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#1 of 13 Old 01-10-2003, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi
I have panic attacks!
Mostly when someone I don’t like holds my baby, and when I think about his birth.
I think it will help me if I share my story, jut typing it helps.
If anyone has any natural suggestions or remedies that helped them please pass them on, (don’t worry about liabilities, I read up on EVERYTHING before I take it and won’t hold you responsible)


It has been 10 months now since I had my DS. He’s everything I could dream of, and parenting is such a joy. Everything is as I had planed, except my birth. Everyone says it was better then most people can ask for, except it was in a hospital.

You see I was born at home. My first memories are of my sister being born in our family bed. Later I witnessed my brother being born under water. My whole family was homeschooled (UN-schooled) and attachment bonded down to the family bed. This is perfect for me.
Birth especially was something I was looking forward to, my initiation into motherhood.

I feel like I was robbed. I don’t know how else to say it, I had a wonderful pregnancy, my midwife is a long time family friend and delivered my younger siblings, everything was going perfectly until one night at 11:30pm my water broke, I was 35 weeks we still don’t know why.
Needless to say we ended up in the hospital ER and six hours later my son was born. With out much intervention (as little as can be demanded from a hospital), without drugs, with my family, midwife, and husband around me, and Libana music playing in the hospital tape player. During labor I was hooked up to the monitors, an IV in which they gave me antibiotics for a disease I didn’t have, and a blood pressure cuff, which would inflate automatically every 10-min. The nurse was worried because my blood pressure had risen, (you try having an ER doctor with size XL gloves check your dilation, then be wheeled around a hospital when you have never been admitted before) The doctor made me push. I tore, he sewed me up (which wasn’t necessary, and was done incorrectly I was told later).

There were lots of people in the room; everyone comes to hear the strange girl singing her birth song in a dark room. Not a hospital room anymore, but a sacred space where a girl forced to lay in a bed glowed, with a circle of close woman around, protecting. A faint smell of lavender from her husband and Libana playing in the hospital tape player, songs those people had never heard before.

I grabbed my sons hands as he came out screaming, desperate to hold him and make the bad dream go away, but the nurse whisked him across the room to the testing area. It didn’t take long for everyone in the room to realize that he didn’t need their help He pushed away the Oxygen the person shoved in his face, Just hold him I plead to my mom, Just someone hold him I begged, while the doctor catheterized me. The nurse finishes bathing him and mummifies him in a blanket. “Take of your shirt honey, just put him skin to skin” I instinctively ordered, the nurse raised her eyebrows. They still won’t let me hold him; at least his papa has him now, safe. Finally the doctor finishes with me, and I shower. The staff is gone from the room, only the family is there. Quiet. Better. I held my perfect little 4lb baby, who “shouldn’t have been able to survive” without an incubator and the entire hook up, why? He lay in my arms nursing peacefully I had never seen a baby so small.
That’s when I started having panic attacks. My heart races, my blood pressure rises, and I don’t know why. We went home the next day, the panic attacks continued.
Hassles with a vaccine happy, throw the naked baby around like an inanimate object draw his blood with out gloves, anti breastfeeding pediatrician only makes things worse. Finally I transferred to my own family doctor, only to get threatening phone calls from the pediatrician. My panic attacks continued.

My doctor can only offer a prescription he knows won’t help.
Slowly they faded away.

My sister has a similar story, her baby girl born at 35 weeks, same weight perfect health, frank breach, luckily the Doctor she ended up with let her birth naturally, without a c-section. They both are fine. I still am not; I had to re-live it all over again. My panic attacks returned, then slowly diminished. I can’t think about this without my heart racing. I am so angry, even though everything turned out fine, why? Even now almost a year later my heart races just to right this. I am not depressed, but what am I?

Thank you for listening
Brightest Blessings
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#2 of 13 Old 01-10-2003, 01:23 AM
 
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Oh Moom,

I am on the verge of tears...I am so sorry for your loss...
You are allowed to grieve your dream of that perfect moment...that you did not get...

