I have always heard about PTSD but never imagined I would actually be diagnosed with it. My problems started about one month after I delivered my girls. My baby girl, Emalyn, was stillborn which we knew she had passed two weeks before I actually delivered. My delivery was pretty traumatic. This part is a little graphic so please be warned. I went to work having contractions every 5 minutes. Things began to progress fairly quickly. Thank goodness I work for my OB!! I was sent to L&D and that’s when things started to go downhill. My labor progressed quickly and was extremely painful. Later I found out I was developing an infection which caused things to go as quickly as they did. My doctor decided it was time to do a c-section so she left the room to get ready. I felt the need to use the restroom so the nurse they me get up. I went to the restroom and suddenly heard a loud pop and looked down and I had just delivered my stillborn baby into the toilet hat on the toilet. I immediately began screaming “my baby” and everyone came running. I was immediately detached from my baby and rushed to the OR. I had to have my c-section under general anesthesia. Everything went fine after the delivery. My living baby girl was doing great and only had to be on the ventilator for 24 hours. Flash forward to about 4 weeks later. I was sitting in the NICU and suddenly this wave of dizziness passed over me. I wrote it off on the fact that I hadn’t been eating or drinking properly. I left and went to get something to eat and drink but it still did not help the symptoms. As the week progressed, I would have random episodes of dizziness and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. It started to happen in the car while I was driving my son to daycare and I was terrified that I was going to pass out and crash. I started having flashbacks of the day I delivered. I would go into a trance and it was like I was reliving the day all over again. I could still visualize every detail. The scary part was when I stopped remembering driving home because I was in such a trance. I am so lucky I didn’t get into an accident. My days become filled with flashbacks and the continued symptoms of dizziness and trouble breathing. I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to breath and shaking uncontrollably. After about a week, I finally had my brother take me to the ER because I was convinced I was dying. They kept me overnight for observation. I had every test imaginable from a CT scan to check for a pulmonary embolism to several cardiac tests to make sure I wasn’t having heart problems. The discharge diagnosis…..anxiety. All of my symptoms were a result of anxiety attacks. I was still convinced that there was something seriously wrong and I was scared to death that something was going to happen to me and I wouldn’t be around for my husband and children. I visited the doctor 3 times in one week. I went to urgent care and saw the NP at my physician’s office. The third visit I was finally able to see my actual doctor. I told him everything and he assured me that I wasn’t dying. It was at that visit that he diagnosed me with PTSD. I never thought that this was something I could’ve been going through. I always think of war veterans or someone who has experienced something traumatic like rape, etc when I hear PTSD. Who knew that what I went through could cause such emotions. I finally accepted the fact that I needed help and asked for medication. It has been a God send. I still have flashbacks from time to time but I can actual function. I encourage anyone who is having these same problems to talk to someone and get help. I was stubborn at first and didn’t want to get help because I was convinced it would make me weak. I should’ve been able to handle things. I was wrong and asking for help didn’t make me any less of a person. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.
President and Co-Founder