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Am I OK?

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#1 RockChick22

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:07 PM

My beautiful baby is 3.5months old and I love her to bits.

I had a really tough pregnancy, with lots of complications and poor medical care.  The birth was also really tough. Since, I have always joked that I wont be doing it again. I watched Grey's Anatomy last night, which was about a pregnancy with complications eventually ending in the baby's death. It really upset me, more than I think is normal. Since then I've been thinking that I might not be joking and I may actually be traumatised or something. I would really like another baby (not for awhile) and I am worried that this might get out of hand I won't actually be able to do it. I am not depressed. What can I do? Any ways to move on? Not really sure what I am asking...

I wrote down what happened, just in dot point form. Don't feel like you have to read it all, it is long. It did kind of help to write it down. It did make me realise that it wasn't in my head, a lot of bad things happened.

Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

  • Morning sickness (vomiting 4x a day until 20 weeks)
  • Hip pain (visiting physio)
  • Velamentous insertion of umbilical cord (cord inserted in the side of the placenta)
  • High dopplers (baby struggling to push blood back through the cord)
  • Threatened pre-term labour (4 nights in hospital)
  • Breathlessness
  • Low iron
  • Fear that baby would die – constant and not unfounded with all the complications
  • Worried about movement, constantly ending up in hospital to check as I was so anxious
  • Poor medical care the whole time – I could write pages and pages on how bad it was
  • Didn’t feel like I understood what was happening
  • Didn’t feel like I was listened too or that medical professionals were interested and doing their best for me
  • By the end I was at the hospital 3+ times a week, twice weekly ultrasounds, monitoring of baby
  • Baby kept dropping percentiles, eventually dropped from 44th to 20th percentile in 2 weeks. Ultrasound techs kept telling me it was bad, drs kept saying it was fine.

  • Induced labour
  • Very painful, took awhile for epidural to work
  • Fully monitored so couldn’t move around
  • Vacuum delivery
  • Fear that baby would die, heart rate was not right, resuscitation kit brought in and pediatricians
  • 2nd degree tear
  • Placenta would not come out, eventually fell apart
  • Post partum hemorrhage
  • Retained product
  • Went into shock
  • 10+ people in the room, not understanding what was happening, very unwell, sticking needles in etc.
  • Baby taken away from me
  • Husband fainted
  • Emergency surgery, was awake during surgery with epidural
  • Had to sign something that said they may perform a hysterectomy if needed
  • Nurses refused to allow my husband or baby to come to recovery
  • In recovery for a long time, quite unwell, but I’m not sure what happened, I was out of it and it was never explained
  • When brought back to the room, I again felt faint and had to hand baby away, use oxygen

In hospital after birth
  • Catheter, couldn’t get out of bed, or have a shower, for a few days
  • Fair bit of pain
  • Breast-feeding was never established. Baby did not feed from the breast once in hospital. Every midwife handled by breasts and implied I was doing it wrong. Took a long time (a few days) for a LC to come, and she didn’t really help. Every change of shift resulted in a change of plan, even if I was happy doing it the way the previous one had set up. Some rude and unsupportive midwives. ‘Milking’ me when I was in tears
  • Very little sleep as constantly interrupted my medical staff, cleaners, food staff, visitors, even with a sign on the door
  • Pediatrician saying my baby was starving (exact words) and had many issues that ‘weren’t normal’. Blood tests revealed she was not starving and all other issues were fine.

After discharge
  • Baby did not gain weight
  • Thinking I was breast feeding well, but baby was hungry and I didn’t realize
  • Changed to expressing and supplementing with formula
  • Eventually got domperidone, after I had asked several health professionals
  • Saw LC, she thought that thyroid levels were affecting things, saw 3 drs and all refused to give me thyroid medication
  • Spent 2-3hrs a day expressing, 9 tablets a day, blisters on breasts, mastitis
  • Baby slept very poorly for first month
  • Mix fed for first 3 months, then changed to full formula. Feel very guilty about not breast-feeding.
  • Went for 6 week check at hospital, as the dr at the birth said it would be good to debrief, but the dr had not read my file, had no idea, couldn’t help me debrief at all. Did not check stitches, give pap smear or anything.

#2 dragonfly31981

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:17 PM

I think it sounds like you have had a very rough time. What is important is that you get the support you deserve. Have you ever considered contacting an experienced IM who might be able to sit with you and go through your file?

#3 Goggie

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:21 PM

I'm not a health professional, but I think you would benefit from some counselling to talk through your birth experience and work through your feelings now. Between 2-8 months post partum was my worst for anxiety, you are right in the pocket where general anxiety can lead to

Please make an appointment to a GP to get a referral or call panda to talk through some support options.

