The Big Birth Baddy

With my due date having come and gone now and my induction booked, the nerves are creeping in. I'm not just talking about the usual pre-birth, I don't want to poo myself fear that I've had since the moment that second little line popped up, the normal pregnancy fears, it is so, so much more than that to me.

I've already shared with you Moo's birthing story, and in the grand scheme of things it was actually a rather pleasant experience.

It was the series of events after that shook me up, saw me offered an apology from my local health authority and left me feeling like some kind of evil mother.

Moo was born at 11:47pm and after the usual stitching, cleaning and cuddling, I had a bath and my husband went home. I was taken down onto the ward at around 2am which is where the kind midwife, Amanda, who delivered our daughter, left me. She had to, that was her job, there were other women on the labour ward, she had to go back and I don't dislike her for it.

No one on the post-natal ward came to introduce themselves or ask if I was okay, Moo hadn't had a feed, I was a first-time mother and twenty-four. I didn't have a clue. When I buzzed a couple of hours later, no one came to help me, or thirty minutes later and it wasn't until I was desperately trying to figure out how to change a nappy full of meconium that someone came. To tell me off. My light had disturbed another woman in the room and it was only 5am. The midwife was really short with me when I explained that I didn't know how to feed my daughter and didn't seem to understand that I didn't really know where or how to start. She left within five minutes after tossing some suggestions my way,

Words cannot describe how desperate I was for 9am to roll around and for my husband to be allowed onto the ward (except he slept in by mistake and only made it for 10 because his Nan woke him up). I was so relieved to see him, to know that I was no longer on my own. I had somehow been over-looked at breakfast but as lunch came round, I could only muster a sandwich as the line to get something was so long. A midwife came to tell me I'd be in at least another night because I had allowed my daughter to go 24 hours from waters breaking until contractions and so she was an infection risk and had to be monitored every two hours. I wouldn't of minded had they actually been doing that, but this was the first time I'd seen anyone since the wicked witch at 5am and it was lunch time! Moo still hadn't had a feed but no one had time to stop to help me, I was finally offered breast-feeding assistance at about 4pm by which point I was getting quite panicky about her health. We tried for two hours but were unsuccessful so my husband, with my Dad, pushed for formula to feed her to at least give her something.

It was a further three hours before we were permitted a small bottle of formula to give her as an emergency as she was born with an inverted bottom jaw and so unable to latch. 7pm. She was over nineteen hours old and hadn't had a thing, she guzzled that milk down. The two-hourly checks seemed to diminish into nothing and so I started to demand a self-discharge. I didn't want to be there, they'd done me very little in the ways of care and I could do a better job in my own home. The term 'social services' was mentioned casually...as in, they'd have to be notified if I self-discharged against their advice. I told them fine, I was pretty sure that I was in the right on this. 11pm rolled around, I was ready to go home, everything was packed, and a doctor came to give me some last-minute scare-mongering and to inform me that should anything happen to her in the night, they weren't to be held responsible. 

Coincidently, nothing did happen to Moo in the night. We took her to our GP the next morning and he performed all her first checks, she was perfectly fine and has remained a strong, healthy little girl ever since.

My community midwife was appalled at our treatment and filed a complaint on our behalf but to be honest, what could it do? The treatment we received was down to the busy nature of the ward, the under-staffing, the lack of money. Not the fault of the staff (though they all could've done with an attitude adjustment), it was above their heads.

People say that Bounty are evil, yet the friendliest person outside of my family that I saw on the ward was the Bounty lady...and she didn't even try to take a photo so...y'know...

The hospital's changed now, as I've mentioned before...it's midwife-led only and the ward where I had my nightmare, is closed and sits empty. All consultant-led services were shifted up the coast to Hastings...which would be fine...and will be fine...so long as Bear decides to make an appearance on his own. An induction will have to performed there and will require a stay on the ward. I can feel the panic rise within my chest at the very thought of it. I don't want to stay on a ward where I cannot relax, see my daughter and possibly face a repeat of last time, I honestly don't know how I will cope if it comes to that.

Wish me luck and send me labour vibes! I've got to get this little munchkin out before Saturday!

Clare

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Little Pink Teacup: The Big Birth Baddy

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Big Birth Baddy

With my due date having come and gone now and my induction booked, the nerves are creeping in. I'm not just talking about the usual pre-birth, I don't want to poo myself fear that I've had since the moment that second little line popped up, the normal pregnancy fears, it is so, so much more than that to me.

