'I'm not really sure why I'm sending this email but I felt like I should share my birth story. Maybe it will help someone else or maybe just bring some of my own healing.
I had a pretty normal pregnancy with very few complications. The birth of my son is a bit of a blur. When my waters broke there was meconium and I was induced. Roughly 24 hours later I had an emergency C Section and my beautiful boy came into the world.
Breastfeeding wasn't great, with lots of pain and my son struggled to latch on. This went on for 4 days and my milk supply wasn't increasing. My son was becoming more lethargic and agitated by the day. I was struggling to feel very connected to a screaming newborn. His lips were dry and cracking which I was told was normal. He would attempt to feed for hours and fall asleep with exhaustion. I remember a midwife noticed he was clicking while feeding and said "stop making that noise." I know now is a sign of a tongue tie.
Alongside this, I was told by day three to four that the pain should start to improve from the C-Section. It wasn't, but no one could tell me why.
In the early hours of day 5 a midwife gave me a "talk" about how I didn't seem to be coping and wondered how would I manage at home?
In the morning, my son was lethargic and seemed almost limp in my arms. I was left alone by a nurse in a day-room crying with my baby in my arms. I called my husband and said, 'You need to come now. Something is wrong with him.'
He arrived and I asked the nurse to check him.
She said day 5 was usually the day to check the weight so she weighed him. I remember her face when she looked at the scales like she was thinking "hmm that can't be right." She checked again a few times and eventually confirmed he had lost 17% of his weight.
All I remember after this was people rushing around and making plans to get a feeding tube in him. He eventually started gaining weight again but after 7 days and multiple professionals coming in and out, no one knew why he lost the weight.
My pain increased while my son's condition improved.
On day 8 a midwife with experience with tongue ties completed an assessment and determined this was likely the reason he wasn't feeding well and this was to be fixed when we went home.
However, my pain was treated with questionable looks and statements like you "shouldn't be in any more pain now" and "we don't know what's wrong with you"
I was given pain relief (ibuprofen and Voltaren) with little oversight or information as to how many I should be taking. By this time I could hardly walk but my son was better and no one seemed to believe me about the pain. Instead, I was given talks about PND and asked why I was so teary all the time. So we went home.
I continued to take lots of pain relief and eventually after a week at home my C-Section wound started bleeding from infection. I ended up in hospital for 3 days on antibiotics and pain relief. I needed two more courses of antibiotics to fix the infection over the coming weeks.
Then the back pain started so I kept taking the pain relief. Eventually, I ended up in hospital with pancreatitis which eventually healed and 18 months later has left me with chronic gastritis. There is no way to prove it was from the pain relief but doctors have said it's very likely the cause.
My milk supply completely dried up because I couldn't eat properly for weeks after pancreatitis. I watched my son being fed and looked after by other people when I couldn't. It crushed me.
18 months later, life has settled but I struggle with deep anxiety and fear about having any more children. Something felt like it was stolen from me through this experience.
I have now bonded with my son who I love more than anything in this world. But I felt like I should share my story as maybe even just sending my story out to an organization like yours would bring release or closure. If you have read to the end of my story, thank you for reading it. That means a lot and I hope that one day I will feel strong enough to share it with more people.
Thank you again for the work you are doing.