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to feel as if I am being fobbed off by MLU

(28 Posts)
Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 10:16:01

I am booked in with our local MLU to have baby - my first. It's got a fantastic reputation and good facilities BUT...

I was told at by booking in appointment at the hospital to make an appointment with the unit asap to have a look round. I duly phoned after my 12 week scan, they reacted with surprise and said I didn't need to come in until I'd had the 2nd scan at 21wks. So I phoned after the second scan and they said I had ages left and they usually see people after 28 weeks. You can't make an appointment, you have to ring on the day you're planning on going.

So I phoned again last week when I was 29 weeks and asked if I could come up on the Saturday morning as it is one of the few opportunities that DH and I have to come up together as he has very few weekends off. They told me it would be fine and to ring on the Saturday morning to check it was OK as they don't show people round when women are in labour.

So I phoned on Saturday and said we had been told we could come up. The midwife said "I'm afraid we're fully booked". I had a bit of a fit at this and she said "I'm sorry but we're booked up with antenatal appointments and parentcraft classes". She then asked me how pregnant I was and I explained I was nearly 30 weeks. To which she again said "Oh, you've got ages".

No, I do not have ages, that was the only weekend that my husband is off at the same time as me until a week before the baby is born. This now means I will have to take time off work which I didn't want to do - and still not guaranteed that we could go anyway as if someone's in labour you can't go in.

AIBU to expect that they could at least have told me on the Thursday that they were booked up with appointments and I wouldn't be able to go ? And AIBU to think that by 30 weeks I might have been able to look around the facility when I have tried 3 times to go ? It's an 45 minute journey so it's not something I can fit in easily.

Jackstini Thu 12-Nov-09 10:26:26

YANBU with your annoyance at being told lots of different things by different people.
The policy at our MU was no visits until after 34 weeks pg so that part is not unusual. We went in the evening - is this possible? Or class it as an ante natal appointment for time off work?

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 10:35:44

34 weeks !

It's not really possible for us to go in the evening - husband works 3 early shifts, 3 late shifts then rest days, but when he's on earlies he can get held on for hours without any notice (he's a detective) so we can never make any plans for his early shifts. So we're stuck with doing it on his days off; I'm going to have to try and get it as antenatal leave but I really didn't want to do that as it means me taking pretty much half a day out of the office and I wanted to be able to do it on a rest day as all the rest of my appointments have been in work time.

crazylizzy Thu 12-Nov-09 11:13:06

YANBU, I can understand your frustration. In my local MLU, they do parent craft classes at apx 35-36 weeks and parents can drop by (so to speak) to have an informal look around after 38 weeks if I remember rightly. I think it might be the general going rate. I don't think you can have a MLU birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy (?) so they might wait until that date has passed, also, they might leave it later rather than sooner so the info is fresh in your mind by the time you go into labour? All the best for your birth, I had 2 MLU births and they were both very positive and happy experiences smile

mosschops30 Thu 12-Nov-09 11:18:19

I think youre being a little bit hormonal (says most hormonal, moody pg woman alive wink)

I couldnt visit our MLU for weeks, they were always full of labouring women whenever I phoned (and I could go anytime).
At 30 weeks you do still have lots of time to visit.
I appreciate your dh is working, but then so are most people, and that he may get held up, but then again he may not get held up. He cant be working 24/7 for the next however many weeks.
My dh has not seen the MLU, couldnt see the point in taking him really, what is it that you want him to see?
I would just phone up randomly when your dh is home and ask if you can go home, i would imagine its virtually impossible for them to make appointments for visits and stick to it.

mrsjammi Thu 12-Nov-09 11:19:58

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sandcastles Thu 12-Nov-09 11:23:21

I'm sorry, I don't are upset because you cannot LOOK around a facility? You admit that you have had a good reception there, until this.

I don't understand all this 'looking around'. With dd1, we didn't do it as we didn't do the antenatal classes & that was the only way you could tour.

With dd2, I did it by myself (dh was at home with dd1) after a class about breastfeeding.

Can't say I found it useful in anyway!

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 11:24:48

I can't just pop in MrsJammi - it involves me taking booking time off work for half a day and driving a 60 mile round trip !

I've been booked in since 11 weeks

Sassybeast Thu 12-Nov-09 11:27:13

YABU. Book it for one of the days he is on an early and if he can't make it, cancel. Rebook for another of his early shifts, again, cancel if nessecary. You really do have lots of time - most units don't do group visits until 34 weeks - relax smile

mosschops30 Thu 12-Nov-09 11:27:30

Wow your nearest MLU is 30 miles away??? And all youre worried about is looking round?

I agree with sandcastles, what are you hoping to gain by looking around, because when you finally go into labour you wont be looking at anything wink

Dont let this stress you out, dont bother looking round and spend the remaining weeks planning your journey when in labour grin

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 11:29:57

Sandcastles, as I am going to be a 15 minute blue light run away from a hospital in the event of something going wrong then yes, I would like to go to the unit - as otherwise the myriad of questions I have about transfer/pain relief etc won't be answered. I won't be going to antenatal classes there as they're held at the local hospital so there seems little point in travelling 60 miles for a class. My midwife won't answer questions about things like TENS machines etc that relate to the unit - she just says "ask them when you go and look round"

Maybe you didn't care about knowing as much information about you would be going as possible. I do.

