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Thread: Spaced out for a week after labour

  1. #1

    Default Spaced out for a week after labour

    I just have a question for anyone that's had this happen to them, or maybe someone that might know why it happened.

    With DD, I went into spontaneous labour at 42 weeks, well after drinking castor oil and doing all the fun stuff for natural induction as I had already put off one induction of labour (I called in sick) and the hospital wasn't happy and was pushing for another due to me being so overdue.

    The labour itself wasn't too bad. I laboured at home in the shower for the first half and then went to hospital when I was 5cm, but contractions were 2 minutes apart. My husband at the time slept through the whole labour, at home and also in the hospital till I woke him when I needed to push. He even slept through the ARM I had an hour before 2nd stage. I laboured without midwife help as well, they came in occaisonally. I was on my own. DD was posterior like my DS was, and I stayed on all fours most of the time on the big ball and was active in between contrax, pacing around. I had ARM because after 3 hours I wasn't dilating and they said the waters were bulging and that would get it all going, it did.

    I did not have drugs at all, I didn't even have gas. I used to shower and the big ball as my pain relief. The only drug I had was the injection they routinely gave to deliver the placenta, I didn't realize then that saying 'no' to that was an option.



    In transition, I got really spaced out as is normal when you have no pain relief in labour, the endorphins kicked in big time. Difference was this time though was that the spaced out feeling lasted a whole week. With my DS I didn't have pain relief either, but the spaced out feeling went away after the birth.

    This spaced out feeling was horrible I have to say, I coudnt' feel normal after I went home and it was to say the least, freaky. I constantly felt like I was on the ceiling watching myself as I did in transition, like I wasn't really there.

    I'm wondering if anyone else experienced this?? I'm also wondering if anyone's heard of it and what could have made it happen?
    These are my theories:
    1) something to do with being unsupported in labour, that XH didn't care and slept through it and got annoyed when I woke him up. I realized later this actually traumatized me.
    2) Something to do with the synto injection?
    3) Perhaps something to do with the early disharge as I disharged myself that day, but was doing housework that night and back to normal house duties (not my choice, just no one else to do it and I had a toddler as well) and I wasnt' able to rest after the labour.
    4) Just the endorphins were that strong naturally and just sometimes do last that long?

    I'm a bit worried it will happen again, it really depressed me and made me feel out of control in the first week of DDs life as I didn't feel like I was really there.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Aranah; March 12th, 2007 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2

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    Have you mentioned this to your doctor or midwife? They might be able to give you a better idea of what the reason was.

    From reading what you have written I think maybe it could have been a combination of not having personal support during the labour, then leaving the hospital early and not having enough rest. It could have been a mixture of fatigue and the usual post-natal hormonal stuff that happens maybe? I don't really know...Probably best to talk to your doctor or midwife tho.

  3. #3

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    Thanks heaps Bon. I guess I thought it not important enough to ask the doctor, but why not?

    I was hoping someone else might have an idea or have had it happen. I'm kinda hoping I was in some kind of shock because I didn't have time to recover.

    I'm worried it was to do with the synto injection....did anyone have this from the synto injection? I don't want the injection this time, but I have had haemmoraged from retained placenta bits twice now, and it is likely I'll have to have it because of that.

    Anyone had the endorphin effect last that long?

  4. #4

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    I had synto with all of my births - the first two times was in a drip because I was induced and the third time was just the injection. I didn't ever feel the way you described except for a bit spaced out when I was in transition and the last stages of the birth like you said. Then afterwards I was tired of course but not spaced out.

    If you are considering not having the injection then you will need to mention this to your doctor or midwife - they can't make you have it, but they will probably stongly recommend it because of the previous hemmorhages.

    I personally think the feeling you had was probably more related to the whole no support/fatigue combination - like Mads said with everything you had to deal with on your own it's no wonder you felt that way!

  5. #5

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    Hi Tara

    I would've replied to your thread earlier except I didn't see it. I am familiar with the spaced out feeling you describe. In particular I had problems coming to grips with the normal flow of time again after I gave birth. In my case this lasted weeks/months. At the time I just thought I wasn't coping. It wasn't until a couple of years later when I described my experiences to my new GP and she said it was pretty clear to her that I'd had post-traumatic stress disorder. My labour was long and very poorly managed, and while I had the support of my husband I was alone in the dark hole of labour and believed it was never going to end. I had a pretty horrible out of body experience in the worst of it. I was so traumatised I left my body - I'm wondering if your experience in transition was similar to this.

    In a metaphysical sense, if your consciousness left your body and didn't ground back in properly, you would expect to feel spaced out and sort of out of touch with physical reality. This is something that ppl who meditate frequently learn how to do (ground back into your body). That this didn't happen after a few hours, tells me perhaps you were dealing with a level of physical shock.

