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The Whirlwind (Anonymous)

June 16, 2009

2 weeks after I got married, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was 20 years old. My husband was to be deployed for a 15 month tour with the US army in 6 months, at that time. He left for Iraq when I was just under 6 months pregnant. He thankfully got to come home for the birth. He surprised me when I was at work, on my last day before I was to go on maternity leave. I went into labor a week later. September 10th, 2008 I was in labor for 12 hours. I pushed for 2 hours and the doctor decided that the baby needed some help coming out. He used forceps to get the baby out. I ended up with fourth degree tears. Labor was extremely traumatic for me, afterwards I felt like I had been raped (I know that sounds bad, but true). I was so thankful to have my husband by my side at the time, nothing else mattered after I got over the initial shock. But he had to go back to the war in Iraq, our baby was only 12 days old.
9 weeks postpartum, I was still in pain from the birth. I got checked out and the doctor said I had a hole in my vagina! I freaked out. He “fixed” the hole the best he could and told me to give it 6 weeks to heal. 6 weeks later, any time I was on my feet for more then a half hour, it felt like I needed to push out a bowling ball from my vagina (I know! So not fun).I went to see the doctor again. The doctor gave me a look like, “your looked for drugs, aren’t you”. I did not want drugs, I just did not want my vagina to be “broken” anymore. He gave me three options, to have him re-cut me open and stich me back up (no thank you), give me a nerve-killer shot in my vagina to numb me forever (HECK no!), or to deal with. I choice to deal with it.
16 weeks postpartum, I was still in pain. I just figured this was the way it was going to be the rest of my life. I was just glad I didn’t have to deal with my husband wanting sex, since he was still in Iraq. I thought I would go into liver failure with all the Tylenol I was taking just to survive each day. I was not happy. I was in pain everyday, I was dealing with a colicky baby by myself, and I was not getting much sleep at all worrying about my husband and everything else on my plate.
18 weeks postpartum, I decided to stop breast feeding. I wasn’t making enough milk to feed the baby because I wasn’t eating enough. I was miserable. I missed my husband, and life sucked at this point.
One night I was home, putting the baby to sleep like normal. I heard voices in my head as I rocked him that told me to just knock my sons head on the wall and just get it over with. I was hearing voices that told me to kill my son. I panicked. I put him to sleep and I just cried. How could I think like that? I looked at the bottle of pills that was so familiar to me, Tylenol. I thought, I need to end my life if I was thinking about taking my childs life. I took a few pills and I knew I needed help. I called my mom and told her I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I was admitted to the psych ward of a hospital for a 5 day stay for severe postpartum depression. My husband came home from Iraq for emergency leave. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone what happened, so I told them I fell and hit my head. My husband was home for 10 days to help me back on my feet. I got support for my immediate family and they all helped me a lot.
Today, my husbands 15 month tour in Iraq ends in 3 months. I have a beautiful almost 9 month old son. I am fully recovered and not on any meds anymore. I just wanted to share my story to tell everyone that postpartum depression is real and it can be really scary. Just ask for help when you need it, with the baby or just for yourself, if you don’t you will make yourself crazy like I did. Nobody can do it alone, and nobody should.

1st photo is me 8 months pregnant
2nd photo is my husband and I getting our son baptisted when he was 11 days old the day before my husband left to go back to Iraq
3rd photo is my son now (8 1/2 months)

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24 Responses to “The Whirlwind (Anonymous)”

  1. ashley Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    holy shit your a strong woman, im glad all that is behind you now, and your family is healthy and happy, you have been through a lot and pulled through like a champ. your son and husband have a lot to admire in you!

  2. Danielle~ Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    thank you for being so brave and telling us your story. i really appreciate how open and candid you were. i’m so proud of you for getting help when you needed it. you are right, no one can od it alone, and no one should! :)

  3. Catherine S Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Oy, you have had a rough time! Glad you are on the road to recovery!!! Keep taking care of yourself and check in with your emotions every once in a while to make sure everything is still on track:) I am still working on my PPD at almost 10 months pp and think it will be an ongoing thing for a while. Hearing stories like yours has helped me not be ashamed, so it is much appreciated. Rock on mama!!

