Newsflash! I’m Still Here!

I am still here, surviving, riding that giant rollercoaster.

Lately I’ve had a few conversations with people about Woody’s birth. The first time it just happened, a new friend asked, and I gabbled it out, surprised at how big the lump in my throat was, but how desperately I wanted her to know what had happened, her concern touched me and I felt I had to get it out, the dark little secret which hasn’t been told to anyone new in a while.

The second time was on Twitter, and I headlined it purely with, “I nearly died”.

Now, I kind of feel like I need to stop putting it in those terms, I guess I do it because, “What?! You nearly died?! Tell me more!”  Why do I go straight for the jugular (ha, funny story, they couldn’t even get a line into my jugular, because I was…. nearly dead).  See, even in my own garbled trains of thought, the fact that I thought I wasn’t going to make it still seems to come to the forefront.

Is this normal after such a traumatic event? Is it any less interesting to tell people the actual truth rather than the shocking headline?

I think I do it because it’s quite a long story, I feel like I want an index card with bullet points thus:

  • I wanted a VBAC
  • I developed Obstetric Cholestasis; it’s a problem with your liver; it can be quite serious, the only cure is to give birth
  • They didn’t have an Elective Section slots booked; I chose to be induced despite my better judgement and the research I had done
  • ARM (Artificial Rupture of Membranes) didn’t work; they gave me Syntocinon
  • They gave me too much Syntocinon
  • Woody was in distress; his heart rate was Bradycardic
  • He was born via episiotomy and forceps; yes, I had an Epidural; no, my bits aren’t the same but I’m too scared to see anyone about it
  • I lost 3.8l of blood; that’s about 80% of my total blood volume (or so I am told)
  • I went into hypovolemic shock; my veins started collapsing; they were even trying my feet and groin to try and get a line in somewhere; even my jugular collapsed
  • I thought I was going to die; so did Andy – he actually thought we were both going to die
  • Woody didn’t breathe on his own for 4 minutes; within 10 minutes he was doing okay but he was still taken to neonatal care for observation
  • Eventually I went to theatre; I was then sent to HDU for 36 hours so I didn’t see Woody until that time
  • I’m generally in a pretty messed up place about it; I don’t know where to get help from; I cry when I think about it

I think that about sums it up, and it’s not any less traumatic or shocking, but it’s just easier to go straight for the bottom line.  Although, yes, thank you, the bottom line should be, WE SURVIVED THE FUCK OUT OF THAT SHIT!

I know it sounds all very dramatic, and well, it was actually. And I know I sound melodramatic for either going on about it, or dwelling on it, or continuing to battle with my emotions over it, but that’s to be expected, surely?  Am I not allowed that?

I’m not saying I like dwelling on it, and actually, even just looking up Uterine Rupture or Hypovolemic Shock scares the shit out of me, but it’s something that will forever be here, indelibly marked in my soul, I have the scars to show.

I’ve had some incredibly hard times lately, I’ve mostly wanted to hide in bed a lot of the time, but that’s no good when you have two children!  Andy keeps asking me, “What’s the matter?”, but I invariably don’t really know, and I feel like everyone gets mad at me when I say, “Just thinking about Woody’s birth again” or even, “I don’t really know.” In fact, the latter seems to wind Andy up more than the former.  It’s hard for people to help you when they don’t know what’s wrong.  That’s frustrating beauty of depression, right?!

Even last night, I started thinking about the operation I’m going to need to have my gallbladder removed, and I started panicking; the thought of going into theatre, of going under, of the pain of recovery.  It should be a walk in the park compared to what I went through, but, there it goes, sneaking back up on me, reminding me how awful it was.

And that’s sad.  I’ve spoken before about how ultimately sad I am about Woody’s birth. He’s growing into an utterly amazing, adorable, characterful little boy, and in some ways I’m glad, because he has not been an easy baby, but then I think, but you’re not that little newborn any more, I missed that, because I was so ill and suffering SO tremendously from PTSD and flashbacks and all sorts of nonsense,which I still am, but to a much lesser extent.

Anyway, I’m rambling now.  Heh, that’s my blog for you…!

I have lots of other things to update on and I will do, in more happy posts.  Needless to say, I’m back bitches!


  1. Amy…you did survive the fuck out of that shit. Remember that. You survived. You are still surviving. If something horrendous has happened you will not just be able to flick a switch and be ‘over it’ straight away. I thought I was over E’s birth aftery counselling but I had to go to the Hospital of doom last week for my bad back & spent entire time hyperventilating & shaking like a leaf. There’s no right/good way to recover from something like this. You just keep clawing up that mountain until at some point you reach the top. And on the way you’ll find outcroppings to rest on. You’ll plateau but be able to see how far you’ve come. You’ll also slip back a bit. That’ll happen a lot. And you’ll look up & see you have a long way to go. That’s where you are now. Every time you look up & it feels like its still so far, just look back & see how far you’ve come. You will get there. We all will. And then we’ll get t-shirts “Yeah…we survivd the fuck out of that shit….bitches!”

  2. Very lazy of me but… I’ll go with what Sharon said! I’m here whenever you need a chat y’know x

  3. You’ve had to deal with the concept of mortality, your own mortality, at a very young age. You did this in the context of an event that is supposed to be the antithesis of this; new birth. You were that the 0.01% (*Enter relevant statistic here) that had the uterine rupture. Any of these things are difficult to get your head around. You clearly have PTSD as a result and I am not surprised you are bricking it at the thought of another op. BUT survive the fuck out of you will.

  4. Thanks for sharing the whole story Amy – I never knew details and it’s not something you ask! It all sounds tremendously stressful and I’m not surprised you are having a hard time dealing with the fallout.

    The only advice I can give is not to be hard on yourself. I’m depressed myself and the thing I hate most about it is that I can’t be my usual self for a lot of the time, but doctor and counsellor have both reminded me that it’s all a process, dealing with specific events that cause grief or anxiety or stress (or all three!). Make sure you give yourself a break and remember those who are closest to you just want to help however they can.

    Woody is a gorgeous little dude and you must remember the magnitude of your achievement in both he and yourself surviving your ordeal! Hey, if you can get through that, a teeny gallbladder op is a piece of pics!

    Welcome back to blogsville, by the way…x

Leave a Reply