Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder And Postnatal-Depression: Following Birth Trauma

Around 20,000 women in the uk alone suffer a traumatic birth and end up being diagnosed with PTSD each year. I was one of those women.

Its hard to open up as we feel like we are being a burden or we are made to feel like we should be happy as our baby is ok, so that’s all that matters.

That’s not the case. Any form of Birth trauma has a lasting affect on us, be it the mother or father.

When I look back my depression became noticeable the day I was told I couldn’t conceive naturally. It was what I thought to be, the worst day of my life. Only I was so wrong. We had fertility treatment but was unsuccessful. In the end we had IVF treatment and got our positive pregnancy test. We were ecstatic at the time, then my anxiety kicked in. I was terrified of loosing her.I became obsessed with what I ate and what I did.

I had severe morning sickness throughout my pregnancy and ended up on medication for it. I had numerous trips to the hospital as the midwife was worried about her heart rate and the lack of movement.

I ended up suffering with pelvic griddle pain and sciatica, it was awful. My anxiety levels were very high.

I spent every appointment explaining to the midwife how worried I was about my labour, I was worried because of previous gynae issues, that they wouldn’t be able to get her out.

I was in tears and stressed this at every appointment with my consultant and midwife. Only to be laughed at and told its just nerves. You’ll be fine they said.

They were so wrong.

I went into labour early at 36 weeks. I was in bed and had stomach ache, I assumed that it was just the food I ate. Only my husband was concerned and said we should time it when I get pains. He rang the hospital and they said to pop along just incase. My waters hadn’t broke and the pain wasn’t bad. So I can’t be in labour right!

When I got there women were screaming I was mortified. A midwife said to me there really isn’t any need to scream that loud at all. I smiled nervously. I was 4 cm dilated and indeed in labour.

I was taken to a room and told to get into a gown. They strapped a heart monitor to me and my baby as they were concerned. My labour was progressing well, I was uncomfortable as she was back to back. I got to 7 cm and she was stuck. At this point I was in a and out of consciousness, I had been in labour for over 14 hours. A midwife ran out and then a whole team of them came in with a doctor. I was dragged down the bed and they cut me and used forceps to get her out. They were worried about her heart rate and left it too late for a c-section.

I asked for a c-section throughout my pregnancy only to be laughed at and told I’ts nerves despite me telling them of my issues.

They finally managed to deliver her and she was placed into an incubator to keep warm. The doctor stitched me but then Un stitched me straight away. She thought there was a blood clot. After decided there wasn’t, she stitched me back up.

I was in agony. They placed a catheter in me and I screamed. I had to have gas and air just so they could do it. One of the Midwives refused to do it as she said it would be impossible due to the swelling. But my bladder was to full and needed to be drained.

I was told to shower as I will be moved to a ward. My husband picked me up and Put me in a wheel chair. I tried to stand in the shower but I passed out.

The midwife said leave her as she is and get her into bed.

I spent six days in that bed, no tests or pain relief other than paracetamol. A registrar came round and told the midwife I may as well take smarties and Put me on morphine. I was in so much pain I wanted to die. I had no connection with my baby at the moment. I thought because of everything I went through it wasn’t meant to be a mother.

Day six I was discharged and told it’s bruising and swelling. The community Midwife came round nine hours later to my house. I still couldn’t sit or walk, I still had a catheter. I was laying in bed and she called the hospital to rush me back in, my observations were off the chart. They were when I left, but they said it was because I was so upset and distraught, being in hospital.

My husband demanded a private consultant come. We had lost all faith in the NHS. After a CT scan and blood tests. I was placed on oxygen and two antibiotic drips, morphine, anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol. I also had major surgery that day.

It turns out I had sepsis and a blood clot the size of an egg on my bladder, I nearly died.

I was so distraught after my operation. The Midwife that had been awful to me during my first week was there, she was trying to get a needle in my arm but my veins collapsed. The consultant we hired took over. She said ‘I could of got it in’ he told her to be quiet and there was no chance she would of got it in my arm and asked her to leave. I told him I wanted to jump out the window. He said why would you do that.

I was never asked about my mental health prenatal or postnatal.

I was diagnosed with PTSD and PND six months after my daughter, I sort private counselling as I was terrified of the NHS. I suffered in silences for those six months and it was torture.

I suffered with:

Flashbacks

Nightmares

I had so much anger and was so agitated.

Insomnia.

Anxiety.

Moods wings.

Uncontrollable crying

Suicidal thoughts.

I heard voices.

I was paranoid and scared.

I had awful thoughts of someone harming me and my baby.

I would lay awake and think of every worse possible scernio and thought about what I would do.

I thought everyday that I wasn’t meant to be a mother.

Physically it took me around six months to be able to walk properly again. I had appointments with a osteopath and a chiropractor. I suffered with nerve damage and still suffer now with certain ailments. I had CBT therapy for two years. It was the best thing I did, it helped me to see things in a different light.

I am three years on and still on medication, I still struggle and have bad days. But I am better equipped to deal with them because of my counselling and having a supportive husband.

I took to blogging to share my experiences, to be open and honest. Not only so people understand that giving birth is not an easy task and being prepared is the best thing you can do. Knowing the ins and outs is a good thing as being un-prepared is the worst thing. It leads to guilt and disappointment.

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7 comments

  1. So sorry to hear that you got through this. I think the fact that you’re even writing about this means that you’ve gotten better and is getting more and more courage! I hope all goes in a positive direction and you will feel even better soon x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I was I too have been diagnosed with PTSD and PND following a horrific labour which lasted over 92hrs and ended in an emergency c-section. For so long I felt ashamed about what had happened like it was my fault and like I didn’t deserve to be a mum. I can’t believe the statistics I thought I wasn’t tough enough and that’s why I found it so difficult! Thanks for being so brave and telling your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your welcome, gosh u have had an horrendous time to, I’m sorry. It is awful how many women suffer. Thank you for taking the time to read my post I appreciate it. 💚 X

      Liked by 1 person

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