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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / PTSD after traumatic birth and newborn with serious illness

Topic: PTSD after traumatic birth and newborn with serious illness

30 posts, 0 answered
  1. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    8 April 2016

    My son was born in April 2015 and it was traumatic. I had a healthy pregnancy but it all went wrong when he was born. He was born at 37 weeks but had stopped growing as my placenta had stopped working so he was more like a 33 weeker. The birth was 36 hours, and I ended up having an assisted delivery and epidural which wasn't what I wanted. I never had time to think about this as soon after he was born he was taken to the nursery because he wasn't breathing and he then had to be resuscitated. He was moved to another hospital with higher level care, but then moved again after another 48 hours ending up in the NICU. He was intubated and it took him about 6 days to breath alone which is unusual for a baby of that gestation.

    We finally got him home after four weeks and at first I felt so happy but then after another month he started experiencing reflux and no one would listen to me about it. Eventually a paediatrician did and since then (8 months ago) it's been a rollercoaster of him improving a bit and then regressing again. I get very little sleep, he's up 5 times a night generally between 9pm and 6.30am. Hubby helps but as I'm still feeding him, I naturally have to do more.

    I'm seeing a psychologist for the anxiety and PTSD. It's coming up to his first birthday and I'm already wondering how it will affect me.

  2. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom
    Oh I'm a bit sad no one responded but I understand it's a unique experience.
  3. Simona
    Simona avatar
    1022 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom
    I understand the anxiety. It keeps you alert and on auto pilot. My youngest (8) had problems while in utero and briefly after delivery but not as bad as your little one. We had problems with Anti c antibodies. Basically my antibodies don't gel with my partner's. So with each pregnancy the risk factor increases. My body was trying to fight off the pregnancy as if it were some virus and she had to be delivered via c -section then kept under the blue lights. We may have had another baby if it wasn't for this but we thank our lucky stars and don't want to push our luck. I feel for you greatly. It is very stressful
  4. blondguy
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    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hey pvroom

    When you posted your topic..I sat here and read what you have/are been going through....I didnt respond as I felt uncomfortable being a fella especially with your topic.

    I am sorry that I didnt respond in some shape or form...

    Paul

  5. MummaDuck
    MummaDuck avatar
    1 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    My Son was born Jan 2014, we had to have an emergency C-section due to fever and infection (unknown origin at that stage) and I was knocked out unconscious, neither myself or my partner was present for his birth something I have trouble dealing with a lot, it took them over an hour to stabilise his temperature and breathing before my partner could see him, I was in recovery for three hours as they couldn't rouse me from the sedations I was able to hold my son for ten minutes over four hours after his birth and have a first feed then we were separated for nearly 18hours. There were other problems and complications and I was told that had they waited 10 more minutes neither one of us would have survived. The fact that he was 9lb9 also added to bonding and feeding issues.

    I am yet to see anyone to deal with the issues I am having but he is now two, when his 1st bday was coming up I was absolutely beside myself with regret and guilt over his birth, however I said to myself that rather worry about what happened appreciate what we had achieved we made a year with everything that happened we made it to a year, if you make it that far you can make it all the way. I bought a new outfit for him and planned a celebration of the year we made through rather than dwelling on the 24hr of his birth and all the negative things that had happened in that year I decided to celebrate his first tooth, his first smile the hugs and kisses that I got because we SURVIVED.

    Include your husband and son in the organisation of the party, the one thing I quite often forgot was that my partner was also there hurting and trying to deal with what happened too, I had the time feeding him to build the broken bond, he didn't he had to go back to work he had to make sure it all kept running. No matter what you have your son you all made it to a year that is something to be proud of and celebrate the fact that with the entry he made into the world it is even more of an achievement.

  6. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to MummaDuck
    Thank you MummaDuck for sharing your story. That must have been so difficult being knocked out for the c-section. I had an epidural and induction drugs and felt like I was on another planet and I can't remember some of the details, especially when he was born, like where my husband was and how i reacted. Makes me sad too. I know how you feel about the guilt. I often think what could I have done differently. Good idea on a new outfit, I didn't even think of that! Argh! mum brain! My husband is like you said struggling too, it's hard for him being away so much. He is actually studying FT at uni now as of March this year so for the past month has been around a lot more. Thank you for your support and response xx
  7. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to blondguy
    Thanks Paul, I totally understand why you didn't respond. But thank you for responding now, I don't have a lot of people to talk to about how I am feeling
  8. blondguy
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    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Thankyou pv....When I re-read your new thread just before I was disappointed that there was no response. You may want to check the last handful of post in the BB Cafe. I hope you dont mind.

