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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post to this forum, but I've been lurking here for a while now. Many of your thoughtful posts have helped me through some rough patches.

I have just been diagnosed and started treatment for PTSD. I have had trouble since Helen was born with sudden episodes of anxiety and "hypervigilance". We had a very traumatic birth and weeklong separation, her in NICU, me in ICU. I knew the memory of it was affecting my quality of life - but not how much so until after my first therapy session. I became aware that I turn to memories and thoughts from that 'week from hell' as much as 8-10 times an hour during all my waking moments. Then I go to sleep and dream about it. And I didn't even realize it until my therapist asked me to keep those thoughts in check. How crazy is that? Now I end up telling myself "it's not your fault; there's nothing you could have done to change what happened" constantly to try and mitigate all the subconscious guilt I've managed to heap on myself.

I feel fortunate that I really like the therapist I was assigned to by my HMO. She's using a technique called EMDR to treat it. She's not ruling out medication, but is willing to let me do this unmedicated to begin with. I'm very grateful to have someone that wants me to work through this without pushing meds right away.

I also find that taking fish oil capsules daily seems to reduce the length and severity of the "episodes" I have. I've also started taking a short walk everyday - I'd like to do something more aerobic but I still have a lot of pelvic pain so that'll need to wait.

So, are there any mamas out there with PTSD from their births? How are you coping with it? Is there anything else I could do that would help?

Thanks for reading, and wishing all you mamas happy, healthy days ahead.
 

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I have PTSD from a birth 10/03. You are welcome to PM me. I don't have any suggestions that I can think of right now. In my experience, I would say nothing helped but having the next baby, and it didn't help the PTSD, but rather it helped with other secondary things that were a general hindrence and stress. Maybe I will have another take on it in time. Maybe all I can say is maybe if you catalog the things in your life that were caused by the situation but that are NOT the trauma (for example, in my case, the irrational loss of levels of love and trust for my mother and husband because they were there and didn't protect me), then those are the things that will heal more easily,and when they heal, there is more strength to live with PTSD.
 

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That sounds really rough.

I was never diagnosed, but I think I had PTSD right after Rosie's birth, but not from the birth itself.

When Rosie was eight days old, she was diagnosed with a horrible birth defect and had to have surgery. There were many other bad moments. I had nightmares and flashbacks about those occasions almost constantly for over six months. I still think about it every day, but it is much less intense. Rosie is fine now, but I am still anxious.

I have not had the opportunity to have therapy for this at all.

It seems like time alone has healed part of this, but it appears from your post and the posts of others in this forum that there are other avenues for healing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies, mamas. The EMDR is going well. Unfortunately I have Kaiser Permanente and the sessions are NOT regular - I get scheduled for a session once every 10-15 days. About a week after the last session, I started having "episodes" again... it was really rough. It's like a panic attack and sensory overload (loudear, jumping at noises, lights hurting eyes) all rolled into one. And I always *smell* that hosptial smell when it happens - how weird is that?

I've also been very unnaturally frustrated with both myself and DD - I just feel like "everything's wrong" and I'm a terrible mom - which I think is more PPD-like. Sometimes, when she's not going to sleep but is sooo upset and tired - I'm just so frustrated I want to leave her there, crying. I never do it, but I feel horrible for *wanting* to do it, kwim? Plus I feel like I'm no good at soothing her when I'm that flustered - she's gotta sense it, right? I really hate it when I get like that - it's not fair to me or to DD!

I'm starting to consider the meds approach as well. Maybe it could get me stabilized to take something... I'm just not sure though. The idea of taking meds makes me so nervous.
 
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