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Tell me about your birth debrief, if you had one

(30 Posts)
Thurlow Tue 09-Apr-13 15:01:57

I've got one next week, and I just wondered what they're actually like. Is there any discussion of how future births might go, or how your first birth might affect later births? Or did they just go through your notes minute by minute? Did you go in with any specific questions to ask, or did you just go with the flow?

I had a crappy labour - long, emcs and baby in NICU for an unspecified infection - but not traumatic. It's less that I have questions about how my labour went, and more than I have some real questions about the hospital's management of certain aspects.

Sheshelob Sun 14-Apr-13 23:08:31

Clementine - mine was the same.

Midwife was almost competitively unhelpful, banging the natural birth drum that I had so believed in but that ultimately hasn't helped a jot in my delivery. Rather than look at my birth and delivery she regaled me with stories of women who had sneezed out 11lb babies without a scratch. Fucking unhelpful when you are actively nursing a chainsawed undercarriage.

The doctor, however, had personally gone through a similar birth to my own and was extremely supportive, explaining that I would need to get checked out before my next pregnancy to check I had healed properly. And that my next pregnancy is likely to be closely monitored to see if there was any reason why I produced such an enormous child.

So a mixed bag.

Thurlow Fri 19-Apr-13 17:25:20

Just wanted to feed back in case anyone looks at this thread again (one of the reasons I started this was because there weren't many threads about debriefs).

Just had my meeting this morning and, to my surprise, it was fantastic. Helpful, informative, and supportive, and the midwife was lovely. She went through mine and DD's notes and talked me through my labour step by step, and was able to explain exactly what had happened and why. Most importantly for me she was able to try and explain why DD was ill and taken to NICU, and although in the end it turned out that there wasn't actually an explanation for her infection, it was incredibly helpful to learn that occasionally mums and babies do develop unspecified infections.

What I found most surprising, given what I expected after the comments on here, was that she willingly admitted that my labour was mismanaged and she was going to bring that to the attention of the teams to try and prevent it happening again. This meant that a lot of things I thought I remembered from my labour but wasn't sure about turned out to be true, which was strangely reassuring. She was shocked that I spent 12 hours in the pre-labour ward vomiting continuously without being given any anti-emetics despite asking repeatedly for them (suffered from hyperemesis all pg) and said that she will definitely bring this up with the team. Essentially, she said that I had become severely dehydrated and this helped slow down my already slow labour, which mean that the infection I seemed to have and which I had passed on to the DD – an infection which was just one of those things that occasionally happens and was bad luck – had a lot more time to get a hold on DD. Also, because I was dehydrated I started to get tachycardic, and then DD started to get tachycardic too, and it all snowballed because we were both essentially in distress. I wasn't sure if I remembered the whole being dehydrated bit properly but it turns out I did, which was nice to know!

Also she actually was willing to talk about the next pg, which I thought she wouldn't, and that was a massive reassurance. She basically talked about how further labours are managed and what risks they will flag me up as having (previous c-sec, dehydration and baby in NICU) and how they wouldn't let another labour be slow and they would put me on a drip the moment I started throwing up. I think I want an elcs next time, but it's a huge weight off my mind that if I do have to go for a vbac things should happen which would make it more bearable, and that they now have a records system which automatically flags up these issues the moment I am pg.

I'm hugely glad that I went for the debrief, I feel like a big weight has been taken off my shoulders about why things turned out like they did and about what might happen next time around.

MiaowTheCat Fri 19-Apr-13 21:19:49

Glad it's worked out positively for you.

For what it's worth - I got every possible birth trauma and anxious patient flag I could onto my records on their system... and they DID do things like make sure when I needed a ward admission for a while that I got a side room so hubby could stay if we wanted him to, and that I was never in danger of being sent to the hospital I was scared of, they'd dibsed me a cot in the NICU on-site (rather than the hellhole place) when it looked like she was going to come early enough to need real neo-natal input etc.

They really did try their hardest to make things easy for me bless them - I can't sing that hospital's praises (two staff members excepted - one of whom was so bad at being fluffy and caring it reminded me of a Little Britain sketch and as such provided some darkly comedic relief) highly enough.

While our hospital's specialist trauma midwife was useless - basically seemed to function to pat you on the head and tell you that you really didn't want an ELCS, and she did lie to me on at least one fact (duration of a hospital stay for a 36 weeker where she told me an utterly unachievable outcome in the light of the hospitals policy on weighing days for preemies)... getting her to put as many flags on the system as possible, backed up by the perinatal mental health team doing the same (my wonderful community midwife was in the background firing off letters of referral and phonecalls to anyone she thought had even a chance of helping our situation), and me putting similar in my birth plan - that all really did work wonderfully.

(Doesn't make them screwing me up the first time right at all though!)

FlyLikeABird Sat 18-May-13 22:50:48

Thanks for the update Thurlow.

I saw my GP last week and mentioned I wanted a debrief following a fast labour 9 weeks ago. She said she would write to the head midwife so this thread has given me an idea of what to expect.

Here's hoping I don't have to keep chasing to get the appointment, I just don't have the energy.

Coffee1Sugar Sun 19-May-13 07:51:36

Mine was really cathartic. It was the lead consultant there who was absolutely lovely. I was induced. The process took 28hours and until 27hours I was doing fine. Then there was a shift change and the new MW was a Sargent Major. Horrible. I had a 3a tear because I was never told to pant as as I was on an epidural I kept pushing. Then I had a MROP which was horrendous. I was stitched by a registrar in theatre but they never healed so I had to have a full restitch at 3 months postnatal (privately, I was too traumatised to step back into the same hospital). But the consultant explained everything. He gave me an hour of his time, drew me diagrams, showed me scans of my perineum. Said that next time I could request him PERSONALLY to do an elcs at 39 weeks. He advised not attempting labour again because I had the restitch. Now ttc no 2 and I know I'll be in great hands.

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