Sammy's Story - West Parry Sound Health Centre, Parry Sound

I haven't been overly quiet about how awful my birth experience was, but I feel like I need to get it off my chest once again.

December 2016 - The doctor I had through my entire pregnancy told me she was going on holidays just two days before she left the country. I was given a new doctor who was lovely and kind and I felt like it was going to be ok. Until she told me she'd be going away too.

She told me I had a different doctor... the doctor I'd switched clinics the second I found out I was pregnant to get away from. My heart was broken and I was scared.

Conveniently, my water had a big leak that night at 11pm and I went to the hospital just to be sure everything was ok. The nurse was awesome and understood that I  just wanted to be sure my little girl was still happy kicking around in there. 

After a stress test, they sent me home, but almost the second I arrived I began to experience back labour. It was painful and I couldn't sleep. I got up to pee at 2am to discover I was bleeding. I then woke up my boyfriend because I was bleeding and uncomfortable and the pain in my back now had a pattern. 

I went back to the hospital because I wasn't sure why I was bleeding. I was greeted warmly and felt like I mattered. Everything was fine until shift change in the morning.

By this point I'd been awake for 24 hours. I was not in pain but I was too uncomfortable to sleep at all because my back felt like it was being charlie-horsed every 4 mins. I am not a happy camper at this point. 

The new nurse comes in and asks if my water broke. I told her it was leaking and filled her in. She used some strip thing and told me I'd probably peed myself, which was really embarrassing. I was "peeing" myself every contraction. Though another nurse had already told me it was my water leaking...

As she is making me feel like garbage, she says this is going to get much worse and that "there's no chance of you getting an epidural - it's not happening because they don't really do those here. Maybe if you're lucky you will get morphine but it won't do anything." 

I was so tired and scared now. I'd talked to my doctor about me being terrified of blood after a very bloody death in the family, and about not wanting this surprise pregnancy to end with me in crazy pain because I don't do well with pain.

I needed to know that there was an option for pain relief. I was assured by MY doctor that she would get me through this. So by 8:30am they'd called the doctor clinic to see if they can find my doctor. I could hear them saying they can't get ahold of her. I am ok but SO tired. 

They come in and tell me she will be here around noonish... The doctor came at 1pm and broke the rest of my water. Said I had about 5 more hours to go and leaves. 

After the water broke things got bad very, very quickly. I was throwing up in pain. Falling to my knees when I had a contraction because my back hurt so, so badly. I was done. I had been awake for 32 hours. 

The nurse kept telling me "if you would just walk this would be over sooner!" every 5 minutes. I started to scream at the top of my lungs for help.

My mom was begging the nurse to do something before I'd even started to scream. I was losing my shit, sobbing and screaming. The nurse goes "I can give you morphine." I just nodded. Anything had to be better, but she was right, it did NOTHING except make me scream unforgivable things about my unborn child between contractions. 

My Mom begged them to check me because I was losing my shit and sobbing and screaming in pain. The nurse storms in telling my Mom that they don't check for no reason due to infection, blah blah blah. I crawl over into the bed and she rolls her eyes and finally realizes I am fully dilated and it has only been an hour and a half since the doctor left!

She gets another nurse to check and they race out to go get an OR nurse and call my doctor. My doctor is at home... Luckily the awful nurse got a lunch break and had to leave and the OR nurse was amazing. She got me gas and told me if I needed to push, to push and that the doctor was coming. 

My daughter Maija was born 45 minutes later. Her cord was around her neck and they were going to have to cut it off her, but just like magic it untied itself and slid off. As my boyfriend went to call his children to tell them they had a new sister, I hemorrhaged. I was going into shock, blacking in and out. 

That is my story. Thanks to my lovely experience at Parry Sound Hospital, I have been diagnosed with Postpartum PTSD.

Did you know you could get PTSD from childbirth? I didn't. 

I was ready for a depression. I have struggled with depression all my life. It was a struggle to get someone to understand that this wasn't just "baby blues" and it wasn't just depression. I wasn't ok and I felt like no one was willing to call it what it was. 

I had a new baby to care for and I was struggling constantly with hearing myself screaming for help in my head. Things that had happened in my past that I thought I was long over became unbearably sensitive again. 

The way I was treated at the hospital broke me, it wasn't that my daughter's cord was wrapped around her neck and it was a close call, and it wasn't that two seconds after they had her breathing, I hemorrhaged. It was how awful a nurse treated me. 

She made me feel like scum. I wasn't important. I didn't matter. And mostly, that this was all my fault.

While I was screaming for help, she'd called it "screeching". She was rude to my family while they begged her to do something. She made me feel like I was the biggest wimp because I wanted not to be in pain anymore. 

By the time I was pushing, I was done. I didn't want to live anymore. I didn't want to be a Mom. I didn't care when everyone was panicking because the baby wasn't responding. I just wanted to die.

When I was handed my beautiful baby girl, I had no feeling for her. As someone who works with children, to be completely numb to my own little human was heartbreaking. 

I know this part may make me sound like a bad Mom, but after a messed up night when I was a teen, I became very private about my breasts. I don't want them touched or even looked at because of what happened. I never wanted to breastfeed. I never wanted to breastfeed. I wasn't going to have children because I never wanted to be judged for not wanting to breastfeed. 

I told my doctor that I was not breastfeeding. I tried to tell my nurse no too, but that wasn't a choice. They just kept on me until I gave up. I said no and they milked me like a cow and tried to get this little baby I had no attachment with to latch. Every time my daughter woke up from a nap I would cry because I knew I was about to be groped and have my daughter pressed on me. I didn't want this. I just wanted it to be over.

I don't know if you have ever lost so much blood you feel drunk and pass in and out, but this was where I was at. After 3 bags of blood, that I'd also said no to, but once again it wasn't my choice. I can't even remember the papers being signed. 

I understand, I needed blood but I hate blood, and the idea of someone else's blood in my body makes me want to slit my wrists and drain it out. I feel dirty still to this day because I had a blood transfusion.

After my blood transfusions, I had a little fight back and I asked for a pump because I was not okay with being touched anymore. I wanted to throw my daughter every time they handed her to me because I knew I was going to be milked again. 

I feel like something is wrong with me most days because childbirth is a natural thing but it has destroyed me. A simple Huggies or Pampers commercial can have me in the fetal position bawling my eyes out.

I love my little girl. She is my world, and we have connected now. We have what I wanted from the start. It took a lot to get to this point. I still struggle every single day.

I cry a lot. I have flash backs. I can still hear myself begging for help. I have nightmares. Things set me into complete meltdowns. I live in fear of the next trigger. 

My life is not the same and sometimes I feel so guilty that I want myself back. I want to go back before all of this. I love my little one but I hate this. I know it is not her fault the day she was born was also the day I broke. 

That day my brain snapped and was no longer able to suppress any more. I feel like a raw nerve constantly being poked. I feel like less of a person. I have good, bad and really, really bad days. This being said, I am getting better. Slowly, but I am getting better. 

I am so grateful for all the support and for everyone that has listened to me over the last year because without you I wouldn't have made it. I know that how I was treated was not okay but it has almost been a year now and I am just starting to feel like I deserved to be treated with respect. 

Everyone I talked to right away would say "you need to write a letter to the hospital." They were right but I couldn't because I was so, so broken that I felt like I deserved how I was treated. 

The way that nurse treated me was not okay. I never want anyone else to be treated the way I was. I have been struggling for a year and it took 6 months for anyone to put a name on what I was experiencing. Postpartum PTSD.


Submitted by Sammy