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Could this have been managed any better?

(6 Posts)
Jelly101 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:40:53

I've been thinking a lot about my sons birth lately and I just wanted some advice on whether it could have been managed any better.

At the time, I never questioned anything as DS is my first baby. All of the midwives were lovely and caring and I put all of my trust in them.

Anyway, I started having pains in my stomach and back, which I can only presume were early contractions at around 1am on Thursday morning. At the time, I just thought they were cramps and tried to move about to ease the pain (meanwhile my partner was snoring in bed next to me, sound asleepangry). I couldn't settle or get comfortable at all, and at around 7am my partner reluctantly left for work. I told him that it was just a few cramps and I'd be fine.

At around, 7.30 ish, I thought I'd try and have a bath to help with the back pain which was now becoming unbearable. This ended in disaster, I just ended up crouched, sobbing in the bath. After this, I ate a chocolate bar which I thought might help. Then, I had to rush to the toilet, as I had a sudden urge to just go.

At 9am, my partner arrived home after I rang him and told him I was having really bad pains. Just as he was coming through the door, I was being sick all over the kitchen. I told him that I felt like I just needed to push. We started timing the contractions and they were around a minute or two long, coming every couple of minutes.
At this point my mucus plug had also come away.

We rang the hospital & they said to not come yet as the ward was full and to ring back later. At about 11.30 I rang again and said with every contraction I was pushing, as that's what it felt like I needed to do. The hospital told me to go up, and when we arrived, we were taken to the pool room as it was the only one available. The staff then said someone would be with us soon and that we should make ourselves comfortable.

I got changed, tried moving about and eventually at around 1.15 someone came in to us, after an hour of waiting. The midwife examined me and said that I was just over 7cm dilated. She asked if I'd like to get into the pool, which I did and I felt a little more comfortable. About an 2 hours later the midwife said she could just see the babies head and if I wanted to push then that's fine. I explained I'd been pushing with every contraction anyway.

The midwife asked if I'd been for a wee since I'd got there, I said I hadn't been for one since the night before and she asked me to try go for one. I couldn't, so she decided to catheterise me. After his, I got back into the pool and around 4.15pm my waters broke. They were a dark brown colour and the midwife said that there was significant meconium staining.

I was told to get out of the pool and onto the bed, at 4.25pm my son was born. He made no noise, was limp, covered in meconium and taken straight away from me. No one told me what was happening or did anything to re-assure me do I presumed the worst.

More and more people came into the room and gathered round my baby. Eventually after about 10 minutes, I heard a little cry and sobbed with relief. At nearly 5 o clock, I finally got to hold him. I was told I needed stitches, which took around 2hours, and just after 6pm my son was weighed. No one told us what his weight was. In fact we didn't find out until 1pm the next day as we kept asking members of staff that we hadn't been told and they said they would find out and never came back.

When I got home, I was looking through my notes and discovered my son had to be given oxygen straight after birth (no one had told us this) and was in distress as a result of the meconium staining. I was also confused that no one had checked my babies heartbeat all throughout labour, which might have indicated that he might have been distressed. Also, I would have thought my waters would have been broken for me (they broke a few minutes before I gave birth).

Another thing that has since annoyed me is that I had 5 people in the room whilst I was being stitched up. One midwife, a sister who was helping her and 3 students who came into watch. This made me feel a little vulnerable, and I was never asked if I was okay with this. One more thing to add is that whilst I was in the pool, my bowels moved several times and faeces were floating about in the water (sorry TMI, I know), whilst I was in there and took over an hour for someone to remove them.

As I've said before, the midwife I had was really nice, but I can't help but sometimes think that things could have been handled a little better. I never once complained about anything and just did as they told me to do. Am I just looking back and overthinking things?

(A LOT longer post than I expected, sorry!)