I've already shared with you Moo's birthing story, and in the grand scheme of things it was actually a rather pleasant experience.

It was the series of events after that shook me up, saw me offered an apology from my local health authority and left me feeling like some kind of evil mother.

Moo was born at 11:47pm and after the usual stitching, cleaning and cuddling, I had a bath and my husband went home. I was taken down onto the ward at around 2am which is where the kind midwife, Amanda, who delivered our daughter, left me. She had to, that was her job, there were other women on the labour ward, she had to go back and I don't dislike her for it.

No one on the post-natal ward came to introduce themselves or ask if I was okay, Moo hadn't had a feed, I was a first-time mother and twenty-four. I didn't have a clue. When I buzzed a couple of hours later, no one came to help me, or thirty minutes later and it wasn't until I was desperately trying to figure out how to change a nappy full of meconium that someone came. To tell me off. My light had disturbed another woman in the room and it was only 5am. The midwife was really short with me when I explained that I didn't know how to feed my daughter and didn't seem to understand that I didn't really know where or how to start. She left within five minutes after tossing some suggestions my way,

Words cannot describe how desperate I was for 9am to roll around and for my husband to be allowed onto the ward (except he slept in by mistake and only made it for 10 because his Nan woke him up). I was so relieved to see him, to know that I was no longer on my own. I had somehow been over-looked at breakfast but as lunch came round, I could only muster a sandwich as the line to get something was so long. A midwife came to tell me I'd be in at least another night because I had allowed my daughter to go 24 hours from waters breaking until contractions and so she was an infection risk and had to be monitored every two hours. I wouldn't of minded had they actually been doing that, but this was the first time I'd seen anyone since the wicked witch at 5am and it was lunch time! Moo still hadn't had a feed but no one had time to stop to help me, I was finally offered breast-feeding assistance at about 4pm by which point I was getting quite panicky about her health. We tried for two hours but were unsuccessful so my husband, with my Dad, pushed for formula to feed her to at least give her something.

It was a further three hours before we were permitted a small bottle of formula to give her as an emergency as she was born with an inverted bottom jaw and so unable to latch. 7pm. She was over nineteen hours old and hadn't had a thing, she guzzled that milk down. The two-hourly checks seemed to diminish into nothing and so I started to demand a self-discharge. I didn't want to be there, they'd done me very little in the ways of care and I could do a better job in my own home. The term 'social services' was mentioned casually...as in, they'd have to be notified if I self-discharged against their advice. I told them fine, I was pretty sure that I was in the right on this. 11pm rolled around, I was ready to go home, everything was packed, and a doctor came to give me some last-minute scare-mongering and to inform me that should anything happen to her in the night, they weren't to be held responsible. 

Coincidently, nothing did happen to Moo in the night. We took her to our GP the next morning and he performed all her first checks, she was perfectly fine and has remained a strong, healthy little girl ever since.

My community midwife was appalled at our treatment and filed a complaint on our behalf but to be honest, what could it do? The treatment we received was down to the busy nature of the ward, the under-staffing, the lack of money. Not the fault of the staff (though they all could've done with an attitude adjustment), it was above their heads.

People say that Bounty are evil, yet the friendliest person outside of my family that I saw on the ward was the Bounty lady...and she didn't even try to take a photo so...y'know...

The hospital's changed now, as I've mentioned before...it's midwife-led only and the ward where I had my nightmare, is closed and sits empty. All consultant-led services were shifted up the coast to Hastings...which would be fine...and will be fine...so long as Bear decides to make an appearance on his own. An induction will have to performed there and will require a stay on the ward. I can feel the panic rise within my chest at the very thought of it. I don't want to stay on a ward where I cannot relax, see my daughter and possibly face a repeat of last time, I honestly don't know how I will cope if it comes to that.

Wish me luck and send me labour vibes! I've got to get this little munchkin out before Saturday!

Clare

Labels: , , , , , ,

10 Comments:

At 4 September 2013 at 08:31 , Blogger kelly Finn said...

Oh my word you poor thing!
You would have every right to feel nervous and anxious and not just about the actual giving birth part, which itself is scary. Your aftercare was shocking and I'm not surprised the ward has shut down.
I had Tia in a midwife only led ward and it was fantastic.
Good luck Clare, thinking of you all x

 
At 4 September 2013 at 08:41 , Blogger Kathleen Gillen said...

