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PTSD after traumatic birth and newborn with serious illness

Community Member

My son was born in April 2015 and it was traumatic. I had a healthy pregnancy but it all went wrong when he was born. He was born at 37 weeks but had stopped growing as my placenta had stopped working so he was more like a 33 weeker. The birth was 36 hours, and I ended up having an assisted delivery and epidural which wasn't what I wanted. I never had time to think about this as soon after he was born he was taken to the nursery because he wasn't breathing and he then had to be resuscitated. He was moved to another hospital with higher level care, but then moved again after another 48 hours ending up in the NICU. He was intubated and it took him about 6 days to breath alone which is unusual for a baby of that gestation.

We finally got him home after four weeks and at first I felt so happy but then after another month he started experiencing reflux and no one would listen to me about it. Eventually a paediatrician did and since then (8 months ago) it's been a rollercoaster of him improving a bit and then regressing again. I get very little sleep, he's up 5 times a night generally between 9pm and 6.30am. Hubby helps but as I'm still feeding him, I naturally have to do more.

I'm seeing a psychologist for the anxiety and PTSD. It's coming up to his first birthday and I'm already wondering how it will affect me.

29 Replies 29

Community Member
Oh I'm a bit sad no one responded but I understand it's a unique experience.

Community Member
I understand the anxiety. It keeps you alert and on auto pilot. My youngest (8) had problems while in utero and briefly after delivery but not as bad as your little one. We had problems with Anti c antibodies. Basically my antibodies don't gel with my partner's. So with each pregnancy the risk factor increases. My body was trying to fight off the pregnancy as if it were some virus and she had to be delivered via c -section then kept under the blue lights. We may have had another baby if it wasn't for this but we thank our lucky stars and don't want to push our luck. I feel for you greatly. It is very stressful

Hey pvroom

When you posted your topic..I sat here and read what you have/are been going through....I didnt respond as I felt uncomfortable being a fella especially with your topic.

I am sorry that I didnt respond in some shape or form...


Community Member

My Son was born Jan 2014, we had to have an emergency C-section due to fever and infection (unknown origin at that stage) and I was knocked out unconscious, neither myself or my partner was present for his birth something I have trouble dealing with a lot, it took them over an hour to stabilise his temperature and breathing before my partner could see him, I was in recovery for three hours as they couldn't rouse me from the sedations I was able to hold my son for ten minutes over four hours after his birth and have a first feed then we were separated for nearly 18hours. There were other problems and complications and I was told that had they waited 10 more minutes neither one of us would have survived. The fact that he was 9lb9 also added to bonding and feeding issues.

I am yet to see anyone to deal with the issues I am having but he is now two, when his 1st bday was coming up I was absolutely beside myself with regret and guilt over his birth, however I said to myself that rather worry about what happened appreciate what we had achieved we made a year with everything that happened we made it to a year, if you make it that far you can make it all the way. I bought a new outfit for him and planned a celebration of the year we made through rather than dwelling on the 24hr of his birth and all the negative things that had happened in that year I decided to celebrate his first tooth, his first smile the hugs and kisses that I got because we SURVIVED.

Include your husband and son in the organisation of the party, the one thing I quite often forgot was that my partner was also there hurting and trying to deal with what happened too, I had the time feeding him to build the broken bond, he didn't he had to go back to work he had to make sure it all kept running. No matter what you have your son you all made it to a year that is something to be proud of and celebrate the fact that with the entry he made into the world it is even more of an achievement.

Community Member
Thank you MummaDuck for sharing your story. That must have been so difficult being knocked out for the c-section. I had an epidural and induction drugs and felt like I was on another planet and I can't remember some of the details, especially when he was born, like where my husband was and how i reacted. Makes me sad too. I know how you feel about the guilt. I often think what could I have done differently. Good idea on a new outfit, I didn't even think of that! Argh! mum brain! My husband is like you said struggling too, it's hard for him being away so much. He is actually studying FT at uni now as of March this year so for the past month has been around a lot more. Thank you for your support and response xx

Community Member
Thanks Paul, I totally understand why you didn't respond. But thank you for responding now, I don't have a lot of people to talk to about how I am feeling

Thankyou pv....When I re-read your new thread just before I was disappointed that there was no response. You may want to check the last handful of post in the BB Cafe. I hope you dont mind.