I had a similar experience with our first baby, Emma .
She was not that early but I did have her in the hospital, she did get snatched away, and the last fifteen minutes were horrible as nurses were "speaking sternly" to me, one trying to put an IV in my arm as I try and deal with contractions and an unknown doctor just standing there...

I was in fear of having another labour and discussed this several times with my midwife for my second baby.
I made it clear to her my wishes for the birth and expected that everyone would comply...
Things were much better and I don't have those fears or anxiety attacks anymore.

I send you hugs and hope you find some inner peace...in time

Hugs,
Envision
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#3 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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I don't know what to say. Your story was very moving.

Hugs and well wishes
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#4 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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Oh my dear, I am so sorry for all that happened to you. You will get through this, it will take time. Maybe write a letter to the hospital team. Let them know how they made you feel. Let them know what their actions caused. And then, forgive them. . .they were just doing what they have been taught, what they think is the right thing. You know better, you trust yourself and your body. . and your baby. How lucky you are to have such knowledge. And how sad for them that they do not. Forgiveness may set you free. Let go-you are wiser than them. peace.
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#5 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 04:51 PM
 
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Moon, I know how overwhelming a disappointing birth experience is. I had similar issues when my first dd was born. Her entire first year I thought of my labor and her birth over and over again remembering every little detail. It's important to do this though and it helps to eventually put things in perspective for you. Grief takes time and you will learn to move on and take with you the good memories of your ds's birth.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 05:10 PM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear your story. My DD is only 18 days old. I hope the nightmares I'm having about our birth don't last much longer. I can't magine panic attacks for almost a year. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Please PM me if you ever need someone to talk to.

How is your DS? I spent days consoling myself that I don't remember my birth, so maybe DD won't remember hers. Then DH pointed out to me that she sleeps like me (thrashing, crying out in her sleep). Now I'm nearly paralyzed with fear about what I did to her by having a hospital birth.

Peace, Meg
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#7 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 06:41 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing your story!! I am sorry for your loss...we need to learn to grieve about these losses. I have only recently begun to heal from my first two births(the first over 5 years ago)with the birth of my third child. I realized after the recent birth of my son that something had been taken from me five years ago...not sure what, I think I felt helpless, violated.
Well my point is you will heal...take time for yourself, write it all down. Deal with the feelings you have about it. Good luck on your journey...my thoughts are with you!
Debi

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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#8 of 13 Old 01-11-2003, 07:08 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing. I hope that your bfing experience can help you to make up for the traumatic birthing experience. At least your ds will know that his mother loved him so much to try to make the best of a strange and unfortunate situation by surrounding herself with loving people, scents, and sounds.
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#9 of 13 Old 01-12-2003, 12:33 AM
 
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as I sitting here reading your post. I also had a traumatic, stolen and hurtful hospital birth and postpartum experience wtih my first. I was in a grip of fear while time stood still for a week while my baby went from fair to critical and then back up to fair, and for the following two weeks got better a little bit each day, until we were finally home and I could begin my life again or so I thought.
I also wasn't "depressed" per se but the panic attacks would consume me. I put up with them for a year with no help, no diagnosis (since lost my faith in Dr's anyways), no clue as to what was wrong with me until finally they began to fade away and were gone when I discovered I was pregnant with my second 14 weeks later.
And I still rage because none of it had to happen. My first son would have been so safe if he had been born at home, but I was niave and didn't even think of homebirth as an option. I thought I was safe and trusted my Dr's and all of the Dr's. And oddly enough the realization taht none of it had to happen was renewed to the fullest when I had my third son at home as planned, with no one around me (and all was well of course) -what I once felt was "pretty sure was true" was turned into hardcore reality, the truth.
Only time abated my panic attacks, I hope that there are things you can find to give you peace. Breastfeeding was something that helped me hang in there. My Dh, though clueless and not sure what to do with me, did stick by my side. Writing it out, even if in your own private journal does help. YOu have a right to be angry and to grieve (I waited nearly two years to start letting out my anger and realize my own feelings about what happened...When Ds came home @ 3 weeks I was so happy to have my baby home and start my life as a mommy I buried it all away. I sometimes think that it "came out" via attacks)

