Am I traumatised? How do I know? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-27-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hope someone can help me answer this.

Ds is 2 years old. He was born in NZ where natural, active birth is encouraged and midwife led. I laboured in a pool, with G&A to about 8cm dilated. My waters were broken with my agreement, and I proceeded to 10cm and the pushing stage fairly smoothly. then it all went a bit pear shaped. After hours (I think) of pushing, DS kept crowning then retracting back inside. I was exhausted by this point, and despite great encouragement from DH and the MW just could not push this baby out! As I mustered my strength for one last push - and I could see from the MW face that things were starting to get very serious - the MW hit the emergency button, the room filled with people and lots of things happened very fast and DS was finally delivered. The MW told me afterwards that he was a shoulder dystocia and stuck fast. She performed an epis, and MacRoberts maneuver with suprapubic pressure to get him out. I held him briefly before he was whisked away for monitoring; but had him back with me within a few minutes and was not seperated from him again.

So in the end I had a natural birth - no induction, no epidural, no major intervention until the last minute. DS heartbeat was fine throughout. He was slightly blue when born, but up to 10 scores on the APGAR within a couple of minutes, and no other injuries of the type associated with shoulder dystocia. So in many ways it was as good a birth as could have happened under the circumstances, and my main feeling at the time was pure relief that DS was okay. It's probably only since reading about SD that I have realised that it was a real emergency. And the look on my MW face at the time I guess.

But here's the thing. Whenever I talk about it to anyone I start to shake. I clench my jaw and my stomach knots. Even now my hands are shaking on the keyboard and my jaw is clenched so tight it hurts. I feel sick and lose my train of thought. Am I more traumatised than I think I am? I don't generally dwell on it. I'm so sorry if this seems like small potatoes compared to many of your stories / situations, but I would really appreciate your opinions.
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#2 of 3 Old 01-31-2010, 02:51 PM
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That sounds like the symptoms of trauma victims to me. I would definitely consider seeing a therapist to explore the fear and sadness you might not be allowing yourself to explore.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#3 of 3 Old 01-31-2010, 04:35 PM
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Here is a good resource for figuring out if you are traumatized or if you are diagnosable with PTSD:

A traumatic event is one where a person feels a sense of hopelessness or horror at something that is threatening the life, health or well-being of oneself or someone close to you. In your case, you were definitely afraid for your baby's health in those scary moments.

Birth trauma is more common than what is widely recognized. In NZ, the UK and the US, the reported trauma rates after childbirth are around 30% of women. Full-on PTSD is more rare at between 1 and 6%.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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