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Questions to ask in a 'birth reflections' type appointment?

(6 Posts)
thumb3lina Wed 18-May-16 18:46:46

Anyone have any ideas for questions I can ask? I had an emergency C section. I know I need to write some questions or I won't end up asking things I need to ask. I so far have got 1. why wasn't I given any painkillers and 2. What can I do better next time to prevent the same things happening?

Miffyandme Wed 18-May-16 18:51:49

Only you can really know the questions you need answering but your post came up in active conversations so I saw it.

I think you need to change your mindset of "what can I do better next time"? I can't imagine a situation where things you did or did not do changed your need for a C-section. Please be kind to yourself and don't think that you should do better another time. You had a baby and that's what matters in the long run, not how it came out.

RedToothBrush Thu 19-May-16 10:58:06

I think you have to list all the things that you think didn't go to plan.

Then ask, why did this happen for each and every element, before asking how could that be prevented. Break it down into components. Think about what you feel should have happened instead if you can.

Why was the decision made, despite asking for pain relief, not to give me any?
This has left me feeling X, and has undermined my confidence in staff.
Why was this decision not made clear to me at the time?
The lack of communication has left me feeling X.
I do not feel that might right to be involved with decisions about my care was adequately respected.
I felt this contributed hugely to the outcome.

How can you ensure that I feel listened to better / that I get pain relief more promptly / staff communicate better with me / how can you restore my confidence in staff.

Without knowing your experience I think its very difficult to help with specific questions.

thumb3lina Sun 22-May-16 18:00:14

Thanks for your replies.

I went in for a check up but was contracting, was strapped to a monitor and my DDs heartbeat kept dropping. They checked my BP which was dangerously high but not my urine, treated my BP without really telling me why/what it meant. I had a scan and there was a problem with the placenta but I don't know what. They sent me to a room to have a drip put in which took 4 very painful attempts to get it in, I had to go to theatre to get an anaesthetist to put it in on the 4th attempt as it wouldn't work. Then I was left on a monitor strapped to the tiny theatre bed so i didn't fall off for around 1.5hrs with an internal examination every 30 mins. I kept asking to go back to my room but I wasn't allowed or told why I couldn't. After 1.5hrs I demanded to get off the bed so they let me have a birth ball to sit on, still in theatre, but I wanted to leave theatre as it was really scaring me so I felt my labour wasn't progressing because of it. After another maybe 3 hours of internals every 30 mins which I didn't want, DDs heart rate dropped so low I had a GA C-section. I was so scared by this point I wouldn't have coped with being awake for the c-section anyway. It turns out she was brow presentation so wouldn't have come out anyway but I wasn't told that until DD was 4 months old. When I woke up from the GA I couldn't stop shaking and I was in a lot of pain, so much I was screaming (and I have quite a high pain threshold) but they said I couldn't have 'any more' pain relief. Until my DH went to find my consultant who had a small argument with the anaesthetist and I was finally given pain relief. I was still in so much pain (but bearable after this) I wasn't even bothered about going to see DD which really affected our bonding. I was only given pain relief for 20 hrs after my c-section then when my drip came out I wasn't given anything so the whole recovery was painful. I didn't realise you usually took painkillers for a week or so, I thought the pain was normal. I had to go for a check up after 1 week and passed out twice as I still couldn't walk properly. I'm now nearly 6 months post-section and I'm still in pain.

RedToothBrush Tue 24-May-16 16:26:39

Ok from what you've said, I'd go with something like this:

Why was my BP dangerously high? What caused this? Is this likely to happen again? Is there anything I can do to prevent this happening again?
Why was I not told what this meant at the time?
Why was my urine not tested if there was a problem with my BP?
What was the problem with my placenta? Again why was I not told this at the time?
These factors combined to make the situation even more stressful than it already was. There was no pressing time emergency at this time which could have prevented me from having this information. Better communication at this point would have made me feel a lot happier and more in control of the situation.

Why did it take so many attempts for a drip to be inserted? Was the person properly trained?
Why was I left on a monitor for an hour an a half on a bed without explanation?
Why were internal examinations necessary every 30 mins? Could these have been avoided or reduced?
Why was I not allowed to go back to my room at this point?
Why was I not allowed to move around until I insisted?
Why was I in theatre all this time?
These circumstances caused me additional anxiety and I feel not being allowed to move around contributed to my labour not progressing.
I did not want internals every 30mins but felt obliged to have them for another 3hrs. Why this was necessary was not properly explained. I do not feel that communication was adequate and do not feel that I was kept informed. I feel like I was told to do things, rather than asked. I do not feel like I was listened to and part of the decision making process at any time.

Why did DDs heart rate keep dropping?
Why was the fact my daughter was brow presentation not picked up sooner? Why was I not informed of this until 4 months after the birth?
This seems to have continued for 4 and a half hours without explanation.
Why did you not intervene sooner?

By this point the situation had become so scary I don't think I could have coped without a GA, but I do feel it should not have got to that point in the first place.

Why did I shake when I woke up from the GA?
Why was I in so much pain I was screaming despite considering myself to have a high pain threshold?
Why was I then refused pain relief, until my DH intervened on my behalf?
I feel this was dismissive of me and degrading treatment that I was not listened to and respected.

I feel this had a negative effect on my relationship and bonding with my daughter.

Why was I only given pain relief for 20hrs after my C-Section?
I was led to believe by staff this was normal but I have subsequently found out this is highly unusual especially if someone was in as much pain as I was.
Why was I discharged from hospital before my pain was considered manageable?
Why was I not given proper advice on pain relief?
Why did I pass out twice when I went for my 1 week check up and no one thought this was usual or raised appropriate questions about it?

Why am I still in pain six months later, and why is not one treating this as a problem?
Why am I still not being listened to?

Hope that helps and gives you a rough template to go for.

Ask as many questions as you can, as it gives YOU power back and they have to respond. If they do not answer the question to your satisfaction, say you do not feel they have answered the question can they elaborate more for you.

blackbirdmilkshake Tue 24-May-16 23:23:12

that sounds awful for you, I hope you get some answers flowers

I wouldn't ask if the person inserting your drip was 'properly trained'...some people can be impossible to cannulate and that's just that

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