This is the story of a brave mum called Ruth, who wanted to share her story about her experience of birth trauma, having a baby diagnosed with life threatening conditions and how she felt about her care during birth.
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Post traumatic stress disorder is not something you associate with pregnancy and childbirth let alone something I thought would ever happen to me. I mean it only happens to soldiers and victims of a criminal activity. But boy oh boy was I wrong.
What started off the PTSD was I had hyperemesis gravidarum throughout my pregnancy. After vomiting more than 10 times an hour – am not making it up or exaggerating- I almost gave up the will to live.
When I went into labour – I was shouted at by one Obstetrician, I agreed to a vaginal examination in duress, as no one was listening to me or respecting my decision. A c-section was scheduled for me without my consent or anyone liaising with me. My birth was hijacked and became a show for staff, first year student doctors were invited to seat and watch without my consent.
My request to have my glasses on during the birth (I can’t see anything without my glasses) and for the drapes to be lowered so I could watch the birth were denied. I was separated from my baby for over 24hours (no skin to skin, not able to talk to or see her) even though the likelihood of her surviving was very slim.
How I survived the pregnancy and birth, I still don’t know.