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!
lynnekay
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby lynnekay » Thu Jul 19, 2007 04:09 pm

Susan,

I referred to my daughter as "walking wounded..." Sh went through a long battle w/PE, an emergency C-section, then her sweet baby boy almost died and had to be airlifted to another hospital when he was 3.5 days old to save his life and spent 4 weeks in the NICU. My DD Beth went through a major emotionally low time, she was robbed of what I would call a normal bonding time with her baby and recovery time for her own healing.

My grandson has been home now for 3 weeks and her mood is much better now, but those difficult weeks really took their toll on her and all of us who love both of them. It was aweful to not only watch our precious new grandson suffer, but to watch her suffer and agonize over his condition too. Thankfully everything turned out great in the end, but OUCH the pain still lingers daily.

Since you have worked in the M.H. field you understand the STAGES OF GRIEF and I think it really applies to situations like these when moms have to face PE, then have a stressful delivery b/c of PE and then have the potential for a sick baby who needs special care. It is a natural reaction to feel robbed of a normal pregnancy & delivery, then if your baby is sick that only adds to the emotional roller coaster. I watched my daughter go through all of the stages of grief even though her baby lived, she still felt all of the same emotions:

Denial (this isn't happening to me!) / My DD had this type of attitude the majority of her 10 weeks on bedrest...

Anger (why is this happening to me?) / She felt like she was being punished for something she had done wrong in her past. She would get annoyed if she saw another mom in the hall pushing a healthy baby in their stroller. She had a lot of questions about, "Why me?" She was very ticked off at times and we had to walk on egg shells around her and give her lots of TLC.

Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...) / She got down on her knees and prayed and bargained a lot with the man upstairs, especially b/c she felt guilty for some of the things she did as a naughty teenager.

Depression (I don't care anymore) / There were a few days of her final week of bedrest that she actually said that she did not care if she died, she just wanted it to be over. Then when Drake was in the NICU after 2 weeks she got so exhausted that she almost gave up and we had to do a lot of positive chatting to her about how much he needed her to be there for him. The NICU experience was the MOST draining part of the journey for her.

Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes) / By week 3 of his NICU stay she finally "let go" of any notions that she had about being in control of the situation and she adopted the mental attitude of, "Whatever happens, happens!!!" She accepted that Drake would get better on his own time table and that she had zero control over what he was going through. She focused all of her energy on loving him and getting to know him, instead of fighting the process of dealing with the NICU red-tape procedures. She also focused on getting a lot of rest and healing her own body, so that when he came home she could be a super mommy to him...

I shared the info above to let you know that what you are experiencing is very normal. Every person hadles a crisis differently. When Drake was in the NICU I picked up a brochure on grief and it hit me like a ton of bricks that this was exactly what she was going through.

Go ahead and greive your loss that you did not have the beuatiful text book fairy tale preganacy and delivery, Get mad (in a healthy way) about what happened to you and your baby girl. Let yourself feel all of the emotions, than you can get to a point of acceptance and begin to heal both physically and mentally.

Most NIUC's have social workers or councelors who can give you some emtional support too if need be. Take care and know you are not alone in what you are going thorugh. As far as your experience being fuzzy; Beth does not even remeber the first 2 days after Drake was born and he stopped breathing on his own. I think her mind has bloccked it out so that she could deal with it later on.

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julie f
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Re : sorting it all out

Postby julie f » Thu Jul 19, 2007 03:59 pm

Susan,

Preeclampsia robs us of a lot... Memories, expectations, trust, etc. - the aftermath is difficult to sort through.

Personally, I used a lot of denial for quite some time. Looking back, I can see that I so badly wanted to become pregnant again that I feared if I delved into my pregnancy and loss too much - I'd never pull myself together and therefore never get pregnant again. I'm not endorsing this method here, I've certainly paid for it since, but we all deal the best we can at the time. Be gentle on yourself and do what feels right is my best advice.

As far as the medical records go - I have to laugh at "obsessively and angrily pouring over..." - I sat at my desk with a highlighter and a red pen and I marked those pages up (and that was with an excellent OB).[:I] (Some advice here - make an extra copy before you do this...!) For me, it really did help to find out what had happened, my memory of the hospital delivery and short time afterwards is very piecey. It was also a learning experience as far as the disease goes.

I wish you the very best.

lisainnj
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 07:07 pm

Re : sorting it all out

Postby lisainnj » Thu Jul 19, 2007 03:58 pm

Time helps.

I know I went through PTSD for a while. Not quite flashbacks but very powerful present memories.

The Labetalol may be psychoactive for you. A high dose gave me what I called therapeutic dreams, where I dealt with troubles and losses. Toprol on the other hand gave me nightmares and the beta-blockers are known for their effects on the mind. You might want to explore a different medication with your doctor.

susan863
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 06:31 pm

sorting it all out

Postby susan863 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 03:32 pm

Hi, Everyone.

I'm happy to report that baby Annabella is feeding well and continuing to gain about an ounce a day. I am also doing better physically; my Labetolol prescription has been cut in half, and my diastolic (lower) numbers are back in the 70s and 80s (vs. over 100 with my severe pre-e).

My question is this: How have those of you who have gotten through a difficult high-risk pregnancy and delivery coped emotionally afterwards? I have worked in the mental health field for many years and know all about the importance of processing a difficult experience. However, some days I am really preoccupied with the memories of my experience with pre-e, the emergency c-section at an unfamiliar hospital, not being able to see Annabella initially while she was in NICU and I was on mag, etc. And the hardest part, remembering the people both within and outside of the health care system who did not take my condition and the risk seriously. I know that so many of you have had the very same experiences I'm talking about, so I'm hoping you can tell me it was like for you, and what things did and didn't help.

I have been thinking about asking for my medical records, as there is still so much that is "fuzzy"... however, I'm wondering whether I should wait, since I can see myself obsessively and angrily pouring over lab reports and doctor notes. I want to know, but I'm not sure I'm in the right frame of mind.

I do know that I am exceptionally lucky that baby and I are both okay, and my heart breaks every time I read in here about someone who lost a loved one as a result of high-risk pregnancy. But I'm having bad dreams recently about my experience, and I think about it an awful lot, so I'd appreciate any feedback that anyone has on the subject.

Susan


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