16/01/2018 11:54 GMT | Updated 16/01/2018 11:54 GMT

Birth Trauma: PTSD And The Decision To Have Another Child


This is a sore subject even three years on for my husband and I. I tend to get my back up when someone asks me when I’m having another, and when I reply I’m not they ask why. I’m in a place now where I don’t go into too much detail but enough to help them understand. Some will say, “oh gosh OK I can see why not.” Others will say, “I bet you give it six months and you will be pregnant again.”

I feel like shaking them and saying you have no bloody idea what it was like and how it still affects people that have suffered a traumatic birth and how it affects people that have been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). 

I know people mean well and some truly don’t understand but being a bit more sensitive would help. This was the worst and happiest day of our lives. We got our baby girl. But I nearly died in the process. Even the thought of having unprotected sex is frightening. Never mind the thought of getting pregnant again.

We made the decision to not have another baby because of the possibility of having to have IVF again and then possibly another rough pregnancy and birth.

We couldn’t face it again.

I know some women that have had an awful birth and went on to have a second child and the birth was fine. They felt happier as they got to have the experience they didn’t the first time. It brought them peace.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this a subject that you have struggled to talk to your partner about? 

I was sceptical to talk about it at first. We always said we wanted two. I was worried that because I was so set against it that if he wanted another he may leave me. But I’m glad we talked it through and that we are on the same page. I sometimes sit and think, ‘aw I’d love another’. When I look at mums enjoying their newborn babies. The clothes that are around. I think about how I never got to experience that and I admit I am envious of them. It hurts. I feel a loss and disappointment. Like I’ve been cheated.

I also sit and can’t imagine loving another child as much as I do my little girl. After what it took to get pregnant and then the pregnancy and traumatic birth, I worry that if I had another I may not get pregnant. I couldn’t go through the IVF again and the worry of carrying to full term. Let alone worrying about nearly dying again after giving birth. She would be left without a mother.

It’s something that goes through my mind a lot. I almost have a conversation with myself. I feel guilty at times as she’s an only child. But I remember that she is loved and that I can give her everything I can. 

Just know that you are not the only mother or father that feels this way. No matter what you decide there is no wrong or right decision. Just a decision that you both have to be happy with. Do what is best for you. Try your best to let people’s comments go over your head or picture the Incredible Hulk launching them into space. Always a good thought, ha!

Be kind to yourself. 

Don’t feel guilty. 

You’re amazing, brave and strong.