    Thankyou for your understanding. I have read many of your posts and even though I only a member on the forums I feel you have a lot to offer here. Your posts are caring, articulate and wise

    Paul :-)

  9. Lost Girl
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    2695 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hi Pvroom,

    I don't have PTSD but I do have some experience with what you're going through.

    My 1st was born via c-section due to breech. Born a month after Mum passed from cancer in a diff state to where I lived it was hard in its own way. He was hypoglycemic & fed every 3 hours topped up with a rich formula via a nose tube. I breastfed for a year & it was every 3 hours for the first 9 months. He had bad cholic so would often vomit gushes and I would have to feed all over again. After a year things got better.

    My 2nd born 4 years later by VBAC. I had hypermesis gravidarum and had a month of work and ended up in hospital vomitting blood. She came early at 36 wks. 12 hours natural labour and then my obstetrician advised there was a problem and I needed a forcep delivery with an epidural. Within 10minutes of the epi she was delivered. All seemed ok at this point. She was delivered to me after recovery to breastfeed then she was taken to the nursery with hubby for a while. I had a few hours sleep and she was brought back. My obstetrician checks in and my bum was so sore I asked if it was normal and he says "ahh, about that. It cracked in delivery". Turns out my coccyx was broken as daughters shoulders got stuck. Hubby brings her back and as I am trying to feed her I hear this awful sound. I can't even describe it but it was horrific. The rest is a blur involving lots of specialists rushing around and with her being hooked up to machines and rushed to the childrens hospital PICU because NICU was full. The sound was strider and she had a problem with how her epiglotis was formed. She was operated on day 2 of life. I couldn't be transferred to be with her so I had to discharge myself and pay to stay near the PICU. She was also hypoglycemic and jaundiced and hooked up to cpap and all other sorts of monitoring. She was prem at 36wks but weighed 3.8kg. Her brother met his sister "who lives in a box". It was awful and I was in a lot of pain. She ended up recovering well. I had to bf every 3 hrs and pump too. Sleep deprivation is shocking for emotions & the slow coccyx recovery was horrid.

    My 3rd was elective c/s. I had hypermesis but other than that all went "normal". I let him sleep in the bed with me as needed to help me get more sleep. I wish I had done that for the others.

    They are now 10,6&3.

    Here to chat anytime. Ask any questions you like. I hope you can find a way to celebrate his 1st b'day. Look how far you've both come.

    Carol xx

    1 person found this helpful
  10. CMF
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    7118 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hi

    i am so sorry, I read your post and wanted to respond, however I don't really talk about what happened to me when my daughter was ill but I too am sorry no one else had responded. My labour etc was fine but at 5 weeks she had been losing weight and my maternal and child health nurse suggested I take her to the children's hospital just to have her checked. They picked up she had a heart problem (my local dr didn't pick this up the week before) and needed emergency open heart surgery. She was placed in icu and was first on the list fir surgery next morning. My life was turned upside down, her father left me in my own to deal with this. I donywNt to go into it much more as I don't want to relive it however as far as the anniversary of this happening I Romberg feeling anxious and going over it and over it and thinking what if, what if. What if I hadn't been at the health centre? What if the spot wS later in the day (my little one would not be here), why didn't I notice something etc. as mum adduce said, think of the positives, celebrate the milestones make the bday a celebration God knows you've been through enough trauma, it's time to enjoy the blessings. My little girl is now 3 and is the sunshine in my life I have 2 older children from my marriage and thus little one just completes my life. She was meant to be here, despite her condition everything happened in a way that allowed her to be here. She is my little blessing and I am so blessed to have her.

    i hope this helps somewhat. How is your son doing now and how are you doing? You are stronger than you realise. Sorry I don't have more to add, it's very private for me and I don't really want to bring it all up in my mind but I hope this has helped.

    cmf

  11. Elizabeth CP
    Elizabeth CP avatar
    1461 posts
    10 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    It sound as though you really had a rough time both during the birth & in the months afterwards. Unfortunately as mothers we see everyone else managing well & sometimes feel very alone because we aren't managing well. In fact there a lot of mothers who struggle. My children are all grown up now but I had a lot of trouble with a few of my children when they were babies. Fortunately I had a good GP & also a good infant welfare sister who I turned to for advice. I was encouraged to go to a group for mothers most of whom were struggling. I found the support really helpful. Knowing I wasn't the only one struggling was helpful. I found once my children were a bit older I felt more comfortable & happy as a mother.

