A Letter to my Post-Birth Self

August 15, 2016


My awful experience in the postnatal ward after Little Buttons birth is no longer a shameful secret that I harbor, buried deep to avoid at all costs. Perhaps if I had known about the vast supportive parent bloggers network that would be there to catch me when the truth outed, then maybe I would have been brave enough to tell my story sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.



Thank You

While I am here I would like to thank everyone who got in touch directly and those who commented on my experience in posts on Meet Other Mums and also over here on the Button blog. It has meant so much to me, and whilst I have found it difficult to directly reply to everyone, please know that your support has made me stronger and given me the courage to be able to stand up and shout what happened was not my fault and it was not right.



A Letter to my Post-Birth Self

This is a letter to my post-birth self. I will forever wish time-travel could have made it possible to deliver it to me in those first few days at home after being in the postnatal ward.


A Letter to my Post-Birth Self




Hey you,


You made it out of the hell hole or should I say THAT postnatal ward… and in one piece. I know you didn’t believe you would at the time, but it’s ok. You are out. Stop pinching yourself. Your nightmare is over and you are not dreaming. You are at home at last with your own little family and they are going to need you as much as you need them.


I need to tell you something very important. You will be OK.


You see, you will spend the next two weeks frantically checking yourself all over, convinced that you are going to keel over and die. You won’t.


No one will be cross at you for lying your way out of hospital before you were actually well enough to leave. No one will ever know how much pain you were in when you stood there in the postnatal ward reception with a bright smile, laughing at the doctor’s jokes and pretending that the postnatal staff were sublime. Only I know what it cost you as you dropped the act in the car park, shaking violently in pain and crawling into the car. ‘Just drive’ you yelled at husband. It’s OK. He forgave you before the words even flew out of your mouth.


Your frightening postnatal care will continue for just a bit longer. Be brave. The midwife that will visit you in the next few days will take the stitches out of your c-section incision way too early. This was a genuine mistake. Don’t be cross at her.


Your c-section incision will open and you will need treatment. Don’t panic. Your own doctor can sort this out. You won’t need to go back to THAT hospital. It will hurt, a lot, but you won’t fall apart, I promise.


Your first few days at home will be filled with equal amounts of endless love and terrifying fear. An amazing love that you never knew possible towards baby, and a renewed love for husband that came out of nowhere. Enjoy and live in this as much as possible.


What you experienced in the postnatal ward will frighten you. You will re live it every time you shut your eyes and you won’t be able to look at any photos taken in the hospital without panicking. You will get used to the nightmares, but don’t bother making yourself look at the photos. It will take over a year to be able to do this and even then it will be very difficult.


Towards the end of the week you will start to wonder about baby blues and postnatal depression. You will wonder if you have it and when you work out that you don’t, you will believe that you will get it. Not everyone who experiences an unexpected c-section birth and the trauma of being mistreated post-birth will get this. Don’t believe everything that you read. You won’t get either and 6 months later you will consider yourself very lucky to be fine.


There is just one little thing.


That feeling of not wanting to ever go through what happened again, despite wanting a second baby won’t go away. It won’t change. But that’s ok.


Your beautiful baby daughter will grow up into a mischievous Little Button. She will be the daughter of your dreams and together with Mr Button, they will positively consume all your time and energy. So much, so, that you will feel utterly complete.


They will inspire you and before you know it you will be writing again.


You won’t believe it now, but you will become a blogger, and you will be pretty good at it. You will make friends with some amazing bloggers who will become a terrific support to you.


You will keep what happened to you in the Postnatal Ward a secret, until one day you get to know Sally from Meet Other Mums. You will write a blog post for Sally and somehow your story will pop out. You will think, what the heck, and let it be published. You won’t know it at the time, but your post will be read and re-read loads of times. Other parents will get it. Some will have gone through similar experiences. Your blogging besties will have your back, and somehow sharing your secret will be a relief. You won’t be haunted by what happened from that day on.


Instead, you will have extra courage and determination not to allow anyone to treat you badly ever again. It will transform you into a stronger you.


Like I said, really… you will be ok.


