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Update Normal tiredness from newborn or low iron from difficult birth and PPH


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#1 Wonderstruck

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:35 PM

I'm feeling exhausted and low 2 weeks and 4 days post DDs birth. I'm a FTM so not sure what is normal as a result of having a newborn or as a result of her difficult birth and blood loss and/or thyroid issues.

I had a very healthy pregnancy and other than some early pregnancy bleeding, morning sickness and back pain all was fine. My hypothyroidism was well managed and I took 2 iron tablets a day in the third trimester due to low haemaglobin.

At 39+5 I had contractions all night but they tapered off by the next morning which was a Saturday, I got virtually, no sleep and was disappointed that labour hadn't started, I was huge and tired and spent the whole third trimester surviving the hottest summer on record. That evening the contractions started again at around 10.30pm and remained 5-8 mins apart for some time. I went into the hospital to get checked out at 4ish in the morning.

I was monitored and at 6ish was only 2cm. I decided to stay in hospital being a little unsure, in a fair bit of pain etc.

My OB was informed at 10ish being a Sunday morning and my progress being slow.

I was unable to sit or lie down due to the pain all being in my back/bottom and it was suspected it was likely DD was posterior given the pain I was in.

Things progressed a little and I managed without pain relief until around 2pm by that point I was only 3cm but losing my mucus plug. I then used the bath and gas and air to try and get through. I had no birth plan as I wanted to be flexible but epidural and Caesar were my last choices. I didn't like the idea of a needle in my spine. OB said things were progressing well now and he expected to see me that evening for delivery.

The midwives were enouraging me to consider an epidural but respected my choice.

My water was broken around 3pm and despite the pain and regularity of the contractions I wasn't more than 4cm by 4pm. My OB returned and recommended I have an epidural as I was exhausted and labour had been long. I relented and had the epidural which was great for the pain but I failed to progress so was put on a syntocin drip at around 6pm and by 8.30ish I was ready to push.

I pushed for a little while but my OB decided he wanted to trial forceps - he said DDs head was going cone shaped so forceps may not help but he would examine and decide in surgery. At my hospital any trial or forceps or vacuum was done only once you were prepped for a Caesar and in the surgical room so they could be ready to go straight into a Caesar if need be.

OB examined me and decided DD was not going to fit so I had a Caesar. All was fine with the Caesar, DD was 8 pounds 4 ounces/3.74kg and was 47.5cm born at 10.42pm (I was a petite 155cm and 50kg pre pregnancy and 62kg in pregnancy - not sure where she fit). We had a quick cuddle and DH took DD with the midwife as I was being fixed up and feeling woozy.

I then remember dropping in and out of consciousness and feeling sick, tired and distressed. I kept telling my doctors I wanted to sleep but couldn't and they were telling me they were trying to stop bleeding and get me fixed up and ready to see DH and DD.

I was scared and knew something was wrong, they were explaining what was happening but I couldn't process it. I wanted to sleep but the drugs made it hard and I was scared.

I could hear them checking and rechecking the placenta and running coags and asking how many units of blood they transfused.

I kept asking where DD was and if my DH knew
I was there. I'm sure they told me but I forgot.

I woke up in ICU a few hours later. DH and my mum were there and looking terrible. It was 1ish the next day (Monday) and DD was in special care not because she was sick but as they could care for her while I recovered.

My time in ICU was terrible, I couldn't sleep even though I was exhausted - I kept going in and out of consciousness from the drugs, I kept forgetting where DD was and of DH was aware I was there - I must have driven them crazy in ICU.

At 6am I sobered up and managed to wake up - they checked on DD for me and brought her down for somher breastfeeding and skin to skin. I was able to return to the ward later that morning.

DH, my mum and my doctor explained I suffered a 2.5ltr PPH due to a small cervical tear. They understood my blood loss was a little more than usual in labour but not enough to be so concerned. They are not sure when it happened or how but it was sorted out and apparently it won't affect future pregnancies.

I then was unable to walk or get up until the Tuesday due to dizziness etc. DD was not satisfied on my collustrum alone and my milk was delayed in coming in so I supplemented with formula and continue to breastfeed her as much as possible.

Thursday evening I was due to leave the next day but DD did a massive vomit with blood clots. Turns out that it was due to her cracking my nipples but we had her in special care that night just to be sure. I missed my final catch up with my OB to discuss aftercare but he had said I needed to keep up the iron as my haemaglobin was low again.

Post hospital I saw a breastfeeding clinic as I ran out of time in hospital to see the LC - was discharged on the Friday.

I've been mixed feeding since as I'm not confident that my supply will catch up and am happy with that choice.

