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Moving forward- help please

(13 Posts)
chickenchops Wed 20-Jul-11 23:12:03

Hiya, hoping someone can help.
3 months ago I suffered from a horrific birth. Much physical and emotional trauma. When the crying and hopelessness continued on and on the gp referred me on the mental health team and last week I met with a psychiatrist. Very helpful and very kind. Discussed some options and wanted to meet again this week. Saw him again yesterday and he highly suggested anti-d's and psychotherapy. I'm too scared to take the anti-d meds as I am BF the little one but made an appt with a therapist. I saw her today. Didn't really know what to expect. She was really lovely and listened very well as one would expect. Maybe I'm just being cynical and a pissed off with medical personal but I don't really see how this will help. She was -quite rightly- trying to explore all options of my emotions but truly, my only real issue is the crap way I was treated. She tried giving me some distraction advice but I don't want to be distracted- I want to move on from the anger/hurt/pain/humiliation. As I left she asked if I wanted another appt and I said ok but... I think in the end I know the only way out of this is time. Eventually it will become less raw, the nightmares will become less, the crying will slow. I just feel like I'm missing out on my sons babyhood waiting for it to happen. Is this right or should I continue with therapy?

Pishwife Wed 20-Jul-11 23:19:07

I am about to go to bed, but yes, you will get through this. Don't rule out the anti-d's, I took them while breastfeeding - it was a matter of balancing risks.

3 months is very early days and you will be getting precious little sleep. Things will get less raw, I promise you. Use your appointments to talk again and again about the birth, it will help you to process it all.

You are not missing out on your son's babyhood, you are doing more than most mothers as you are tackling trauma and illness with courage - facing up to them and taking action - you should be extremely proud of yourself.

sillyworriedmama Wed 20-Jul-11 23:26:52

As Pishwife said - you are a brave, courageous mother, well done for accepting help and looking after yourself now, your baby is lucky to have you! Check out the birth trauma association for advice on therapeutic interventions and support, they will be able to support you too. at 12weeks postnatal, I was still an emotional wreck irrespective of the birth - I didn't even see my birth afterthoughts service until 5months post birth. Have you seen yours? They should have a midwife led service you can speak to at your hospital. Mine went through the notes from my pg and birth with me and explained things, the things she couldnt explain she listened to, and she got an apology from the consultant for me as well about the mistakes made in my care, its not a perfect process but it might help you understand/take action and move on?

Pishwife Thu 21-Jul-11 13:22:30

How are you today, chickenchops?

madmouse Thu 21-Jul-11 14:00:20

Time may be the great healer but talking can really help. It is often through talking that we give things a place in our memories so that we can move on. And often you need to say the same thing over and over again and counselling can be a good and safe place for that.

Also you say that you don't want distraction, you want to move on. But distraction can take the focus/pressure off a little for a while and that can calm you down generaly, making you better able to think about things in a positive/helpful way. So I would certainly encourage you to keep going to therapy and to try some of the distraction exercises.

By the way speaking from huge traumatic birth situation 3.5 years ago now...

chickenchops Thu 21-Jul-11 18:15:56

Thank you very much for your positive comments and support. It is helpful to know others have been through this and come out the other side. I'm still feeling quite low today but plan on finishing a letter I've written to the head of several departments at the hospital. In it, it details my experience, how it's effected me and what I would like done. I know its a gamble as they may do nothing or simply dismiss what happened making me feel even worse, but if it is acknowledged and dealt with I hope i will feel better.
I just really wanted this to be a happy time.
This is so hard.

chickenchops Thu 21-Jul-11 18:17:08

Thank you very much for your positive comments and support. It is helpful to know others have been through this and come out the other side. I'm still feeling quite low today but plan on finishing a letter I've written to the head of several departments at the hospital. In it, it details my experience, how it's effected me and what I would like done. I know its a gamble as they may do nothing or simply dismiss what happened making me feel even worse, but if it is acknowledged and dealt with I hope i will feel better.
I just really wanted this to be a happy time.
This is so hard.

Pishwife Thu 21-Jul-11 20:36:07

Well done, chickenchops. I did that, too, and they promised better training at the hospital, a new way to deal with hospital gowns (sounds trivial but being given a dirty gown for theatre made me feel about as protected as a slug) and wrote a full apology. I didn't try for any compensation as I just wanted to feel vindicated, and I did, it really helped. I also had copies of all my notes, which helped me to come to terms with it all (and gave me the evidence I needed that they HAD cocked things up and it wasn't just me being a fusspot).

