Massive post partum hemorrhage - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 09-10-2008, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
barefoot mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My birth story is here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=937203

I had a wonderful unassisted birth, followed by a massive hemorrhage. I lost the entire blood volume of one person in 40 minutes. Most people don't seem to get this. They tell me how common it is to hemorrhage, because it happened to their mother, sister, friend, etc. When that happens, I feel extremely minimized. Like it's no big deal to lose all that blood, when it really is. The term hemorrhage means anything over a few cups (or maybe even one cup? I can't remember without looking it up). I lost 6-7 liters.

My physical recovery went very well, I think. At 3 1/2 months postpartum I am close to 100%, although I think there was some damage done to my stomach muscles, which makes my back hurt, but overall, I can't complain about that. I feel pretty good.

But now I am depressed. I mean seriously depressed. I do what I have to do because I have so many responsibilities- caring for and homeschooling 6 children, working part time from home, going to school, taking care of the house. What choice do I have? If I stop, my family will collapse.

I think I am supposed to feel super happy and blessed that my life was saved, when the truth was that there was no way I could have survived. Don't people feel happy after something like that? Why don't I? Instead, I want everyone to leave me alone. I want to hide in a cave somewhere.

I don't talk about it IRL because I literally lose my voice. I know people don't believe me and they think I must have done something wrong. I know they are wrong, but I can't say it.

So is this going to go away? When will I feel better emotionally so I can continue with life? I didn't die, after all, so I'm certain I'm supposed to be here. I don't know, this just doesn't make any sense to me.
barefoot mama is offline  
#2 of 13 Old 09-10-2008, 10:18 PM
 
mnnice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


I hemmoraged more than I should with both of my births and also found it demoralizing, especially when I didn't feel as good as I thought I should afterwards. My bleeding was just a drop in the bucket so to speak compared to your experience.

I'd be kind to yourself and I also think that most people would have some PTSD after your experience. If it was me I think I'd look for a mental health professional that was very knowledgable about PTSD.
mnnice is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 09-10-2008, 10:40 PM
 
tinybutterfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 9,993
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


I found this through the new posts feature. I hope you don't my chiming in.

I've never had a homebirth or an UC.

I did hemorrhage last year and ended up in the hospital. I had to have 4 units of blood. I had no idea that "heavy" perimenopausal bleeding could land me in the hospital or could have been a threat to my health. My doctor was shaken...and he is a really easy going doctor.

Anyway, my point is most people DON'T get it...it was dangerous and yes, life-threatening.

Sometimes our bodies don't work the way they should and I am thankful that I was able to get the medical care I needed ( and glad you were able to get the medical care you needed!)

I think there is a grieving, knowing that "something" went wrong and maybe an awareness that we are not invulnerable. It is sobering to know that things DO sometimes go wrong and not just to other people...it can be US, our bodies may not function perfectly sometimes.

Take care and I hope you get lots of understanding here.

And if you do start feeling more and more bothered by this, I agree that talking to someone to make sure that you are not slipping into regular depression or postpartum depression might be a good idea. I suppose just be watchful...

I don't know if any of this helped at all, but I wanted you to know that though my experience was different, I do understand how serious it can be to lose that much blood.

I still think about it and it is a year later.

Give yourself some time...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
tinybutterfly is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 09-11-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Pirogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your experience during the birth leaves me speechless. How terrifying that must have been, even though you are alive now.

I wanted to share my story about what should have been my death also. When I was 17, I was a gymnast in high school. I had 11 years of gymnastics experience. During a dismount from the bars, I landed on my head and broke the C-1 and C-6 vertebrae in my neck. The C-1 vertebra surrounds the medulla oblongata (brain stem), which controls autonomic functions like respiration, circulation, and secretion. Fracture of this vertebra and trauma to the brain stem usually results in the body being unable to regulate the basic functions that keep a person alive. After the impact with the floor, I jumped up, saluted the judge, and walked off the mat. I felt like my head was loose from my body, but I did not have anyone to take me to the hospital for several hours. I was alive and functioning, and everyone thought I must be ok. When I got to the county hospital, they finally took some x-rays, saw the fractures, and things immediately changed. The doctor came in panicking and taped my head and body to a board, and I was whisked away to the large hospital in the city an hour away. I spent three days in the ICU, with doctors checking to see if my reflexes were working, my bowels were working, etc. People constantly told me I was so very lucky to be alive, that they had never seen a patient survive this injury. Even today if a doctor learns of this history, he/she will look at me in wonder or horror and repeat that I am very lucky I didn't die.

Our experiences aren’t the same. Having that experience during the birth of a child, which in itself is a life-altering experience, must have been a massive shock to your psyche. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that yes, most people do die if they have a C-1 fracture, but I didn’t. I made it, and I have no reason why. I had thoughts like, “Why should I be allowed to live? What makes me more special than the people who died from this injury?” There are just no good answers to those kinds of questions. I even had thoughts that maybe I did die, and everything I experienced after the accident was just all in my head.

