PPD caused by midwife's incompetence? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very long story short, I have experienced what seems like severe PPD/anxiety after my incompentent midwife gave my dd a vitamin K shot containing aluminum without my consent. When I found out, I started obsessing about it, feeling horribly guilty that I didn't prevent it, running the tapes over and over in my head of what I should have done, could have done, etc. etc. I am super crunchy so to me, this was a BIG deal. Anyway, things got very bad and I'm on zoloft. What I'm wondering is if this is still typical PPD/anxiety since it's the result of the trauma of the shot situation? I *know* in my heart that I'd be fine if that hadn't have happened. Can an event/trauma (and the resulting thoughts) like that cause a chemical brain imbalance? Am I still at an increased risk of PPD with future births since this one was caused by that trauma? Or would this not be considered typical PPD/anxiety and more a separate thing such as PTSD or something? Thanks for helping me sort this out!
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#2 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 03:25 AM
 
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PPD can be characterized as anxiety in many women. While there are mothers who get very typical depression symptoms, anxiety is more common early on - always jumping to the worst case scenario, racing thoughts, intrusive thoughts of the things that could happen, tons of time spent on contingencies that are unlikely.
Like most pathologies, it is a super normal, super helpful process gone too much. When you have a newborn, it's really good to be more alert, more atune to the possibilities of harm - lions, tigers, bears, etc. In the modern world, that's probably carseats, vaccines, and private schools...but it's a natural transition. The pathology is when that is eccentuated and interferes with life. That's when treatments, like your Zoloft, become helpful.
I would guess the intrusive thoughts (grounded in reality, I get that) are the result, not the cause. But birth trauma is a risk factor for PPD. It's hard to chicken and egg it. If I had this history, I'd make a PPD plan for the next pregnancy. Check in's with a psychaitrist each trimester, each month post partum, and a good counsellor/therapist/group therapy person about the same schedule. It's entirely possible you won't need it, but it's cheap insurance. And, of course, a future babe won't get vitamin K unless you want it. But it could be something else, you know?

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#3 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 04:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sarabecca View Post
I have experienced what seems like severe PPD/anxiety after my incompentent midwife gave my dd a vitamin K shot containing aluminum without my consent. When I found out, I started obsessing about it, feeling horribly guilty that I didn't prevent it, running the tapes over and over in my head of what I should have done, could have done, etc. etc. I am super crunchy so to me, this was a BIG deal.

Or would this not be considered typical PPD/anxiety and more a separate thing such as PTSD or something?
First, I am sorry that this happened; I would be very upset about that too.

Didn't you and the midwife discuss this prior to the birth? She forgot you didn't want the baby to get the shot? Where were you and baby (and dp?)and midwife when this happened?

I had PPD with dd2. I have three daughters so a normal post-partum with dd1 and dd3. I had really wonderful births with all three. My life situation hadn't changed from one birth to the next. PPD is a bio-chemical imbalance. I think what you are experiencing is a form of PTSD if you will.

You can't take it back. Your midwife can't take it back. Is there anything you can give baby now to try to counteract any possible issues or to clean up her system?

Have you had anxiety type issues in the past? If this is a one time thing, I'd try to let it go so as not to ruin NOW with anger from the past that you can't change. Being this way is bad for you, bad for the baby, but really doesn't affect the midwife at all. If you want to write her a letter explaining how much this has affected you, that would be your best bet in getting her to understand what a big mistake this was. I assume it was a mistake and she feels badly too?

Having been through PPD, I wouldn't classify what you describe as that. But you have reason to be mad. I hope you find a way to let it go and move forward with your new beautiful baby.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 04:35 AM
 
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My DS had to be hospitalized for feared meningitis at 9 days old (after a blissful homebirth). Spinal tap, catheter, heavy duty antibiotics for 2 days while the test results came back, etc.

Yes, I am grateful that it wasn't meningitis, and that he recovered fine. I will always mourn for the gentle transition I think we should have had from homebirth to new baby routine. I will always be sorry for the extra anger and sadness both children had to deal with from me for some time.

The psychologist I saw said that it could be PPD kicked off by the trauma of the hospital or it could be PTSD aggravated by post partum hormones, but either way, the treatments were the same. Even if its PTSD, I think the hormones after birth will/can have more affect on you than a typical, never-traumatized woman.

I would get more support/treatment/help when having another baby, personally. Mine was first deep anxiety, especially when with the kids, then quick to anger, especially with my older child. I only had out-of-proportion sadness once or twice.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Sounds more like PTSD to me. PPD can also manifest as extreme anxiety. For some, low serotonin causes sadness, as in depression. For others, it causes extreme anxiety. So there could be many things going on.

The first thing I would do is find a therapist in your area that specializes in PPD and hopefully PTSD following childbirth. You can look on www.postpartum.net for more info.

The therapist can help you determine if meds are a good solution, or if you just need good CBT to get past this.

I think you definitely have some hormone related drop in serotonin, which would be making you feel the way you do. And I believe PTSD is involved, since you seem to be hanging on to the one incident and reliving it.

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#6 of 9 Old 01-29-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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I think it sounds more like PTSD. So sorry mama, that you had to go through this.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-29-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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It sounds like maybe you are really upset about what happened and that is complicated by the hormones of the postpartum period. My first child was vaccinated without my consent at his 2 week appt. I felt very violated, but you know, once it is done, it is better to just let it go. I don't think the vitamin k shot will cause ANY damage to your child. And since you are so crunchy, I know that he will receive the benefit of a very natural childhood for years to come. One vitamin k shot is not going to comprimise that. It is not a reflection on your parenting or his health status. Our bodies are capable of handling and recovering from things much, much worse. We are a resiliant species. Try and let it go for your sake and his! (Just speaking from experience).

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#8 of 9 Old 01-29-2010, 08:04 PM
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I think your reaction to the shot is a symptom of your PPD, not the cause of it. I hope you feel better soon.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-29-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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I think it's also important to remember that the symptoms of PTSD are also the symptoms of a normal, scary, life-threatening event. Replaying the event over and over, for example is also part of normal processing. It doesn't become PTSD until it is prolonged. I don't know how old your baby is, so it's possible it's already prolonged past the 6 month mark and is more similar to PTSD.
I have met women who know about the symptoms of PTSD and are fixated on the potential horribleness of lifetime PTSD when they are still in the normal processing time and the icky stuff they are going through is still normal.

What sweetiemommy says is good, too.

I am thinking of you.

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