This is the story of a wonderful, brave Mum called Gill, who wanted to share her story about her experience of birth trauma and the poor care she received and how this lead to her developing PTSD.
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Birth trauma changed everything, changed me and very nearly stole me from my family.
I had a somewhat difficult pregnancy with a lot of pain from PGP but looking back now it was the easy bit. I seemed so naive, I had no idea the banal, everyday horror having a baby could be.
In basic terms I had a failed induction, 18 hour labour back to back during which I was rolled around with an unstable pelvis, nerves were crushed in my back, a trip to theatre, forceps, 2nd degree tear and 4.5l PPH. My daughter was taken to NICU.
Then a few weeks later, a few weeks of feeling a failure as a mum, I was readmitted very ill with sepsis and diagnosed with placenta accreta and had failed further surgery. I was away from my daughter for around a month on and off in the maternity hospital, had 11 antibiotics to clear the sepsis, but it took two months to deliver the placenta, two months off contractions, at home in the downstairs loo. I had to pay privately for nerve block surgery and years of physio to ‘recover’ physically and still suffer daily with back and pelvic pain and PTSD.
But that paragraph doesn’t tell the true story of the mental impact. It was hell. On more than one occasion I thought I would die and received little to no support from midwifery staff. On occasion some of the staff were outright rude, aggressive, at best dismissive and contributed to my developing PTSD.
I fell down a black hole into PTSD and have only managed to claw my way our through sheer force of will, incredible support from my husband, the birth trauma peer support organisations and eventually, after a long waiting list, a fabulous clinical psychologist.
I am thankful everyday for the help I received to find my way back to my daughter and have the strong bond we now enjoy but I am not and have not been the mother I hoped to be. Birth trauma changed me. I just hope now that I can make that a positive change.