I'm so sorry to read of the appalling after care when Maddy was born, I totally understand why you are afraid. Will they really not let Maddy visit on the ward? Visiting hours for siblings were limited at my hospital but they were there. I know how elated I was to see Patrick after a day and a night without him. Every conversation with those at home was about how he was doing. That bit is hard, but it is only a couple of days at the worst. That sounds like an age! But it passes quickly.

Can I suggest this page http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/breastfeeding-positioning-attachment.aspx#close

While how your baby will latch on to you is unique with every mother and baby combination this will give you a rough idea. Do not forget the nipple cream! After every attempted latch. I am afraid that if you want to get breastfeeding support you will have to be firm and if the midwives are struggling, demand to see the lactation consultant. Contact your local NCT and ask for the phone number of the local lactation consultant. So if you get told they aren't in hospital at that time you can call. They will either go out of their way to come to you, or happily teelephone consult/arrange to see you at home, whatever is needed. And don't despair if its not something you crack in hospital, its something that can be worked on at home.

Remember, the more skin to skin the better. On the ward, at home, wherever. Inside your clothes will do! Especially semi reclined with baby tummy to tummy with you. Babies have instincts and will attempt to latch on their own given time and opportunity. It took Katy two hours to show interest (and worried me she was being like her brother and it wasn't going to work) but all of a sudden she wanted it, and found it herself and we were brilliant from there.

I apoloigise if this seems like a lot at once, but arm yourself with that phone number and you will have your bases covered. Seriously the best of luck for birth, after and feeding however works best for you and baby!

 
At 4 September 2013 at 08:41 , Blogger Mummy Tries said...

Oh hon now I understand why you're getting so nervous! Thank goodness the hospital has changed. Midwife led birthing units are usually fantastic - I had my second in one and we had a great experience. Try not to worry too much (easier said than done I know!) and all the best for the big day. Hugs to you xxx

 
At 4 September 2013 at 11:36 , Blogger Belle du Brighton said...

Oh Clare this is horrible! I am so sorry that you were treated that way, what a nasty couple of days that must have been, especially being young and going through it all for the first time!
Good luck with the natural arrival of le baby, but I know that if you do have to end up in Hastings that you'll stand up for yourself if necessary, now youve experienced what you have.
Everything crossed for his arrival any day now xx

 
At 4 September 2013 at 12:54 , Blogger Clare Levett said...

Thank you Kelly, my midwife told me yesterday it is unlikely I am going to go into labour unassisted but hey, at least I know when he'll be here and I'll have the support I need. Keep an eye out over the weekend ;)

 
At 4 September 2013 at 12:56 , Blogger Clare Levett said...

Thank you, it looks like it will be an induction now but I am trying to stay positive, I'm sure all will be okay!

 
At 4 September 2013 at 12:58 , Blogger Clare Levett said...

Thank you Kat, we used o have a nice lady that came to the house, she was wonderful but Maddy's jaw made it impossible. I hope he's still about, if not I'm hopeful my community midwife will be able o assist if hospital can't. Taking a bottle and some formula just in case so I don't nd up in same situation!
Thank you for the link and I bought some cream this morning ;)

 
At 4 September 2013 at 13:03 , Blogger Clare Levett said...

Thank you Lauren, I know it's not the worst thing o happen within Eastbourne DGH but it wasn't in, but it's the past now so keep you're eye out over the weekend, he'll be here at some point and had better be worth it!

 
At 4 September 2013 at 14:08 , Anonymous Iona@redpeffer said...

Things are different now, you are more experienced and the hospital has changed. Stay positive and strong. I know how you feel as I had a slightly similar first experience with my daughter. She fed for 3 hours as no one told me it shouldn't be that long. They too were short staffed and very busy. I was knackered, stressed and clueless. Second time round the short staffing was still an issue but I had more idea of what to expect and what
I should be doing!

 
At 6 September 2013 at 16:13 , Blogger Clare Levett said...

Thank you Iona, I do feel bad for the staff on the wards, they're under so much pressure and it's not easy, someone higher up needs to realise that they're to blame and something needs to be done about it...but there's only so much money to go around I guess :(

 

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