This is the story of a wonderful, brave Mum called Salli, who wanted to share her story about her experience of birth trauma. It shows the how complex some birth traumas can be and hard also for family members who need to care for their loved one but sometimes a new baby too. Also that birth trauma can greatly affect bonding.
Please be aware that some stories may trigger difficult memories and emotions so remember your own self care as everyone will be at different stages of healing.
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I didn’t go into labour, I went to the out of hours doctor on the insistence of my partner and didn’t make it home until seven weeks later in August 2011.
Our only child was born by emergency section whilst I was under GA. My partner was disallowed in theatre to be with me. I first met my daughter whilst I was in ICU. She spent the next six days in SCUBU whilst I was blue-lighted from Reading to London where I had 13 blood transfusions, kidney dialysis and 11 procedures having developed a rare condition; ‘Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy’.
I saw my daughter – I assume she was mine – a few times in the later weeks of my seven week hospitalisation; five of which in and out of comas in intensive care. My partner drove backwards and forwards during the London riots spending £500 in parking alone as there was no overnight facility for him so he could care for our daughter. Finally with the help of his parents, she was finally authorised to go home home in to his care (I think I must have signed a consent form or something?).
As I’d had multiple surgeries, narrowly escaping a transplant and hysterectomy plus severe muscle wastage, I had to learn to sit, stand and walk again. The first few months at home I was robotic in my care of my daughter. Around three months after my Birth Trauma, the PND and PTSD hit. I’d lost a lot of hair on my head whilst my body continued to heal internally.
Today, I’ve lost my career and a couple of jobs since and nearly my life through the depression and anxiety that followed. I also grieve for the birth we didn’t have. I don’t know whether the bond is still affected, if there is one. She will be five next month.
Specifically for my PTSD, I’ve tried a number of therapies, although EDMR was refused by my work and GP due to expense and my injury not being work related. I get the occasional trigger with sounds and smells in random places and cannot go ahead with corrective hernia surgery due to the harrowing experiences I had during my hospitalisation. I’ve tried but as soon as I meet with a surgeon I fall to pieces.
Despite this I feel blessed with my child and for being alive.