Afterbirth trauma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 11-29-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I am slowly getting better, but still having a hard time with my afterbirth. Here is most of the story,

While lying lifeless on the bed, bleeding, having my placenta manually removed and my blood pressure dropping, I felt like I was going to die. I felt like I was fighting for my life. I felt that if I were to fully close my eyes and "let go" I was gone forever. It is the worse feeling in the world, especially when the people you love the most are in the room with you, DH, 4 yo DD, newborn DS and my mom. I was fighting for them. I couldn't bear the thought of my mom losing another child(my younger brother died when I was 7yo and it is still hard for mom), my children not having a mother and my husband losing his best friend. I remember looking at DH and he looked so worried. His eyes were huge with fear.

Now, I am sure there may not have been any chance of me dying, but this is how I felt. I hope that makes sense. And I am wondering if anyone has gone through these same feelings and how did you get through it. I am going to start looking for a therapist as well.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#2 of 7 Old 12-05-2008, 12:12 PM
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I have been meaning to respond for some time. I had something going on the last weeks of pregnancy and right after birth (well not RIGHT after but the days after) that left me feeling like I was not going to make it. I would get light headed, sweat on my hands and feet real bad, and my heart would get racing. It is one of two things - I had anxiety attacks or I had some symptoms because my thyroid was out of whack that would lead to sometimes an anxiety attack. It is very scary with a newborn (and mine was a new when I had this happening as yours!) to think you are going to die! I would have to lie down and put my feet up and DH would check my pulse every couple of mins to assure me I was ok. It was very scary.

Now put that in perspective with yours as you really did almost die! Wow. You are a strong momma. A brave momma. And even though you might not use those words or this one, I think an extraordinary momma!

Mommy to 6 year old dd and almost 2 year old ds, working to become happy every day and healthy along the way!
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#3 of 7 Old 12-08-2008, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks madiesmommy. I have a thryoid disease too, Graves'. I feel that time is helping me heal. I am feeling better as each day goes by.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#4 of 7 Old 12-10-2008, 05:31 PM
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I just read your story (your birth story and current post). It sounds like you were incredibly strong in the face of terrible, unforseen circumstances. You said in your birth story that your MW said the placenta issues would have been really painful if you didn't have the epi in place. That is a sign to me that you made the right decision. I don't know if you believe in God or a Higher Power or anything, but it sounds to me like a Higher Power definitley had a hand in this situation. He or She made sure that you got what you needed. If you hadn't had the epi, it may have been even more traumatizing for you due to the pain from the placenta issues.

I hope I'm not out-of-line saying all this...

Have you tried doing some journaling on this topic? As a counselor, that's generally the first thing I recommend to my clients who are trying to process traumatic experiences. Getting it all out on paper can be a big release!

Mom to retired nursling Lily (6/22/07) and wife to my wonderful DH since 3/19/05
Baby Aerick is here! Born at 40+6 on 5/16/10
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#5 of 7 Old 12-24-2008, 06:52 PM
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well you did experience trauma - and I suspect you nearly died or you came as close as a provider would ever want to see. when bp lowers from blood loss it is a "late" thing first the hormones tighten down on your circulation so that everything gets perfused and the pulse rate increases a great deal to keep it all going- bp is pretty normal at this point after a while the body can't keep everything on lock down and then you will get a lowered bp reading- did you get a transfusion as well? I know that saying you nearly died doesn't make things better but I wanted to add in that the infusion of fear at the time is part of the survival mechansim that is hormone triggered- the adrenalin fight or flight stuff was on board and doing it's stuff so that was something that was part of the experience-- some people in shock will fight and yell and not let anyone near them to help. So the trauma is not all in your head, it was something you experienced and survived- telling and retelling the story can help
the other bits like the painful labor - that was how the baby was positioned and the pain meds on board worked for you all the way around, helping to change the baby's position by relaxing the pelvic floor and giving you some needed pain relief as well as allowing for procedures to be done to stop your hemorrhage- take care
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#6 of 7 Old 12-29-2008, 01:33 PM
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Wow, no real concrete advice, but lots of . What a scary experience, and I'm glad you pulled through for your family. PPH/retained placenta are often scary for women, not only because of the near-death experience you described, but because communication and informed choice can go out the window because everyone is focused on stabilizing you. This can be very non-reassuring for mamas and families also.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-15-2009, 01:56 PM
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I'm so glad you pulled through - what a scary experience!

I had a pretty traumatic afterbirth - not as scary as yours, but still pretty bad.
The doctor started trying to pull my placenta out as soon as my daughter was born. Apparently he couldn't wait even 5 minutes for it to detach. So my daughter was taken away from me, and the ob is pulling out my placenta, which breaks into pieces from all the tugging. So then we have to worry about getting all the pieces out, so he's reaching his HUGE hands into my uterus and pulling - it was horribly painful. Way worse than the birth. He finally got all the pieces out using these metal tongs.

I had these "body nightmares" for a while after that experience - it was pretty bad remembering how it felt. I know it's not the same as what you went through, but I've been wanting to get this off my chest for while.

Lovestruck luxlove.gif mama to Girlie #1 energy.gifand Girlie #2 on the way!
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