  4. diana Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    holy crap SUE the doctor that mutilated you!!!!!

    i tore as bad as you too and i bled for 3 effin months straight, heavy blood it sucked.
    I would find a lawyer and seriously sue the doc and the hospital, they should have given you a c section, NO GIRL esp at your age should have to deal with that (hole in vag) holy crap!!!

    sue for mental damage please, i wqould!

  5. Mary Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    You have an amazing story, thank you for sharing. It takes a real woman to just ask for help, many women think that they can get through hard times if they wait it out, and sometimes that is not the case. Im so glad you are doing better, your son is soo adorable! Best of luck with your family and I pray for your husbands safe return.

  6. Cloey Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Your story sounds so much like mine. I labored for 12 hours and pushed for 3, afterward I felt like I’d run a marathon, then been beaten and raped at the finish line.
    You can read my submission (under my name a few months back) but the story is similar – pysch ward, had to quit breastfeeding because of inability to eat…our sons are only a few weeks apart too.

  7. andrea Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    thank you for putting this story up here. I also suffered from PPD same thoughts, though mine were never to hurt myself just my son and for me to run away and worthlessness.
    I hope you are now PPD free. Thanks for being a strong women and telling your story.

  8. taiyo Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s amazing how much you’ve been through in such a short period of time. I’m glad you shared your ppd story– it’s a frightening thing to do. I went through it as well, and the experience was so intense and terrifying. I’m so glad you knew to seek help when you did. Strong woman, for sure!

  9. mrs. petunia Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Wow! That was I really powerful story and I’m so thankful you shared it! You are so right, postpartum depression IS real and we shouldn’t have to hide in shame when we experience it. One question: were you ever able to get the hole in your vagina fixed? If not, I’d go and get another opinion. It seems like there must be something that can be done… Anyway, thanks again!

  10. Tasha Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Wow thanks for sharing you are a very strong women

  11. southern mama Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Im so sorry for what you have gone through.Our stories are quite similar. My husband left for Iraq 5 weeks after my son was born and then again when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter. It wasnt easy and I suffered from PPD after both of my children.

    Army life can be hard, but you become accustomed to it and learn to do it all on your own. I hope the next 3 months fly by and yall have a happy homecoming!

  12. TracyKM Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    THere IS such a thing as “Birth Rape” and it’s probably the cause of your PPD (or what ever the initials are, I can’t remember). You’ve been through a lot and I hope you continue to heal, physically and emotionally.

  13. Mama Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Wow. What a story! Thank you for sharing your story! It will give hope to people who are suffering. Thank you! You are beautiful and you have a beautiful family!

  14. Bridget Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I am so sorry for what you have been through. I can’t imagine the kind of pain you’ve endured, both physically and emotionally. I’m really glad you stopped yourself and got help and that you are better now. I think, as mothers, we feel alone alot, but actually we aren’t. We just have to realize that and connect with someone.
    Great job!

  15. Melissa Says:
    June 18th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you for your story. I just started treatment about a week ago even though I’m over it now, my son is 15 months old. I’m terrified to ever have another baby because of how awful the PPD was. I wish I had felt comfortable asking for help but still felt so ashamed as you did. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone about the thoughts.

  16. Colleen Says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I’m glad you got everything all worked out, and your son is beautiful (I LOVE that second picture!). My only comment is…FIND A NEW DOCTOR. Seriously, what doctor tells a post-partum woman she’s only looking for drugs? I would never go see that man again if I were you, and hopefully if you decide to have more children your second doctor will be MUCH more understanding and capable.

  17. ME Says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you all for your comments, it took a lot for me to submit my story. I am really happy I did now. I am in tears reading all of your comments because I was feeling so alone. I have gotten a second opinion and my vagina is thankfully fixed the best it can be. That doctor was totally dumb, and I will never go back to him again. I plan on having more babies, but I am going to be sure to take precautions so I do not get to the point I did this time. Thank you all for your support. You are all great =)

  18. Larissa Says:
    July 5th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    You have such a beautiful family! I’m happy for you that you will soon be reunited! Sometimes the adjustment takes time, but it’s so worth it.

    Thanks for your story, I had tears in my eyes by the end. You are so strong and should be so proud of yourself.

