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to be annoyed at my Maternity Unit? Long Post

(22 Posts)
Ginger100 Sun 21-Feb-16 20:53:58

Not sure if hormones are making me unreasonable. A couple of months ago I gave birth to my son in my local hospital maternity unit. I was induced at 40 weeks after multiple large ( 1 pint +) haemorrhages during my pregnancy - the cause of which was unknown.
I was on the delivery suite throughout as I was high risk but I was not assigned a midwife for the initial labour as I was ' not established' this meant that I saw a different midwife everytime I needed something- they would ask what I wanted- and I would say 'pain relief' for example and they would ask what I had already had- I would explain through contractions and they would give the next option.

One midwife asked me why I was not on antenatal ward as I was not established... I explained high risk... she rolled her eyes, proceeded to do an internal- said I was 4-5 cm but she would write 3 cm in my notes so as not to start interferences- at the time I was on pethidine and unable to articulate and so could not say I didn't want her lying on my notes- my belief now is that they were busy and didn't want to assign me a midwife.
I then had to wait over 4 hours for an epidural- I was in excruciating pain, the pethidine had worn off, my baby was later discovered to be back to back, and face first with multiple wraps of the cord around their neck- so complete malpresentation. I was made to stay on the bed so they could monitor the babies heart rate but still no midwife so my husband had to hold me down to keep the monitor in place... 4 hours later I got the blessed epidural.

Once I started pushing my babies heart rate slowed to around 10 beats per minutes so a consultant was called, they initially used ventouse which failed and flew off with such force my husband though she has pulled babies head off. she proceeded to forceps (in delivery room- is this normal??) large episiotomy and pulled baby out.

Over the coming days my beautiful baby wouldn't feed, became jaundiced, we ended up back in paediatric care where he was force fed (sob) so much he would vomit afterwards and was placed under uv lights. We ended up bottle feeding expressed milk as I had to force him to take 70 mls every 2 hours- it broke my heart. After 2 weeks he still wasn't gaining weight and I took him to a cranial osteopath who immediately thought there was a fractured skull at the point of the huge ventouse bruise. I informed my midwife who rang the paediatricians who had looked after him... they advised they had examined him and would have noticed a fractured skull so he couldn't have one and no they would not check him. At no point did I ever see them palpate his skull and he never ever left my side- I would not allow it. Thankfully my beautiful baby is now doing well, they have severe reflux and colic but they are alive. I asked for a birth debrief and the midwife who read my results said I had a normal birth, they were sorry it took so long for the epidural but my they were busy. As to the lying on my notes they didn't recognise the handwriting/ signature so could say who it was.

The issue is I am traumatised.. I cant imagine having another baby if this is normal treatment, my baby nearly died, I believe I was not given proper care, they lied on my notes and the senior midwife believe this is all normal- AIBU? Thanks for reading.

Ginger100 Sun 21-Feb-16 20:57:34

*couldn't say who it was (sorry)

MrsH1989 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:00:39

I must say this is not my experience of child birth whatsoever! I wasn't induced and was established long before I arrived at hospital but even so. I had a midwife who was gentle and reassuring and paid attention to what I needed! I would probably make a complaint had I received the care you described.

doodlejump1980 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:01:48

Oh my goodness that sounds horrendous and definitely not normal! I don't know what the correct way of progressing from here is, but you need definite answers. Go as high as you can. In the meantime flowers for you

Pico2 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:06:34

I'd say that matches my experience of a debrief. I think they are a bit cagey, because admitting poor care leaves them open to legal action. So it's 'sorry you interpreted our action this way' rather than 'that sounds like poor care'.

KP86 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:10:44

I agree that my notes were not completely accurate either.

The thing about my DS's birth was not that the hospital did anything wrong in my view, but it was interesting and because of the vague notes I was never able to find out about it completely (ended up needing a GA and EMCS, then DS was resuscitated). At no point did I want/need to blame anyone, but I wanted someone to explain what it has been like - the consultant who did my debrief wasn't even there on the day. We have no photos, video or any first hand recollection of my son's birth as DH wasn't allowed in due to GA.

Doctors and nurses protect each other, unfortunately.

KP86 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:11:35

explain what it was** like, I meant.

