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!
Labels: aftercare, Baby, birth, Hospital, induction, labour, pregnancy