With much love,

The stronger future you x


A Letter to my Post-Birth Self



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42 responses to “A Letter to my Post-Birth Self”

  1. Oh the horrors of the postnatal ward 🙁 So many of us have the same nightmare. My c section scar is still being a nightmare two and a half years on!


  2. Gosh, I don’t know all the details (must read the other post) but Im really sort to hear you had what sounds like a nightmare of an experience in he postnatal ward. I feel it so crucial to get things off to a good start. I’m lucky both of mine have been good but both deliveries were quite smooth. A beautifully written post and I know it will resonate and help other mothers heal too.

    Thanks for hosting #DreamLinky

  3. You’re amazing chick! You went through such a tough experience and you’re stronger for it. Well done you xxx #dreamteam

  4. blabbermama says:

    It’s true, these experiences will stay with us but it’s learning to cope especially with any anxiety that it brings. I also had a horrendous experience, it’s so true everyone has your back and even though mine was 9 months ago I’ve came so far. Great read #dreamteam

  5. Rhian Harris says:

    I had a good post birth experience, but could still have done with letting my future self into a few secrets! #dreamteam

  6. What a beautiful girl she is now! Wasn’t it worth it all? That what I say to myself with Baba! you made it girl! And as you said in your letter, you will be ok. #DreamTeam

  7. kate says:

    I’m so sorry you had a bad experience. This is a beautiful post and I’m sure it will resonate with anyone who had something similar happen to them. So glad you got through it to become stronger, and that the feeling of love was there for you despite all the fear. #DreamTeam

  8. What a moving letter to yourself, and a great idea really. I should do this myself, as I was so terrified of parenthood before I had my daughter. It’s not as scary as I thought it would be. #DreamTeam

  9. It just goes to show how strong we are! Thanks for sharing and hosting #dreamteam x

  10. Rach says:

    Wow, what a powerful post. It inspires me to write a similar blog to my post natal self. I had a terrible time physically and emotionally as well as mentally and it took me a long time to come to terms with it. I’m sure this has been very cathartic for you. #dreamteam

  11. Mrs Lighty says:

    Aww you really went through it you poor thing I remember your Meet Other Mums post well. Sending you hugs…as you say, you will be ok, and you are more than pretty good at blogging, you’re pretty fabulous at blogging! #DreamTeam xxx

  12. Emma says:

    Oh goodness it is so scary! Second time round I managed to convince the hospital (as it was the week before christmas) that I was ok to go home, 24 hours after a c-section. They agreed if I was able to walk without passing out and if I was able to manage a shower. I remember sobbing in the shower because of the pain and then coming out, all bright and breezy. It was agony! We were nuts, the things we do. All I kept thinking was I have to be home for Christmas, everyone is coming round for dinner! #dreamteam

  13. Aurélie says:

    You are so strong! beautiful words. I am sending you hugs and love.


  14. Lisa says:

    Sounds like you had a right old time in the ward 🙁
    But you are through it now 🙂
    thats all that matters 🙂

  15. My goodness, the experience seems to have left a scar much larger than the one from the c section. I’m so sorry it was a trauma, I hope you are healing. #dreamteam

  16. Well done for writing about this. Sounds like you had a horrific time. Hope this has been cathartic x #dreamteam

  17. Lovely post, from the heart. Sharing helps you and the people around you. Love Mary xx

  18. Sally says:

    Such an honest and heartfelt post that I am sure will help so many mums. xxxx #DreamTeam

  19. I am heading over to read your original post, but I have to say that you sound like a very strong lady! Everyone’s treatment at birth/post birth can be so different, but I think it really does help you to come to terms with it yourself when you share your story with others. Well done for being brave #dreamteam

  20. The blogging community are an amazing support I agree. So glad you found the strength to share your story and so glad it helped you to heal too. Thank you for hosting #DreamTeam

  21. This is so powerful and moving. I remember reading (and re-reading) your original post on Meet Other Mums and it broke my heart to hear what you had been put through. Your story will have inspired and given strength to so many other mums out there and I salute you for coming through it and allowing it to make you stronger. You’re amazing xx
    #DreamTeam xx

