Living with birth trauma

Living With Birth Trauma

It’s been a while now since I last wrote about Erin’s birth and the fact that I was dealing with the aftermath of birth trauma and post natal depression. It’s actually not something I write too much about now but last month there was a birth trauma awareness week and I thought it was important to post something then so I did on social media. It got me thinking a bit though so I thought it was time for a bit of an update.

Erin will be turning 4 in January and her birth is obviously something that will always stick with me but unfortunately a lot of it isn’t for happy reasons. I won’t go over the whole thing again but I was left with sepsis and e coli after an emergency c-section which resulted in a second surgery 7 days later to fix everything. Me, John and Erin were in hospital for 2 weeks and they actually nearly sent me home just before they realised I was a lot worse than first thought after I had a really bad turn.

It took me so long to even recover from Erin’s birth, essentially 2 c-sections and a whole load of infections that I didn’t really think about what had actually happened and the effect it had on me long term.

Me with Erin in hospital

Firstly, I have absolutely no desire to have any more children. Even before Erin was born I had said that I only wanted one but people often change their minds after having their first baby. I had a really horrible pregnancy so I think it was quite firm at that point that we would only be having one child. Of course, Erin’s birth and all of the complications really solidified the decision. After everything that happened during pregnancy, Erin’s birth and then the depression afterwards the decision not to have more children is definitely the right one for us.

One of the issues I have after everything is that marital intimacy has suffered because of this. I am so scared of getting pregnant again. I tried to have a sterilisation but after around a year of being on a waiting list (without even really being told) I was taken off that list because I couldn’t accept a date for the procedure. I was told that I could go back on a waiting list but due to the wait time, an appointment would probably come up at the the same time of year. John can’t have time off work during certain months and this is why I couldn’t take the appointment before.

Me with Erin in hospital

Our hospital is around 20 miles away from where we live and we don’t drive. I’m not able to get there in time for the morning procedure and if I could get an afternoon appointment I wouldn’t be allowed to get public transport home or be on my own. When John would have to be there to pick Erin up from nursery and not being able to drive anyway, it makes having the procedure done at all very tricky. I still want the sterilisation done for my peace of mind but the logistics are not easy to figure out.

I think the biggest thing that affects me on a day to day basis is remembering that being pregnant and having Erin caused me so much damage, pain and upset (as well as the happy bits, obviously). The hardest thing is knowing that having Erin should be one of the happiest things that John and I could have done but instead it affects our marriage and our relationship. I know it sounds a bit like all I think about is the hard part of having Erin but it’s not really like that. I am so happy and grateful that we have her (even when she is being a devil) so it’s far from all being bad.

Me and Erin at Felbrigg Hall

It’s been 4 years and I know John hoped that I would be over some of this by now. I know that it must be really hard for him too, having a wife who really doesn’t want to be touched in any way. I’m very lucky that he is who he is and doesn’t push or bug me about it. I think a part of me feels like I’ve been this way for so long that it’s a hard thing to come back from and another part of my desperately wants to go back to how I was before.


Living With Birth Trauma

6 thoughts on “Living With Birth Trauma”

  1. I remember ages you contributed to a post I wrote and said some of this. I’m so sorry it is still so raw for you. It must be hard. have you been offered some support at all? xx

  2. I’m sorry to hear you have been having such a difficult time. How frustrating for you that simple logistics are causing such a stumbling block. Stay strong x

  3. You really went through it, birth can be so difficult, my first I tore very badly and it was quite traumatic, I had to go into the operating theatre to be stitched together again. But I went on to have a much easier birth with my second 21 months later. Now 12 years later the pain and discomfort is a distant memory, time is a great healer x

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