Feeling Raw

Having a bit of a raw day today. I spoke to my community mental health nurse and she asked me about my psychosis triggers. I said that it was the fact I had so little sleep around the birth and the fact that I found the birth so traumatic.

I started to recount the story of the birth and I found myself crying!! I thought I had gotten over it but obviously I still carry a lot of pain about it. She recommended psychotherapy which to be honest I feel is a step back as I already spoke to someone about the psychosis. I thought I was feeling back to normal! Although I don't know what normal is now I'm a mum!

Did anyone else struggle with accepting the labour as well as the psychosis?



9 Replies

  • Hi Gmumma,

    This is a really good question, I too had a horrid birth experience and whilst there is no proven link, I do wonder if this was a contributing factor to my PP (although lots of other things too, plus a major lack of sleep). I was ill after my first child was born 7 years ago now, do you mind me asking how long ago your experience was?

    I have found that the passing of time (cliche-d as that sounds) really does help. It's amazing what can bring things back for us though and although it might feel like a backwards step to you now, the psychotherapy would probably be quite helpful. At the time, I didn't have any "debrief" after my birth (which culminated in emergency c-section after an ambulance transfer between hospitals). Looking back, I think this was partly because it wasn't the norm back then and also that I was in hospital with PP by then and that sort of took over. I would have really welcomed the opportunity, further down the line, to talk about it though. In my local area, they are starting a more structured response to women who have traumatic deliveries, whether or not they end up with perinatal mh illness, which I think is a good idea. There is a TAB Clinic (Trauma After Birth) at a couple of local hospitals.

    Another thing that I find, and it relates to your "what is normal" comment, is that when I socialise with friends, including "mum friends" I've met after having kids, we often end up talking about the kids and often our birth stories. I've always been quite open about my PP, and it's not right for everyone. However, it's amazing how many other people have horrific birth stories. Another form of peer support I suppose in a way, I don't know if this is something that would benefit you?

    I hope that you feel able to take up the psychotherapy and if there is any other kind of support via maternity professionals, that might be something your CPN can liaise on your behalf for. I realise that some people want to put it behind them and not "dwell on things" but at least trying to understand what happened (even if it's that you won't ever be able to fully understand it, if that makes sense!) seems a positive step. Especially when talking about triggers, we are all so aware of protecting our mental health if at all possible after PP.

    Take care and all the best with it, xx

  • Hello Gmumma

    I'm sorry you have been struggling today. In a way it's good that you let yourself cry as sometimes all the tension builds up and so it can be a stress release. It must have been difficult for you to recount your experience and quite raw as it wasn't that long ago.

    I think psychotherapy might be a good idea. Try not to look at it as a step back but a step forward in your recovery, as it will enable you to talk openly about any worries you are trying to keep a lid on. When I was recovering from PP I was so anxious to be 'normal' that I pushed myself to be well when I wasn't quite ready. So make sure to take it easy, surround yourself with support and accept any therapy offered. If it doesn't suit you I'm sure you will be able to cancel sessions.

    We are all here for you. Take care.

  • Thanks for all of your kind replies, this forum is so supportive, it's good to know I'm not alone.

    Gmumma x

  • Dear GorillaMumma,

    "nothing is normal" in my opinion - it is just in the perception of our own made up reality...

    I have not much background knowledge about your circumstances, but would like to reassure you that it is great to seek help and receiving support.

    It has been over six years since my PPP and I still make use of my Somerset partnership. My care coordinator always informs me, when there are some educational or therapeutic courses around in order for me to extend my toolkit, so that I am able to continue my self-management. I sometimes work with a support worker in order to cope with obstacles. I suffer with fear and anxiety & menstrual psychosis...I have had to teach some of the professionals about myself and I find APP the most professional in our subject matter...it is us, you know...it is called peer support.

    Keep on journalising and communicating with the forum, but also do not feel apprehensive in seeking support from professionals, families and friends in your close network.

    Take good care,

    Sabine x

  • Cryings good. Mental health teams see the benefit of talking and crying. I cried over a traumatic part post birth. Even mums without psychosis cry over their birth and post birth experiences.

  • Hello Gmumma

    Just wondering how you are? Did you take up the offer of psychotherapy suggested by your nurse? I hope you are having better days. Sometimes we have to go backwards before we can move forward although it's not easy at the time.

    Take care.

  • Thanks Lilybeth,

    I am currently on a waiting list to see someone, although my dr said something very useful about it: it's in the past so it can't physically harm me anymore. I think the counselling will be useful as I plan on having children in the future so I don't want to be in fear of the labour. However I think my next birth will be much more planned, especially with the PP and everything.

    Thanks for asking ;)

  • Hello Gmumma

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It sounds as though your Dr is very understanding about how you feel and the counselling will be good for you. I hope the waiting list isn't too long. In the meantime we are all here for you to talk anytime.

    Take care.

  • Hello Gmumma

    I hope you won't have too long to wait now for counselling which I think you will find helpful.

    Take care.

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