Greenfairaedog and Moom feel free to PM me

edited to add - 14 WEEKS later?? I meant 14 MONTHS later... :LOL
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#10 of 13 Old 01-14-2003, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your encouraging words, and support. It is sad to hear that there are others out there that are also going through this, but good to know that you can get through it!
It took me a while to get the courage up to log on, but I am glad I did. Thanks

It is so nice to talk to other people that have the same ideas I do, Lining in a rural area, we don’t even have a LLL group going currently to go and “play”. Luckily I have my Mom and Sis, but still… some times it is hard when you are 22, and everyone looks at you funny because you returned the disposable diapers, bottles, and pacifiers you got from your baby shower. Oh well…
Take care all
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#11 of 13 Old 01-14-2003, 12:57 PM
 
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{{{{moom}}}} Thank you for sharing your story. I too had a very traumatic birth experience that left me angry and oh so disappointed. My tale took along time to play out as it resulted in a wrong doing settelment that took a long time to come to be. SO myonly advice is too do what feels best for you , writing, hiking, therapy, etc. But the biggest thing for me was really time and outside focus. Starting playgroups, meeting people at parks, aquariums, museums etc. I hope you find your peace soon.
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#12 of 13 Old 01-15-2003, 05:52 PM
 
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You are a strong woman! Thank you for sharing your story.
Shame on doctors and nurses who make birth into a traumatic experience. Shame on them disrespecting women's power during what is rightfully their most powerful moment.

The first people a baby should see, feel, be held by, are the parents, not some stranger. Shame on the medical doofuses who haven't figured out that simple bit of common sense.

I think midwives and midwife advocates have to do more to protect women that have no choice but to go to hospitals. I know they have trouble enough fighting for their rights to do the work they love.

The doctors and nurses have to get their heads out of the toilet and face up to the fact that birth is natural and not dependent on them. They are facilitators. They are not deliverers. They have to follow the birth plan or else be accountable. They have to be aware of the current research that shows again and again that being hooked up to monitors and IVs is counterproductive. They have to finally get that hospitals are not places for disease but places for life.

I hope that my ranting hasn't done more harm than good. I had a beautiful water birth in my home with hardly any assistance from the midwife. I am pregnant again and I've had nightmares that I'm in a hospital giving birth. In the nightmares, the doctors and nurses don't care that I had a homebirth without a single hitch. It's like a science fiction movie.

I believe your panic attacks may stem partly from having your power being taken advantage of. I'm not going to say it was taken away, it just wasn't respected or acknowledged by the doctors and nurses. If there is a way that those doctors and nurses can see how their actions affected you and your baby's birth, maybe they, or some of them, will approach future births more humanely. Maybe your midwife could help you to explain to them how they could have honored the sacredness of your birth.

Thank you, Moom, for sharing your story. Take care of yourself and don't give up seeking help for your panic attacks. They are just alerting you that you need to heal. Many blessings to you as you find healing.
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#13 of 13 Old 01-16-2003, 05:49 PM
 
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Moon-

I am sorry you had such a horrible experience. I hope time will help heal the attacks. Can you find a local person to talk to? Maybe a religious person to just get theses things out of your system?

I am very upset that you had a negative birth experience. I had a hospital experience and except for a few complications I was happy. My girl was placed on my belly before she was measured, she and I looked into each other's eyes and fell in love. We had a great staff that respected my decisions and allowed me to take a long time to prevent extra interventions. I just want you to know that not all hospital births are bad...but you do have to fight for them!
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