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It was all wrong at St michaels in bristol - bad luck or not?

(31 Posts)
funbags Fri 04-Jul-08 23:38:43

Hi DD was 18 days late, induced against my better judgement cos they said she might die, though no clinical reason to say this. Waters broken when I was clearly not happy about it (everything going fine till then), then sudden horrendous pain and epidural, told "well it is OP" just as needle in and too late to move about to try and get DD shifted (never would have let them near for waters if the'd told me about OP either). Then epidural failed and pushed for 2 hours only to be told only 8 cm and needed to stop for an hour. 3 Hours after that finally out with ventouse and midwives pushing my stomach, DD pulled out by her arm as shoulders wedged as she tried to come out face first on her back! Home after 2 days, I kept telling them I'm not right, got home horrendous fever, rang them saying I could hardly stand, "thats your milk coming in, it makes you a bit flu ish". Soldiered on for 3 days, then back in after hemorrage and rancid infection for 5 days IV antibiotics. Unable to feed sat up due to rancid pus/pain, terrified of rolling onto DD and squashing her, asked for bed extension (explaining that had a family bereavment where that happend) to feed but "your only allowed if you've had a section".

Now I'm 10 weeks with no.2 and by that rant I'm not over it, and apprehensive about going back. What would you do? there is another hospital but it looked grim and pokey when I went there. This deivery suite has a much better envoronment - big rooms much airier, which is important to me. Anyone have an opinion on whether st michs generally this crap, or did I just have terrible luck?

tortoiseSHELL Fri 04-Jul-08 23:42:59

Would you consider a homebirth? I had 1 birth in Southmead, 2 homebirths and the hbs were lovely! Bristol is very supportive of hbs generally I found. And St Michaels is a nightmare for parking!

findtheriver Sat 05-Jul-08 10:10:15

I havent got personal experience of St Michaels, but I know several people who delivered there. They all had high tech births - ie epidural, instrumental or CS births.
I would seriously consider a home birth or a midwife led unit. Sounds like you were told to have an epidural which is outrageous. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine. She felt she was pushed into it because once she was numbed up and out of pain, she could be hooked up to a monitor and left, freeing the midwife up to attend to others!! Which was fine until she ended up with a forceps delivery (couldnt push as was numbed up) and then was in agony after the birth when the epidural wore off!
It is your birth. You have a right to say no to interventions you don't want.

expectinginbristol Sat 05-Jul-08 18:02:37

[I've name changed to preserve my incognito ]

Oh, it sounds horrid.

I've booked with independent midwives. There are some truly lovely ones in the Bristol area. But it's something like £3000 for the whole package of ante-natal, delivery, postnatal care.

My favourites: Fiona and Sheila

More bubbly and in-your-face friendly, also nice and supportive were Sally and Jo

and then there's Sue, who doesn't have a website but is on 0117 9276131 and works alone. She's really motherly and calm and reassuring.

It struck me, meeting all 3 lots, that they spend a HELL of a lot of time counselling women who have had horrific experiences with the Bristol hospitals...

If you can't afford/don't want to pay for independent, then yes, investigate home birth. There are NHS home birth teams in Bristol, the only problem is that you have no guarantee of getting a midwife you know at the actual birth, because they don't have individual case loads, it's just who's on shift when you go into labour.

there isn't a midwife-led birth centre in bristol as far as I know. There's a campaign to set one up, but we are both pregnant too early to reap the rewards.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 05-Jul-08 18:27:34

That sounds like a really awful experience sad. Have you talked to anyone about it, sort of debrief? Not sure of the name of the service, your MW might be able to suggest something. You can also ask for a copy of your notes from last time, may help to read thro.

I'm in Bristol and have (anecdotally) heard not such good things about St Michaels. Friends have used the MLU at Southmead and found it mostly fine.

I had DS (my first) at home 2 yrs ago, community MWs mainly supportive. It didn't bother me not knowing the MW who came out to me in labour as I was pretty far gone at that point, going into transition I think. I had my mum and DH with me throughout. 'My' MW came as the second MW and actually delivered DS.

I'm 16 weeks with no2 and hoping for HB again. Have changed surgeries and my MW this time seems really good, and there is a strong likelihood of having her there for the birth.

stringerbell Sat 05-Jul-08 18:35:11

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sarah293 Sat 05-Jul-08 18:36:50

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sarah293 Sat 05-Jul-08 18:37:54

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RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 05-Jul-08 18:39:41

riven - altho I had DS at home we were in post-natal ward for 3 days when he was a week old and would agree it was pretty grim. My mum was shocked at how dirty everything was, and staffing was definitely overstretched.

expectinginbristol Sat 05-Jul-08 18:40:09

Just remembered: there is a Bristol Home Birth support group:

and one of the women who runs it is also a doula, in case you are wanting a hospital birth with someone supporting you who is a complete advocate for you (as well as whoever you want to be your birth partner). but I can't remember what the name of the doula is... blush

ilovemydog Sat 05-Jul-08 18:40:39

Had 2 births at St Michaels. One was horrendous and the other was fine medically, but got into an argument with the midwife on the ward shock after giving birth 2 hours before. DS was low birth weight and I wanted to discuss the options, and she just gave me a load of slogans.

Ended up calling the on call midwife, who 'told me off' and said that I had upset one of the midwives and then wrote a bunch of garbage in my notes...

Don't they give people a break seeing as I had delivered shortly before? Or treat them like grown ups?

