PPD after PPH? PPH support?
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|Wed, 10-09-2013 - 11:45pm|
A year ago I had my first child, as well as my first and second ambulance rides. After a seemingly perfect home birth, my baby boy was "grunty" and couldn't cry right away, and I hemorrhaged. My midwives did a fantastic job dealing with both me and my son, they called 911 for him but he was perfect and crying when the paramedics arrived.
Unfortunately my hemorrhage was sort of a "silent" one, while they were working on my son my bleeding was just a bit heavier than normal, and they'd check me and check me and it wasn't stopping but it wasn't spurting or anything. After a few shots, an IV of oxytocin and suppositories with no effect, my midwife started sweeping my uterus, and started pulling out handfuls of clots. That's when they decided to get the ambulance ready for me, not my son. Luckily, as soon as the clots were out, my bleeding slowed, and going to the hospital was "just a precaution". Unfortunately, the staff at the hospital were not so friendly to my home birth situation, the OB drilled my midwife, my nurse asked me why I wanted to have a home birth in the first place, then after a few hours when my heart rate stopped setting off the monitor alarms and my bloodwork was done, the 2nd OB (night shift) decided I didn't need a transfusion and I was sent home with NO instructions for PPH aftercare. I was told what I should look for as signs that I might need to come back, and to get lots of rest, that's it.
The next day was a blur, I only remember my midwife coming for her 24 hour checkup, that's all. The 2nd day, I was so faint that I called my midwife again and she advised that I go back to the hospital, I could barely keep my eyes open. This time I had to wait in the ER, no doctors saw me for a few hours, I was terrified, didn't know what was wrong, I just felt so sick. Thank goodness the ER doctor who did see me was much more patient and encouraging, though I felt like I still no one was helping me. Since it was my low iron, again the idea of a transfusion was mentioned, but the doctor again thought I'd be ok without it, it would take a while but I'd get better on my own. But I was screaming in my head "You can't just send me home like this!! I can't care for my baby like this!!" He wrote down some hefty iron supplements to take, told me to stay in bed for 2 weeks, breastfeed as much as I could, and that it would be a good 6 months before I felt better, and home I went.
Long story short, I was so angry. Angry that this could happen, angry at the hospital for not giving me something, ANYTHING, to make me feel well, angry that I felt too weak to hold my baby, that I was uninterested, helpless, angry that I was so angry! Over time I felt more angry that no one had any answers, I don't know why I had to spend my first months with my son sick, tired, sad, scared. I felt robbed, especially of those first few days of which I remember very little of him and lots of the hospital. I felt like even though I had my family's, my midwives', my doula's help and support, that no one could really help me.
I probably should have spoken to someone, a therapist maybe, early on, but I was in almost a paralyzed state, I didn't have the energy (physical or emotional) to talk to anyone about how I was feeling, except my husband and he was nearly as traumatized as I was. It was just easier to put on a smile, focus on the baby, and then cry and fight our emotions out in other ways. Around 9 months later, I finally felt able to talk about it some more, and just this past month I've resumed my search for answers, and maybe some more support. I finally mentioned to my mom how hard it was, but couldn't get much farther than that without bawling.
I haven't found any PPH support boards (maybe I'm looking in the wrong places??). I don't know if I would fall under the category of PPD. But I'm realizing that I need some guidance. Just not sure where I should start!