Thinking of you, you are not alone xx

#4 mum2jp

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:22 PM

Sorry you had such a hard time. Your baby is still so little I would give it some time, maybe book some counselling to debrief if you feel you need to talk it through. As for having another baby understandably you would be anxious but you are better informed. Find an ob or midwife you feel comfortable with and make it clear what your fears are and ways they can help with these.

#5 madefromscratch

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:23 PM

I'm so sorry you've been through so much.  I can completely understand your feelings.  My pregnancy, birth and early days of parenting didn't go to plan either.

Can I suggest that you go to see a GP that you trust and like and talk with them about this?  A GP that knows you would be ideal, but if you don't have one and you'd like a recommendation in Sydney (inner west) please feel free to PM me.

I'm sorry I have no words of wisdom or advice for you, and most of all I'm sorry that you've had a bit of a rough trot.  It sounds like your baby is getting lots of love, care and attention and I hope that you have some people looking after you too.

#6 Silverstreak

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:24 PM

Oh my God you've had such a rough time, you poor thing!

Just off the top of my head, can you get a referral to an endocrinologist, so they can check your thyroid? Mine was shot to pieces after having DS and I was very anxious and exhausted. What a disgrace your GPs won't follow this up.

#7 No Drama Please

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:26 PM

Far out that is a lot to cope with; a lot.  I was really stressed out after the birth of my first and I didn't go through anything like that.  

Did you talk to anyone else about this or have you just been trying to cope on your own?  I had heaps of anxiety as well (pregnancy and after) involving the kids and haven't seen anyone but am planning on asking a gp for a referral and getting a mental health plan done.  Have you thought about doing something like that? I think it could be helpful just to get your head around things.

All the best x

#8 dragonfly31981

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:29 PM

Even the most grounded person would struggle with that OP. All these suggestions of seeking help is because that is generally too much for anyone to deal with

#9 libbylu

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:37 PM

I had a traumatic birth and very difficult first few months with DS1, though not as full on as your experience. I definitely had some post traumatic stress lingering as the years went by.  For me though, it did ease off as time passed. Your baby is very young so you may find that as things get easier you will be okay with what happened in the past.
I didn't even consider getting pregnant again until DS1 was 3 years old.  When I did get pregnant I had a miscarriage.  Then we suffered secondary infertility and used IVF. When I eventually got pregnant again I employed a private midwife.  She listened to EVERYTHING I had experienced the first time, medical, physical and emotional and took careful note. She got copies of the hospital records and went through everything we me.  She cared for me during my pregnancy, came to me at home in labour and attended the birth in the same public hospital as I had birthed DS1. And she was there as a support post-natally.  It was the BEST experience after a difficult first experience.  Continuity of care makes a huge difference.

#10 mrskay

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:37 PM

Do you have a GP you are happy with? Who did you see for your six week check?

You have had a rough time of it. It can sometimes take time for everything to really sink in so please be gentle with yourself.

I think you are ok, and will be ok, but strongly suggest you get a referral to a counsellor to talk through what happened.

Your experiences sound like mine.. I wonder if we delivered in the same hospital? Can you go back to see the doctor/midwife/ob who looked after you antenatally?


#11 Roselet

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:47 PM

Sounds like a pretty rough trot there. I had a relatively easy pregnancy but my birth experience was similar on a few points - induction, constant monitoring, extreme pain until the epi kicked in, vacuum delivery, heart rate decellerating, baby whisked away to a paed while I wondered what was going on. Fortunately in my case it was not so bad from there, just the usual sorts of struggles.
What I've decided to do if I have another baby is that I will have an advocate with me. I happen to have a BFF who is a doctor, a mum, and totally unafraid to make a nuisance of herself if she needs to do so to get herself heard. If I didn't have her, I'd make sure I had my own midwife or doula or similar, but whoever it was it would be someone who is there for me, not for the baby. Like you, my husband can't fill that roll - I was expecting mine to faint or have to leave the room, and yours actually did - but also because he is as worried about the baby as I am, so he's not as able to concentrate on me as the mum. By having your own person there for you, you know that you can discuss with her beforehand what her job is, for me I see that as making sure that the medical staff listen to what I'm feeling - even though I kept asking them to check, my midwives wouldn't check how dilated I was until I was already 10 cm, and I think that's part of the reason the delivery went so badly. If I hadn't been medicated / in extreme pain, of course I would have stood up for myself, but now I know that you are so vulnerable at that stage, you can't really stand up for yourself.

I know that doesn't help with how you feel right now, but it might help with thinking about having number two.

