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The best and worst of days
A tale of traumatic birth


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#51 glasnost

Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:55 PM

Prue,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so glad that your sons are OK and healthy. I also agree with PPs that it would be really cathartic to get a hold of your medical notes and go through them with a midwife (or someone who understands the terminology and abbreviations and who can explain the medical side). It will be difficult but it sounds to me that you  have alot of gaps that you need filled in and alot of "why?"s. If after this you are still feeling angry with the way that you were treated I think that it would also be helpful to write a letter of complaint to the hospital.

You have every right to feel the way that you do, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Once again I am glad that the little blokes are OK- I followed your blog and was beginning to worry since we hadn't heard from you in a while!

Mamasaurus

#52 Handsfull

Posted 31 August 2011 - 03:05 PM

Prue - so sorry your birth experience was a bad one and your babies entrance into the world was not what you planned.

I too went through a traumatic experience including changing hospitals mid labour, premmies, away from family and friends etc.

Get yourself some counselling, it will help.  I finally went to one late last year after 7 years and it actually felt good to let it out to someone not family.  For me it was about having someone say to me I was justified in my feelings of helplessness and how stressful it was. Family and friends are wonderful and caring but you might not feel they totally understand what you went through.  

Really only another mother been there done that can.  If you want to PM me I'd be more than happy.  

hugs to you and thanks for posting your experience.  hhugs.gif



#53 blacksambopuppy

Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:35 PM

I am REALLY sorry that you feel so traumatised by the birth of your sons, but I just celebrated the fourth birthday of my daughter, who died when she was 10 days old due to massive brain damage incurred during birth. I have cried virtually all day every day since her fourth birthday at the empty feeling "in" my arms (despite being lucky enough to have two healthy sons, aged one and three). I'm afraid I would go through your traumatic birth 1000 times over if it meant I could see my daughter again, and hold her one last time. Next week is my oldest son's third birthday, which is also the fourth anniversary of my daughter's death. I hope I've stopped crying by then. He keeps bringing me one of his stuffed teddies to hold and telling me to "stop crying Mummy". Now I'm being terribly me, me, me, and I know that the birth experience is important, but really, be grateful that your boys are with you.

#54 2_shoes

Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (blacksambopuppy @ 31/08/2011, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am REALLY sorry that you feel so traumatised by the birth of your sons, but I just celebrated the fourth birthday of my daughter, who died when she was 10 days old due to massive brain damage incurred during birth. I have cried virtually all day every day since her fourth birthday at the empty feeling "in" my arms (despite being lucky enough to have two healthy sons, aged one and three). I'm afraid I would go through your traumatic birth 1000 times over if it meant I could see my daughter again, and hold her one last time. Next week is my oldest son's third birthday, which is also the fourth anniversary of my daughter's death. I hope I've stopped crying by then. He keeps bringing me one of his stuffed teddies to hold and telling me to "stop crying Mummy". Now I'm being terribly me, me, me, and I know that the birth experience is important, but really, be grateful that your boys are with you.


I am terribly, terribly sorry it happened to you. I cannot imagine your pain.

Please, don't tell Prue to be grateful, however. Her trauma is very real. If we were not allowed to feel pain when something awful happened to us, just because there is greater pain elsewhere in the world, we would have a lot of long-term depression in population.
You don't tell a rape victim to be grateful, just because she was not raped AND killed like so many women before her.

Prue - your story chilled my blood. There is nothing like feeling vulnerable, mistreated, out of control, powerless, when you are in a place where you are supposed to feel protected and supported. Ultimate betrayal. Your boundaries were forcefully broken, you were treated with contempt, you were left feeling violated - I suspect your trauma is just as great as a trauma of a rape victim. Did they ask for your consent before they peformed internal examinations? They they treat you with respect and compassion when entering your sacred spaces? No. Your grief and trauma are completely understandable. Please seek counselling and other help, anything that will help you regain whatever was taken from you that day.

#55 Amanda_R

Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE (Oceans @ 31/08/2011, 06:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am terribly, terribly sorry it happened to you. I cannot imagine your pain.

Please, don't tell Prue to be grateful, however. Her trauma is very real. If we were not allowed to feel pain when something awful happened to us, just because there is greater pain elsewhere in the world, we would have a lot of long-term depression in population.
You don't tell a rape victim to be grateful, just because she was not raped AND killed like so many women before her.

Well said. blacksambopuppy, what you experienced is terrible, but that doesn't change what Prue has experienced.  It shows a fairly large lack of understanding to respond to what Prue is feeling with a 'be grateful'.  I can assure you she is.  You do not need to say it, she knows it, she feels it, and telling her to essentially suck it up just adds more to the problem, it really does not help.  

Please understand that it is possible to be grateful for something, while at the same time it still cause pain.  Because ultimately what she is feeling right now isn't about her boys, it's about HER.  They are her feelings, they are her experiences, she loves and cherishes her boys but still feels pain remembering what happened with their birth.  While their birth was about them, it was also about her.  

Don't try and tell her she shouldn't be feeling what she is because something worse happened to someone else.  There are people out there that have experienced worse than you, would you appreciate someone telling you to be grateful because your experience wasn't as bad as theirs?  I highly doubt you would.

I'm sorry you lost your daughter, to say it is utterly unfair doesn't even come close to describing it.  But please understand that trauma and pain are all relative to the person experiencing it.  And what one person feels about what happened to them does not diminish or render void the experiences of another, even if the other has experienced worse.

