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How did Pethidine affect you/your birth experience/your memory of the birth

(6 Posts)
emmx Mon 12-Oct-09 22:40:57

I just posted this in the Childbirth bit but there doesn't seem to be many on in there at the mo so hope you don't mind me also posting my question here too....

I just had my first baby in May, a boy, at Redhill East Surrey Hospital. It turns out I had been in labour all day - rushing up and down to the loo with an upset tummy every half hour or so - I thought thats all it was. Hubby got home at 8pm with a curry (!!) and the pains went from every 15 mins to every 5 to every 2 mins apart in the space of about 15 mins. Within 2 hours they were 1.5 mins apart and we started preparing to go to the hospital. Got there about midnight and was told I was 3cm dilated. They put monitors on me and found the baby's heart beat was high so at somepoint they decided to break the water - there was meconium so they decided to continue monitoring me - my waterbirth went out the window! Within an hour I was 4cm and by this point gas and air wasn't doing anything for me (apparently I virtually bit the plastic mouthpiece of the entonox in half!)and my body was pushing involuntarily because the contractions were so intense - my husband was literally having to hold me down on the bed - they offered me pethidine and I was in so much pain I accepted. However after this I have virtually no memory - just snapshots like after a heavy night out on the town! Apparently the pethidine didnt help with the pain and they decided I needed an epidural - I was so out of it with the pain and drugs(so I'm told) my husband had to consent for me (I think!). I ended up getting to 9cm by 6am but they did two scratch tests and decided my baby had to come out NOW and so I went down for an emergency c-section, which my hubby also consented for as I was still on a different planet. I didn't get to see my son as soonn as he was born and my hubby didn't get to cut the cord as they whisked him away to check him over. All I really remember is his weak little whimper as they took him out. He had to be taken away to have a canula put in his little hand poor thing as I tested positive for GBS and they didn't have time to get enough antibiotics into me in the labour (I'm allergic to penicillin). He was away for about an hour before they brought him back to me. He wouldn't latch on when I tried to feed him and long story short he went from 7lb 10oz to 6lb 13oz in the first week because he wouldn't feed properly so we had to formula feed him instead (and he's still not caught up with the other babies born in my group at the same time or after!). I don't know if all that had an affect on him or me - and I know I love him to death but sometimes I look at him and he looks at me and I get the feeling that the look is saying "who are you? I don't know you" and I feel numb for a split second before I can shake it off (hope that makes sense!!). For some reason my parents have stayed completely away and apart from when they came to see us in hospital the day he was born I didnt hear or see them for the first 6 weeks (and its basically stayed like that for the last 4 months apart from when I ring them/invite myself down to see them/invite them up to see us at ourr house) same with my "friends" - both my mum and my friends ahve said they wanted to give us "space" - whatever the hell that means, which also means I've had to cope with no support/advice at all from anyone other than my husband who works in the centre of London and works shift-type hours which means I'm basically "on-duty" 24 hours a day. I'm knackered - but don't get me wrong I love looking after him I just wonder what effect the birth has had on me and the baby - I certainly would do my best not to have pethidine again!

Sorry for the long post! I guess there was more inside me than I thought!!!

GhoulsAreLoud Tue 13-Oct-09 20:46:21

I have never had pethidine but had a not very pleasant birth experience and blamed me being crap at giving birth for everything that wasn't perfect for months afterwards.

I don't anymore though.

Just wanted to say you sound like you are doing a great job, well done.

inveteratenamechanger Tue 13-Oct-09 20:48:14

Hi emma. Congratulations on your son! Sorry to hear you had such an awful time in labour, that must have been very hard.

I had pethidine, and I can't remember much of the next couple of hours, but luckily it had worn off by the time it got to the pushing stage. I guess everyone reacts differently.

I wonder whether you might be able to have a debrief with your midwife? I have read on here that midwives will go through the labour notes with you, and explain what happened - perhaps that might help?

For what it's worth, I think that fleeting numb feeling is quite common - I had it, and I know my sister did too. How do you feel otherwise? Sounds like it has been quite tough.

Do you think your friends might just be a bit shy? Perhaps they think you are coping brilliantly, and they don't want to intrude. Could you tell that you are feeling lonely?

inveteratenamechanger Tue 13-Oct-09 20:49:20

Yes, I agree with Ghouls, you sound like you are doing a great job. The first 4 months are very hard work, aren't they?

BloodshotEyeballs Tue 13-Oct-09 20:52:54

I also had pethidine and tbh my four hour labour felt about half an hour long. I remember vague images but nothing else and dd and I were pretty spaced out for a while afterwards.

She also had a cannula put in.

Agree with the others, you're doing great.

StealthPolarBear Tue 13-Oct-09 20:53:13

I'm so sorry you went through that, that sounds dreadful

FWIW I can relate to the "who are you, I don't know you" look from my 3wo, no pethidine to blame, I do think it's normal. Partly the dozy newborn look, partly that they're shortsighted and partly that yes, they knew you well on the inside but are now getting to know you on the outside

As for your parents, could it be that they think they are doing the right thing? You hear so much about people wanting no visitors that maybe they think they're doing the right thing? Can you tell them you'd love to see them more often, what would they say?

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