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Have you had a de-brief after a difficult birth? How long after? Did it help you?

(94 Posts)
MamaG Sun 20-Sep-09 20:38:36

I know I touch on this every couple of months blush

LissyGlitter Sun 20-Sep-09 20:41:59

I had one, just more than 2 years after having DD, when I found myself pregnant again. It did help, mainly because the midwife reassured me that I didn't do anything wrong. As the due date approaches though, I am still getting more and more scared...

randomeuro Sun 20-Sep-09 20:43:36

I didnt get a de-brief, infact it wasnt even until after I joined MN that I knew a de-brief was even possible. I didnt know until the day they discharged me that I didnt have a transverse birth but that my baby had turned completely back to back.

Pingpong Sun 20-Sep-09 20:46:34

oh I didn't know you could ask for a debrief! I'm interested now. I had emcs for DD and now 17w pregnant and don't want the same labour as before. I don't mind having another CS but would rather it was planned than labouring for hours and then still having CS. Not totally against VBAC either but I think a debrief would make things clearer for me.

pinknosedevereux Sun 20-Sep-09 20:46:40

What's a debrief? Had very difficult time with dd, never even heard of this..

sarah293 Sun 20-Sep-09 20:46:59

Message withdrawn

LuluMamaaaaarrrrr Sun 20-Sep-09 20:48:25

years after and yes, helped absolutely immensely
i do the same for other women , it is vital to talk it through , and as many times as you need to, one of the hallmarks of a trauma is needing to talk about it /relive it/ discuss it a lot
you know how to get hold of me if you want to talk x

Poledra Sun 20-Sep-09 20:53:07

I had a debrief when DD1 was about 12 weeks old - I coudn't get over her birth, and wept about it a lot. I had been given a flyer from the hospital about the service (it was a standard pack, everyone got one) so I went. Twice. blush

The first time I went, the mw and I didn't get past the point where the synto went in (ended up with em c-s) as I was crying so hard. She then suggested that I came back again and brought DH with me, as she felt that some of my problem was that I thought I had let him down. She also offered to get the anaesthetist and/or surgeon who had performed my c-s to come too. In the end, I went with DH (who was a bit hmm, TBH) and wept nearly as much the second time. blush However, it was the start of me coming to terms with the birth - it wasn't a magic bullet, but it was the start. I would recommend it, though even thinking about it is making me a little teary now.

Wow, that turned into an epic!

brightredballoon Sun 20-Sep-09 20:54:46

I had a de-brief 9wks after DS's birth but looking back it was too soon after, I was still recovering from it and its all a bit hazy. I am now in early stages of pregnancy and already my mind is on the delivery so I think I will ask for another de-brief at some point in the next few months which will be 2 years after DS's birth.

For those asking, a de-brief is when you sit down with a medical person (mine was a consultant) and they have your notes from your birth(s) and they read it and you can ask questions and they will answer as best they can.

MamaG , are you thinking of asking for one? It doesn't take long and is well worth it

Portofino Sun 20-Sep-09 20:56:54

I had an unofficial one. The MW who was there during my labour and who handed dd to dh after my crash cs, went on holiday that day.

She came to the house 2 weeks later for a cuppa and a cuddle (discussed by phone). I think actually I just sat there with dd, and no cuppa or cuddle materialised blush - good sign that you are NOT yourself during this period.....

And we talked about it. How dd got distressed etc. It was lovely to have the opportunity to talk about the whole thing with someone who was present - DH I think was totally traumatised and has NEVER wanted to discuss it. Men are such wusses.

bumpyandfrumpy Sun 20-Sep-09 20:58:29

I had a debrief in March when DS was nearly 1. It was immensely helpful to me as I thought things had happened slightly differently and hadn't realised (luckily) that DS was really in trouble a some points.
As a bonus...it must have put me at ease as I got pregnant that night.

Pingpong Sun 20-Sep-09 21:00:35

with my DD I was under consultant care and now with this pregnancy the mw at my booking in appt said 'oh you'll be with the consultant again' but at the 12w scan the consultant just said 'oh we encourage VBAC' wrote that in my notes and said I'd be fine under MW care and booked me in for another appt at 38w and shuffled me out the door before I could say anything.
I'd like a debrief with the MW who was with me for most of the labour, she's still on the team so I might see her on Tuesday at my next appointment but we only get 10 minute slots.
If you want a debrief how do you go about it?

brightredballoon Sun 20-Sep-09 21:03:57

Smac - I went to my Doctor and told him I had lots of unanswered question surrounding DS's birth, the Doctor suggested it to me and wrote to my hospital and then the COnsultants secretary phoned to arrange a date and time.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 20-Sep-09 21:05:31

I didn't have an official debrief until I was pregnant again. In retrospect, it would have been better to have had it earlier. I ended up having counselling after DD1's birth and had a lot of conversations with the counsellor where I said that the OB's decisions were wrong, and the counsellor disagreed (nicely) with me, and we went around in circles a bit. Knowing that I was actually right and he really was wrong was very difficult ("he screwed up and walks away just fine and I was right but I take all the consequences!") but then I could work on getting over it.