Horton Thu 12-Nov-09 11:31:21

I didn't see even the outside of my local maternity unit until I was in labour (and in fact almost fully dilated). Honestly, it didn't matter a bit. What matters is the care you get on the day.

YABU. It doesn't matter whether you get to look round or not. I know it would be nice, but I think the staff probably have more important things to do.

I would be really concerned at a 45 minute journey when in labour, btw. Is there nowhere closer?

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 11:37:20

I do not want to go to hospital unless there is a medical need. So no, there is nowhere closer. The local hospital maternity has a dreadful reputation, borne out by friends' experiences, my SIL's opinion of it (she is a midwife in another hospital, they were looking at merging the two and she was applying for jobs in A&E because she was so determined she would not work in that unit) and my own experiences of it in a work capacity.

The hospital where SIL works is also 45 minutes away. Plenty of people are 30-45 minutes away from the local hospital, I don't think this is unusual. There are villages north in our county where you are at least 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital

nickelbabe Thu 12-Nov-09 11:38:32

Fibi, i think i would be as anxious as you: i like to get as much information about things as possible, so that, if necessary, i can change my mind and look at other options.

i think you should have explained to them about the availability of saturdays until the birth.
i do think YANBU because they really are messing you around. as if you don't have anything else to worry about!

a thing i have noticed about healthcare professionals is that many of them say "don't worry it's all fine" because they've seen it all before and it's been fine. what some of them don't take into account is that you haven't been through it before! and that they'd probably be worrying too in your situation.

whatreallygrindsmygears Thu 12-Nov-09 11:39:34

Agree with sandcastles - i didn't look round and to be honest if i had, the primeval sound of women screaming would have terrified me! as it was the experience was great, but i don't really think a look round will prepare you. I just looked at the MLU on the hospital website. Stats, feedback, your midwife's opinion counts for a lot too IMO.
Good luck

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 11:39:39

Oh and also the local maternity unit is regularly closed as they are so understaffed that I could well end up getting turned away anyway

Fibilou Thu 12-Nov-09 11:41:59

The thing is, I don't think I'd have been too bothered about having the look round if they hadn't said "you should go and have a look round" then made it so difficult to actually do it !

mrsjammi Thu 12-Nov-09 11:43:11

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mosschops30 Thu 12-Nov-09 11:48:51

maybe you should go and have a look, if theyre busy then demand they move labouring woman out of delivery room so you can see it hmm, tis far more important!!

whatreallygrindsmygears Thu 12-Nov-09 11:49:04

I hope all works out well- I would be as anxious as you if the nearest hospital had a bad reputation (esp since yr SIL is a MW). One thing I would want to know in yr position is- what if MLU is full on the day? Don't want to freak you out but when i went in I was the last one admitted to MLU that day- and that was first thing in the morning. Like you I didn't want a medicalised birth so it meant a great deal to me too.
Have a plan B ready and best of luck! I reckon yr SIL can help you out.

MillyMollyMoo Thu 12-Nov-09 11:52:12

If your SIL is a midwife would you not consider a home birth ?
FWIW I wanted to go to the MLU and it was full so ended up in the local hospital, wish I'd stayed at home.

sandcastles Thu 12-Nov-09 11:52:25 was nothing to do with not caring, thank you very much!

For dd2, I saw a room, with a bed & some equipment in it. They showed us the self serve kitchen & answered some questions about stuff.

I just don't see the reason to get SO upset over it! If you really need to see it, you would go, dh or no dh. The staff can answer your questions without dh there & you can relay to him all the info.

And if something does go wrong, I doubt that they will let you give birth in the unit, don't complications etc have to be referred to hospitals etc? Certainly how it was at our local clinic when I had dd1 (which actually ended in PE & I had to have hospital care anyway)

mrsjammi Thu 12-Nov-09 11:52:50

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arolf Thu 12-Nov-09 12:07:43

fibilou - i chose a MLU 45 mins away from our house for my first. due to swine flu, we couldn't look round it - so never did. Ended up in the consultant led delivery unit due to complications anyway tbh i got most of my information from here and books (and did NCT antenatal class which was excellent). and once in the hospital, my carefully thought out birth planwas binned since it had become irrelevant!

If you can't visit, it may be worth writing down ALL your questions and calling them to make an appointment (either over the phone or in person) to discuss them. someone should be able to answer your questions, but it really is worth planning what you want to ask

Firawla Thu 12-Nov-09 12:20:25

It sounds normal to me, not from a midwife lead unit but in nhs normal labour wards if you want to go and see it beforehand you have to call up at the time and see if they are free, obviously they can not really guarentee it before as they dont know how many women will be in labour in advance. Just keep calling up and seeing if you can find a time thats convenient. If dh is working, go by yourself or with someone else?

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