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Just looking for a bit of support...

(8 Posts)
TwinMama30 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:30:28

My twin girls will be a month old this week, they were born at 30+5 weeks and are currently on NICU. We've been lucky in that they haven't had any major medical problems (other than being born to soon) and it's looking like they will be home for Christmas.

So despite being in a relatively good situation, I am feeling utterly traumatised, guilty, sad and scared. I had a horrible pregnancy full of nausea, back-ache, severe rib pain and exhaustion followed by my first admission to hospital with contractions at 27 weeks. They were able to hold labour off and administer steroids on that visit but thus began the next three and a bit weeks of basically not being able to leave the house (as well as another admission at 28 weeks).

I ended up having an emergency c-section as I couldn't progress past 9.5cm (which I got to quickly and easily) and twin 1 was distressed and wedged really low in my pelvis. I lost a lot of blood during the section and twin 1 was born in a "very poor condition" (quoting doctor's notes here). It took them some time to bring her around before both were wheeled past me onto the NICU. The next day I then had a terrible upset stomach and was put on isolation, meaning I didn't get to see the babies again until nearly 48 hours after their birth.

I am really struggling to get back to normal again physically and feel constantly exhausted as well as having little interest in food. My stomach is still upset (waiting for some test results on this) and I'm still feeling quite a bit of pain around my scar (though I know that is entirely normal, 4 weeks post-op).

All of this combined with poor sleep and regular anxiety dreams means that I am starting to feel pretty awful. I feel like I have been totally robbed of the pregnancy, labour and first weeks with my babies that I wanted. Being discharged from hospital and going home without them was probably the worst day of my life and I can't help but feel that I am failing them somehow by only having enough energy to spend part of the day with them on NICU. Most days I can just about get myself there and have skin to skin and try breastfeeding before I feel totally exhausted and want to crawl home to bed. I am scared that we aren't developing the bond that we should be and regretful that we are not home and enjoying these first precious weeks together.

The staff at the hospital have been nothing short of amazing and have arranged for my to see a psychologist (I have a history of depression anyway) and my partner keeps telling me to think of the positives. Namely that our girls are OK and will be home soon. I know he is right but I can't help but feel totally broken and sad.

I'm sorry for the rant, I just needed to write down how I was feeling. Has anyone else been in a similar situation or felt this way that might be able to offer some words of wisdom and support?

KatyN Mon 30-Nov-15 21:44:38

My experience wasn't quite so horrific, but I was induced at 40+10. Then waited three days for a delivery room to break my waters. Finally got there spent the day in labour with two sets of emergency moments, firstly when the internal monitoring monitor broke and secondly when they decided my son was in distress and needed OUT. Had episiotomy and ventouse delivery whilst throwing up. My son was immeadiately taken to nicu (we didn't see him at all) and we heard nothing for 5 hours.
Next night our very busy hospital was too busy and my son was transferred 50 miles away. I couldn't join him until mid the next day. That evening (48 hours after birth) I finally held him, he spent a week in hospital and then they released him home. We had been lucky enough to have a room in the hospital to stay near him. I have a prolapse from the birth, couldN't breast feed and was very sore for a while.
It took me 6 months at least to be able to talk about it (or think about it) without crying. I didn't speak to anyone in the hospital about what had happened but with hindsight I think that might have been useful. I'm not pregnant again and am clearly still scared by it.

So, what you are experiencing is totally expected. You have had a really shit time. Yes you now have two beautiful babies but that doesn't take away from the shit you had to get there. It will get better and you will stop feeling so broken. Have you spoken to the other mums in nicu?? Or have you contacted bliss?? They can put you in touch with support groups.

One thing that helped for me was hearing other birth stories. No one I know has ever had the perfect labour that I was expecting. Don't actually know anyone in person who can trump mine but hearing that others had trouble too helped somewhat!
Also as you start to feel better in yourself, you'll be able to move on with enjoying (surviving) the early days of having a baby.

Hang in there kxxxx

KatyN Mon 30-Nov-15 21:45:49

Oh and bonding in hospital is really hard. It will come after you get them
Home and you all settle into your routine. I think the nicu days are just a case of one foot in front of the other x

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 30-Nov-15 21:48:45

You poor love. No experience of what you are going through, but once your girls are home all this will fade away.

Stay strong. Look after yourself and all will be well.

Gingernut81 Tue 01-Dec-15 03:09:43

If you lost a lot of blood could your tiredness be down to anaemia? I've had a couple of friends who've had to have iron tablets post nasally as their levels were really low.

Also, could you be suffering from post natal depression? I know when I'm bad with depression I get really tired and have very little energy. I took a real nose dive when DD was born and have been on anti depressants since she was 2 weeks old. I don't think your lack of sleep can be helping with things and it's what you really need at the moment. Have you spoken to your GP?

Lilipot15 Tue 01-Dec-15 22:16:30

Congratulations on your babies.
I would see your GP as well as the psychologist and rule out things like PND and also as someone else said anaemia.
I would also second contacting Bliss charity as I think they may have forums and family support groups too.
Take all the support that is offered.
People may say fairly crass things such as "it could have been worse", they are probably scrabbling for something to say and whilst yes, it could have been worse, it has been very difficult for you.

An emergency section at any time can be exhausting and difficult to recover from, but your's came at the end of an anxious few weeks and you will have been knackered going into it. You need time to physically recover as well as mentally. You were probably running on adrenaline for a while but that can only go on so long.

I do hope things improve for you, and before too long you'll have little bundles at home keeping you awake and busy.

TwinMama30 Fri 04-Dec-15 22:48:31

Thanks everyone for all your kind messages. It's helpful to be able to discuss things with people outside of the situation so thank you for your time!

I saw my GP this morning and have been diagnosed with post-natal depression (as I suspected I would be). I've been prescribed an anti-depressant and am generally feeling a bit more positive about things. I'm also hoping that a chat with the hospital psychologist next week will be a starting point for putting everything behind me.

We've had word in the last few days that we'll be ready for home in the next few days which is great news. It's helping to keep me positive and focus on the end goal.

TwinMama30 Fri 04-Dec-15 22:50:50

Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a great chat with a Bliss volunteer on the unit earlier this week.

Her son was born at 29 weeks (and is now 32!) so it was so helpful to speak to someone who had been through it and come out the other side. The mums on the unit all chat and support each other but as we're all going through it together, it can sometimes feel like we're sounding boards rather than anything else.

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