I have had over ten years since the accident, but I can still hear the crunch from when the bones broke on impact, and I still have times when I think about it and my chest gets tight or I cry. Give yourself some space to grieve what happened. It was a horrible, terrifying experience, and it is ok to acknowledge that. Sometimes it does help to talk to someone about it, someone like a professional who won’t hinder your process of healing by minimalizing the hemorrhage or rushing you on to the next step.

I now celebrate two birthdays every year, the one where my mother birthed me, and the one where I got a rare chance to live where usually people die.

Feel free to PM me if you would like to talk or just need someone to listen.
Pirogi is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 09-11-2008, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
barefoot mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post


I hemmoraged more than I should with both of my births and also found it demoralizing, especially when I didn't feel as good as I thought I should afterwards. My bleeding was just a drop in the bucket so to speak compared to your experience.
Yes, me too. And it wasn't just me who thought I should be doing better than I was. I had friends and family that thought I was either exaggerating or there was something terribly wrong with me. HELLO! I just lost all my blood! (well, except for the 1 to 2 liters that were left in me) I had a lot of pain and weakness. The weakness is almost gone, but the pain still comes and goes.

Quote:
I'd be kind to yourself and I also think that most people would have some PTSD after your experience. If it was me I think I'd look for a mental health professional that was very knowledgable about PTSD.
I've thought about this and I might do it. I generally don't like counseling because they seem to want you to come back forever and ever and dwell on things without moving forward. I imagine that depends on the individual counselor, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly View Post

I did hemorrhage last year and ended up in the hospital. I had to have 4 units of blood. I had no idea that "heavy" perimenopausal bleeding could land me in the hospital or could have been a threat to my health. My doctor was shaken...and he is a really easy going doctor.
How scary! : I guess I've never thought of that either!


Quote:
Anyway, my point is most people DON'T get it...it was dangerous and yes, life-threatening.

Sometimes our bodies don't work the way they should and I am thankful that I was able to get the medical care I needed ( and glad you were able to get the medical care you needed!)
I wonder why they don't get it? I've thought maybe it's because they just don't like scary stuff to be a part of their reality?


Quote:
postpartum depression might be a good idea. I suppose just be watchful...
How do you know if you have PPD?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post

I wanted to share my story about what should have been my death also. When I was 17, I was a gymnast in high school. I had 11 years of gymnastics experience. During a dismount from the bars, I landed on my head and broke the C-1 and C-6 vertebrae in my neck. The C-1 vertebra surrounds the medulla oblongata (brain stem), which controls autonomic functions like respiration, circulation, and secretion. Fracture of this vertebra and trauma to the brain stem usually results in the body being unable to regulate the basic functions that keep a person alive. After the impact with the floor, I jumped up, saluted the judge, and walked off the mat. I felt like my head was loose from my body, but I did not have anyone to take me to the hospital for several hours. I was alive and functioning, and everyone thought I must be ok. When I got to the county hospital, they finally took some x-rays, saw the fractures, and things immediately changed. The doctor came in panicking and taped my head and body to a board, and I was whisked away to the large hospital in the city an hour away. I spent three days in the ICU, with doctors checking to see if my reflexes were working, my bowels were working, etc. People constantly told me I was so very lucky to be alive, that they had never seen a patient survive this injury. Even today if a doctor learns of this history, he/she will look at me in wonder or horror and repeat that I am very lucky I didn't die.
This is such an amazing story! :

Quote:
I had thoughts like, “Why should I be allowed to live? What makes me more special than the people who died from this injury?” There are just no good answers to those kinds of questions. I even had thoughts that maybe I did die, and everything I experienced after the accident was just all in my head.
I have had these EXACT same thoughts. Interesting. Even though I made a conscious choice to live (it's in my birth story), I still can't wrap my head around it. And I have also thought maybe I really did die. I don't like that one. It freaks me out a bit.

Did you have depression after your injury?



Quote:
I now celebrate two birthdays every year, the one where my mother birthed me, and the one where I got a rare chance to live where usually people die.

Feel free to PM me if you would like to talk or just need someone to listen.
I love this!! I want to do that too. For some reason, I've been dreading the day coming up again, but maybe if I try to see it as a celebration, that will help. It would be much better for my son, too, if I didn't dread his birthday!
barefoot mama is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 09-11-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Pirogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot mama View Post
I have had these EXACT same thoughts. Interesting. Even though I made a conscious choice to live (it's in my birth story), I still can't wrap my head around it. And I have also thought maybe I really did die. I don't like that one. It freaks me out a bit.
I have shared these thoughts with two people in my life. Both of them had the same, independent response. They both said that if I did die and it was all in my head, what about them? They were figments of my imagination? One told me that he knew that he really does exist, so my theory is wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot mama View Post

Did you have depression after your injury?
I don't think so. At least, I didn't see anyone after the accident. I would have moments when the hugeness of it would overtake me, and I would need to just stop and love myself for a while. Quiet the thoughts and the panic. I was in college as I was processing it, so I had enough time to work through it. Eventually those moments got few and far between, and then one year, I missed my second birthday. Now I only rarely think about it ... unless someone makes a joke about breaking one's neck. You would be surprised how often that happens!