  22. Hospitals should not be places where we are desperate to escape, no matter how ill we are.

    I have a child with complex disabilities and we keep him at home way beyond the level we would have used as an admission marker for our first son, purely because it does not meet his needs and often causes more trauma. #DreamTeam

  23. That is so sad that you had to go through that! And that you felt you had to keep it a secret. It sounds like you were remarkably strong to pick yourself up and adjust to life as a new mum. It is horrible that so many of us have experienced such a negative experience welcoming our children into the world. Something that is so precious, and when you should be made to feel special and cared for. If you go on to have another baby please don’t be afraid, it will be different this time; for one you wont accept that level of care. I was so afraid the second time due to my first experience but it was so different and really positive. xx

  24. Brilliant post. Giving birth is like joining a club, no one dares tell you how horrific it is until you’ve been through it, and then thank goodness people share their stories which help you get through the trauma of it all. Thank you for sharing xx

  25. Oh lovely, I’m sat here in tears thinking of what you must have gone throught. How awful and utterly scary. I’m so glad I have met you on my blogging journey and have always loved reading your posts on Meet Other Mums – how funny that we both posted about the early days of being a Mum this week! Lots of love to you and you should be so proud of everything you’ve achieved xxx #dreamteam

  26. You are amazing! I couldn’t believe the shocking treatment you received and really admire your strength in telling your story. #DreamTeam

  27. Suzanne says:

    Wow what a powerful letter – I’m glad you rediscovered writing. #dreamteam

  28. Alex Fihema says:

    What a beautiful post. We had some bad experiences on the wards ourselves with our children.
    The only really good experiences we had was with our fourth who was born in the community hospital.

  29. oh honey I am so very proud of you for writing this letter, I feel so touched by it, in fact you have made me cry, it is utterly beautiful. Your strength and courage shines through xx #dreamteam

  30. I’ve just read your blog on your horrendous experience and am welling up. This post is so brave and honest. What you experienced is absolutely despicable. I am so glad that you are finding the courage to talk about it and work through your feelings. Alison x #DreamTeam

  31. Goodness! What a journey you had. Sending you hugs and you are so brave to overcome so much and writing this! I#dreamteam

  32. I’m sorry to hear that you went through such a horrible experience. Beautifully written post x #dreamteam

  33. I haven’t read you meet other moms post yet but I will have to. It’s terrible how I’ll prepared we are for everything that happens when you have a baby. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I finally met people who tell you what really happens and what to expect. I’m so sorry you had such a traumatic go of it. Sending lots of hugs. #DreamTeam

  34. Gosh. I must read the original post as I don’t know the details but this sounds awful. I’m glad that you are better now. #dreamteam

  35. Terrible that you had to go through the experience at all but great that it had made you stronger! #dreamteam

  36. Helena says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your experience. Both my girls were delivered via c-section. It’s wonderful to hear that there is support out there. #DreamTeam

  37. teacuptoria says:

    Aw Annette I’m so sorry to hear you had such a terrible birth experience, that is unforgivable of the hospital. It sounds like you have really worked hard to overcome this. Well done for sharing your story with others because I do think that helps with the healing process as we share and learn from each other and help each other to heal. Lots of love and hugs Tor xx #DreamTeam

  38. Emma T says:

    I can’t believe so many women have such a hard time. Shows how different birth is for everyone. This was probable really cathartic. It’s good you’ve been able to see past the bad experience. #sharingthebloglove

  39. I’d missed your story until now and I’m utterly shocked at the treatment you received. I can’t say I found the postnatal ward a pleasant place to be, but the staff were kind and helpful, despite being rushed off their feet. I really wish that you were able to go back in time and hand that letter to yourself, but I hope that writing it was helpful. Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove – we’d love to see you back next week!

  40. I can’t believe what I have just read, I am so sorry you had to experience this and I am not surprised it has stayed with you. I hope that writing about it and hearing from other mums has helped in some way. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

  41. The strength in your words is inspiring. I am sorry that you had such a terrible experience but I am pleased you found support in others and the courage to share. Keep inspiring! Xx

  42. That sucks that you had such a hard time. Hopefully that wont put you off having more buttons not all hospitals are shite 🙂
    Thanks for sharing. #dreamteam

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