View Full Version : What has helped others?
I've just been reading some of the stories that others have shared. Brave ladies. I'm struck by how many people have had traumatic experiences, when I feel like I'm the only person I know who doesn't feel great about their birth experience.
The brief version of my story was a very long labour where I felt I was not heard and not in control. I had every intervention/drug known to man and then an emergency caesar. Followed up with insensitive and sometimes just plain ignorant care on the ward afterwards. When I came home I had panic attacks and flashbacks. It took me two days before I could relax enough to sleep.
I really wanted to try to have another child once my son was 12 months, but the whole pregnancy and birth thing terrifies me. I'm more scared now than I was before i had my first baby.
What has helped other people get past these experiences? Are there any good counsellors in Melbourne that could be recommended by anyone?
Counselling definitely helped me :yes: If you want to look for one in Melbourne, the Australian Psychological Society's 'find a psychologist (http://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/Default.aspx?ID=1204)' page is helpful - you enter your locality and needs (for you, I'd probably suggest trauma, post-traumatic stress disoder, and anxiety), and it comes up some psychologists in your region that cater to your particular needs. If you get a referral from your GP you can access up to 12 sessions in a calander year at a subsidised rate too :)
Educating myself about normal, healthy pregnancy and birth - and taking control of the process via homebirth with my 2nd bub also helped. My independent midwife was a godsend.
Doing a hypnobirthing course when I was pregnant with my 2nd bub was nearly a necessity. It got so much of the trauma out of me.
To tell you the truth, I didn't go and talk to anyone and I should have. I was petrified.
The only thing that really helped me was having another baby, feeling in control and having a great birth.
I hope you find something positive and are able to move forward, good luck.
Seeing a psycologist has helped me to not obsess over the birth as much as i did, but im no where near ready to even think about the possibility of having another baby... to be honest ive been well and truly put off!
But yeh, i highly recommend seeing a psyc or councillor.. the one i saw specialised in womens mental health and PND/PTSD especially so she was really good and even had had a traumatic birth herself!
I found planning my vbac really helped/forced me to get through issues around my 1st birth (sounds pretty similar to yours) You will surprise yourself with your own strength :hugs::goodvibes:
Not arguing with anyone else's experience - because obviously it worked for you guys :) but I actually found the birth of my 2nd child - as wonderful as it was - retraumatised me with regard to my first bub's birth. Basically....BECAUSE it was so wonderful - it made me realise what both she and I had missed out on....I thought until DS was born that DD's birth had never affected my bond with her. My DS's birth taught me how wrong I was....
I know a lot of women who have had traumatic births report the same thign when they have a successful, wonderful experience next (or later) time around.....that they become retraumatised of the traumatic birth.
Obviously that's not always the case - as some of the people in this thread can attest! - but I guess what I'm saying is...don't count on a 2nd birth healing the trauma of the first....My advise is to work through the trauma as a free-standing issue....rather than tie it in to another birth. Besides anything else - no baby should have to fulfill an expectation of that nature (not that I'm saying the people in this thread expected it of their babies :shakehands:)
I had a bad reaction to pethidine with my first child, and the pethidine was adminstered so late in labour that my child had to be resuscitated. Insensitive and ignorant care on the ward covers my experience too.
I was desperate to have a second child, but my fear was so great that there is a 10 year age gap.
I ended up seeing a female psychiatrist in Armadale, Nicole Phillips, who helped me work through the issues which reared their heads when I got to 30 something weeks and was freaking out. She only sees women, and specialises in women's problems.
TBH, I found a second labour and birth with no drugs (and therefore no adverse reactions) with a known and supportive midwife was the most help in getting past my fears.
I've since had a third child, and never gave the issues a second though - except that I refused all drugs.
I agree with going to see a pshychotherapist or something. If you get the doctor to get you the 12 sessions at a reduced rate it is really helpful. I think I ended up paying $15 a session instead of $95.
I was diagnosed with Post traumatic stress disorder, Anxiety disorder, panic disorder which accumulated into agoraphobia after my birth. It wasn't pretty. But therapy really has helped and now I can take my son to the park and take him shopping etc which I could not do in the beginning.
I thought I'd never have another baby again - but I am pregnant now. I'm taking each day as it comes and i might stock up on a bit of extra therapy.
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