Aibu to feel a bit traumitised after this birth experience?(13 Posts)
Recently gave birth to my first baby in hospital. I was told I might need a c section so had an appointment with a consultant - was told to be at hospital at 7am and I would have my own room and be induced/ have a c section if medically necessary. (2 weeks past due date and large baby!)
The morning of my appt I went into labour naturally - phoned the labour ward, was told to come in as instructed and I could still discuss with the consultant.
Arrived at the ward on time and was left in the waiting room having contractions for 2 hours, with lots of people walking in and out, it was awful. Then was finally put into a shared room which had 4 other women in labour in there, just seperated by those blue curtains. The part I was in just had space for the bed I was in as it was the corner of the room - they'd put a curtain up making it a triangle shape and somehow squashed a bed in there
Contractions got worse but bearable using breathing techniques - next to me was a girl being induced who had family in and out, laughing chatting and bringing in fast food, across the room a woman was screaming in pain and the girl kept complaining about hearing it.. Saying 'I don't want to hear this it's horrible it's disgusting' and I heard her repeat similar things from hearing me breathing through contractions. I told a staff member and said how uncomfortable I felt but nothing was done
By the afternoon I still hadn't seen a consultant and hadn't been examined by anyone. I was panicking by this point, asked for pain relief and was told 'in a minute someone will come and see you' hours passed and no one came(?)
Waters broke, I called for help and a midwife came and said she'd examine me soon and then disappeared, I was throwing up with each contraction by this point because i was in so much pain and so anxious. Was left sitting in the waters for over an hour
It gets blurry after that time but they examined me and then I was given a labour room- from then on it was just what id expected, supportive, professional, etc
Am I being unreasonable to be a bit in shock from the earlier part of this labour?
Sorry if I haven't worded it well - extremely sleep deprived at the moment
Firstly, congratulations on your baby
YANBU to feel traumatised - your experience doesn't sound positive at all.
I had a traumatic birth and booked a debrief through my GP - it helped to have someone to over things and have a chance to ask questions about it all.
I hope you enjoy your first few weeks with your baby!
5 babies here sounds pretty normal to me. Every birth leaves you feeling a bit traumatised tbh. Most people try and labour at home for as long as possible because it's more comfortable and private. I think your biggest problem was a rude and ignorant bed fellow, I wonder how she faired?! Congrats on your new baby
Yes, that does sound traumatic. Totally agree with PP that all births are - even if it was all fine etc it's still a very difficult thing to go through.
I had a textbook assisted birth, all went well but I found it v traumatic. I was advised by a therapist (nothing to do with the hospital I should add!) to not talk about it for a month. Apparently if you talk about traumas after they happen it locks it into the part of your brain where you think it's still happening and it makes it harder to move on from it. That now seems ridiculous as I'm writing it down but I think there's merit to it. Maybe try not to talk about it/dwell on it for now and think about it again in a month or so and see how you feel. Sorry if that sounds like weird advice. Best of luck
Yes congrats on your new arrival. In the gentlest way possible it sounds normal to me but I understand why you feel like this as it's far from pleasant being surrounded by others in close proximity.
I had two home births, so don't know the ins and outs of labouring in hospital, but i do know that it was considered of the utmost importance to get rid of the wet inco pads after my waters had gone - with dd2 i was finding it all very difficult and did not want to have to move, i would have preferred they were left, but this was not an option - that bit of your story is pretty awful.
Good advice from pp to try not to think about it in the immediate future and revisit it later - it is traumatic giving birth sometimes, but that doesn't mean what happened to you was acceptable.
Doesn't sound normal or acceptable to me OP. It sounds like you were left on an assessment ward in active labour with your pain inadequately managed and not attended to in a timely way. I would book a birth debrief and ask about why you were left as you were.
At the very least they should have examined you, checked how far along you were and offered you the opportunity to go home to managed the early phase in peace and privacy.
It doesn't sound normal to me at all. It sounds like you, and other women, were left to labour in an assessment area instead of a proper room.
I'd ask for a birth debrief maybe in a couple of weeks time, so you can understand why things happened and if you want to take any complaint forward.
Bless you OP, that does sound really unpleasant to say the least. As PP said, I'd love to see how madam next door faired later on, the nasty cow. Women are supposed to encourage and support each other, especially through something like giving birth. I'd have pulled back the curtain and told her to shut her cake hole, but hey, that's just me Unfortunately sometimes it's so difficult when there are lots of ladies in at the same time and labouring to know where to put them all as it were. There will be a list in priority order and those ladies who aren't far off will be in private rooms or over in delivery suites, of which I know from my own hospital, there are not enough. That doesn't however take away from the fact that it does sound like you were inadequately supported, particularly re waters. My advice next time (if that's your plan) would be to sit it out as home as long as you can manage. That should increase your chances of being put straight over to delivery. I'm really sorry that your experience wasn't a positive one OP, as others have said, maybe book an appt with the GP to chat through x
Sorry I should say, I understand that this time sitting it out at home wasn't possible and I know you were just following hospital orders x
I think it's appalling to deny women privacy when they're in labour. You should feel safe and free to walk around, use a birthing pool, make noise, shout and swear if you want to. Not be trapped on a bed in a bay. You're at your most vulnerable giving birth. Having other patients and their visitors behind a curtain is degrading and strips away your last shreds of dignity. I'm sorry you had to go through that.
Thank you for the replies/congrats!
About my rude next-bed neighbour.. She was complaining about the lack of her own room (before shed even been induced) and the midwife explained what would happen, she told the midwife it was taking too long so she was going to go outside and smoke for a while. (yes she actually said this)
And once her contractions kicked in she was throwing up all the fast food (loudly) on the other side of the curtain about half a metre away from me. And she had the cheek to slag off my breathing!
I was anxious about giving birth anyway but I felt completely unprepared for being in that environment for such a long time, if I'd been in the private room from the start I don't think I'd have been so panicked. Bit annoyed as a staff member told me to come in at 7am as she'd be there to sort everything out for me and she decided to go home early instead or I wouldn't have gone in at that time I would have stayed at home until the contractions intensified.
saw her again that night and she gave me the least apologetic apology I've ever heard.
Good idea about not focusing on the bad side too much now - I'm so delighted with meeting my lovely baby! And from the second I was given my own room the care was fantastic and I was really happy with everything from then on, I felt completely cared for and supported and trusted me and baby were in great hands. Such a contrast to the earlier part
It is not unreasonable to feel traumatised. Unfortunately, labouring in a shared bay is pretty normal in these days of insufficient resources. I've had to do it too and coped by acknowledging how awful it was, having a chat with my community midwife who also acknowledged it was bad, and then managing to leave it behind. This may well be enough for you, too, but if not then you can have a formal debrief at hospital or I think there's a birth trauma charity you can contact. Congratulations on your baby!
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