To call up maternity unit and let them hear the meltdown they've just caused my wife.

(254 Posts)

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MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:10:04

Ok well I wouldn't really do that but am feeling very angry right now.

This is my other half's account. She has autism spectrum disorder and dyspraxia.

We had a cesarean section booked for this Thursday. This morning we recieved a call asking us if we could move it up to tomorrow.

We had a discussion about it, checked whether we could change childcare etc. and my wife agreed after she'd worked it through in her head.

We got everything packed and ready. Sat down five minutes ago and received another phone call.

Our appointment had to get changed to Friday. We were given no choice about this, couldn't change back to our original date. Just a sorry, it's got to be Friday now.

We can't get childcare for Friday though I appreciate this isn't the hospitals problem.

What I am very angry about though is that now my heavily pregnant wife is having the mother of all meltdowns upstairs. She is screaming, banging around and I'm just praying she isn't hurting herself. I can't restrain her obviously and she is immensely strong during these episodes which are actually exceptionally rare these days.

It has been a difficult and complicated pregnancy.

AIBU in thinking that maybe they should have just given a little extra consideration given her disability and not changed dates twice in the space of a few hours?

Should I call PALS, I just want to let someone know what this has caused.

Kinneret Tue 12-Apr-16 14:21:42

Your poor wife. And poor you. I've had hospitals do this to me regarding quite literally life-or-death medical investigations too, and it is absolutely not in any way acceptable practice.

That said: please, don't let the maternity unit know what she's going through because it won't get your C-section date changed or cause you to receive any sort of apology. None of the services would take responsibility for you wife's meltdown.

MartinaJ Tue 12-Apr-16 14:25:17

Unfortunately, right now you aren't going to solve anything by complaining.
Please be with your wife and make sure she doesn't hurt herself and your baby. I think what you all need right now is emotional support, not rational solutions.

lljkk Tue 12-Apr-16 14:25:45

I'm sorry to read this is so stressful for you.
But for life of me I don't know how she's going to cope with an unpredictable child if this rescheduling has been so upsetting for her.

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:26:34

I know it probably wouldn't change anything. I just wanted them to know the huge upset they'd caused.

If it had just been the one call putting it back to Friday we'd have been ok I think, one big change was difficult but manageable.

Calling up to change it twice in a matter of hours has just been too much.

I guess I was hoping they'd apologise to her.

DropYourSword Tue 12-Apr-16 14:28:55

I sympathise with your wife, being tired, hormonal pregnant woman at term myself!
BUT at the same time there presumably was a really good reason that they changed it (twice). Thing is, if she'd started contracting naturally on a Friday you would have had to arrange some sort of childcare and go to hospital for her to either have a vaginal birth or an EMCS.

ThirtyNineWeeks Tue 12-Apr-16 14:29:02

I would call them and put your wife in loudspeaker. Let them hear the horror..thanks

Arfarfanarf Tue 12-Apr-16 14:29:32

I think that you should let them know. They should have factored her needs into the decision making and I don't think it is wrong to want them to understand that due to your wife's asd they should consider the impact of repeated change.

VashtaNerada Tue 12-Apr-16 14:30:56

I think you should raise it with them - maybe by email so they have a chance to think about their response and hopefully change something for the future. I'd be fuming if I were your wife and I don't have her additional needs.
Congratulations to you both by the way and good luck for Friday flowers

PerspicaciaTick Tue 12-Apr-16 14:31:47

I would consider contacting PALS once your baby has safely arrived and you can be calm in your request.
Unfortunately childbirth is full of unexpected twists, although it does seem that the MU haven't really considered the impact of their decisions on your DW.

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:32:24

Martina the last time she had a meltdown on this scale (they are usually 'shutdowns') was years ago but I can't go up there to her, it would make it much worse and escalate it. All I can do is listen and wait for her to come down.

Lljkk she's actually a very good mother to our daughter who is 3 and also autistic, so they both follow a routine. She usually has 'shutdowns' which are very private if things have gotten too much and I am always here (I am her carer now to help her cope).

It is already a difficult time and has been a difficult pregnancy. This is the straw that broke the camels back, I don't doubt her ability to be a good mum despite her disability.

KittyandTeal Tue 12-Apr-16 14:33:18

I don't think maternity will appologise and I also think it's probably not their doing, it'll be someone higher up.

However, having asd makes changes like this hard. I understand they need to make changes but it really should have been sorted 100% before you were called so that it is one change for your wife rather than 2 in a short space of time.

I imagine the hormones and general nt stress of having a baby is adding to her meltdown too.

Personally I would write to pals and explain. And I am really not one for complaining but your wife had a condition that they should be making allowances for, even if that is simply in the way that changes are communicated.

