1-8th of July is Birth Trauma Awareness Week.
On the 7th July 2017 Beatrice Violet Daisy was born, it should have been the most beautiful moment in the world. Instead it was the most traumatic experience and I am still suffering today because of it.
My birth story:
During the last weeks of my pregnancy my blood pressure was high, not dramatically but for me it was high, I was swollen (I had gone up 3 shoe sizes!) and I had blurry, starry vision. I went to see my consultant 2 weeks before my due date who decided I would be induced a week early (6-7-17) due to signs of pre-eclampsia. On the 1st of July I fell over and hit my bump quite hard and was in a lot of discomfort, I headed straight to the hospital and was put on a 24 hour monitor. The baby’s heart rate kept jumping and I was experiencing a lot of tightenings and discomfort. The next day the baby’s heart rate was back to normal and the pain had gone so I was discharged and told to come back in on the 6th to be induced.
The morning of the 6th came and Dec and I were so excited! We got to the hospital for our induction slot at 9am, I was put on a monitor and everything looked good so I was given the 24 hour pessary. Tightenings started straight away and I thought amazing, this is going to be a lovely induction – oh boy I was wrong! I have bad back problems pre pregnancy and I was in so much pain so I was given a shot of pethidine which was a life saver, I managed to get some sleep and then the pain started again. I was given another shot of pethidine and went for a walk around the hospital. I started feeling really sick (side effect from the drugs) so went back to the ward to get some more sleep. My mum then popped out to go get some fresh air and Dec went into the waiting room to get some sleep as it was about midnight. I couldn’t sleep as the pain was getting worse and worse, I asked for another shot of pethidine and the nurse gave me one – about 10 minutes later my waters popped. I called Dec and the nurse came in and confirmed that my waters had gone, to take the pessary out and she checked me, only 2cm’s dilated.
This is where it all gets very blurry for me, I have blanked a lot of this out of my memory. After my waters broke the pain was horrendous, the midwife tried to put the monitor on me but I couldn’t sit still and kept ripping it off. I kept asking them to give me an epidural or even a c-section as it was excruciating. Eventually I was taken to the labour ward and given gas and air which was amazing. I went to the toilet and noticed there was quite a bit of blood, I told the midwife who assured me this is normal but she would check to be sure. She had a look and there was soooo much blood (my poor boyfriend who hates the stuff), she called for the doctor to come and check on me. The doctor tried to put a monitor of the baby’s head but there was so much blood it wouldn’t attach, they decided they would do a fetal blood sample. They took two samples and within minutes the midwife who took the tests out of the room was back in and telling the doctor they were low. I was told by the doctor that they would be taking me for an emergency c section and that I would have to be put to sleep as they needed to get the baby out as soon as possible. I was rushed into the theatre where I was begging to be put to sleep as I was in so much pain and had no drugs in my system as they had all worn off, the anesthetist tried calming me and reassuring me they would as soon as they had prepped the room. After 2/3 minutes I was put to sleep and our beautiful baby girl was born.
Beatrice was born on 7-7-17 and 3.25am weighing 7lb14.5, her agpar score was low and she was given some oxygen but apart from that she was perfect. She did her first poop all over the surgeon when he lifted her out!
I woke up about half an hour after Beatrice was born, I was very drousy from the GA and morphine, I also couldn’t believe that we had a little girl as we didn’t find out the sex and were convinced we were having a boy.
A couple of days after having Bea when we were back home I was really confused about what had happened during my birth, I wasn’t told by any of the midwives or doctors what had happened to me and actually found out from reading my birth notes. I had a placenta abruption, which is really dangerous to me and the baby. I rang my hospital and they sent a midwife round to my house to go through my labour notes and explain everything to me. It was then that I actually realised the extent of my birth, I am extremely lucky to be here today as is Beatrice.
Birth Trauma is something that is not spoken about a lot, even if you have your dream birth it is still a massive shock to your body and mind. My birth was far from my dream birth (I envisioned no drugs, a water birth with John Mayer playing in the background.) I grieve that birth that I had in my head for 9 months. The worst thing for me is that I spent 9 months dreaming of the moment Dec tells me if we have a daughter or a son, instead he wasn’t there to witness the birth of our child. He was in the waiting room wondering if she was going to make it and if I was going to survive.
I am currently having counselling and being referred for CBT as my HV thinks I have PTSD following my birth. I am getting help and I will get better. If you are suffering there are websites out there that can help, I’ll link them at the bottom of this blog. There are Instagram pages dedicated to Birth Trauma, I am also always here if you need to message me.
Here are some useful websites for traumatic births;