My friend opted for a homebirth and said the team of midwives (from Southmead) were brilliant.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 05-Jul-08 20:25:21

My homebirths I had my community mws each time - so the mw who delivered the baby was the one I'd had for all my antenatal appointments for all 3 children!

detoxdiva Sat 05-Jul-08 20:43:57

funbags - sorry to hear about your experience, and wishing you lots of better luck with no.2. I had dd at St Michaels with absolutley no problems - arrived at 2.30am about 3cm dilated, had a great midwife and dd was born 3 hours later (did have waters broken as they were still intact at 10cm when I was pushing). No intervention.

Obv every birth is different, but I would have no probs going to St Mikes again (fwiw the post natal care was somewhat lacking and I went home that day as felt I would be happier at home)

detoxdiva Sat 05-Jul-08 20:45:30

Sorry that should read no intervention apart from having waters broke. blush

funbags Mon 14-Jul-08 23:19:50

thanks everyone sorry for delay getting back, been away. saw MW today and discussed HB with her. she's generally supportive of this though has booked a consultant review to go over everything, and advised me to keep an open mind for now. TBH crapping it at thought of HB after such a difficult presentation and very sudden pain (cos of waters being broken) meant I just couldn't hack it, so apprehensive I'll fail to handle it again. BUT had no support at all with dealing with it naturally first time around...cant afford private midwife so will look into doula if i wimp out of HB option.

cafebistro Mon 14-Jul-08 23:31:58

I worked in maternity at St. Michaels for 4 years and chose to have my DS at Southmead beacause I felt there was a conflict of interest ( I could have had colleagues at my delivery.) i honestly think a lot of your birth experience depends on the midwife you get, my midwife at southmead was a battleaxe and made my labour much worse. I would definately consider a home birth next time around.

Hoonette Tue 15-Jul-08 19:14:04

Just to clarify: there is definitely a midwife-led unit in Bristol, at Southmead Hospital. It's called the Birth Suite. It's right next to the consultant-led unit (the Delivery Suite) so perhaps it's easy to miss it!

I found the MLU great but the aftercare, once you get on the post-natal ward, was not. The Delivery Suite was terrible.

belcantavinissima Wed 16-Jul-08 21:08:13

gosh funbags do you know i could have written your post with my exp with ds1- almost exactly the same (oh plus i haemmorhaged really badly, in fact right in the face of the consultant, who was horrified and started shouting about 'did i have hiv/aids?' hmm. oh and a botched stitching of episiotomy meant i had to have it re-done 6 months later. guess where ds1 was born??? St michaels!!! it really and truly put me off and i did opt for an el cs the 2nd time (in exeter tho) but tbh i wished i had had the courage to try for a homebirth because when dd was born much later i was induced but it was nothing like the first time, no intervention apart from the gel, no drugs, soft music etc etc all in hospital tho as i had to be monitored due to prev cs but it was lovely.
i still have flashbacks to the birth at s michaels angry

Ebb Wed 16-Jul-08 21:21:18

I gave birth at Southmead in the birth suite which was lovely - very relaxed, low lights, music, birth pool etc. Had a fab midwife who was very encouraging and supportive. I had originally considered a homebirth but glad I chose the birthing suite as was more confident having medical help at hand if needed.

mutley1 Fri 18-Jul-08 13:02:18

Funbags-Sorry to hear about your terrible experience. I have to say that I had my two daughters both at St Michaels and they were fine but apart from being induced the second time I had very easy labours. My advice is don't go back to somewhere that you had a bad experience your confidence will be low and you need to feel strong and positive. If you think that you would be too nervous to have a homebirth I would opt for the Southmead option. Generally i have heard that they are good at the time of the birth but not on the antenatal ward so if you can go home straight away

jojofrombristol123 Thu 28-Aug-08 15:12:09

hi i had a lovely time with my first baby at southmead 14 years ago and had two more births at st michaels, epidural and natural birth i felt with my 3rd baby that it went too quick there were no beds for me and i had to return home asap which left me with postraumatic depression and then postnatal depression which took me a long time to recover, i am now having my 4th baby ten years later and im going back to st michaels im just hoping that they have more time for me and a bed to at least recover for a few hours before i go home.

damdaffs Tue 02-Sep-08 13:54:58


just wanted to say i had my first birth, at st michael's and wasnt impressed. the birth was ok-ish although i had a lot of intervention but i think that was more to do with being induced for medical reasons.

the real killer was the post-natal ward. it was awful. staff didnt seem to give a flying f*ck about the patients. maybe i was unlucky but wild horses wouldnt get me in there again. i know midwives are stressed, underpaid etc but thats no reason for being so rude and vile to new mums.

i'd try southmead, i used to work there and its a much less stressy environment than the UBHT hospitals, even the management. and even if its still at bit crap at least you'll be able to park!

crokky Tue 02-Sep-08 14:06:55

Had my 2nd baby in Southmead 5 months ago (had first hundreds of miles away). Delivery suite and midwife there were fab, however she was too overworked to do anything for me.

I had a painful induction 3 weeks early and got no pain relief (or care) apart from a few mins of G&A. I had been screaming and vomiting on antenatal for 12 hours before this overnight and in front of visitors. My virtually prem DD wasn't monitored and overall the care was atrocious. Delivery suite lovely if they will actually let you in there! Antenatal ward is like a place from hell with midwives who prefer computer games to patient care. My DD was LUCKY. The one clip they got of her heartbeat showed she had foetal distress but nothing could be done. The situation was totally out of control and I thank God that it turned out OK.

damdaffs Tue 02-Sep-08 14:13:06

crokky, thats awful! so much for my theory about southmead...i had a real fight to get pain relief at st michael's, too.

funbags i'd hold out for homebirth, best of luck!

JuneBugJen Tue 02-Sep-08 14:18:28

had best experience of care at S'mead, antenatal and postnatal. It looks grotty but having had to spend 3 weeks there due to an unstable lie I can say I was very happy with everything.

Hope this time around is better for you. Best wishes.

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