Well, the title says it all really. I've just got home from an ELCs at Kingston hospital in Surrey and just wanted to share some reassurance based on my experience in case anyone was as nervous as I was beforehand. I think having a date planned can make you more nervous than if it just happens.
Anyway, the staff there were wonderful from start to finish - kind, very attentive, great nursing care. As for the clinical staff, we couldn't have been more impressive. The lovely anaethetist team (Ambrose, Martin and Dr Khan the consultant - I think) spent time beforehand talking through the spinal block with me and answering lots of my questions. During the proceedure, which I was dreading as I had a horrid lumbar puncture years ago, they were calm and kindly and I can honestly say that I hardly felt a thing while they were doing the spinal block and as soon as the drugs start of course you feel nothing of the actual CS itself. The surgical midwife, Aileen, was fab - she could see I was quite nervous and was very reassuring and kept my husband and I very amused. The surgeons were great - talking us through the op beforehand and following up afterwards and I have a very neat scar as a result. I couldn't get a private room post natal because they didn't have any available and it's fair to say that the postnatal ward is quite noisy so difficult to sleep (but what can you expect when you have 6 newborns together in one room and mine was the worst contributor to the wailing!) but the nurses were, without exception, prompt at attending to patients and kindly. Oh and they kept the pain relief coming which was another concern of mine! All in all both the High Dependancy Unit and the Post Natal ward were great.
The NHS comes in for a lot of stick, sometimes deservedly so, but it's great when you can, hand on heart, give them the praise they also very much deserve.
So, if you're off to Kingston soon, I hope this helps and if you happen to work in the maternity unit there, thank you, you guys do a terrific job.
Thank you so much for your post. I am booked in for an ELCS at Kingston on 21st March, so it couldn't be better timed!!
The bit I feel most nervous about is the spinal block - I've never had any kind of anaesthetic before - no epidurals in previous deliveries or anything - and, actually, the more I read about what the anaesthetist will have to do, the more nervous it makes me, so it's a massive relief to read that you were dreading it too, but that it was fine!
I've had a great experience so far at Kingston, which is giving me a lot of much-needed confidence to get through these next few weeks, but it's brilliant to hear your feedback.