💐 For you and your dw. I hope she calms down soon and you find a solution to your childcare issues

wlv12 Tue 12-Apr-16 14:34:28

Ring the unit and ask to speak to the midwife in charge. Talk it through with her and explain to her the impact this has had on your wife and childcare issues.
There may be nothing she can do, but she should be able to talk it through with you and note how unhappy you are with the unexpected changes.

lavenderdoilly Tue 12-Apr-16 14:34:49

Note down dates, times and content of calls then park it. You can contact PALS later. You need your emotional energy focussed on you and your family at the moment. Your wife is lucky to have you on her side. Best of luck to both of you. And get the miserable thoughtless bastards when you are in a better position to do battle.

Soggybottomnighmareband Tue 12-Apr-16 14:36:20

Don't do the above, do not give them any reason to flag either of you up as an issue.

as someone on the autism spectrum also and having very log drawn out births I totally sympathy for your situation, hospitals and all that it brings takes a lot to process, and even if you do get booked in , you may well still be changed around, as lists are always being changed.

Sort out some better child care , you need to anyway, as things can always not go to plan,

sit with your wife and talk about how it is tough to keep reorganising the processing, and try to focus on all the positives, and make lots of what if plans.

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:36:45

I knew dates could change, we'd already discussed this at length ( potential change is constantly discussed in this house!)

I was just hope my that maybe they'd really think through any changes and not double whammy us in a couple of hours! I'd rather they waited and then called at the end of the day or something.

I know the world doesn't revolve around us it's just extremely upsetting to see her like this.

DropYourSword Tue 12-Apr-16 14:37:33

Just a thought. If you do phone and get it changed back to either of the previous dates will this help or make things worse, as your wife is currently at the moment presumably working through accepting the change of date.

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:40:32

The childcare was difficult as our daughter is also autistic with high needs herself so a very limited number of people we can call on to look after her over night.

I think I'll contact PALS after the birth then reading through this advice.

Can I ask though what would happen if they flagged us up as an 'issue'? They couldn't refuse to do a csection could they? Or would they just make life difficult...

WannaBe Tue 12-Apr-16 14:44:44

Sympathy. However pregnancy and birth etc are unpredictable and it's entirely possible that even if she'd gone in tomorrow an emergency could have meant changes and even not having the csection until Friday....

Fwiw someone I know was booked in for a csection recently because her baby was breach. She was prepp'd, taken down to theatre, and they then did a scan to check the position of the baby, realised it had turned and sent her home. No csection. She's now ten days overdue and should have had a three week old by now.

SmarterThanTheAverageBear16 Tue 12-Apr-16 14:45:26

It's not their fault, please don't try and load your difficulties onto overworked HCW's who are already have enough to deal with.
The midwifes and maternity staff don't control theatre bookings, or aneasthetists, or surgeons timetables. They can't control for emergencies and staff absences and illness.
I am sorry that such a thing is so much more difficult for you than for others, but that isn't their fault, and blaming them is unfair. Not everything can be managed, especially not in a veryoverloaded system such as this one.

And to the pp with this kind of attitude : And get the miserable thoughtless bastards when you are in a better position to do battle this is just appalling, you don't deserve to use the NHS if this is how you talk about and treat the people who do so much for you hmm

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:46:08

It's gone past the dates at this point I think.

She has now claimed down and is having a lie down but says she's not having a csection or going in to hospital at all now...

Hopefully that's just the aftermath and she'll change her mind soon.

I was angry (still am) and just wanted an apology or acknowledgement and to suggest that next time they make certain of any changes before calling an autistic patient but right now will concentrate on getting through this next week first.

MissusWrex Tue 12-Apr-16 14:47:59

Sorry I realised I've written the maternity unit in the titles but it was actually my wife's consultant that called the first time and another consultant the second time.

I know the midwives wouldn't have any control over the dates.

AugustaFinkNottle Tue 12-Apr-16 14:50:41

If they knew about her autism and difficulty in coping with changes, then they had a duty to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate that. It may be that that just wasn't possible, but I think it is worth going back to them and asking why her disability wasn't properly taken into account and suggesting that they make changes to the system to avoid any repetition, whether for your family or anyone else.

lavenderdoilly Tue 12-Apr-16 14:53:22

Sorry to cause offence ,Smarter, but I had a terrible maternity experience which has made me very cynical. I didn't deserve that poor care (who does).

loosechange Tue 12-Apr-16 14:56:04

That is very annoying though. If a c. Sugar. is booked for Thursday one wouldn't assume one needed childcare for the following day. Yes, anything can happen, but any of us might need emergency child care on the day and we deal with it when it comes. To accommodate a requested change, and then be told the change wasn't going to happen, and in accommodating their request you are now very inconvenienced is frustrating to say the least.

I would email pre or post partum pointing this out, and also saying that as a patient with autism spectrum disorder it was even harder for your wife to process these changes.

Good luck for Friday.

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