Edited by Amanda_R, 31 August 2011 - 07:32 PM.


#56 blacksambopuppy

Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:06 PM

You are both right, of course, I was feeling very selfish when I wrote what I did about Pru being grateful to have her healthy sons. Everyone's pain is relative to their life experience, and having your body taken over (even violated) during what should be a sacred and enjoyable time is very traumatic. I didn't mean to belittle Pru's experience, and I apologise for telling her to "suck it up". I am lucky that all three of my birth experiences were wonderful in their own individual ways, and that the support "out there" for people who have suffered a neonatal death is more readily available than support for more hidden types of trauma (like having your birth experience completely ruined by fear and pain and uncertainty).

#57 Moulla

Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:12 PM

Prue,

I am absolutely disgusted in our healthcare system. How dare we pay such high taxes and supposedly live in a highly developed country, and yet have this kind of unprofessional, pathetic excuse for 'healthcare.' I am so sorry. Your blog is perfect as is to send to the health minister in your state or territory.

http://www.directory.nsw.gov.au/ministers.asp
This website is the NSW Premier and Minister Directory. If you are in another state just google it.

I thought these people could hear about your story to start with:

NSW Minister for Health
office@skinner.minister.nsw.gov.au


MSN Minister for Women and Family&Community Services
office@goward.minister.nsw.gov.au


NSW Minster for Mental Health
office@humphries.minister.nsw.gov.au

I's also send them a hard copy registered. It is SO important you are heard. Please let me know if I can do anything to help you get the message out there. You should find that these ministers will eventually get back to you. At least your story is on EB main website. Can you get your story published elsewhere? Im sure some newspapers and magazines may be interested?

Thank you for sharing your story. I am fuming!


All the best




#58 Grugette

Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:32 PM

Prue,

As all the others have written I'm so pleased your boys are doing well, congratulations.  I too had a 'best and worst of days'.  What a great way to put it.  

Several have commented that part of the healing process would be to go through your notes with someone from the obstetric world to interpret.  If you do this,I hope that it is everything healing it can be for you.  Especially as you have some very real questions about what happened and why.  I totally relate to wanting to talk to a surgeon about what happened and just never hearing back.

I read the narrative part of my notes at 3am on the ward after a midwife left them behind and wished I hadn't.  I was incandescent with rage at some of what they wrote.  It was as though my medical notes there were for the exclusive purpose of serving the staff in a rear-protecting sense.  The spin was unreal.  

I don't want to get between you and a stage of healing I just wanted to point out that it may be a mixed experience.  I'm certainly now thinking of re reading my notes with the help of a midwife and some distance, and maybe some counselling.

I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience. It was so hard to pin down in those early weeks and months why well meaning girl friends, jumping to 'but now you have a healthy baby and that is all that matters' was so frustrating.  The websites posted earlier have already helped me and now I realise I do need more help, so thank you.

#59 Swiss-Aussie-Mama

Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:18 AM

Oh Prue, how I admire your courage and honesty. Pregnancy and birth is not always joy and happy memories - I can relate. I was constantly exhausted, bloated and sleepy, as well as constantly concerned about the wellbeing of the babies during my twin pregnancy, having needed ultrasound scans every 2 weeks because of the risks of Twin-to-Twin-Transfer-Syndrome. All that is behind me now, having given birth 16 months ago to Felix and Oscar born at 33 weeks. However, it's not such a distant memory... My waters broke at 29 weeks and I was immediately admited to hospital and told I wouldn't be leaving until the birth. Shock and disbelief. After a very rough start (including 24 hours in intensive care!), I stabilised and ended up spending 4 weeks in the prenatal ward. I was able to think about the options, and was able to have a 'planned' caesarian (= calm, prepared, and not dramatic at all - except for the end when those wonderful babies appear!). However, my hospital experience here in Switzerland was excellent; supportive and empathetic nursing staff, excellent doctors, outstanding neonatal team, excellent communication, family allowed to visit anytime. I believe that made all the difference between having a traumatic birthing experience or not. After the birth, the nursing staff made a concious decision to put me in a room with 2 other women who had also had premature babies (as opposed to sharing a room with joyous breastfeeding new mums and their tiny little ones... Which would have been very difficult for me to cope with, given my two very tinys were in neo). One of my postnatal roommates had also had a traumatic natural/caesarian premature twin birth and I just think you and your husbands/parters deserve a medal.  
(Long story, sorry, just had to share.)
PS Love reading your blogs. All the very very best with your bundles of preciousness!

#60 prue~c

Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:33 AM

Thank you for the kind replies everyone, and some really good ideas on how to move past it all, or at least come to some sort of understanding.

I just wish the staff at the hospital had been more pro-active. I had several conversations with a social worker and told her what I needed, and she promised to follow up, but nothing happened. It was like she ticked her box - she had seen me - and moved on to the next patient.

Anyway, I SO understand why so many women choose home birth after a traumatic experience.

Swiss Twin Mama, NSW Health could learn a lot from the Swiss system. I was placed into a share room with a woman and her newborn. The revolving door of happy visitors and cheerful conversation - not to mention the crying baby - wasn't exactly a welcome distraction.

#61 F.E.B.E

Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:59 PM

You have such a compelling way of sharing your stories Prue. Your story made my blood boil  if there is any way Eb can assist in highlighting poor care of labouring women by our health system let me know.

The links shared by Loulla are a good start for people who would like to complain to the NSW government.




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