If you’ve been following either here or on Facebook for some time now, you’ll probably know that Erin’s birth was pretty shit. In fact, my whole pregnancy was less than perfect and I hated near enough every day of it. I think it’s really important to talk about birth trauma. I don’t think I did enough talking about it after it happened and I let some things fester for month and months before I finally broke down and admitted that I needed help.
Erin had stopped growing so my doctor at the hospital thought it would be best to have her out. I was induced at 36+2 and in the end, Erin was born via emergency c-section on Friday 1st January 2016 at 7:56 (36+4). The induction process was really long and nothing really went how it should do. After the first 24 hours nothing had happened and we had to try again. 12 hours after this and I was still only about 1-2cm dilated but was feeling contractions that evening. I had to have my waters broken and put on a hormone drip which distressed Erin more and more by the hour.
I think I was probably sort of okay for the first few hours maybe after Erin was born. I remembered going through the c-section and holding her for the first time and being put in a private room. I remember being quite out of it while John’s brother and mother came to visit. I remember being more out of it when the photographer from the newspaper came round because Erin was one of the first born in the hospital that year. I remember not wanting my photo taken really because I’d had a long induction, looked disgusting and was in pain.
I very quickly went from bad to worse and I had ended up with an infection. I am allergic to penicillin so they couldn’t give me the good antibiotics to get better. I was on constant oxygen because my levels wouldn’t stay up. I had cannulas coming out of as many veins as they could get one in. I tried and tried to breastfeed but I was so ill that I was going in and out of consciousness and I just didn’t have the energy. I had a real breakdown about breastfeeding because I thought I’d failed. All I wanted was to be able to breastfeed at that moment because I was too ill to do anything else for Erin. I had to give up in the end so that Erin could put the weight on she needed and so that I could get better myself.
Unfortunately, after around 4 or 5 days after Erin’s birth I became seriously ill. We all thought I’d been doing better as I’d been walking around earlier that day. After test after test after test late into the night, a surgeon took one look at me in the morning and said I needed surgery again. At this point I was hooked up to so many wires, had a drain coming out of my stomach, had a tube through my nose and throat and hadn’t eaten for the best part of a week.
I’d been in hospital about a week when I had my second surgery. Luckily, this really did the trick and I started to get better so fast. However, that first week which should have been the happiest for us was pure hell. I think both John and I thought I might die. I had given up when it got close to my second surgery. I just couldn’t cope any more and I couldn’t keep trying. I had missed nearly the whole of the first week of my daughter’s life.
A lot has happened in the 2 years since Erin’s birth. I had post natal depression which, thankfully, I managed to get myself out of relatively quickly. I still struggle some days though but I have my own coping mechanisms now. Another big issue for me since Erin’s birth is having a physical relationship with John. I am still so terrified of getting pregnant again that we just don’t have this kind of relationship any more. I’m not sure we’ll ever get back to it either to be honest.
Sometimes, I think writing these kinds of posts makes me sound like I whinge a lot and that I’m not letting it go. Now, if this was a year ago I would have had to agree with that. Now though, I really do think I’m starting to move on from what happened. Unfortunately, it was such a massive part of my life and how Erin was born so it’s not something I can ever completely forget. I’ve come to terms with what happened now but it still doesn’t make it any easier to think about.
So, while I’m still not totally over what happened, I’m still in a much better place than I was a year ago and that’s good enough for me.