PTSD & Children
I recently had two scares within a week where I nearly lost my 7 week old baby. I struggled with fertility for years, multiple losses & then I finally fell pregnant. Pregnancy was traumatic in itself as I was high risk the entire time always terrified I’d lose her. I was diagnosed with antenatal anxiety. The moment I knew she was coming I was filled with anxiety that I may reject her because of how anxious I had been but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I fell inlove with her from the moment I saw her. I was so happy & full of life just because of one little lady who can’t even speak to me. Until a week ago, I was changing her & she vomited, choked & turned blue. She was unresponsive but only for 30 seconds. When she came too I was obviously terrified but was relieved. I saw the hospital who advised everything was semi okay & she had just had a reaction to her vaccinations that caused her throat to close. This brought on a lot of anxiety & instilled fear into me but after 2-3 days I started to feel more confident again. Until, yesterday. I was holding her, she was just drifting off to sleep when not even 30 seconds later I realised she wasn’t breathing. She was limp & blue. I immediately dialled 000 & the ambulance came. After 6 minutes fully unconscious she came too, but was in & out of consciousness. This was absolutely terrifying for me, I was breaking down when the ambulance arrived & took her. I couldn’t stand to think of my life without her, she almost died in my arms. What if I was sleeping & I never noticed? I since then have been in the hospital with her where she has been okay & is just being monitored. No one knows whats wrong. I am terrified. I keep having flashbacks, nightmares & getting chills. I can’t hold her because I see her body pale. I have PTSD which I am no stranger too but never like this. None of the trauma I have been through is like this. This feeling is indescribable. I am not sure where to start. I don’t have the answers to heal yet but I can’t physically or mentally live how I am after this. I can’t sleep, eat & I can’t stop crying. My brain has gone over the worst multiple times, preparing myself for what may be. What would you call this? How do I deal with this? I am so scared. Will I get over this?
I’m so sorry you are going through this and it’s very understandable you are having these overwhelming feelings. How are you going now since you posted?
I am thinking something that may help, even just a little, may be calling a helpline such as the Blue Knot Foundation. I just think of them as you mentioned prior PTSD and they are focused on helping bring a sense of safety and stabilisation for people with complex PTSD. I have used them myself when trauma activated and found they helped ground me and feel more able to cope. They are available 9am to 5pm (eastern states time) every day. Their number is:
1300 657 380.
If you feel you could do with speaking with someone right now the BB Helpline is open 24/7 which is:
1300 224 636.
I’m also wondering if you have anyone else present with you who can support you, or a family member or friend you can call? It can just help having a caring human present with you in some way.
I hope things are going ok for your baby and you. Please take care and post here further if it helps to process what is happening and what you are feeling.
Sending much support xx
I'd like to join Eagle Ray in welcoming you here to the forum where you may find people who at least partly understand how you feel.
A baby is the most precious thing in the world and the thought of losing one is enough to drive any loving mother to the feelings you now have. The fear, helplessness, dread of a bad future. Not eating, sleeping and crying is only natural. Feelings -quite undeserved - of guilt too.
I can't tell you how to feel different, because that is how I'd feel myself. What I can say is to hope for the best -and what is that ? I would think it is your little girl's problem is thourugly diagnosed and she is given treatment to stop it happening again.
What else can help? See if you can get competent advice on what to do if it ever did happen again and you had to take action while waiting for the ambulance. This could be anything from the position you hold her to .. well I've no idea but someone will.
The worry abut going to sleep is very real for you - may I ask if you are trying to deal with this on your own or do you have someone in your life to support you?
There could be a possibility the health professionals at the hospital might recommend the use of a monitor, however frankly I'm guessing and have had no personal experience, I could be quite wrong but it is certainly something I'd ask about in the circumstances.
Eagle Ray's suggestion of getting support is a good one. If you preferred you could talk with our own 24/7 councilors who may assist you to be more able to cope
My only other thought comes from my own life and having my partner seriously ill. I know it's not the same, but the idea behind it is still true. No matter how you feel you take as good a care of yourself as you can, with some exercise, nutrition even if you do not feel like it, and rest, even if not sleep. You need to be in the best condition you can manage for your baby.
Please do let us know, if you can, how you go, we do care.