Guest post- birth story

I am feeling utterly privileged to be posting this story today. Alyson at Alyson’s Blog has very kindly shared her birth stories with me and we have decided to split them into two parts. Alyson describes her blog as ‘The innane ramblings of a mother, a wife, a daughter, a life’. Please visit her blog and read what she has to say.

“Its almost 13 years now since I had my first baby – I say first she would have been my last had it not been for my first marriage failing and then meeting a man who really wanted children. Meg was a pretty average pregnancy, I read all the books, right up to the point of ‘things that can go wrong’ because nothing was going to go wrong for me was it? I didn’t read those sections.. don’t tempt fate was the thinking there, so after 23 hours labour, a cervix at 4cms, and a baby in distress I was seriously wishing I had done more reading. Her little heart rate disappeared and so began the chain of event that would sour most of the next year and set up for a lifetime of beating anxiety and depression. I was given a general anaesthetic, within moments of losing that heartbeat I was on a bed being run down a corridor, slammed through surgery doors, husband told to wait outside, didn’t look good – certainly not for Megan, and put to sleep, it was truly terrifying, alone and scared and so very frightened.

**************

I woke up I don’t know how long after but I think it was at least an hour or so knowing what I know now, due to some issue with the anaesthetic my brain and eyes ‘woke’ up first, my head & body paralysed, the room was completely full of relatives, heaving with them, and I couldn’t move my head or let anyone know I was awake. I could see this bundle being passed around the room, from pillar to post, I couldn’t see the baby, just the blankets and the fact the baby was being passed around my eyes filled with tears and I couldn’t see anything then for them. My then husband was playing proud dad passing her about, ooing and arring a plenty. I wanted to scream, is that my baby? Is it OK? Is it a boy or a girl? Please somebody help. Eventually my mum noticed i was ‘awake’ and leant down and said ‘babies fine’ you rest. I still couldn’t speak but in my head I was screaming, were some of the most awful minutes. My ex husband eventually brought the bundle to me and said ‘meet Megan’ he put her on my pillow but not close enough to touch her and I just felt completely useless and frustrated.
Eventually as I recovered my faculties I held my daughter, she smelt of everyone else, their perfumes and scents, and of just general nothingness, she seemed like she was spoiled, everyone else had held her before me, she had been named, I was just the afterthought.
I just kept saying ‘are you sure she is mine?’ ‘how do we know she is mine? I wasn’t awake and you weren’t there’ people tried to reassure me but there was no connection there, just an empty space where the connection should be, which felt like an enormous hole. I could see I was worrying people by saying what I was saying so I stopped saying it, but still felt in my core that this wasn’t right, this wasn’t the birth experience I had been planning and thinking about, and now here I am with some random baby that I’m pretty sure isn’t mine.

***********

As I recovered and my husband returned to work I used to sit and wait for the knock on the door that would mean that someone was coming to pick up this baby – she wasn’t mine you see – I was just looking after her til her mummy realised that she had my baby and we swapped, i cared for her as any decent person would, but i sat watching the door waiting for the knock – eventually I confessed to the health visitor that I was pretty sure she wasn’t mine, and that was it, the floodgates opened. I wouldn’t accept any kind of PND diagnosis infact I lasted until I was 6 months after when i fell down the stairs after I had been drinking during the day – luckily Meg was in bed.. Once I accepted there was an issue and took some help things improved and the bonding started slowly but steadfastly, vastly improved by a DNA test that proved she was mine, but my marriage was in the toilet and after 3 years we eventually split up.”

I will be posting part two of Alyson’s story next week and this post will be linked on my birth trauma page. Please leave your comments and perhaps take a moment to visit the Birth Trauma Association.

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12 responses to “Guest post- birth story

  • mummy@bofortea

    I can’t imagine how terrible this must have been for poor Alyson. Sending her a virtual (hug) via you and hoping that sharing this will educate more people about birth traumas and PND.

  • SAHMlovingit (Heather)

    Alyson is a real life friend of mine – we met via a baby forum about 2.5 years ago and try to meet up regularly. It pains me to read her birth story in black and white like this.
    Despite having this horrific experience with Megans birth she went on to have another baby (and indeed a third) and with the birth of Lucy she had a lovely experience.
    When I started to get to know her online I was so nervous at the prospect of having a c-section (my baby was breech) and she was the one person who was always there for me to offer her constant support. Not once did she let me know she had gone through this experience with Megan and only ever focussed on the positive birth she had with Lucy. She is a truly amazing woman for helping me through my c-section. All her words of wisdom and warmth were something I will never, ever forget.

    • ghostwritermummy

      Thanks for your comments, I hope that she will read them. She has also shared her other birth stories with me and I will be posting them next week. When you next meet up please give her a big hug from me!
      XxX

  • Alyson

    Thanks for the lovely comments ladies, my 2nd birth was indeed a dream csection, completely different to the first, which is why I was so keen to promote the planned section to those who might need it, like you Heather, the last thing I would EVER want anyone to have to go through is a general anaesthetic emergency section. That planned section with Lucy gave me back control, and allowed me to have the birth experience I wanted rather than the one i had robbed from me with Megs.

  • TheBoyandMe

    Oh God, Alyson I was whimpering ‘no’ as I was reading that & am now sat in tears. You poor, poor woman. How dare they hold her before you had. How dare they taint her smell. I am angry for you. You should have had her first, or at least before everyone under the sun. I am desperate to read the other half.

    • alyson andrew

      your comment made me cry because that really was the worst bit of all of it, that she felt used and like someone elses – what I know now is that smell of a newborn, your newborn is a dart to the heart in bonding, its what pulls you in, the sweetest smell you ever smelt, and I missed that. That and her being named – I didnt even get a choice – it was a done deal – we had discussed names but not with any certainty – I just felt so redundant in the process

  • Mummy Beadzoi

    That is so awful. I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I just can’t believe that other people would be so… I want to say inconsiderate for lack another word, but that is no where near strong enough. I’m glad you got help and went on to have lovely birth experiences. You are so brave xX

    • alyson andrew

      Thanks so much, in fairness I blame the midwives and my ex husband – not my family – they were oblivious to what I had gone through – yes they should have thought more but really I would have expected the midwives to have sent everyone away until I had had a chance to spend some time with her.. as for my exhusband – well words fail me there

  • superlittlemen

    Hi, having read your posts over the last couple of weeks about birthing plans and experiences, you have given me the helping hand I needed to write about my son;s arrivals. I have just done our first son;s birth which wasnt easy which you can read here is you are interested http://superlittlemen.blogspot.com/2011/01/our-journey-first-experience-of-birth.html and plan ot blog about the second experience in the next week or so as I am on a roll now. Thanks for highlighting the fact that others go through much worse or similar experiences.
    x

    • ghostwritermummy

      I have just been over to read your blog and it wouldn’t let me leave a comment. This is what I wrote:

      I am in tears reading this, how scary for you. I’m so glad you shared this with me and so glad that you were able to bond with your baby so well.
      XxX

      • superlittlemen

        I’m not sure why you couldn’t comment, that’s strange but thanks for what you did write, I know I was so lucky with not being affected bonding wise. my 2nd experience was so different yet bonding was a huge issue but that is a whole new story!

  • Guest Post- Alyson’s story part two « ghostwritermummy

    […] Last week I featured a very brave guest post from Alyson and today I am posting the second part of her story. You can read the first part here. […]

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