Losing all control: Birth Trauma and PTSD
Memories of sexual assault began because of the PTSD which began because of my traumatic birth experience.
I have tried to write the birth story many times, each time I have had to stop. Over this year, I've realized I can't write the story of the birth itself, at least not yet. I have to write the traumatic part first and I couldn't do that this year either. right now I am feeling brave.. so I'm going to attempt this.
(side note) I'm thankful we got the actual birth on video tape. Though some of it hurts still.. I have watched it once and it is on record for when I am ready to think more about the actual birth. I have pictures, too. The "good part" is there and recorded.. maybe that's why I feel more closure on it.
Just as a warning.. the next parts will have lots of possible TRIGGERS about death, blood, medical professionals, etc. I may be writing this in a few parts, FYI.
AFTER THE BIRTH
He was born. He was so beautiful I cried tears of joy and triumph of him finally being born. It was a painful labor.. one I was not prepared for but I had done it. :yahoo:/> He was purplish and still attached to cord when born, took a bit to pink up and cry but he was very healthy so there was no worry from me.
I remember everyone being loud and chatty. It made me upset. I just wanted everyone to quiet down, calm down, and let me be with my baby but they insisted on "getting things done" and asking me a million questions and/or each other a million questions it seemed.
I was irritable. It was very uncomfortable birthing the placenta and it looked a bit "chunky" to me, but I vaguely remember us determining that it was intact. The water looked pretty bloody to me, moreso than last time but we felt things were okay. After getting baby's cord cut and me out of the water I think I went to the bathroom and then back to the couch to sit with the baby and try to nurse.
I remember growing more and more irritable. The light was too bright, everyone was talking too much, and I felt like crap basically. I think I felt clammy, too but I was so irritable I didn't pay attention to these warning signs.
After trying to nurse the baby (I think he latched on a bit but I can't remember that he nursed very long), I kept feeling gushes of blood and asked a support person about it, but was reassured that it was okay. It had been roughly 30 min since birth.. I wanted to go to the bathroom again real quick and head up to bed. I desperately wanted to be alone and sleep/alone with baby (I felt I was not being honored in my request for quiet in my livingroom, this was my way of getting what I needed).
I got up and it did look like quite a bit of blood. I felt very weak on the way to the bathroom, almost faint. All I remember next was sitting on the toilet.
I "came to" with the taste of vomit in my mouth, spitting vomit in a cup, and being yelled at to put something in my mouth. Ringing in my ears.. everyone's voices were far away. "Hun the ambulance is on it's way"
"no!" I said. My husband "you don't have a choice they are coming." I was not saying no I don't want help.. I meant no I can't believe this is happening to me. I was scared to death.
I woke to paramedics trying to get me to respond in my bathroom. Talking to me.. trying to ask me questions. I tried my hardest to listen and understand and answer. What is your name.. "Vanessa" They asked me other questions, I don't know if I answered all of them right away.
"We are going to lay you on the floor".. feeling helpless and scared as they moved me. I felt cold, shaking, terrified. "I can't get a blood pressure reading" one of them said. I was carried out on a blanket or something and put on a gourney and rolled down my driveway. I kept saying I was sorry, saying I was scared. It was degrading, it was cold and I was in who knows what clothing covered and being wheeled into an ambulance in my driveway. I think I began greiving my peaceful home birth recovery right there.
In the ambulance the young guy asked me questions.. was I breastfeeding? yes. good, we can have you nurse as soon as possible to help with bleeding. They arranged my husband bringing the baby to the hospital to meet me. My baby.... he was all alone detached from me. :bawling:/> :tear:/> Did I have a midwife he asked?
At heard at some point they could not get a blood pressure or pulse reading in my bathroom, but had one in the ambulance. I realized then the seriousness of it. No readable pulse.. not readable blood pressure
The paramedics were super kind, young men. They started an IV in the ambulance, kept talking to me. When they wheeled me into the emergency operating room the one asked how old I was. He was my age. I felt shy and odd about that.. but at the same time it gave me a weird comfort to know someone of my age was such a good paramedic. it made me feel really good.
There are two main ER docs at our hospital. I got the good one that day THANK GOD. He was kind and gentle. They reassured me of things. My husband came in with the baby in his car seat soon after I got there. He was fast asleep in there, so peaceful. It was as if he was not affected at all. It gave me comfort, even though it was painful to think that I couldn't hold him right then.
as it turns out.. I didn't really hold him that much for a hours.. I was too weak and I was afraid I would drop him. I had some detached feelings, too, that thankfully went away quickly.)