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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Coogee NSW

    Default Do you ever stop remembering?

    I was just wondering if/when you stop thinking about a traumatic birth?

    My little man came into the world 7 months ago. It should have been the greatest day of my life but it was probably one of the worst and I still think about it every single day. I still cry about it every single day. I just have to look at him & it sets me off.

    My labour was a quick one (4 hours) I was denied pain management cause the midwife thought I was "doing great" I BEGGED them for an epidural, I felt like my entire body was on fire, I was exhausted from having not slept the night before because I was meant to be induced (I didn't make it to induction as I went into spontaneous labour - I'm convinced I willed my body into it) & I was terrified. I was passing out in the bath in between contractions.

    When my son was born he had a small hole in the top of his head so he was torn from my arms, after about a minute of skin-to-skin, and taken to the NICU.

    I was stitched up and given a catheter then I was left in the delivery suite (my husband went with the baby) for SIX HOURS. Just left laying there on the bed. Noone came to tell me what was happening with my baby or to help me get up or get showered. I was left laying there in all the blood and amniotic fluid and everything else. I called out and the only person who heard me and came in to check was the breakfast tray lady. She said she'd try to find a nurse.

    My baby's first meal was formula in a feeding tube down his nose, not breastmilk as we had hoped and his first comforting cuddle was from a nurse not from his mother.
    If I close my eyes I can still hear his cries as they wheeled him out.

    In the end, he was fine. There's a long technical world for his condition, which basically means the skin hadn't finished growing over in utero. So just under two weeks later he was discharged. As all the focus had been on him I hadn't thought about my labour and the hours afterwards I convinced myself that everything was fine because they were doing what they had to, to help my baby. But 7 months on that's just not enough. I really feel like they violated the trust I put in them to help me. I am so traumatised by all of it that I've decided not to have any more children.

    I was just hoping someone could tell me that it's going to be ok and one day I won't get angry or upset when I think about it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Wow it sounds like you had a terrible time with your sons birth. I am really sorry that happened to you. I too had a traumatic birth with my DD1 (60 hr labour, little to no support from the midwives, botched epi after 54 hrs, baby taken from me after birth etc etc). I did have some Counselling after the birth but it was still too raw and painful and I cried nearly the whole time. In retrospect I should have seen someone a bit later on.
    For me the pain and sadness of what happened did lessen over time (I stopped crying all the time but still did think about it a lot). I have a wonderfully supportive partner but she just didn't get it and that caused a lot of tension in our relationship (I really felt she didn't stand up for me and support me the way we had planned during the birth and the time i was on the ward - in retrospect she now agrees).
    BUT there is hope. Earlier this year I had my second daughter. We had a planned home water birth and it was the most empowering and healing thing I have ever done. The birth went exactly how I wanted. It was less than 4hrs (and although painful it was very manageable).
    For me I had spoken at length with my midwives about what I did and didn't want to happen (and had three different birth plans in case of transfer or emergency csection). They respected ALL of my wishes and were the most amazing team. I know home birth isn't for everyone but I had a very low risk pregnancy and for my mental and emotional health birthing out of a hospital was the BEST decision!!!!
    I still think about DD1s birth and am sad about what happened to us. But I now don't blame myself and can except that her birth experience led me to have DD2s experience (I doubt I would have home birthed otherwise).
    I never tell pregnant friends/acquaintances about my first birth. I hate the idea that my first experience could mentally effect someone else but I tell anyone and everyone about my second birth. It wasn't scary or horrible. It was truly the most magnificent thing in the world.
    I felt compelled to tell you my story cause I was in the place you are now and really wanted to let you know it does get better. Please PM me if you want to chat further xx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    Hun have you thought of writing to the hospital and telling them all the things that happened that hurt you, I think that can be healing in itself to tell them they were wrong and you were treated in a way that did not deserve.
    Hugs, I am a nurse wanting to study midwifery as I am heart broken by stories like yours and want to make a difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    Sorry to hear about your terrible experience, my first was also a nightmare, those 14hrs felt like an eternity, what made it worse for more was recovery took mths so I felt completely useless for a few mths, for 3mths all I wanted to do is cry,and it took me sooo long to be able to talk about it without crying! But then 6yrs later I decided I could do it again, everything felt different and it was a completely different experience, I reminded my ob about certain things I wanted all the time- just to make sure he wouldn't forget and now DS is 17mths and I'm so happy I changed my mind and decide to have another bub!
    Give yourself time, it will get better, and if u need to go speak to someone do it! Just don't be hard on urself- it isn't ur fault.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I'm nearly seven years on after the traumatic delivery where I delivered my 23wk baby alone. It haunts me nearly everyday still. We dis have another one afterwards but he also had complications. We are now planning our first homebirth later this year. Hopefully this goes to plan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    Huge Huge Hugs Sammycakes

    I also had a reasonably traumatic birth just over 2 years ago now and I find that although I cant say I have forgotten some of those images or how it felt I have semi come to terms with it in that I dont feel so angry now or so devastated and I no longer cry watching births on tv etc which I used to soon after my daughters birth. So while it hasnt gone completely the pain has eased significantly.

    The best things I did that I guess helped me were I applied for my medical records so that I could read them and see what happened for myself, then I took them to an independent midwife so she could read over them and answer the millions of questions I had that I felt had been ignored by many others.

    I wrote letters of complaint to my obstetrician (who I was angriest at the most) and although I never sent them (because in my case I genuinely dont think the hospital or anything did anything wrong it was just the circumstances themselves that was traumatic), the act of actually getting my feelings out on paper helped immensely.

    And thirdly I went and saw a psychologist and got counselling for post natal depression and post trauma stress. The counselling was probably the best thing I did and has helped me deal with it a lot better now

    Even though I am still not ready to have any more children yet, I have decided that when I am ready I will go back and see the counsellor again and look at things like hiring a doula or independent midwife to be with me to have your own support separate from the hospitals dr's/midwives

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  8. #7
    headoverfeet's Avatar
    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 postsRuby Star - 15,000 posts
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    I still think about mine almost daily nearly 5 years on it causes a rush of grief for me. Over time I do feel I have healed in regards to why/how it happened my grief is more for what it could of been and how it effected our relationship especially in the first year or 2.


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