Thankyou for your understanding. I have read many of your posts and even though I only a member on the forums I feel you have a lot to offer here. Your posts are caring, articulate and wise

Paul 🙂

Community Member

Hi Pvroom,

I don't have PTSD but I do have some experience with what you're going through.

My 1st was born via c-section due to breech. Born a month after Mum passed from cancer in a diff state to where I lived it was hard in its own way. He was hypoglycemic & fed every 3 hours topped up with a rich formula via a nose tube. I breastfed for a year & it was every 3 hours for the first 9 months. He had bad cholic so would often vomit gushes and I would have to feed all over again. After a year things got better.

My 2nd born 4 years later by VBAC. I had hypermesis gravidarum and had a month of work and ended up in hospital vomitting blood. She came early at 36 wks. 12 hours natural labour and then my obstetrician advised there was a problem and I needed a forcep delivery with an epidural. Within 10minutes of the epi she was delivered. All seemed ok at this point. She was delivered to me after recovery to breastfeed then she was taken to the nursery with hubby for a while. I had a few hours sleep and she was brought back. My obstetrician checks in and my bum was so sore I asked if it was normal and he says "ahh, about that. It cracked in delivery". Turns out my coccyx was broken as daughters shoulders got stuck. Hubby brings her back and as I am trying to feed her I hear this awful sound. I can't even describe it but it was horrific. The rest is a blur involving lots of specialists rushing around and with her being hooked up to machines and rushed to the childrens hospital PICU because NICU was full. The sound was strider and she had a problem with how her epiglotis was formed. She was operated on day 2 of life. I couldn't be transferred to be with her so I had to discharge myself and pay to stay near the PICU. She was also hypoglycemic and jaundiced and hooked up to cpap and all other sorts of monitoring. She was prem at 36wks but weighed 3.8kg. Her brother met his sister "who lives in a box". It was awful and I was in a lot of pain. She ended up recovering well. I had to bf every 3 hrs and pump too. Sleep deprivation is shocking for emotions & the slow coccyx recovery was horrid.

My 3rd was elective c/s. I had hypermesis but other than that all went "normal". I let him sleep in the bed with me as needed to help me get more sleep. I wish I had done that for the others.

They are now 10,6&3.

Here to chat anytime. Ask any questions you like. I hope you can find a way to celebrate his 1st b'day. Look how far you've both come.

Carol xx

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


i am so sorry, I read your post and wanted to respond, however I don't really talk about what happened to me when my daughter was ill but I too am sorry no one else had responded. My labour etc was fine but at 5 weeks she had been losing weight and my maternal and child health nurse suggested I take her to the children's hospital just to have her checked. They picked up she had a heart problem (my local dr didn't pick this up the week before) and needed emergency open heart surgery. She was placed in icu and was first on the list fir surgery next morning. My life was turned upside down, her father left me in my own to deal with this. I donywNt to go into it much more as I don't want to relive it however as far as the anniversary of this happening I Romberg feeling anxious and going over it and over it and thinking what if, what if. What if I hadn't been at the health centre? What if the spot wS later in the day (my little one would not be here), why didn't I notice something etc. as mum adduce said, think of the positives, celebrate the milestones make the bday a celebration God knows you've been through enough trauma, it's time to enjoy the blessings. My little girl is now 3 and is the sunshine in my life I have 2 older children from my marriage and thus little one just completes my life. She was meant to be here, despite her condition everything happened in a way that allowed her to be here. She is my little blessing and I am so blessed to have her.

i hope this helps somewhat. How is your son doing now and how are you doing? You are stronger than you realise. Sorry I don't have more to add, it's very private for me and I don't really want to bring it all up in my mind but I hope this has helped.