    My DIL had a very traumatic birth & then was given very contradictory information re what had happened. She wanted more children but was petrified of the same thing happening. She ended up arranging to see the obstetrician again to discuss what had happened to her & the implications for the future. She was given written information detailing what had happened & his recommendations to reduce the risk of a recurrence. This gave her the peace of mind she needed.

    Remember you are not alone. None of the things that went wrong are your fault. While no one is perfect & the fatigue from broken sleep & crying babies mean we are not able to function as well as we like but I am sure you are doing the best you can like most mothers. From my experience the first year was the hardest. Look forward to enjoying your son as he grows.

  12. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to blondguy
    Thanks Paul, I am very happy to be a part of the forum and try to help others!
  13. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to Simona
    Sorry Simona I missed your post. I have heard about that problem with antibodies that is very difficult, I'm sorry you had to go through that, and had to make the decision not to have another child. I'm glad she is OK now. You sound as though you have made some peace with it, I hope I can too xx
    1 person found this helpful
  14. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Thanks Carol for your message, gosh you too have been through a lot. Your first sounds similar to mine with the colic/reflux, it is challenging isn't it? And then to have a baby in hospital for your second, on top of losing your mum. That is hard. I don't have any family support really on my side, my dad doesn't want to be a part of my life so it's hard. I feel a bit alone in that sense, especially hard when I see mums out with their parents enjoying the time together. luckily my husband's family are great.

    Thanks for your message x

  15. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to CMF

    CMF, I am so sorry if I made you feel bad for not responding, of course you didn't have to and don't have to talk about your experience. I am so sorry, I feel terrible. You have been through so much, I hope you are able to get some help that suits you. I am glad you are able to see her as a blessing now. I know how you feel, people say all sorts of things that don't help - a lot of people said to me at the time, but he's a good size, which of course made me feel worse because he was so sick but shouldn't have been, and then now they say, but he's so happy, and I think yeah he is, but not all the time and I feel so sad that he is sometimes so unwell but wants to be happy and maybe he wonders why I can't fix him!

    We are still trying to get my son comfortable and happy 100% of the time, OK maybe 90% of the time. He has severe reflux, food allergies, eczema and his sleep is terrible. He's pale, probably anaemic. He's having a gastroscopy in a few weeks to see if he has inflammation in his ospheoghaus and/or if he is coeliac. I am coeliac so good chance he is. So many people say 'OH that's terrible' but for me, at least I would know how to deal with it if he is coeliac. I know everything about it, I can manage it. It's all the unknowns that drive me crazy. I like to research everything and learn about it but there are so many things at play that it's pretty hard.

    He is the light of my life though and sometimes he'll have a long sleep like he is right now and I'll have time for myself and feel like I can breathe!

  16. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to Elizabeth CP
    Thank you Elizabeth for your post. I have been meaning to ask my OB for information and your post prompted me to do it just now. Thank you for reassuring me, you are right, a lot of mothers look like they are coping but probably feel the same way I do. I often feel like I'm a failure for not looking presentable, for not being able to keep up with any of the housework, but then I remind myself that no one except myself is actually expecting that. My husband is pretty great in that regard which I think is only fair! Thanks again, I do feel so much better when I'm able to talk/type about all this
  17. CMF
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    7118 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hi pvroom,

    please please please don't feel bad. I'm really happy I was able to respond to you, do t feel terrible.

    its good that read up things so you can be on top of what's happening, however, be careful of reading things that may not be in play if you know what I mean. This can make us stress even more assuming things. It's great that he's having tests to get to the bottom of things and I'm sure once you have these results you will feel a little more at ease as you can concentrate on managing them. I know you're trying to get him comfortable as much as pissible but please don't forget about yourself. I k ow what you men about seeing mums out with their own mums/families. My parents have both passed away and I do t really have a relationship with the other side of my daughters family but that's life. I'm glad your in laws are supportive. I'm pretty sure your lack of sleep isn't helping you too. Have a look intuit amid b8. It's natural and great for the nervous system. It will help calm you and help you think clearer.

    please let us know how your sons tests go. He's very lucky to have such a beautiful caring mum.

    take care.

    cmf

  18. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to CMF

    Thank you CMF. My psychologist said exactly that to me the other day about stressing myself out more by reading things. It's a coping strategy but it's not a good one. I have to just let some things go. I'm sorry that you don't have a lot of support, I hope that you have some friends maybe that help you out? Yes lack of sleep sucks! Ok I will look into that!

    xx

  19. Lost Girl
    Lost Girl  avatar
    2695 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hi Pvroom,

    The reflux is really horrid. As the child develops and matures physically it does get better. Have your drs advised the same for you?