I know how much you want this to be a happy time, but that is an awful lot of pressure to be putting on yourself though - you have to care for a newborn, have no sleep, barely enough time to have a wee, your finances and home are upside-down, you have people wanting to talk to you about babies all the time, your body has changed in all sorts of ways... oh and by the way you have to be ecstatic as well! Tall order, eh?

It's been 8 years for me now and at the time I remember thinking - that's it, I have basically lost my life, my mind, everything - my life is never, ever going to be even average again, never mind happy. It was a very dark time, but I came through it - because I recognised that I was struggling. Forgiving myself for not being perfect was a huge part of that, I didn't really like myself or give myself a chance to adjust. Being a mum is a source of so much joy now, stronger still because I had to really fight for it, it wasn't just handed to me on a plate.

Are you getting some you time? An hour for a bath, a walk or a bit of sleep here and there? What support do you have around you? You don't have to answer if you'd rather keep things private.

People always say "an un-mumsnetty hug" but I would like to offer you a full-on, big mumsnetty bear hug.

midnightservant Thu 21-Jul-11 22:12:56

I am guessing you are furious. But of course you don't want your baby to pick up on it. Do write as others suggest, it is the only way to try to make sure that at least no-one else has to go through what you did.

Kindest thoughts.

chickenchops Sat 23-Jul-11 18:01:05

Many thanks for the continued support.
Husband is great about taking DS and playing with him so I can have a break. He's never far from me as I BF and because it's the only thing that's gone right I'm too scared to express a bottle. So my breaks are very short lived but, I'm guessing soon he'll settle more into a routine.

I AM furious. Completely. Its just so unfair that when I was completely dependant upon them, they offered no help or support, cocked things up and stripped me of any dignity.

Friday morning I was reaching the upper limits of what I felt I could deal with, so I asked hubs to ring up and ask for the script they said they would keep for me if I decided to use anti-d's. I've been really hesitant due to BF but thought if they would help, but initially make things worse, it was better to start sooner rather than later.

I took the first one today. Within an hour I felt sick. Within 3 hours I was absolutely euphoric. Giggling, laughing, unable to walk in a straight line but so flipping happy I wondered why I hadnt been on them sooner. Then it wore off and I felt sick again. And then my throat started to feel like it was tightening and I had difficulty swallowing. And then I stood up and nearly passed out. A&E said to not take them again.

There seems to be no end.

X

midnightservant Sat 23-Jul-11 20:10:40

OMG. Check the leaflet with the ADs - it may not be the ADs you are allergic to, it could be the stuff they make the pill out of IYSWIM.

And don't give up on AD's - there are lots of different ones and many people have to shop around till they find one that suits. Which, if you think about it, is better than the 'one size fits all' that meds used to be.

Of course you are furious - what I was thinking was, that because you cannot be furious round your baby, you have transformed it into feelings of helplessness and crying.

I BF both mine, a long time ago now! - each feed seemed to go on and on, but I was happy because I had a good excuse to do nothing but drink tea, read a book and read! Carted them everywhere with me so no need to express, but the fact is, I doubt I would have been able to do it confused.

midnightservant Sat 23-Jul-11 20:11:09

read a book and read????

natsyloo Thu 28-Jul-11 22:08:11

Hello chickenchops - just wanted to join the thread to say I think you're really courageous and strong for acknowledging the problem and trying to find a way through it.

I too had a pretty horrible birth and severe PND (DS is one next week and it's bringing back lots of weird feelings for me around the birth itself). I too felt exhausted, angry, violated in some ways and numb with shock. One of my worst memories was attending a post natal group where the MW asked us all to sit in a circle and talk about our labours. I honestly wanted to pass out on the spot!

I know you're really in the thick of it all now - I felt so so bad in the early months and genuinely felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I felt so lost, desperate and lonely and had all sorts of guilt about bonding and wanting to even delete the experience of being a mum.

ADs (I took sertraline while bfeeding), a brilliant GP and CBT therapist and time have been the combination of healing forces. It really isn't something you can rush as much as you want to feel better.

You will get through this and you won't feel as you do now. I can't tell you how different I feel now - I feel so remote from the lost soul I was twelve months ago. It can happen for you too xx

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