I'm currently exhausted. I do all feeds with DH doing some
of the bottle feeds except for the 10pmish feed and the odd 1-2am feed when my mum does it to give me a break. DD generally is settled at night but has a few unsettled periods in the day where she wants DH or me to hold her while she sleeps.

I'm taking my two iron tablets a day and have appointments with my endo and OB at 6 weeks post delivery. I will call my OB when I get a moment to confirm if I need any blood tests etc.

Am I tired because of the blood loss, thyroid or just normal baby stuff. I have 2 more weeks with DH at home and then I'm on my own...I'm just so exhausted and not sure how I'll manage - I hate feeling this week and tired!

Edited by Wonderstruck, 15 April 2017 - 05:46 PM.


#2 IamtheMumma

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

All of the above. Please go see your GP.

A 2.5L pph is not a little more than normal labour. It is 5 times the maximum limit (in my hospital anyway) for a normal birth.

#3 AlmondButter

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:50 PM

You poor thing, it sounds like a very traumatic birth. It's so hard to say as everyone has different energy levels & reacts to sleep deprivation differently.

My advice is to go see your GP or obs & mention it. Sounds like it could definitely be low iron or thyroid - I didn't see if you'd had that checked post partum? I was on 75mcg of thyroxine during pregnancy & then dropped down to 50mcg after delivery as my endo doesn't like to drop it too fast. So it could be that you've dropped your medication too fast if you've come off thyroxine? Can you give your specialist a call too?

Personally I found the sleep deprivation didn't really hit me hard until after a few months but it can affect everyone differently. It sounds worth mentioning to your care providers just in case it's something you can fix or improve. Hope you start feeling better soon :)

#4 Wonderstruck

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:52 PM

Sorry I meant that it was such a slow bleed during the labour it was not thought to be much at the time. I will check in with my doctors.

DH was very upset at me saying I was fine lol.

I figured it was a bit of all of those things. So exhausting!

#5 DaLittleEd

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:56 PM

Hi OP.

I had a similar labour and blood loss, but by 2 weeks I was feeling a bit better in terms of energy levels. I was still however in pain from the Caesar - my body felt "old".

You have had a large physical trauma. You need time to recover. However, due to blood loss and thyroid issues I think you should visit the GP ASAP. It can't hurt to have a blood test to check iron and thyroid.

#6 causeway

Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:56 PM

Please see your GP. I had a PPH of 900ml after a caesar and felt terrible afterwards. My mum came to visit (she's a retired midwife) and immediately put me on an iron tonic and gave me some sleeping tablets for a few days and looked after DD overnight. I can honestly say I have never felt so bad in my entire life. See your Dr.

Edited by causeway, 16 March 2017 - 12:57 PM.


#7 SelceLisbeth

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:00 PM

I had a PPH of about 2.6lt and ended up with a level just on the border of needing additional transfusions (after emergency surgery for a second degree cervical tear). I opted to have the transfusions rather than slowly up my iron levels as I knew id be tired enough with a newborn.

I went back to work after two months and I really felt it even with the transfusion and iron after that.

I was so exhausted. It was not a fun time. Please dont push yourself and please seek further medical advice.

#8 DaLittleEd

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:00 PM

Oh, and just as a positive story, by 6 weeks I felt so much better. I was still exhausted from lack of sleep, but didn't have that bone deep fatigue which I attributed to blood loss and trauma.

#9 mayahlb

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

Definitely go see your GP. It can't hurt to have those level checked.

#10 Mothers Groupie

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:39 PM

OP you are an amazing woman. Please remember that.

I had a traumatic birth with my first and a PPH of 1.5L. My cervical tear required repair in theatre post birth.

I received little inpatient care or acknowledgement of my PPH (bar the fact that it impacted on my milk supply). Consequently I was so relieved when I went to the GP 6 weeks later and was found that my haemoglobin was still so low that was causing my tiredness and shortness of breathe. Definitely go to the doctor.

Take care!

#11 3bubbys

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:54 PM

Sorry to hear you had such a tough time Wonderstruck.

I didn't quite understand in your post, did you get a blood transfusion in hospital? And if so how many units did you have?

Being in ICU they would've tested your haemoglobin levels? Did they tell you your result?

#12 Wonderstruck

Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

My OB is away till Monday but even the receptionist remembered what happened to me. I'll get a call on Monday to discuss with OB. To be honest I should have called earlier but got busy and am very good at soldiering on and recovered very quickly from the Caesar and moved around quickly.

The hospital I went to hospital as amazing, they just were full to breaking point that week and I was coping fine.

I will report back once I have spoken to my OB.

#13 Soontobegran

Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:27 PM

You can just go to your GP to arrange your blood tests OP.
Will be quicker probably.
Hope you feel better soon.