Second, please have your doctor check for post natal anxiety, not just depression, as that is another possibility, and can be helped if it's identified.

Finally, IME, a difficult birth does fade over time. If you'd asked me 4 months after my baby whether I thought I could handle doing it again, the answer would have been no way. Now a couple of years later, I'm comfortable with the idea of it.

#12 BoysGalore+1girly

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:54 PM

Wow that's a lot to deal with
Everyone else has given wonderful advice I just want to wish you well

#13 RockChick22

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:55 PM

Thanks everyone.

Re the thyroid, my levels are the low side of normal. Apparently that can have some effect on breast feeding, but if you are not bf-ing you function fine. I've given up bf-ing now, so no point in following it up.

I don't have a gp that I like (was so disappointed about my pregnancy care that I won't go back), but a friend has recommended one, so I might book one. I still have some pain so I need it checked out anyway.

I don't think I can see the doctor who was there at the birth. The hospital is hopeless. Sadly, I am in a rural area and I didn't have a choice where I went and will have to go back there for any future babies.

I saw a gp at the hospital for the 6 week check. She was hopeless. Said that as I could sit cross legged there was no point checking my stitches! Even when I said I couldn't have sex as it was too painful.

People knew what the pregnancy was like, and know the bare bones of what happened at the birth. I haven't really wanted to talk about it. When I have made comments about it being hard/traumatic etc people say things like at least she is healthy, don't be silly etc.

#14 mozzoro

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:05 PM

I had a very similar experience last year. Very similar.
I struggle to watch one episode of Doctor Who (when Melody is taken away, and then turns out to be a fake) because it's so triggery to me, and cannot watch movies or tv shows with pregnant women.

I'm medicated, under the care of a psychiatrist, mental health nurse and GP, as well as having visits from a family health nurse every 3-4 weeks. Even with all this care, I only recently began entertaining thoughts of maybe having another, and wouldn't you know it, conceived immediately.

I don't think the feelings ever lessen, but I do believe they become a bit easier to manage. Of course, I'm ****ing terrified I'm about to go through the same thing again and to be honest, I'm still in that frame of mind where anything bad can happen, and is expected to happen so all I can do is wait for it and then react. It's extremely unhealthy, but it is a coping method. My other one is living to the words of good old Captain Jack, "shut my eyes and pretend it's all a bad dream"

Still very unhealthy, but right now I need to get through each day. Dealing with the trauma is a luxury I cannot afford right now.

I hope things get better for you soon x

#15 RockChick22

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:07 PM

Just thought of something. I sometimes have to check that she is still alive while she is sleeping. Sometime I have a feeling that she is going to die overnight. Early on in pregnancy I was really worried that I would accidentally kill her (roll on her in my sleep or something), that has passed now. But is the checking she is alive and the worry that she may die normal?

#16 mozzoro

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:10 PM

I'm still doing it at 7 months. I don't know how normal it is, but I do it. My breathing mat and videoaudio monitors all help now that she's no longer in our room, but I still panic.

#17 mozzoro

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:16 PM

Are you okay? Yes I think so. You are having struggles but you are still managing to be a parent. You are coping in a sh*tty situation. But I hope that soon you will be more than okay x

#18 2004member

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:17 PM


But is the checking she is alive and the worry that she may die normal?

Yes but it also could be related to being anxious. Does it seem excessive?

I had extreme vomiting and some of the issues you had are all related to that. Vomiting = less food intake/retention = low iron = breathlessness and a racing heart beat. All of these things make me feel anxious.

If you go again I cannot recommend hypnobirthing enough. I was super anxious second time around and hypnobirthing made it all bearable.

#19 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:19 PM

Yep, I would say that's pretty normal :) BUT, given everything else you've been through, I would say it's worth talking to a counsellor about it all.

I had a rotten pregnancy (ended up weighing less than when I started, and I was a size 10 when I got pregnant). And then a birth that wasn't very good (not as bad as you though) and then a sick baby after birth and trouble breast feeding.

It took me about 2 years to get to the point where I could even think about it all without crying. And I've since been diagnosed with depression and am now medicated. Meds and counseling have made SUCH a difference to my life.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. And don't leave it as long as I did!

#20 fig_jam

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:48 PM

OP, I would highly recommend you ring PANDA as a starting point.

You can talk to them, but they can also find you resources in your area.

#21 gc_melody

Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:56 PM

Hi Rockchic22,

What a rough time you've had. As a PP said, this would make the most stable of people feel wobbly.

I'm concerned about the level of anxiety you've mentioned. I would recommend seeing a GP and getting a referral to a psychologist. There is a Medicare schedule item number that is for women post birth/pregnancy which gives you two subsidised sessions. Then with a Better Health Access plan, you can get another 10 sessions.

