*Trigger warning – This post will talk about birth trauma and PTSD as well as PND*
I’ve spoken openly in the past about my experience with PND and PTSD following Cleo’s birth. Mental health is something that I have struggled with since her birth and for a while, it was in the back of mind and would only raise it’s ugly head in certain occasions but when I discovered that I was pregnant in February this year, I knew that I was going to have to face my mental health head on.
My PTSD and PND came from birth trauma so naturally as soon as I got pregnant again, it was something that was in my mind. I would have to learn to cope with the anxiety from thinking about birth or teach myself to overcome my PTSD all together. I’m not silly and I know it isn’t as easy as just saying that I will overcome it and the PTSD will be gone. These things take time and patience. Time is limited as weeks go by so fast when you are pregnant.
Before I knew it, I was over 24 weeks and consultants and midwives were asking what I was planning for birth. At this point, I hadn’t thought about it and the thought of it made my anxiety start. If you have been following my social media then you will know that my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest anyway. I’ve had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and countless infections as well as sepsis. It has not been the easiest time for me so the added worry of how I was actually going to give birth didn’t make me feel any better. I wanted the 40 weeks to hurry up but in the same thought, I wanted it to last longer so I didn’t have to face child birth again.
With being poorly came the decision that I would have an elective C-Section. Not a decision that I thought I would take lightly, I mean who would anyway? For me, my biggest fear is delivery suite at my local hospital. One bad experience has made me never want to face that place again but with being pregnant, I don’t have much choice and now the decision of an elective C-Section had been made too. The thought of being awake in the same theatre at Cleo was born in and the same place that everything happened. It made me feel sweaty, my heart began to have palpitations and I just felt awful. A lump in my throat and the feeling of is this the right decision?
But what if I had a natural birth? I did think about it but again here comes the anxiety. The feeling that something will go wrong and that history will repeat itself. I’ll end up having an emergency C-Section. It was a catch 22 for me. At least with planning a C-Section, I can PLAN and make my own decisions.
One massive decision that I made was that I was going to view the operating theatre before having Baby Fisher. A huge step.
At 32 weeks pregnant, I walked myself in to the operating theatre with a Dr. The biggest step in my PTSD journey. The make or break moment. Will I be ok or will it be too much? Is it actually a good idea or is it to harsh to expect myself to be able to do this?
Well, amazingly I managed it. I was ok. I didn’t freak out like I thought I would. There was no tears like there normally is. My anxiety and my PTSD seem to behave themselves. I felt ok, nothing more but at least I was ok. That was all I wanted. I wanted to be able to know that I had made the right decision by choosing a C-Section and so far, I think it is the best decision.
I expect the actual day to be a different story, I expect to cry and to have anxiety but for now I am ok and I am glad that I faced my PTSD from birth trauma head on. It was the right decision.