My top tip is to take your DH/DP/birth partner with you. My DH was horrified at how little he had understood what was going on during DD1's birth. It really helped him come to terms with it and it was invaluable when I was delivering DD2 as he was much more confident in his opinions. I also think that in his own way he was as emotionally shaken as I was, and it was nice for him to have a way of dealing with it.

Kirstieallsoppsalterego Sun 20-Sep-09 21:08:15

I never had one - and boy, did I need one. I still need one seven years later. sad

sazlocks Sun 20-Sep-09 21:09:43

We did when DS was around 6 months with a senior midwife who took us through my notes. Took abut an hour and was really useful and answered lots of unanswered questions about things that had happened. It was a service that was advertised when I was in hosp with DS and I was encouraged to come back again if I had any further questions, especially if I got pregnant again.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 20-Sep-09 21:11:24

7 years isn't too late to get one! You can get your birth notes from the hospital, they are legally obliged to send them to you as long as you pay for your admin costs.

slipperthief Sun 20-Sep-09 21:15:39

Does several glasses of wine count, talking about 'yes it really was that bad' with another mum, even after we both had it all very straightforward.

Am now 7 weeks gone with DC2 and sooo not looking forward to it all over again. Rose-tinted glasses are now definitely off. Not sure DH realises fully either.

Have a friend with DS1 now 6 wks old who had a right shocker of a time so I might suggest she debriefs with someone. Never knew you could tbh.

AimeeG Sun 20-Sep-09 21:19:57

Is this service available in Northern Ireland? This is the first I've heard of it. He wants another "some day" I couldn't imagine going through that ever again. I really wanted 3 or 4 children but I think I'll stop at 1.

chocolatekimmy Sun 20-Sep-09 21:26:02

I did when my second daughter was a year old and we wanted another one.

A midwife came to my house, with notes from both births and answered all my questions. I had lost a lot of blood with the first two (more with the second) so naturally I wanted to know if there was a reason and what the risks were for a third birth.

It helped for a number of reasons:

1. Reassured me that the bleeding had been 'normal'

2. Gave me the confidence not to overly worry about it happening again

3. Explained the process in terms of being under a consultant next time due to history and what steps could be taken to minimise risk during labour (having a line inserted in early stages, doctor being on hand, the types/amounts of drugs, donor blood being available etc

As it happened, I did haemmorhage third time, worse again, but the action plan had been followed so it felt less of a panic and more under control!

Pingpong Sun 20-Sep-09 21:26:17

Mmmm this is really interesting. I definitely feel I have some issues about DD's birth and really don't want to go through the same thing again but then I read some birth stories and think to myself 'get a grip yours wasn't that bad'.
I didn't use MN much when I had DD but on the antenatal thread I was on (on a different site) I couldn't write my birth story as it was too distressing.

Poledra Sun 20-Sep-09 21:39:54

Smac, don't think that how you feel is not justified just because someone else had it, in your perception, worse. My third birth was truly fantastic, but someone else reading it might think 'Jesus Christ, that was terrible!' (induced with synto, epidural, stitches).

This is, to an extent, where my DH was coming from - "you're OK, the baby's OK, what's your problem? It doesn't matter how she got here, the important thing is she's here and you're both alright."

Except it wasn't alright - I was grieved at how my daughter was born, that I was not there at the time (out under GA), that she'd been in the world nearly 2 hours before I understood that she was there. I had failed her at the first hurdle.

That was how I felt, and having an alive, healthy baby just wasn't enough. sad You allowed your feelings, you know smile

slipperthief Sun 20-Sep-09 21:46:59

I'm in the 'it wasn't that bad' camp, and still found it traumatic, so I think anyone, esp if they had a really rough time of it, needs chance to talk things out with someone.

And are we still allowed to slap any man who says childbirth is easy? I'd find that quite therapeutic.

slipperthief Sun 20-Sep-09 21:52:39

Sorry, could I rephrase myself - not 'it wasn't that bad' but
'## that was sooo much more painful & intense than I was ever expecting but I'm glad he came out the right way. I really don't want to have to do that again. Ever'

Meglet Sun 20-Sep-09 21:59:18

Yes, I had one when DS was one. He was an em cs and I had had a shit time in the post-natal ward and had spent a whole year brooding over it. Talking to the midwife was a weight off my shoulders. I knew the em cs had been essential but didn't realise how at risk he had been. She also agreed that the post-natal care was crap. Told me to never attempt a natural birth which made me feel more in control when I got pg with dd (planned cs and walk in the park).

It's a shame women aren't automatically offered the service when their baby is a few months old.

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