PS. Your experience sounds horrible.

helensburgh Sun 21-Feb-16 21:12:53

Many hugs. An awful experience. Cranial osteopaths cannot detect fractured skulls so please ignore that.
I think you won't get a resolution and (I'm going to sound harsh) apologies I just mean to be realistic
Please try and move on

Ginger100 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:21:59

Thank you all, Helen I appreciate your words especially that a cranial osteopath cant detect a fractured skull, I have been so upset with myself for not forcing the hospital to examine him further in case he was in pain... I just wasn't thinking straight and I keep feeling I should have looked after him and fought his corner more. Has anyone any experience of a private midwife? My husband is desperate for more children (he is an only child) and I just cannot see myself subjecting either myself or any more children to NHS midwifery care- what if the same thing happened again?

Ginger100 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:22:01

Thank you all, Helen I appreciate your words especially that a cranial osteopath cant detect a fractured skull, I have been so upset with myself for not forcing the hospital to examine him further in case he was in pain... I just wasn't thinking straight and I keep feeling I should have looked after him and fought his corner more. Has anyone any experience of a private midwife? My husband is desperate for more children (he is an only child) and I just cannot see myself subjecting either myself or any more children to NHS midwifery care- what if the same thing happened again?

captainproton Sun 21-Feb-16 21:22:14

Ginger, it sounds like you had a horrendous birth experience and then a horrendous start to your baby's life with the jaundice, colic and reflux.

My eldest 2 both had severe jaundice, requiring the care you describe. The force feeding is distressing, both mine had to be tube fed and I had to feed them via the tube which I found very hard to do. I know it's necessary to flush out the bilirubin which if left to build up in the baby can cause brain damage. I know there is a lot of stigma associated with formula, and even though I am a peer supporter I am grateful for formula saving my babies lives. I couldn't feed them because they were ill and I blamed myself for 2 years that I let them down. I learned later that birth trauma, Rhesus factor or other blood incompatibilities can increase the risk. Therefore my babies had the odds stacked against them from the start.

Once treatment finished we established Mixed feeding then full breastfeeding in the following weeks. The GP prescribed me domperidone to up supply. Colic and reflux are also difficult things to deal with, are you seeking support from HV or your GP?

As well as a proper debrief and explanation as to what went wrong during your baby's delivery, is there any opportunity to get some counselling to help you come to terms with what happened?

captainproton Sun 21-Feb-16 21:26:30

Oh and I had a doula with my 2nd they are great support during labour and give you detailed report and debrief of your labour. They are not midwives but are great support to mums in labour and nowhere near as expensive as a private midwife.

Naty1 Sun 21-Feb-16 22:59:22

Sounds similar to dc1 birth.
I went in several times in agony until the waters broke and my mum suggested they let me stay in, i just wasnt progressing.
So i got pethidine. And finally an epidural.
B2b baby had to have syntocin.
Monitoring of scalp blood, then a rapid failed ventouse and forceps delivery( in the room )due to decels and unable to get a vein on me for AB for my fever (which i had had simce labour started).
Baby jaundiced (slightly).
And she did get reflux plus seems to have a denty head still.
2d episiotomy

But all that and dc2 was worse for me.
In caps on birth plan epidural.
But no discussion with mw.
I finally got to 5cm asked for epidural, she went off to request it. Asked for pethidine in the meantime.
Begged for the epidural for hours. Very strongly clearly worded.
Despite 6hrs since request it never appeared at all.
They had apparently been very busy and hadnt i done well.
There was a lot of tongue biting done.
2deg tear.
It would be CS all the way if i wanted another DC as i just have no trust in mw. Im pretty sure she witheld the epidural as i was 'coping' on the pethidine. Except i progress slowly and it had worn off.
They couldnt hold my legs right as i was holding them closed and i managed to stop the contractions after the head came out as i couldnt bear anymore. Probably the tear.
I was very traumatised for weeks about being lied to.
But mainly irate that my notes do not mention my epidural requests at all, and my birth plan was missing.
I wanted to complain but couldnt bear to talk about it. Relive it.

According to nice i think you can get an epidural at any time not just the 5cm+.
You could easily have dc2 without intervention despite experience with dc1.
But it is the patients choice to risk having the epidural not the midwives decision to withhold it. But they want people in and out.

If i had wanted no epidural i would have chosen the MLU.

I think though dc1 reflux was more allergy related.
Have you considered an allergy.
CMPI or soya etc

I do know of someone due to have dc2 by CS due to 3deg tear with dc1, but ended up in labour and had it naturally. So there is no guarantee you can avoid this.

It does fade a bit over time.

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Sun 21-Feb-16 23:08:41

That sounds horrendous. flowers for you.

