This is Stacey’s story of how family provided the support she needed to start her journey to healing from Birth Trauma
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 wanted the most relaxing and natural birth experience possible, dim lighting, hypnotherapy tracks, active birthing positions and two birth partners. Little did I know that this was not the plan set out for me.
My labour started, but then my contractions slowed down, and then eventually stopped. The midwives suggested I had a membrane sweep to get me going again. I ended up having three and none of these made a difference. So by this point the consultant had agreed to an induction. This was a success and I began contracting again throughout the night. My husband and my mum were by my side supporting and encouraging me just like I wanted. I was very excited and looking forward to my birth experience.
I was coping well on the gas and air as stated in my plan but very quickly things began to progress, but not in the way we was expecting. My contractions were very close together. The midwife monitored my contractions and the baby’s heart rate very closely, but soon realised that I was hyper-contracting. They were coming thick and fast at 7 in 10 but this would complicate things. The baby was beginning to get distressed. His heartbeat was very unsteady, fast and then slow.At this point I was transferred down to labour ward and the panic started to kick in.
I started to fear that I was losing control over my labour and that maybe I wasn’t going to get the birth I had planned. Before I knew it my waters broke and the pain intensified, this distressed my son even more. A group of doctors, consultants and midwives came in and asked to examine me. They soon realised my baby was back to back and that my pelvis was to narrow to pass him. At this point my heart sank and I knew it was all going wrong. I began hallucinating and had lost all control of my emotions.
I’m now able to share my story with you in the hope of giving others the strength and confidence to move forward after birth trauma.
My baby was at risk and this left me no choice but to be rushed into theatre for an emergency caesarean. I had to leave my mum behind which upset me deeply. As they prepped me my blood pressure was all over the place and my baby’s heart rate monitor was switched off as it was too frightening to listen to.
My husband and I waited patiently to hear our son cry, and eventually he did. I had a quick glimpse of my son and then he was whipped away to Neonatal to have antibiotics. They then began the process of closing me up.
Once I arrived in recovery I was dying to see my baby but had to wait for them to bring him back which gutted me. I had really wanted instant skin to skin but had to wait an hour and a half before I got this. I was then read the summary of my c-section which shocked us all. As they were getting my son out they had made lacerations to my bladder and bowel and given me a blood transfusion. These had left me in extreme pain and unable to tend to my newborn baby as I had planned to.
It took me 8 weeks to recover from this and really knocked my confidence. I had nightmares, flashbacks and hot sweats which affected me terribly. I began to feel very low and disappointed with myself that I couldn’t face visitors. The surgery had left me in a state I didn’t want to be seen in.
My husband and my mum were my strength and support afterwards. They helped me to do as much with my son as I could manage which allowed me to bond with him. They allowed me to reflect and discuss the traumatic experience I had been through which helped me to deal with it. I have now come to terms with the fact my labour didn’t go as planned and that it wasn’t my fault.
My son is now 10 weeks old, my scar has healed nicely and I’m now able to share my story with you in the hope of giving others the strength and confidence to move forward after birth trauma.
Thank you Stacey x