    We have no family support being in a different state from my husband's family. What I did find very valuable was support from the mother's group, and then playgroup that I was in. Are you part of a group like that?

    I agree with cmf, lack of sleep sucks. More importantly I believe it makes everything seem so much bigger and worse than it is. On the upside, with bub turning 1 soon they get better and better at sleeping. Just remember things like the housework can wait, try and sleep whenever bub does. Your health is more important.

    Perhaps your son's birthday can be a day to make some lovely new memories. My suggestion would be to avoid something that will cause more stress. I would suggest like others have, a new outfit and a trip to a nice park for a picnic. Take a camera and take some relaxing photos of bub exploring the grass and of you and hubby bonding with your bub. There is plenty of time for big parties later on. Bub will not remember the day other than in the photos you take. I'd go relaxing and stress free for all and aim for some beautiful smiles in those photos that you can look back on xx

  20. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to Lost Girl
    Thanks Lost Girl - unfortunately and fortunately we moved away from where he was born so I lost my mothers group - we are still in touch but not seeing them. I am meeting people here which is good, just takes time. I have already planned a party but it's in the park, low key so I think it will be OK. I am excited to celebrate as I feel I missed out so much when he was born. I didn't get any flowers or anything, it was just not much fun. So I think the celebration will be really nice. We have about 20 people coming along, and they are all close friends or family who i know will be supportive.
  21. CMF
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    11 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Pvroom,

    party sounds great. Remember sometimes we need to go through the difficult times to get to the good stuff. Lost Girl made some great points, things will get easier.

    cmf

  22. Lost Girl
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    2695 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hey Pvroom,

    A small group in the park sounds lovely.

    If you are looking for a few more ideas to make it special, grabbing some party bunting from a $2 shop can look really cute between some trees or around the table area if there is one. A lot of people are doing "cake smash" birthdays, that is quite special in its own way and can be very cute. You could google that and see if it interests you.

    It sounds like flowers for you might be in order too :-) Get hubby to treat you with some, it's your day too xx

    Something to consider post party. If you take lots of lovely photos on the day, putting them into a special photo book will be a nice reminder that time of year so you can look back on it if you start feeling low. There are some lovely online digital photobooks you can make. For example blurb or momento, there are heaps, just google them.

    Hope this helps xx

  23. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    11 April 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Thank you CMF and Lost Girl!

    Great ideas Lost Girl. I have seen the cake smash thing, I'm not sure about that, but definitely bunting and fun decorations. I don't want to overdo it but it is fun!

  24. blondguy
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    12 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Hey pvroom!

    Just thought I'd pop in see how you have been traveling and you are reasonably well :-)

    Kind Thoughts

    Paul

  25. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to blondguy
    Hi Paul, thanks for checking in, I'm doing OK.
  26. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    29 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Morning pvroom. Great to hear that you are doing ok.

    Are you keeping busy with your work? And how did your little fellow's first birthday go last Sunday?

    Sherie xx

  27. blondguy
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    29 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    Thanks pvroom

    Thats good news..I understand you are busy...I love that great profile pic...gorgeous horse

    I hope you have a good weekend

    Paul

  28. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks Paul - I'm not really busy, I'm just not sure where I'm at, I'm tired and sad and anxious and angry and a lot of things! This time last year my son was in the ICU. I mean this time to the day, and I feel like that was a different person who went through all that. but at the same time, my heart feels really tight and my chest feels tight and I feel hurt that I had to go through all that. It's weird to feel like it was me and wasn't me that experienced it. I'm not sure how it's even possible to feel/think that way.

    Thanks for being here for me!

    Sherie - yes we are following each other!

    1 person found this helpful
  29. blondguy
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    29 April 2016 in reply to pvroom

    No worries vroom...:-) Tight chest...heart feeling...yepp...anxiety can bring on these annoying physical feelings...Its not weird at all that you feel this way and with the human mind and its thought processes. I still catch myself 'internalising' sometimes...it can be a pain...

    Happy to be here for you vroom :-)

    Paul

  30. pvroom
    pvroom avatar
    108 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to blondguy
    I know I'm not doing that well because i keep forgetting things. That is a sign for me that my anxiety has crept back up again. I'm still on my meds but i took a bit more last week before my son's birthday and then this week i went back down (this was with doctor's advice) so i'm wondering if that's why

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