I wish you the best in your healing process.
Pirogi is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 09-15-2008, 07:51 AM
 
jenneology's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't understand how anyone could minimize your experience. Something happening of that magnitude is awful, scary and life-threatening. Maybe its because the thought of it is so scary to them that they don't want to think of the real possibility that it could also happen to them? Its not right regardless.

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

jenneology is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 09-15-2008, 08:00 AM
 
jenneology's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thinking more on your questions, how possible is that you feel depressed because you are exhausted and still recovering? There definitely could be some trauma there from the scariness of the experience, but the hollow tired feeling that you might have really could be the effects of the hemmorhage. Have you consulted with a naturopath in boosting your immune system, iron levels, etc? It just seems to be that the depression you are describing could be more of a result from the physical depletion of your body (which can result in depressed functioning, including mood) than even the trauma of the experience. Even with efforts to support your physical recovery, I think there's a good chance that as you recover physically your mood will lift. It may be one of those things that you wait out, and the relief will come.

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

jenneology is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 09-15-2008, 11:12 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,670
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh mama, more hugs and love to you.

Everyone has something lovely to say and one of the last posts struck me about probably still recovering and being exhausted and how that can definitely lead to some depression. Just processing the experience takes a huge amount of effort and time. That's probably why you want to go hide in a cave (or maybe more like a spa/wellness resort?)- just to have the quiet and space to process how you feel.

More love to you...
flowers is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 09-16-2008, 09:00 PM
 
A&L+1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Be kind to yourself. Investigate PPD and PTSD.

You asked "Will this go away?" I don't know when, but I can tell you that my partner had a similar situation and it does get better. My partner had to have emergency surgery and several pints of blood after the birth of our second daughter (placenta accreta). Nothing like the scale of your medical needs after the birth of your son, but I can tell you, physically (let alone emotionally) she was not fully recovered until after 1 year. Her energy level, emotions, ability to get things done - everything - was deminished for that long. She didn't realize it either - she thought she was better within a couple of months and then after a year she said - "Wow, I really was not myself for the past year." She is SO MUCH better now (my daughter is 19 months old).

May you find peace and a quiet place to heal.
A&L+1 is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 PM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 7,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you may still be suffering from the effects of the hemorrhage. When you cells are starved of blood, they don't neccesarily function properly for a while. For example, it's not uncommon for the milk to not come in after a severe post partum hemorrhage, even one that was not as severe as yours. This is due to damage to the pituitary gland. Even if your milk did come in, it's possible you've got damage to your other neurological cells and have a chemical imbalace contributing to your ill-health.

Regardless if there is a physical cause, I hope you could speak with a birth trauma specialist. If you're near seattle, I know of two professionals who specialize and people typically really like. Outside of the area, perhaps you could speak with someone who is a specialist in PPD - not because you have that but because they would be more likely to understand birth stuff in a way that the average provider would not.
I wonder if someone of your feelings are from knowing that you're not planning another baby. Have you taken time to say goodbye to your fertility?

if you want one. I'm sorry it was so traumatic to birth Rowan.

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 09-28-2008, 02:10 AM
 
RiverMamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sangre De Christos
Posts: 360
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While reading all of your stories, I had some thoughts... on the emotional side of things. I didn't hemorage, but I bled for 12 wks & had some scary big clots. My MW said that greif can be an underlying factor in excessive PP bleading & hemoraging. I was greiving my homebirth (c/s,) and my grandmother. I know emotions are powerfull. Do you think it could have something to do with your greif for Marissa? Perhaps it happen at this birth because it has had time solidify? Don't be so hard on yourself, you sound like you have your hands full to begin with, and you lost a child in recient years. You are aloud to greive, you are aloud to feel like crap, you are aloud to be depressed! Let yourself go through the motions of healing. Yes you will heal... give it time.

:

Elisha; happy, working, mountain/river/music, single mamma to Charlotte hearts.gif 03/16/08.      http://rivermamma.blogspot.com/

RiverMamma is offline  
#13 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
barefoot mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you for all the support.

I guess it really could be that I haven't fully recovered yet. My milk did come in, but it took a full week, and a month to get up to full supply. I was worried about permanent damage to my pituitary gland (Sheehan's syndrome), but I don't think that's what is going on.

I do remember some things about the hospital (I don't remember much!) and one of them is the doctor telling me it would take "months and months" to feel human again, and at least a year to feel like myself again. So I guess I'm not doing too bad.

I am feeling better emotionally. It seems to come and go. Lately my little one isn't sleeping well at night, and I know lack of sleep makes me feel awful, too.

I appreciate everyone's support and input!!
barefoot mama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off