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Scared about hospital birth

(7 Posts)
SpeckledFrog2014 Tue 17-May-16 16:20:36

I'm devastated I can't have a homebirth and keep crying about a hospital birth when I'm alone. I have a hospital tour booked Sunday and I'm really worried about having a complete breakdown there. They found GBS in my urine and my community midwife said she cannot anminister the antibiotics at home and I can't seem to get anywhere with the alternatives. My husband is convinced I'm not going to tell anyone I'm in labour and it'll be too late to get to the hospital, which I have honestly thought about doing as a delivery on the hard shoulder is preferable to a hospital birth. However at the same time I don't want to put my baby at risk of GBS disease so feel obliged to go to the hospital. I deeply distrust healthcare professionals too.

My terrible fear of the hospital came from my first delivery where the midwife preformed an episiotomy without my consent and caused me nerve damage, which I chose not to have "fixed" in case it was made worse by the same hospital (a large women's hospital in the region). The episiotomy was completely unnecessary as they just wanted the baby out quicker due to a busy suite. This time round my husband will be recording the conversation regarding performing an episiotomy unless they can categorically prove not having one would be detrimental to my baby. We want to make it clear to them we will be suing the individual and the hospital if our requests are ignored. Has anyone gone about setting down the law in this way before?

I was also hoping to discharge us as soon as we're dressed and baby is in the car seat as the postnatal care I received was shocking. I had to ask for a new sheet for my baby's cot, the facilities were that dirty that the midwife on the ward warned me not to use them, my bed was broken and I didn't have a chair suitable for breastfeeding in and I was constantly berated by the midwives on the ward and treated like a nuisance. The list goes on. My community midwife has now dropped the bombshell I'm likely to be asked to stay for at least 24 hours. If this time around is like the first though I'll be creating such a shit storm that I doubt they'll want to keep me much longer than they have to.

Granted I am going to a different hospital this time but it is of the same ilk as the first. My mom is not helping either as she keeps saying it's a failing hospital, I honestly don't think she knows how strongly I'm feeling about it all. I didn't have a difficult labour at all and didn't find it painful until the moment the midwife touched me to perform an episiotomy, up until then I had laboured with my husband and was even pushing my baby out without any guidance from the midwife, so I trust my body to know what to do.

Apologies for the long post I needed to vent and now I'm looking to see if anyone has got any positive second birth hospital stories to lift my spirits?

Sunsunsunnydays Tue 17-May-16 19:03:09

It's perfectly normal that you are feeling this way after last time. I think there are some things that are in your control that you should do something about. 1) your choice of hospital - are you happy with it? Is it worth looking at another as well just to compare?
2) Your mum- tell her to stop her comments immediately about the hospital. Be really firm about this. There's no excuse for making you more anxious. It stops now.
3) birth partner - in these circumstances you need a really good birth partner who you know will protect you and kick ass if you experience any poor treatment. Your husband sounds well prepared to do that. If u r still concerned you could consider a doula as they will be familiar with what's normal procedure and can step in quickly if they see anything untoward. They are skilled at exactly this type of thing.

Lastly, just to reassure you that many women have a really good experience at hospital. It sounds like a particular midwife who treated you badly rather than the fact that you were in hospital itself. You will not encounter that same midwife and most midwives are not like her. In all likelihood your midwife will be lovely and if she's not you have a birth partner who will keep her in line. There's many previous threads on here about positive hospital births. I'll try to find u one later as it might be helpful to read some positive stories.

Sunsunsunnydays Tue 17-May-16 20:33:07

Here's one of those threads if you fancy a read.

FlyingCat Tue 17-May-16 21:00:26

I had a similarly distressing experience first time around and similarly have been told a home birth is a bad idea due to possible complications. I've also considered having an 'accidental' home birth to avoid going to hospital but my wonderful husband and friends have reminded me that this would not be safe in my circumstances even though emotionally it feels like the safest option.

At 17 weeks I had a meltdown about the situation loudly and publicly at the antenatal clinic including how much I hated the idea of a hospital birth (and how much I felt I was being treated like a number not a person).

I was immediately whisked into a side room and the supervisor of midwives came to talk to me. She talked me through all of what happened last time and has taken over my appointments since then. We're working on a birth plan together which in her words "if anyone goes against it without good medical reason they'll have her to answer to". She has also been counselling me about what happened last time and how any complications might be treated this time.

In short she has completely calmed me down, I'm now 34 weeks and finally feeling a bit more positive about my coming birth experience.

So suggestion one: ask to be referred to your supervisor of midwives regarding serious anxiety resulting from your last experience.

Next up I think I was also suffering from pre-natal anxiety triggered by my last birth experience. Funnily enough I found as I moved into the third trimester with its associated hormone changes, I felt a lot calmer. It didn't mean that the things I was worried about had gone away but I was able to deal with them more rationally and the sense of panic went down a bit. I don't know whether this will be the same for you but I hope it might.

Finally, I signed up for a hypnobirthing course to help myself relax into the experience. Maybe this could help with your feelings while your DH supports and defends you from anything you do not want to happen. You could also consider having a doula as your supporter and advocate during the experience so there is a double layer of support?

I wish you all the luck in the world and above all a safe birth for both your baby and you!

SpeckledFrog2014 Thu 19-May-16 16:58:38

Thanks both. Flying all the best for you two too.

I've looked into doulas and unfortunately we can't afford one, we're currently saving for a lactation consultant as I have a funny shaped right breast which i found it really difficult to breast feed with. This should help with some of the postnatal care issues I had. I have come up with a super short birth plan for dh as he works better if stuff is simple and written down for him.

I'm compiling a list of questions for the hospital too. Unfortunately I worked for the next closest hospital trust with a midwifery led suite and I used to have a brick in a bag to take with me if I had to go to that site, so that hospital is a no-no for me. unfortunately thy closed the maternity bit of the hospital I would happily go to and decided not to reopen it when it was reviewed this year. That particular hospital actually had me in and helped when the hospital I gave birth in turned me away the night of the same day I was discharged! That hospital with the closed maternity unit is in the same trust as the hospital I'm going to, however, the hospital I'm going to is a big hospital and that is a big concern. I'm going for the tour this Sunday so we'll see how it goes...

AliceInHinterland Thu 19-May-16 20:58:39

I have looked at quite a few doula websites where they say that their fees are negotiable for those that can't afford it - worth a shot?

SpeckledFrog2014 Wed 25-May-16 10:00:59

Just an update, I did my tour of the hospital and it is a much better hospital than the one I went to. However I did have the predicted meltdown and sobbed all the way around it! There was some drama overshadowing my sobbing with someone's poor husband having a freak out when we were shown a deliver suite room and fainting!

The hospital has put me in touch with a midwife that should be able to help me overcome my fears and she is seeing me next week. My mom is coming with me to see the hospital isn't nasty like the last one this day too. I have started just shoving odd things into my hospital bag now rather than doing one big pack as that will be a trigger for me. I'm going to bury it at the back of my boot (I have a zafira) so I can't see it when I'm done.

More positively I am very much looking forward to having my new baby now and my husband has been encouraging me to focus on our baby, but at the same time not brushing my feelings under the carpet. I'm actually typing this with crying about the thought of going to the hospital!

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