If you follow the link I've posted, you will be able to find a psychologist in your area who can help you process the trauma you've been through. Please do this sooner rather than later.

Please take care.


Edited by gc_melody, 18 March 2015 - 11:57 PM.

#22 MrsFrosty

Posted 19 March 2015 - 08:21 AM

I just had my first session with a counsellor specialising in birth trauma yesterday. It was well worth it. I had a pregnancy riddled with extreme anxiety then a traumatic birth. The one thing that infuriates me when you try to talk to people about it is when they say "well at least the baby is healthy". No. Just no. I'm so thankful that she is healthy, but I'm capable of feeling more than one thing at a time. I'm upset and angry about what happened to me and that's ok! There are a few organisations around like "birth talk" and "birth trauma Australia" who offer councelling and general support. They may have options for you such as Skype counselling sessions or something? I really think it would help you. It sounds like you've had a really tough time.

#23 catkin

Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:19 AM

View PostMrsFrosty, on 19 March 2015 - 08:21 AM, said:

The one thing that infuriates me when you try to talk to people about it is when they say "well at least the baby is healthy". No. Just no. I'm so thankful that she is healthy, but I'm capable of feeling more than one thing at a time. I'm upset and angry about what happened to me and that's ok!

Absolutely agree! I used to respond (somewhat dramatically) 'if I had had a bad car accident on a Tuesday then won Tatts on the Wednesday, would you be telling me that my injuries were now irrelevant or somehow no longer real?'

I've also pointed out that normally after a traumatic incident to mind and body, our culture accepts (nay, requires) that you rest, be looked after, concentrate on recovery 100%. With traumatic birth, you are expected (required) to embark 100% on the care of your baby and host visitors and navigate tonnes of new info and experiences (some with their own mini traumas- like breastfeeding or complications to your birth injuries). It's a sad irony, and I'm sure it is what leads to much longer recovery times (years) in many cases.

On triggers from TV, I actually used that show 'one born every minute' to check on my anxiety levels over the 3 years after the birth. I could tell within 5 minutes of watching whether I was traveling ok, or needed to top-up with some self care like counselling. It was handy whenever I was faced with the imminent birth of a friend or family member- better I test myself with tv than go into internal meltdown at the maternity ward!

Good on you posting here...can't think of a better starting point!

#24 born.a.girl

Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:44 AM

View Postdragonfly31981, on 18 March 2015 - 08:29 PM, said:

Even the most grounded person would struggle with that OP. All these suggestions of seeking help is because that is generally too much for anyone to deal with

I can't say it better than that.  NO one would come through that with equanimity.

View PostRockChick22, on 18 March 2015 - 08:55 PM, said:

Thanks everyone. Re the thyroid, my levels are the low side of normal. Apparently that can have some effect on breast feeding, but if you are not bf-ing you function fine. I've given up bf-ing now, so no point in following it up.

'Nomral' thyroid levels have been altered in recent years in many places because of the recognition that many people were walking around with low thyroid, making the 'typical' level (which creates the levels for tests) too optimistic.

Mine were measured ten years ago and were 'low normal', and under some current guidelines would be 'too low'. I don't know much about it, but I believe there are different levels accepted as normal still by some, but not by others.  You might want to research that. There have been threads on EB about it.  I have Hashimoto's, and I believe a really common time for that to worsen is after childbirth, and at menopause. (Don't quote me on any of that, I don't have a strong understanding, just wanted you to not dismiss following up.)

View PostRockChick22, on 18 March 2015 - 09:07 PM, said:

Just thought of something. I sometimes have to check that she is still alive while she is sleeping. Sometime I have a feeling that she is going to die overnight. Early on in pregnancy I was really worried that I would accidentally kill her (roll on her in my sleep or something), that has passed now. But is the checking she is alive and the worry that she may die normal?

I think that's pretty normal, but after what you've been through, it's understandable that you would second guess yourself.   When my daughter was a baby I kept having dreams about having a car accident with her in the car - I think the protective gene is pretty deeply enmeshed!

Good luck with it all.   And congrats on the baby!

#25 Natttmumm

Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:42 PM

Sounds like a rough time OP. Can you consider a private obyn for next time? One you can discuss issues with and get better quality of care (one that is recommended to you?).

I had a rough start with number one (not medical staff fault) but still was not a nice time. I did go on to have 2 more kids so it didn't stop me and actually my second birth was so smooth sailing I cant even believe it. The third wasn't great but due to other factors.

I used to think birth was straight forward and for some it is - for many it isn't and neither is breastfeeding

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