Is my daughter traumatised?

February 25, 2013 in Cancer, Charity / Awareness, Family, Health, Medical, Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized by Emma Day

You all know that I had a very traumatic birth with the twins, and developed HELLP Syndrome which caused my organs to start failing and my needing to be in hospital for ten days after the birth.

I told Bunny on that morning, before I went in to be induced, that I’d try my best to have her sisters that day and bring them home to her the following day. But it wasn’t to be that way. Instead the first time she saw her baby sisters, they were much tinier than we had all expected and I was seriously ill in HDU. I had tubes coming out of both hands and from a central line stitched into my neck. I had wires connected to bleeping machines, coming out of my chest. I had a catheter veering out the side of the bed attached to a bag of my own piss. I was drugged up to the max, with no memory of the birth, bed-bound, anaemic from haemorrhaging, weak from vomiting and being nil by my mouth. I was an emotional wreck who couldn’t do anything for herself and not at all the mummy she knows.

She saw me a few times like that and then was taken away to stay with Granny for a few days. That is what she knows and understands of hospitals. That mummy went in to have a baby, and ended up like that. She had to be without Mummy for ten miserable days.

Now I have Cancer.

Hospital trips are back on the agenda. The last of which, went wrong and I had two general anaesthetics instead of one. Cue longer recovery time and an extra day in hospital. Having had my Cancer diagnoses confirmed, I am awaiting my next date for surgery.

Me and Bunny have this ritual now. When I got into hospital, I take her cuddly baby-rhino (daughter of Rhino – her attachment toy)  to protect me; and she keeps my “Get-Well” Tatty Teddy to cuddle when she misses me. Tatty Teddy was given to me by my brother when I was ill a long time ago – I think when I had Septicaemia. He has a beautiful poem on his chest, which I will share with you on Wednesday Words.

So why I am I upset now? Well Bunny has lost her appetite. She has stopped eating. She comes home from school with a full lunchbox. Dinner (even when her favourite meal) is a 3 hour fight, in which all manner of bribery, threats, arguing, pleading and tears ensues. She will do ANYTHING to avoid eating, including locking herself in the toilet or going to bed and pretending to be asleep.

I am taking her to the doctors now, because she was already underweight and she is now looking gaunt. We are both worried about her, and the lunch and dinner debacle is tearing at me and hubs every evening. Our beautiful little girl won’t eat. Not even chocolate cake. Not even things she makes herself.

The lack of eating is causing late nights, the late nights are causing bad behaviour and we don’t want to get stuck in a vicious circle. We’ve explained to her the importance of eating, but she doesn’t care.

We took her to the doctors a while back because she was always complaining of tummy pains and we are wondering if it is connected.

There are two possible outcomes…

1) Our precious daughter has something physically wrong with her – which is why we are taking her to a doctor.

2) It is my fault. My Cancer is upsetting her. My HELLP Syndrome traumatised her and my Cancer is bringing it all back.

I know I didn’t choose to have Cancer and it is not something I can help. I want to be fighting it, not fighting with my daughters refusal for food. I feel emotionally drained right now. If the doctor tells me it is psychological… what next? What can I do to not crush her soul further when I go back in for the next surgery? If it’s not psychological and she’s ill – what next? I can’t delay my treatment, but will need to find a way to be there for her too.

My daughter is either traumatised or she’s ill. Either way, I feel that I am to blame and that I am powerless to make it better. Mum’s are supposed to make everything better.


The doctor could feel a blockage in Bunny’s tummy. She thinks a couple of weeks on laxatives may help. She said that Bunny may be struggling a little emotionally too, but that I’m doing everything right by talking to her honestly, but not sharing too much fear and censoring what we tell her. She suggested perhaps just sharing our story with the school nurse might give her an extra person to go to if she feels upset while at school. Hopefully the combination of someone to talk to (other than her teacher) when she’s not with me and the laxatives, should hopefully get her eating again.

Thankyou all for your kind words, advice and support. I think I will definitely also talk to the MacMillan Nurse about it. She might be able to recommend a book or something to help Bunny. xx