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Will I get help 2nd time around? Traumatic birth/PTSD

(2 Posts)
MiaSparrow Sun 24-Feb-13 17:42:00

Hi all

While I'm a happy bunny now (my DD is 2), I realise that post-birth I suffered a good 8 months of PTSD with some horrific labour ward flashbacks and desperately out of control feelings. The really annoying thing is that I didn't have a "traumatic" birth on paper, but the 38 hours of back labour with no pain relief (in which I genuinely thought I was was going to die) was traumatic enough.

I didn't get any help for this. My HV team were crap. My own HV could barely speak English and didn't understand my questions. DP had to fill in the PND checklist for me while I dictated it to him in a crowded waiting room while I breastfed a screaming 6 week old. When they came in to get my form the HV joked "You writing us an essay?". (This was when we lived in inner London - we've now moved out a bit.). NCT saved my life and that's no exaggeration.

I totally understand I have control issues, which has everything to do with me refusing an epidural. DP and I were violently mugged about year before DD came along and again, we didn't get much help apart from the two weeks signed off work while the bruises healed but I feel that this has affected me hugely and is linked to my birth experience and DD's early months. Having seen DP slumped in the middle of the road (I thought he'd been stabbed. Thank God, he hadn't) I can now imagine the very worst happening to me and to the ones I love. For months and months I used to imagine DD dying in the most horrific ways. These awful, violent images would just pop into my head and it was so utterly stressful for so, so many months. I've learned to tell myself off when they do. She's fine. We're all going to be fine.

I feel that for the first time in my life I'm not too proud to ask for help either, but will anyone listen? My new GP's surgery seem really good and I'm starting to think about baby number two, but I know that I need to resolve some of these issues. I just can't go through it again. I'm friggin' petrified.

I should add that as an adult child of an alcoholic (my father drank himself to death by the time I was 18) I am an Oscar-worthy actress when it comes to pretending I'm coping when I'm not. This has not helped me! hmm

Has anyone else been for therapy to help them through birth number two?

Gah! Sorry for the long and rambling post!


DancingLady Thu 18-Jul-13 12:38:39

Didn't want to read and run - you've had a horrible time, and I hope you've had some help since you posted this. How are things going now? I had a traumatic birth and PND, and had a breakdown when DD was 6 weeks old. In hospital for a month (both of us) and then a year of counselling. It helped... a bit. I recognise the 'disaster brain' you're describing: imagining horrible things happening to DD, DP etc, and that hasn't gone.

Have you spoken to your doc where you now live? You mention you've moved out a bit from inner London. If you explain what happened first time around, can you be assured that you'll receive better care if you do get pregnant again? If I have another child (unlikely at the mo) I would demand a c-section. Yep, doc might hate me for it, but I could not go through childbirth again.

Hope you're OK. xx

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