sorting it all out

This section is for discussions with other women who have probably been through the same signs/symptoms that you may be experiencing. Please note, we cannot offer medical advice and encourage members to discuss their concerns with their doctors. New members, come on in and introduce yourself!
blythe
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby blythe » Sat Jul 28, 2007 00:50 am

Susan, I'm so glad the site was helpful for you!

Poking around on the site again, I found a new questionnaire about "the birth itself and how the birth experience has affected you". I emailed the author and she said I could link the study here:
http://www.birthtraumasurvey.co.uk/

I _didn't_ ask any moderators here if it was okay, though [;)], so mods, please delete if necessary!

**I should add to my previous comments that I think it's still possible to have perfect care and still have PTSD from a PE pregnancy. Our lives and our babies' lives are at risk, and (not to go too far into the actual PTSD criteria and diagnosis) life-threatening event is pretty much all you need to develop PTSD. I just think it's really interesting and very sad that on top of fearing for our lives, how we are cared for can have such a huge impact on us in the aftermath.

susan863
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby susan863 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 09:18 pm

Wow, this is a great site! It puts language to some of what I've been struggling with, but had trouble articulating. Thanks for the info, and thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions on coping. I'm really glad to have found this forum.

Susan

blythe
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby blythe » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 pm

I'm glad you liked it! I remember finding the original study published after my first was born, and their website has grown and grown over the past few years.

The original study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... h=14726774
The full study is worth purchasing if you're at all interested in birth trauma / mental health. The briefest summary of their results (copied from the abstract) lists four themes that seemed to contribute most to traumatic experiences. I found it really interesting that women can have life-threatening experiences for themselves and/or their babies, but the experiences that made/make it hard to get past (at least in this study) were the interactions with their health care teams - how they were cared for. The four: "Four themes emerged that described the essence of women's experiences of birth trauma: To care for me: Was that too much too ask? To communicate with me: Why was this neglected? To provide safe care: You betrayed my trust and I felt powerless, and The end justifies the means: At whose expense? At what price?"

sandy
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby sandy » Wed Jul 25, 2007 06:25 pm

Blythe,
This is a GREAT resource (birth trauma). It's new to me...

Thank you,

blythe
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby blythe » Wed Jul 25, 2007 05:20 pm

Susan, I'm so sorry I'm getting to this post so late! Since you're in mental health I think you might especially like this link -

http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/

their research links:
http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/research.htm

especially this study: Beck, C. T. (2004) Birth Trauma - In the Eye of The Beholder. Nursing Research. 53(1): 28 – 35

and tons more on their site... I also recommend the book Rebounding from Childbirth: Toward Emotional Recovery
by Lynn Madsen (though the chapter on processing your own birth is more than a little bizarre to me...).

For me personally, I've had to process every detail, even nuance, and having my records did help. I've also estimated that I've spent over 3000 hours reading about PE online... I hope you find a way to cope that takes less time [:D]. Good luck and enjoy Annabella!

heather100
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby heather100 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:40 am

Wonderful advice... just wanted to give you hugs as we've all been there.

cindyh27
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby cindyh27 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 08:59 am

I'm dealing with this too... I just received my medical records... my ds is 5 months now...

I hope you can find some peace...

((Hugs)) Cindy

zoel
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby zoel » Fri Jul 20, 2007 06:41 am

HI

It wasn't until many months after I had Isaac (sever pe & hellp at 32weeks) that I took time to grieve for the birth experience I lost with being so sick and having him early.
Alot of my emotions hit me again during the middle weeks of this pregnancy, but like other have said getting out and talking about pe and hellp has really helped me.
I now know so much about Pe/hellp & now high risk pregnancies so I make sure I tell as many people that will listen.

Take care, and take the time to recover from what you have faced, Zoe

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caryn
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby caryn » Thu Jul 19, 2007 06:59 pm

quote:Originally posted by Susan863

My question is this: How have those of you who have gotten through a difficult high-risk pregnancy and delivery coped emotionally afterwards?

For me, time, talking about it incessantly, and background reading into the science behind these pregnancies were healers. One reason I volunteer here is that, as Fiona's said, I can talk about my history without feeling like a freak.

It took me a lot of processing to even figure out what emotions I was having, because it's such a mixture of relief and horror.

I never did bother getting my records, because I'm more of a "why" thinker than a "how" thinker, and I wanted to understand generally what happened in these pregnancies more than I wanted to understand the specifics of my case. But a lot of our posters had memory loss while in the midst of the catastrophe, and I did not, so I didn't need to reconstruct what had happened.

Gentle good wishes, Susan.

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catherine
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby catherine » Thu Jul 19, 2007 05:39 pm

Susan, I just think that you need to be open to whatever will help you process the experience. I actually flew through the early days and weeks afterwards, so relieved that we were both alive that I really wasn't caring about anything else. Then I went through a period where I became severely emotional in response to certain triggers. It wasn't for a long while before I really trusted that I was physically healthy again. I kept wondering what would get me next LOL! It almost took another pregnancy to do it, but I don't advocate that as a way to "prove to people that you can do baby making right". It was just more and more reassuring to know that as the pregnancy progressed and as my body was stressed, that it didn't start to breakdown, that it was capable of handling such a challenge.

I have no memory of the time that I was on MgSO4 so the events preceding Lucy's delivery and the next couple of days were gone. That is important, the Mag and brain squeeze can make you a little distant from your life and you do things that in hindsight seem uncharacteristic. In my case, I made little effort to see my daughter, I don't remember ever asking to go see her. I didn't question my actions at the time, but I did wonder about myself afterwards. However, I did bond very well with Lucy and now, 4 years later, I don't feel cheated of her early days, merely relieved that so little time was lost, and that we are able to enjoy days of good health and a very normal childhood. I did try and find out what happened, but found that my husband and friends found it too hard to discuss. That really hasn't changed over time, so I guess that I'm not getting that detail back, second hand or otherwise.

To be honest, I wouldn't be too afraid of reading your records. In hindsight, I realise that one of the best anchors for me was a written summary of my case that I found by accident LOL! It turns out that my situation was presented at case conference for the OB department and the document had been prepared for that. It explicitly listed what happened, including key numbers etc. and described the what and whys of relevant treatment decisions. As a consequence of that, I've never felt the urge to go and track down all the specifics. I think I'm very lucky, that synthesis/presentation laid everything out, and I haven't been frustrated by minor inconsistencies that can make a person question decisions and choices. Perhaps you could investigate if your OB would be willing to "walk you through" the record when you feel ready.


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