#14 Wonderstruck

Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:34 PM

View Post3bubbys, on 16 March 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

Sorry to hear you had such a tough time Wonderstruck.

I didn't quite understand in your post, did you get a blood transfusion in hospital? And if so how many units did you have?

Being in ICU they would've tested your haemoglobin levels? Did they tell you your result?

I did have a transfusion, not sure how much at the time maybe 2 units, they also gave me something to help me clot I believe. My Coags were fine but they were worried it would start to go south fast given the blood loss.

I had full blood counts regularly in hospital. They were normal until about 3 days after the delivery - the level was 103 which is around where it was when I started iron tablets in pregnancy. I'm taking two ferrogradumate c tablets today as advised by my OB.

My endo also mentioned my thyroid would go nuts at this point too - I'm taking my pre-pregnancy levels of meds and iron tablets later in the day as advised.

I'm guessing it's the combo but I will start taking better care of myself. I just got a stern talking to from DH about down playing what I went through and not taking better care of myself....

Edited by Wonderstruck, 16 March 2017 - 02:42 PM.


#15 SelceLisbeth

Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:05 PM

View PostWonderstruck, on 16 March 2017 - 02:34 PM, said:

I did have a transfusion, not sure how much at the time maybe 2 units, they also gave me something to help me clot I believe. My Coags were fine but they were worried it would start to go south fast given the blood loss.

I had full blood counts regularly in hospital. They were normal until about 3 days after the delivery - the level was 103 which is around where it was when I started iron tablets in pregnancy. I'm taking two ferrogradumate c tablets today as advised by my OB.

My endo also mentioned my thyroid would go nuts at this point too - I'm taking my pre-pregnancy levels of meds and iron tablets later in the day as advised.

I'm guessing it's the combo but I will start taking better care of myself. I just got a stern talking to from DH about down playing what I went through and not taking better care of myself....

with levels at 103 Id definitely be seeing your GP to make sure there isnt something else going on.

My levels were 78 (I was told back then that 80 is the level they recommend transfusion). I think after transfusion I was about 90 or so.

#16 Wonderstruck

Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:04 PM

I'm still feeling rather tired and flat but trying to take some naps and taking help with some of the night feeds from DH and my Mum.

Will report back once I've had a chat to my OB on Monday. I feel so silly for not checking in with him earlier as only I know how I am feeling and I need to be in good shape for DD.

#17 Wonderstruck

Posted 21 March 2017 - 04:34 PM

OB sent me off for another FBC on Monday will call and see if results are in tomorrow. OB will then tell me what to do. I'll see him again in about 2 weeks time.

Due to have TFTs (thyroid bloods) in a few weeks as will need to give the levels a chance to respond to not being pregnant and lowering my meds to pre-pregnancy levels.  Seeing my endo in late April.

DH and mum are assisting with the formula top ups and I do all BF except the 10pmish feed where DD just gets formula and every few 2amish feeds as mum will do a formula feed so I can sleep.

DH is off work till the beginning of April.

Still feeling exhausted and emotional so will be interesting to see if the two iron tabs a day are doing much.

#18 Wonderstruck

Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:54 AM

Apparently Monday's FBC was normal so I'm guessing the thyroid and lack of sleep are at play. Thyroid will take a while to settle and tweak so hopefully things will continue to improve.

#19 Wonderstruck

Posted 15 April 2017 - 05:45 PM

Thanks to all the ladies who responded to this thread! DD is 7 weeks now and I'm feeling much better (was feeling better each week) I'm still tired but I have a newborn with reflux so that's to be expected. The main thing that helped was rest and time!

I suspect my thyroid is still a little out of whack but that's getting checked next week and my iron is back to normal.

Thanks again for the kind words and I hope this thread reminds someone who goes through something similar to rest and realise that they are only human!

#20 New Sparkles

Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:48 PM

Im glad your starting to feel better! I understand having been dx with post partum thryoiditis when my baby was 6 months old, which is now Hashimoto's and I take thryoxine.

Good luck in gaining your energy back, and yes, rest and dont be so hard on yourself and SEE YOUR GP!

I too put off my symptoms, it is hard to know when you can put so much down to being a new mum, but excessive tiredness in particular is not a symptom to ignore (which I did)

Hopefully you can muddle through the reflux and stretch out some sleep with baby and get some yourself!

#21 Wonderstruck

Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:21 AM

Thanks PP - thyroid is massively out of whack so waiting for it to sort itself out. Doesn't help that the blood transfusions also messed with all my blood results.

If I could go back I should have asked for a few more days in hospital and tried to rest more but I suppose I wouldn't have listened anyway!




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