  19. Melissa Says:
    October 18th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story…I too had TWO very difficult deliveries–both gave me third degree tears. I am a very small woman, 105 lbs. and my first daughter weighed 7 1/2 lbs. and I labored with her for 19 hours and then she was vacuum extracted. When I got pregnant with my second child, she was even bigger…..weighing 8 1/2 lbs. My doctors knew she was going to be big and I had a lot of anxiety about her size and a vaginal delivery, especially after my first daughter’s awful delivery, yet my doctors never believed a c-section was in my best interest! WHAT! I unfortunately trusted them and was induced a few days before my second daughters due date and again, had to have a vacuum extraction causing my second third degree tear AND a piece of my vulva was torn off in the process!!!! Delivery Rape indeed! My doctors just blowed me off and tried to say that these things happen all the time! What the F! I now have a recotcele and will probably have to have surgery at some point in time. I was extremely depressed and angry and my depression has improved over time (my second daughter is now 18 months old), but I’m still very angry. I feel like these injuries can be avoided! Women need to talk about these issues more–I didn’t know anything about vaginal birth injuries before having my first daughter. We must demand improvements and must no longer settle for being victims of brutal deliveries. When I look at my two, beautiful daughters, I only hope that their generation of childbirth will be better. We need to help make that happen! Hugs to you for sharing your story and for being so brave!

  20. another PPD mom Says:
    July 30th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I have also been so severely depressed I thought about killing myself and my children (I wanted to spare them the pain of life, I felt like it would be doing them a favor). I am sending you hugs and just letting you know you are not alone.

  21. Kate Says:
    August 23rd, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Anon,

    Thanks for posting your story, it makes me feel better to know that there are others out there that have experienced traumatic labours and ppd similar to myself. My son is now 9 months old and I still have nightmares and bad feelings surrounding his birth and the first few months of his life. I had a forcep delivery after an induction and 3 hours of pushing, it caused a fourth degree tear and my uterus collapsed in through my vagina. I had to have 3 units of blood and was taken into theatre for surgery 5 mins after the birth (i didnt even know how much he weighed). The recovery process was sooooo much harder then I could ever had imagined, I remember at 8 weeks post not being able to go to the shops because I couldn’t stand up longer than 5-10 mins without feeling a huge weight down below which just got worse until I sat back down (sitting down also hurt but in a different way). When I took my son home after a long stay in hospital I too had feelings of harming my son, to this day I have never told anyone about these thoughts and did not seek help. At the time I just wanted him to go away even though he was a wanted and planned for baby. I made sure I was never left alone with him in the house and tried my best to distract my thoughts, I just didn’t trust myself. I am now fully recovered from my PPD, thank god but still have a lot of problems with having sex with my husband as it causes my so much pain, I have been to see several Dr’s but they say there is nothing they can do and I must live with it. My husband has trouble understanding this and seems to think I’m putting it on. I have not gone back to see the Dr that delivered me because I have so much resentment and anger towards him and feel that this could all have been so easily avoided. What annoys me the most is that after my birth they didn’t even tell me at the time about the tear, after my surgery they just told me they repaired my uterus and left a brochure about 4th degree tears on my bedside table. They acted like this kind of thing happens all the time. Its kind of like when your hairdressers screws up your hair but acts like it looks great and gets all of the other hairdressers to agree. I would have like to have 2 children but now I’m not sure I can go through it again. I am so happy that you are fully recovered, I just hope I feel the same one day :)

  22. therese Says:
    December 6th, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Thank you. I am not alone after reading your story.

  23. Barbie Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    My VBAC finished with a fouth degree tear as they used the forceps after the doctor said me my baby was in danger (he was born with apgar 9/10/10). 6 months after I am still in pain and everybody says this is normal. I see that I am not alone after readind the stories here. This is very sad :(

  24. Kiki Says:
    April 20th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I have four children…which has cost me an enjoyable future, due to an episiotomy (cut backwards through perineum) it resulted in very bad scar as it was not stitched correctly! 2nd child weighed 8pm 8oz whole 1lb heavier & due to scar not being able to stretch, I tore upward towards my clitoris, this was also badly repaired & been left with open tear which is painful even after 20 years! I asked my Dr at six week check if it should be like this his response was, that it looked ok & heal in time! I also had lesser tears with my other two, was never offered C section & now going through menopause, painful every day & Dr cannot say if reconstruction would help! Dr’s are unconcerned, imaging how they would react if someone did this to their penis without anaesthetic !!!!

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