Mentally replaying birth?

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Re: Mentally replaying birth?

Post by fiveisanawfullybignumber » Fri Feb 04, 2011 02:15 pm

Hi, new here, based in the UK and am here for this exact reason.
Had undiagnosed PE with mild symptoms, then suddenly seized when in early labour at 38 weeks. Was my 5th child so totally unexpected.
Was hooked up to mag drip, fluids, 15min BP checks, everything. Surprised docs by seizing a 2nd time whilst on mag, but finaly delivered my baby girl naturaly.
I have very few memories of that day apart from not having ther strength to even hold my beautiful girl till the next day. Bedbound with a catheter and epidural in place for at least 24hrs after labour, as platelets were so low they couldn't take it out.
I feel very lucky, looking at other stories that we both survived, but am watching my baby like a hawk to make sure she's developing properly. Worried if there is some damage from hypoxia when I was seizing.
She's 9m now and developing well, if a little slowly, just sitting now.
Luckily in the UK my hospital have offered me an afterthoughts session with a midwife and my notes, going next month. I've only just got the courage to go into it, but feel angry that the subtle but definitely there signs were not picked up.
Patient not protocol, is the answer I need from them about future cases, just because BP is within high to normal parameters, doesn't mean it's not sky high for me, or another mum with usualy low BP.

Re: Mentally replaying birth?

Post by gterrytx » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:28 pm

Hi again,
k-bug, my story is almost identical to yours except a few more hours of mag pre-birth and my son was sent to the NICU after he was born.

My beautiful son is now 7 months and I still have days where I replay his birth--over and over again. I did find a new therapist and she's helped me work through things a bit. I also got a copy of some of my hospital records. I couldn't afford all of them (over 100 pgs) but one of the women in medical records had also been treated with mag, felt sorry for me, and then gave me a few of my records. (I hate that the hospital charges for records). Seeing the records reminded me that there were medical reasons for why things went the way they did - that the mag probably helped save my life. Sometimes this brings me some peace.

One good friend just had a baby and another announced a pregnancy. I can't help but feel jealous. I don't want another child but I still want a do over. A do over where I can remember everything and have that "normal" birth where my baby gets handed to me and I remember it all.

Good luck ladies... just know you're not alone. Speaking of which, I wish there were more resources in this country for women dealing with post-partum stress -- not post-partum depression -- but rather for dealing with moments like what we're all going through.

Re: Mentally replaying birth?

Post by kbug430 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 08:37 am

I've been mentally replaying it and our baby is 5 months old. I had a great outcome - I developed preeclampsia at 38+ weeks and was induced at 39 weeks, because while the baby was still textbook-perfect, I was not. My induction went super-smooth (especially in light of how I was not even 1 cm dilated when it started) and faster than expected, my water broke on its own, and my OB delivered our healthy baby girl after only 15-20 minutes of pushing. Her Apgars were high, she never needed any extra monitoring or care, and she's developing beautifully. I am thankful for my wonderful doctor's care, for the nurses and residents who took great care of us, and that she and I are healthy now. I just wish I could remember more of it!

I think it was because of the mag sulfate's effect on my memory. I was only on it for about 3 hours prior to delivering (my OB didn't require it until I was in active labor) but was stuck on it for 24 hours postpartum because my BP was still high. I was confined to bed, couldn't have solid food, and I was mentally so foggy that I barely remember our baby's first day. I remember the actual delivery, I remember bits and pieces from that first day, but that's all. At around 18 hours postpartum the residents turned the mag dosage down because apparently I was getting a little too much, and I can remember a little more from after that timeframe.

It makes me sad that I can't remember some of the special moments, and that of those I can remember I was stuck in bed rather than taking care of my baby. I don't remember the first time I nursed her and for some reason that bothers me more than anything. I do remember her first diaper change and how I had to watch from my bed across the room as our nurse and my husband handled it. I don't remember my parents meeting their granddaughter for the first time (I've seen the pictures, at least). All of those special moments that my friends talk about from when they had their babies, I have either foggy memories or no memories. I think I replay her birth in my head because I just hope that I'll remember something new.

Re: Mentally replaying birth?