I had a horrific birth with my first and swore never again. When I was pregnant with dc2 I burst into tears at my booking in appointment. The midwife referred me to the hospital consultant and I saw them several times throughout the pregnancy. They offered me an ELCS, which I had 2 weeks ago. It was wonderful. Everything about the birth was pain free. I was in control of myself. I can't recommend it enough. I started a thread about it:

I had lots of issues after dc1 was born, but this time everything is better. Dc2 is breastfeeding like a dream. I'm more confident and I'm not in constant pain, as I was after my first dc's birth.

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Sun 21-Feb-16 23:10:01

I meant to add, congratulations on your new baby - it'll all be worth it!

Pico2 Mon 22-Feb-16 00:46:51

I had a private CS for my second and it was a great experience after a horrible time with my first.

ridemesideways Mon 22-Feb-16 01:00:03

Private midwife = worth their weight in gold and if you can afford it, do it. We did.

Please make contacts with your local ones now. If you ask, they will most likely go through your notes with you, listen to your feelings and help you work through them.

As a birth professional myself - I'm sorry to hear you had poor 'care'. Inductions can be dicey, but that's no excuse for bad communication and lack of resources.

I'm sorry that you had that experience. Your dh was with you wasn't he? Does he understand that the birth was traumatic, is he sympathetic?

So, dh wants more children- do you want more yourself?

icklekid Mon 22-Feb-16 03:07:41

Please don't feel you have to make a decision now. Your son is only a few months old and you had a very traumatic birth. I had to wait a year from the birth of my son before I could face a debrief because I did want to have more children but was terrified of birth. A 3 year ahead gap is very normal so please try just to enjoy ds and not worry about more dc for now. If you feel ready in the future great but if not that's fine too.

I remember a friend with a 2 month old crying because she couldn't imagine doing it again but desperately knew she wanted another child. Time helps but also be gentle on yourself. Birth is very traumatic for many and there are people trained to help if you want to before you have another. I'm very seriously considering a doula too because they sound wonderful!

Just to add Colic, post a traumatic birth and tough pregnancy led to pnd for me so do take care

MammaTJ Mon 22-Feb-16 06:43:47

That is not my experience of a debrief at all. My DD nearly died (not going into details on this thread) and the head of midwifery services came to see me and apologise for the bad things that had happened and assured me of the steps they would take to ensure it didn't happen again.

You sound like you have had a poor deal all the way through.

Pannacott Sat 27-Feb-16 23:31:58

You sound like you might have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is not uncommon after a traumatic birth, particularly where you have felt unsupported during the birth. I'd go to your GP, or most places have primary care psychological services to which you can self refer. Hopefully they can help you a lot.

Then if you do think about having further children, I'd seriously consider having a doula, to give you that support and also act as an independent advocate / witness in case if any other problems. Good luck, it sounds really tough.

DownInFraggleRock Sun 28-Feb-16 09:25:29

I'm sorry you've had such a rough ride...

In the gentlest possible way, I'd suggest that certainly from the point where your baby's heart rate dipped, everything that was done sounds appropriate. Instrumental deliveries are routinely done in the same room, especially when they need the baby out quickly. If the vacuum seal is less than the force holding baby back, it will pop off like a cork out of a champagne bottle! And that's a safety thing that prevents too much pressure being put on your baby... So it's actually good.

Around half of babies will become jaundice, and it's more likely to be severe if they're not feeding well. As a previous poster said, you need fluids to flush the jaundice out, so if baby can't feed well enough themselves, they need topped up. I presume by force feeding, you mean the tube down into their stomach... This is much more natural and safer than giving a drip to a baby, which they will try to avoid unless your child is very unwell.

Babies skull are not connected to each other, so that they can move during the birth, instead of being rigid like an egg shell. I can't even work out how a vacuum delivery could physically break the bone, as the suction is onto the soft tissue- hence the massive bruise! As for the baby not being examined- the baby check that will be documented in your book has one bit called 'skull/fontanelle/sutures' (or something like that)- and that has to be done before discharge- it may well have been a midwife, but they're at least as good, and often better at picking up when things are wrong.

I hope this doesn't come across as making excuses- I'm not, I just wonder if it would help you to have an outsider with an insiders knowledge say that certainly from the point when your baby became distressed there is nothing you've said that sounds even slightly abnormal to me. That said, your experience is your experience, and lots of mums are traumatised, even when no one is at fault.... Plenty of mums (and dads!) benefit from counselling- especially when things don't go the way you expected!

I'd sent flowers, but I don't know how!

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