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Hello. I am new to this site, I just discovered the mag. I am wondering if anyone has any info/advice on overcoming birth trauma. (for both me and baby)<br><br>
Warning: Sad birth story<br>
My background...<br>
My son is almost 11 months old now. He was born at 35w 5d back in June. I had a textbook pregnancy, I was able to stay home during the whole thing (first baby too!). I was very calm and relaxed the whole time and had hopes of a hypno-birth. Well I went into labor at 35w 3d and labored in the hospital for two day. I had extreme back labor, they wouldn't let me get out of bed (shower, birthing ball, walking...I couldn't do anything) because they didn't want to do anything to progress labor, they were hoping it would stop on its own. Obviously, every day/hour helps in that situation. After two days of intense labor (contractions ever 3-5 min.... baby's heart rate was fine the whole time) I was able to push. I pushed for two hours and delivered part of the head when his heart rate sky-rocketed. Side note: my mom (a family physician) was delivering the baby and so I had very good care from all the doctors and nurses. We were rushed to an emergency c/s where I was put under anasthesia because the epidural didn't even work. My husband was pushed out of the room, I had 9 doctors rush in, he was scared out of his mind, I was terrified. The baby was born fine, he was tethered by the cord and because of his position if they had used forceps he would have been strangled before he was born. God was definitely with us that day. My son stayed in the NICU for 8 days. He was relatively healthy and has been a very healthy boy his whole life. I am very grateful for that.<br><br>
While he was in the NICU I slept in any spare room they would give me, I pumped and tried to nurse round the clock. I only left to sleep and pump (sometimes to eat). I held him in the rocking chair for hours and tried to only leave when he was sleeping. I feel so blessed to have been able to do that. Most people have to work or have other kids to take care of.<br><br>
Sad Birth story over!<br><br><br>
He is almost 11 months now and I am wondering if he (and I) are still experiencing some trauma from that first week. He is VERY attached, I wear him in a sling almost all day, I almost never leave his side, we cosleep, he is breastfeeding, we have always responded to all of his needs. The last few months he has gotten much more clingly and crabby. He isn't sleeping as well (only taking 30 min. naps), he cries much more than before, he seems to be generally out of sorts pretty much all the time. Either he is out of sorts or like when I have him in the sling he will just be exhausted. In general he is hitting all of his milestones.<br><br>
It could just be his personality, or maybe this is totally normal at this age (its not just stranger/seperation anxiety). I am wondering if anyone thinks this could be related to his birth trauma or is it just normal???<br><br>
Does anyone know of some resources to deal with this sort of thing? It is 11 months later and I am just now starting to realize its a problem for me! Any help or advice would be great! Sorry this is so long!<br>
I would be more than happy to elaborate if need-be.<br><br>
Lauren
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s for your birth story.<br><br>
To answer your question: It does sound normal to me and proably un-birth related. Though it's interesting that you thought it might be, which means it *might* be. As long as you keep a meeting his needs and don't push him away when he needs you most it will probably be transient.
 

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I hope that it is just a phase. He is just happy then sad, happy then sad all day long. He is fussy and seems to have no real need to be met. He isn't learning a new skill (that I know of!) and he is with me all day.... I guess I was thinking that if it IS birth-related maybe there is something else I can be doing to help him get over it.<br><br>
Is there anything you can do besides being attentive and AP-ish?<br><br>
Thanks<br>
Lauren
 

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Perhaps look into Cranial-Sacral work. It is amazing for all babies. Also Chiropratic can be very benifical for forcep delivered babies. For youself, google Somatic Experiencing.
 

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Oh, yeah I fogot to mention .. . Bach Rescue Remedy ( a combination of flower essences ) is a staple in our home for all family members, pets too!<br>
If you're not familiar w/ it, I highly reccomend you check it out.
 

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I had similar thoughts when my girls were acting similarly at that age. I wondered if their sleep problems, in particular, had anything to do with their premature birth and birth trauma in general.<br><br>
I think that it was my own trauma from their birth that was making me feel that way. In retrospect (and I'm still suffering from it, but I'm more clear-headed now than I was then) my babies have behaved fairly normally. They're not great sleepers, but plenty of babies aren't. But I beat myself up for months (really the better part of a year) because of it. I felt like they should be sleeping better, blamed it on their preemie-ness, and generally just sweated it way more than I should have.<br><br>
I'm not saying that's what's going on with you, but it does sound like your son is growing through normal periods of "messy" development. I hope you all get through it soon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Thanks so much ladies. I will check out all of those things. I know I definitely need something for me. We are hoping to get preggers again in June so I need to be as healthy emotionally for #2 as possible.<br><br>
I stress out a lot about him not being a great sleeper and getting crabby. Hopefully that's all it is. I will check out all of your suggestions though!<br><br>
Lauren<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Hello and welcome!<br><br>
I do know most post nicu parents suffer some sort of post related stress whether its the prgncy, birth, nicu stay, or after the fact. Almost everyone here can relate to this.<br><br>
I do know when I went thru this, I had to forgive myself for the birth of my micro preemie. Not that it was anything I did, but my body didnt carry her all the way and I was "mad" at it. As time marches on, the stress of the nicu goes with it for us thankfully. It will always be with us but not the way it was after or on anniversaries of things.<br><br>
As for your ds- he sounds like a normal 11 mo old. You're doing all the things right to make him happy. I do know Maggie has gone thru phases too where she has serious stranger danger etc. Also sleeping issues as well. He (and you!) may be cranky because of lack of sleep. Hopefully he is hitting a milestone and once you're thru it, the sleeping issue should pass.
 

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Sounds like a pretty normal 11 month old to me, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> My preemies are "high needs" but so was my perfectly healthy, term toddler. My husband and I like to tease new parents that the entire first year is either learning something new and frustration over that, or pain from teething. I don't think the first year is easy for everyone. I do like rescue remedy too, lavender baths and chiro care is something we rely on in our family. That said, my girls still cry, get frustrated, don't sleep very much, and prefer to be in arms 90% of the day.<br><br>
I agree that it's important to forgive yourself. My girls were delivered early because they were in the same amniotic sac. They were delivered by c-section at 32 weeks. That was the age that their rate of survival outside of the womb was about the same as their risk of a major cord accident inside the womb. Although there was absolutely nothing that I could've done differently, I still blamed myself for a very long time for not having a stress-free pregnancy and a gentle, natural, vaginal delivery. I still get sad that having had two c-sections, it is very unlikely that I will ever deliver a baby vaginally if I get pregnant again.<br><br>
It's taken a long time for me to be able to say there's nothing I could've done to change anything and that sometimes medical interventions are the best for everyone. It was next to impossible for me to rationalize that here until the preemie/nicu forum was created. Only here are there other Mamas that understand what you've gone through and not judge you for having a section or not refusing eye goop or getting a hepb vaccine incase your tiny baby needs a blood transfusion.<br><br>
I'm glad you found us. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> *healing thoughts*
 
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