FattyNinjaOwl Fri 20-Nov-15 13:57:05

The only bit I can relate to is the meconium. With My DD and DS2 I had meconium in my water. They didnt break my waters with either of them, they broke as I was pushing. (Ds1 broke at the start of labour)
DS2 was limp and grey when born. Luckily blowing in his face got him to breathe, so he didn't need oxygen but that was the scariest time of my life. It seemed to take forever when in fact it was a few short seconds.
The rest of it doesn't sound great tbh you should have been told everything as it was happening and asked whether you were OK with having people in the room (students)
The poo thing sounds unhygienic. Surely it should have been cleaned immediately (although I understand if they are short staffed or something it may take ten minutes before they get to it but over an hour is too long IMO)

I will add though my DB had the cord around his neck and no one bothered to tell my mum that they had to slip it over his head, she had to find out by reading her notes. I think it's so they don't worry the mother at the time, but you should be told.

So yes I believe it could have been managed better.

LumpySpaceCow Fri 20-Nov-15 14:42:09

Congratulations OP!
I think that you would benefit from speaking to a supervisor of midwives for a debrief. From what you say it does sound like things could have been managed differently (checking your baby's heart rate for one- unless you specifically requested them not too, they should have been checking intermittently) and the supervisor of midwives will go through what you say, along with your notes, explain everything and will investigate / take things further if things were not done appropriately.
It was very bad practice for them to not go through your baby's resuscitation with you and that you had to read about this after and they should have sought your consent with regards to students watching you being stitched.
I have had a debrief and found it extremely beneficial x

birdladyfromhomealone Fri 20-Nov-15 17:43:05

Congratulations, I think it would be important for yo u to have a debrief as you can not remember everything that happens in a labour. I am a doula and take notes and write up a birth story afterwards for my couples. It is amazing how many of them say they don't remember such and such happening! Most teaching hospitals will have students attending so they can observe, hey are usually year two so they can learn the theory for the practical to follow the next year. You have to opt out of having students normally, ie put it in your birth plan and notes that you do not consent to have students observe. The poo in the pool does happen, I often notice the midwives leave it to me the Doula or the Dad to remove it sad Most midwives will leave the waters intact unless there is a reason for the labour to be augmented. If there is meconium normally you will be asked to leave the pool and give birth on dry land. It is horribly long when you are waiting to hear that first cry but some
times babies are shocked and oxygen is given as a precaution. Also it should be documented in your notes that baby was listened to in the pool every 15 minutes and his heart rate noted. I would be inclined to ask for a debrief once you have applied for your notes and see if they help you understand what happened. Speak to Pals at your hospital. Good luck

TaliZorah Fri 20-Nov-15 18:34:58

Mine was a cesarean but I had meconium stained water and DS was blue and limp. He had to be resuscitated and on a ventilator, and was transferred to another hospital. I didn't see him until the day after, other than for 5 minutes.

I think some things definitely could have been managed better. Ask for an appointment to discuss your birth. It's horrible, I was absolutely distraught

OhMakeMeOver Fri 20-Nov-15 22:50:05

It could definitely have been managed better. I think, other than your baby's heart rate not being monitored, it would have been a lot better for you to have had an explanation for what was going on, and what had happened and why. Even briefly. It wouldn't have taken that long.

My son's birth was going fine one minute, I wasn't aware that they were any bit concerned for my son's heart rate. I thought all was fine. Then suddenly the midwife ran out and a doctor ran in. I didn't hear the emergency bell. I had no idea what was going on. She threw my legs back and told me to push as hard as I could, then after a bit she cut me, wasn't told the real reason why. Then they took my son away from me and threw him on the incubator thing, rubbed him, gave him air (my mum saw). He was limp, blue, not crying and I thought the worst. I asked why he wasn't crying and "where is he?"
I just got told 'he's a bit shocked from the quick delivery' - I was confused, they cut me to rush me to get a baby out that was shocked from a quick delivery? Didn't make sense. I also lost a significant amount of blood that I wasn't aware of until I was discharged the next day with the little info on the discharge papers.

I didn't find out until he was 3 that they rushed, panicked and cut me because his heart rate dropped. Not once did they mention it, so I ended up with PTSD thinking I was attacked for the fun of it.

I also didn't know that the shit midwife was actually a training nurse. She was the responsible one.

You shouldn't HAVE to opt out of having students there - you should be asked permission first before they either come in or piss off!

So a debrief will be beneficial to you, it really helped me. I think any sort of explanation would have been helpful at the time. They seem to not think what it's like from our perspective, because they see it everyday which is so detrimental to some women that have a difficult time. flowers

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