Post by glimmer » Wed Dec 29, 2010 01:07 am

I can totally sympathize. I did do the same thing for months but then it became less. I think it's the shock of something being so outside our control. It helps to repeat your birth story to women who want to listen, e.g. here. Over and over. I was on Mag and it definitely made things a lot worse and there is large parts I cannot remember about the birth. I always thought it was the Mag, but maybe it was just stress/shock etc.
My second birth was a repeat of the first, but since I had been through it and my expectations were different,
it was never the same shock as with the first. I still regret that I didn't have more natural births, but it's not an issue for me any longer. All the best.

Re: Mentally replaying birth?

Post by jodikay » Sun Dec 26, 2010 04:25 pm

OMG - this is exactly why I'm here today. I can't get past it. First time around I lost all memories of the birth from hemorraghing but had post partum preeclampsia. This time I had seizures but still delivered my son at 34 weeks (two weeks ago). He's perfect in every way and actually got to come home with us. I remember more this time than with my son, but I can't get past it. And I couldn't with my first experience either for awhile. It's hard. Family and friends don't have a clue what happened. Because I know they won't grasp it. And now, this was my last baby. The stakes are too high for me to do this again, and yet I have this overwhelming desire to have another. And I know deep down, it's because I want to get it right. For once, I want it to be normal. Which it will never be with all my underlying health issues. But I'm consumed with replaying my birth, researching everything. When I just really need to enjoy my miracle baby. But I can't get past it.

Re : Mentally replaying birth?

Post by jmom08 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:28 am

gterrytx, I am so sorry about your therapist experience -- I can't imagine someone suggesting I was being sentimental about the birth. :( I got lucky on my first try finding someone, through a local moms website forum I heard about a counselor who specializes in postpartum/reproductive/mothering issues. She really helped me. Please feel free to msg me if I can help (if you want her website, has links to her books on mothering/postpartum, one has a chapter on a mom's preeclampsia experience). I would love to meet you at the walk!! I am already looking forward to taking my son next year. :)

Re : Mentally replaying birth?

Post by gterrytx » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:26 am

Thanks again. It does help to know I'm not alone. The desire for a "do over" is intense, especially since the memory of my son's birth is so fuzzy. I saw a therapist twice. She works at my OB/GYN's office & I was hopeful. However, she was young and inexperienced and also didn't "get it." She thought I was being sentimental about his birth. I've learned so much through these Forums that I'm tempted to contact her and tell her that she needs to read up on PRE-E and postpartum emotions!

JmMom - I am in TX. I'm closer to Houston than Dallas, but I have family in the DFW area. I'd love to participate in the next walk.

Re : Mentally replaying birth?

Post by jenprzygoda » Wed Oct 06, 2010 07:07 pm

I can relate to that nagging "can't get past this" feeling. My family is very supportive, but they still don't understand why I can't just get over it. I don't think that others who have not had the experience can understand that it has nothing to do with your strength as a person. We are strong women because we know where to come for help, support and compassion. If "getting over it" had anything to do with strength, we would have all been "way past it" long ago! Yes, I am thankful that my son and I are both healthy now, but that doesn't make it all go away. I also understand the desire for a "do over" as we always wanted two and now I am scared to risk a second. And to be perfectly honest, I don't even know if I want another child. I just want to have that experience that everyone else got to have. I feel cheated. Take care of yourself!

Re : Mentally replaying birth?

Post by jmom08 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 02:09 pm

More hugs!! I didn't mean to suggest my own thoughts helped me at all, just that your wording really struck a chord with me. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I think there are other moms here in similar shoes, I hope they have better advice than me.
Are you in TX too? There is a DFW walk, and I think there might be a Houston walk next year. When I went with my husband and son 2 years ago, it was a special experience.

Re : Mentally replaying birth?

Post by gterrytx » Tue Oct 05, 2010 00:28 am

Thanks ladies,
What also makes this hard is that my son is our last baby; we've always wanted two children. I don't want another child, but I want a "do over." I want to labor again. Despite the preeclampsia, I enjoyed delivering our son. I didn't start to panic about everything until afterward--and then it was all a blur. Both of our babies ended up in the NICU, so the "normal" textbook birth and postpartum period isn't something we've experienced. Yet, as you all mention, the support from this site has been helpful. Getting a new "framework" is helping as I continue to work to remember the events of June 23-24. It's also hard because my family doesn't understand why I'm not "over it." After all, I'm healthy and my son is healthy. I'm just not "over it" yet.
Hugs to all of you too! I'm very thankful to have found the Preeclampsia Foundation...