    If you google the words post natal stress disorder you will find some interesting reading which might shed some light on the way you have been feeling. Or possibly not. I hope you get some answers in your journey to heal this experience as it sounds as if you still hold some pain. Perhaps some time with a holistic counsellor or bodyworker might help?

  6. #6

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    MaryDean, you are describing exactly what I felt! That's exactly it, I did feel I left my body in transition, I remember seeing myself from the ceiling in labour. I know endorphins can do whacky things to your head and I put it down to that. And then not grounding again...I don't remember grounding at all after that. Everytime I spoke, it wasn't me speaking, I would hear me talk as if someone else was talking next to me.

    I'd had a horrible birth with my first baby, DS, and this birth with DD was nothing like that physically but emotionally it was much worse. My marriage at the time had also become somewhat violent throughout my pregnancy and I had been fully rejected by my husband who wouldn't even look at me when pregnant let alone touch me, and also rejected DD from when she was born till she was nearly one before he held her properly for the first time. This explains his behaviour in the labour, he just didn't care and didn't want to know. Perhaps the physical trauma of birth without drugs, mixed with the huge emotional battle that was going on did trigger this out of body experience and could have resulted in PTSD. I had a breakdown 3 years later after a surgery that went wrong and combination the marriage which had gotten extremely bad and had PTSD after that, but I haven't made the link. But now reading what you said, it all points to that. It was very similar to the PTSD I had when I had my breakdown, felt very similar.

    I can't thankyou enough for posting this, as I had not mentioned it to anyone and I'm seeing the perinatal psychologist this week who have all been tryign to get to the bottom of the anxiety disorder I'm suffering much worse since being pregnant. I actually feel that this is what is a big factor, and I was so concentrated on DS's bad birth, that I have never talked about DD's birth and the affect I lived with after this. I feel this is actually much more the contributing factor than I would have imagined, and now knowing this, it can be managed a lot better this birth.

    I'm sorry you went through that MaryDean :hugs: and I want to thankyou so very much for sharing that. I can't explain how much that this has helped.

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    Good Luck Tara - i hope you can get some closure and look forward to the birth of this beautiful baby and by the sounds of it - good riddance to bad rubbish is what i can say about your XH - hope that's not too harsh but he sounded like a completely a-hole.

    Just wanted to add - i went completely deaf in my labour - i could only hear 2 people in the room - 1 being my husband the other being the crazy irish midwife - everyone else was completely blocked out - i had to ask DH to tell me what was being said - that was a totally bizarre feeling also - but nothing compared to what you have unfortunately experienced.

    Good luck once again

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    Tara I wish you every blessing and the power to heal this! I for one feel like this experience will always be with me, in one way or another (although I have done lots of work on healing it), but it is informing my birthing choices quite differently this time.

    I also hope that this time round you can have a powerful and powerfully supported birthing process. I'm glad you've mentioned you are seeing a perinatal psych. I suspect you'll find, now that you have made the connection, that you will start to feel and understand and acknowledge and heal all sorts of similarities between your two births and the other surgical experience you had as it sounds like the medical system has not respected some of your most fundamental human needs.

    Soooo glad my words have helped.
    xx

  9. #9

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    Marydean, I just wanted to thankyou for your very helpful insight.

    I had to see my perinatal psyche this week and due to your posts I felt that I should mention what happened. After looking over my old hospital records and asking a lot of questions, she told me that she definately thinks it was PTSD and I had a few psychotic episodes which resulted in this out of body experience that I couldn't come back from. My records show I mentioned I still felt like this 4 month later, I don't remember that at all! She had a big talk to me about my plan to go home instantly from hospital like I did with DD and thinks that it's very important that I stay in for a least a day so she and others can visit me in there and make sure this doesn't happen again, and if it does, they can work out a plan to fix it right away rather than letting it drag on and result in PND like before. She also talked about the physical shock of it and allowing my body to recover. DP came with me and I was able to talk about it in front of him which helped too, I didn't realize what an impact that has had on me this pregnancy, to the point of if I didn't have a surgery that went wrong later on in life, I would be avoiding a natural birth altogether. (I"m more scared of surgery).

    I want to thankyou for replying and wanted you to know that your experience has really helped me and that because of your mentioning it, I am able to have the right procedures in place in case it happens again. I didn't think it important enough to mention to the peri unit, but it's ended up being probably the most important thing.

    Thankyou so much again Marydean, I really am feeling much more confident about it now that there is a plan there and people will help me if that happens again. I can't thankyou enough

  10. #10

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    Tara I'm so glad things are starting to click into place for you. Make sure everyone in your care team knows the specifics (maybe take a letter from your psych and insist everyone reads it). I'm glad you were able to talk about it in front of your DH as that may mean you receive more support from him as hopefully he will understand what's going on.

    Tara, if you want to Instant message or email me at any point, my contact details are up (remove the nospam statement). I look forward to hearing how it all goes for you. I think this is an area that the medical system has not traditionally been aware of, so it's good you have a plan this time. to you - and again every blessing for your birthing time!

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