspective.

Can you talk to the hospital patient liaison service? It would be a good place to start with getting some perspective on things.

Dragonbutter Thu 17-Jul-08 21:49:29

madmouse. DS1 was born very ill and taken away to SCBU before i made it out of surgery. We spent two weeks in the hospital before being discharged home.
I still grieve for that two weeks like you say. That time which should have been wonderful and special was taken from us.
It's been nearly 4 years now and i still feel a bit sad about it, especially when somebody I know has just had another baby. I get a pang of jealousy then I usually feel sad for a few days. It's difficult because while i'm happy that my friends haven't had to go through what i did, it reminds me of a time we lost.
Thankfully, I got this time second time around with DS2. I even made sure that visitors stayed away for at least a week so that i could treasure every second of that time and keep it very intimate, just me, DH and the two boys.

I think what you are feeling is a normal part of dealing with a traumatic birth. I recommend talking lots, writing it down. mumsnetting (i wish i had discovered it, it would have been sooo useful), and allow yourself time to grieve.

(oops phone rang, wrote this half an hour ago so have no idea how the thread is going...)

maxbear Thu 17-Jul-08 21:52:57

He is lovely, so pleased to hear how well he is doing now after the worry you had in the early days. It is amazing how resilient some of these children can be. He will probably continue to defy all of your expectations. God probably has something to do with it, (I should imagine you had lots of prayers said for you both when you had the complications at the beginning, being a curates wife?!)

madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 21:58:42

dragonbutter, grieving with you, that was very helpful, exactly what I am feeling

maxbear, er yes, thousands of prayers, update emails going in ever widening circles and cards arriving from people we did not even know. Definitely the power of prayer.

dh can still walk around somewhere with ds and when asked for his sons name he says nathan, the response then being 'oh, that nathan, how is he doing grin

Dragonbutter Thu 17-Jul-08 22:08:54

I think the grieving process finally came to acceptance when i had DS2. I think I finally saw the experience for what it was, very unlucky. I finally stopped getting up in the night to check if he was still breathing (he was nearly 3 by then).
I'm not sure what it was about the arrival of his brother that trigger the change.
You'll get to that point eventually.

I've wanted to start a thread to this effect for a while. About my mixed feelings when friends have healthy babies and normal deliveries. But wasn't sure how to word it without being lynched.
I think you are coping very well and much more timely than i did.

madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 22:14:50

Dragonbutter, three of my mates had babie sint he three weeks after me, and i was insanely worried about them. It became very important that they would have straightfoward labours and healthy babies. Then when the messages came in 'mother and baby doing well' I felt so weird.

Personally I make the difference between jealousy and envy. I am jealous, ie I wanted that too, but not envious, ie i did not want them not to have it.

osborne Thu 17-Jul-08 22:15:01

i'm sure most mums feel like that. i've recently had baby 3 and had no big traumas with any of them but still long for that early time.

Bronze Thu 17-Jul-08 22:19:22

I too can relate to how you feel. DD was 3 months prem and spent nearly 3 months on NICU/SCBU. It was hours before I saw her and I don't actually remember it as I was so drugged up. I still feel horribly sad about the time I missed with her especially as she was such a delightful baby. I also feel incredible guilty about my ds2 who was only 19 months when I was in hospital for a month. Neither of them remember the time and ar eboth happy little children but if I think about it too much I end up in floods. I had some ptsd counselling and it did help a bit so I would recommend looking into that.

Dragonbutter Thu 17-Jul-08 22:24:52

jealousy vs envy
that's a good way to explain it.

Bubble99 Thu 17-Jul-08 22:30:02

Totally understand.

DS3's twin brother dies during labour and I had to be reminded that I'd had DS3/DT1 and taken to the SCBU to see him.

I was grieving so badly but went, zombie-like, every few hours to try to BF a baby that I couldn't even register.

On the third night in hospital, a SCBU nurse, who I will never forget, brought him to me in my room and said...

"This little boy needs his mummy."

The rest, as they say, is history.

You will continue to make happy memories of your baby and it will get easier.


Bridie3 Thu 17-Jul-08 22:40:43

What a terrible shock you must have had when they told you all this!

I'm not surprised you're feeling an aftershock.

Hope you're feeling better now.

madmouse Thu 17-Jul-08 22:42:24

Oh bubble, i can not imagine what that must have been like sad

scbu nurses are amazing, they did so much to help me and dh back on the rails, and they know and uderstand a lot...

windygalestoday Thu 17-Jul-08 22:48:21

my ds1 was very poorly in his first few hours and i didnt see him for almost 24 hours sad id had an emergency c section i was v ill he was v ill......with ds2 my mil was dying nd dh took him home within 2 hours of his birth (by c sect again) ds3 was born by elective c section and i ws wake he stayed in my bed all th time with me and i too grieve for the time i lost with my other 2 sons but as my dh succintly (sp?) put it better to grieve for a few hours you missed when you have a lifetime to compensate than a life lost thatyou only tasted briefly.

you have a wonderful baby you must try and put this grief behind you and enjoy each day as it is now.

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