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Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Experience with Birth Trauma


Look how small she issssss!! 

Looking through pictures of Alice as a newborn is so surreal and wonderful at the same time. Surreal because, I feel as though I am seeing it all for the first time. After Alice was born, as I suppose most new mothers do, I felt in a bit of a daze. Mainly due to exhaustion  but also due to the fact my hormones were going insane. But I feel as though I kept a huge secret from everyone. Post birth trauma. 

My doctor officially diagnosed my with this at my 6 week check up. The truth is, my birth was pretty traumatic for both me and Alice, and it took some time to recover. Not only physically, but mentally too. Alice was delivered quickly and I didn't have any time for pain relief. It was fast, overwhelming, but on the whole the actual birthing of Alice was not too bad. It was the events that followed which have caused the most emotional distress. 

Alice was not breathing straight away, which is every mothers nightmare. She was resuscitated on a table a few feet from me, before I had even held her. And then my placenta decided to get stuck on the way out. I was rushed into surgery and to what turned out to be the most traumatic experience of my life. There were doctors and surgeons and midwives everywhere. Everything sort of went into slow motion and I felt totally shocked and upset. I was given a spinal, which if you have ever had one is a pretty weird sensation. I was numb from my chest down, and I felt like I couldn't breath. I was given oxygen, but it didn't help me to feel better. I vividly remember two male nurses lifting my legs up onto stirrups and a surgeon kneeling down with her hand... well. Down there. 

What made it all so much weirder was the fact that they were talking about normal every day things. I remember a conversation going on about Eastenders. And all the time I was staring at the clock, something I also remember vividly, and reading the time over and over again. 11.32. 11.32. I was scared, I hadn't seen my baby. I thought I was going to die. 

Staying in hospital was awful. I hated every second of it, and however lovely and kind the midwives were to me, all I wanted was to go home with my baby and just cuddle her till we went to sleep. I didn't sleep a wink that night. Not one second. 

This experience stayed with me for a long time. It made the first couple of months very hard, especially as the physical pain seemed to embed the experience into my mind even further. Every time I went to the toilet, I was taken back to the moment I pushed Alice out. I took laxitives every day for nearly 2 weeks (I do not suggest doing that!). Every time I sat down and felt sore, I was taken back to the operating theatre. If I slept on my back, I was taken back to the operating theatre. It was like I was there again. I saw the clock on the wall, heard the voices, smelt the smell. Horrible. I couldn't escape it. 

I didn't want counselling  I didn't want to talk to anyone. Except one very small, very cute little girl. I would tell Alice everything. I told her all about that day, about how scared I was. How I thought we would both die. And somehow, seeing her little eyes blinking up at me, it really helped me to overcome it. With time, the physical pain went away and recovery became easier. I can now, safely say that I am no longer plagued by the memory of the birth. I remember it now as if it were a dream. I only remember the good bits and the bad bits, they don't feel half as bad anyway now! 

If you are feeling like this after the birth, it's just awful and I really feel for you. I'm sure you feel like it will never go away. But it will. The physical pain WILL disappear completely. You will pee again without going "owwwwwwwww", and if you allow yourself the chance, you will feel better emotionally. Maybe counselling will work for you, maybe you can pull yourself out of it. But don't let it ruin those first few months. Giving birth can be a traumatic experience, but it also gave you your beautiful baby too! 

xx

Read more about Birth Trauma here: http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/

8 comments:

  1. That must have been so awful for you, I'm so glad you were able to get through it so you could start to enjoy motherhood! Things like this can be so hard to write, so well done on highlighting this issue - I'm sure other mothers in similar circumstances will benefit from your honesty. Xo

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  2. Oh wow, this is one of my worst nightmares. I can't imagine how stressful and scary that must have been for you. And how brave you were! You made me tear up when you said you told Alice everything you felt - it's like the very thing that 'caused' the stress pulled you through the trauma and you both helped each other recover :)

    - Erin xo

    Bloggers Secret Santa 2012

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  3. I'm so sorry you went through this! I also got rushed to the operating theatre and was given a spinal. I remember it exactly like you said. It was horrible. The first month or so was a blur. I couldn't move, get comfy or sleep. I couldn't pee and well didn't have a bowel movement for over 2 weeks. I then went bk to hospital 1 week after giving birth as I passed half of my placenta whilst feeding amelia. Felt like i just gave birth all over again! Worst experience of my life I thought a part of my body had fallen out lmao! Im glad you pulled though and Alice helped you :)

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  4. That is so awful! I also had bit of a traumatic experience with LK bc he got stuck coming out. The recovery was super painful physically but I didn't realize it would be so hard emotionally. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  5. I had quite a traumatic birth with our twin boys who we sadly lost earlier this month when I went into labour at 23 weeks + 2 days. I was in labour for 12 hours and I had trouble pushing out Noah as he was coming down sideways - hand and arm first, so got a bit stuck. I only had gas and air for pain relief so it was very painful and distressing. I soon forgot the pain though when I held our little boys in my arms. I shall always treasure those memories of our short time together.

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  6. Gosh, how awful - poor you.

    Very glad to hear that you've been able to put it behind you, even if it has taken a while. x

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  7. Thank you for sharing this. I feel like no one talks about the tough issues surrounding pregnancy and birth! My delivery was physically easy, but I still suffer from the emotional trauma of prior multiple pregnancy losses, so I have some insight as to how difficult it can be to recover from something so traumatic. It remains a daily struggle for me (and yes, I have gotten therapy). I am so glad you have found a way to process and are feeling better!

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  8. Very pleased to hear that you take a moment, even if you could Forget.

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