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John Radcliffe (Oxford) or Rosie (Cambridge)? Any experiences?

(56 Posts)
Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:17:54

DH is starting a new job in Oxford soon, and I'm going to be 8 months pregnant. The options are either for me to stay put in Cambridge till after the birth and have the baby as planned (MLU within the Rosie hospital, so fully run by midwives encouraging active birth, but with the consultant-led care on the floor below) or move to Oxford lock, stock & barrel and book at the John Radcliffe- which I know very little about. I have a couple of complications that make a VB a very, very good idea for me, so I really do want to avoid an epidural if I can due to cascaded intervention risks, but as I know the pain may just get too much I still want one available as a last-ditch option. (Knowing I had meds for severe morning sickness helped me cope, even though I never took them - just knowing there was relief available if I cracked meant I could cope. I want to have that reassurance in labour, too.) That rules out somewhere like Wallingford.

Can I ask what people's experiences of both hospitals have been when birthing? Obviously several other factors are at issue, in terms of such a badly timed move, but I wanted to know what people thought of each hospital. It would really help us decide.

VictorianSqualor Sun 06-Jul-08 14:22:12

I had the most wonderful experience at the JR with DS2 a couple of months ago.

I was treated like shite at the hospital where I ahd DD&DS1 and had HUGE fears over this birth.

My consultant and all the midwives were absolutely wonderful, as were the theatre team that performed my CS.

I desperately wanted a VB, after two CS's and my cons was happy to support me in this, once we had had proper discussions. Even with risks surrounding DS2 and my placenta she supported me in my decision to wait til 41weeks to have my CS so I coudl try for the VBA2C.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 06-Jul-08 14:24:30

I had ds1 at The Rosie, but in 2002 before the MW led unit was open.
I was perfectly happy with it, but was there for less than 2 hours before he was born.

ButterflyBessie Sun 06-Jul-08 14:26:48

I had a shite time at the Rosie, it was though in 2002, I would not go back there if my life depended on itshock.

I would rather have given birth on Midsummer Common during Strawberry Fair than go back to that hell hole - I ended up at Hinchingbrooke instead grin, so much better.

callmeovercautious Sun 06-Jul-08 14:28:47

Had DD at the Rosie, MWL shut that night due to staff shortages but moved there in the morning and it was lovely. Lots of BFing support. It closes quite alot, I have yet to meet anyone who actually gave birth there!

The delivery ward was good too. If you have to go there try for room one as it is the same as a MWL room (platform bed/bean bags etc) rather than a sterile hospital bed environment. Opposite a bathroom at the end of the corridor so quite private.

Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:30:57

VS thanks so much, that's really reassuring on several fronts. I'm dreading moving so late on, but also dreading being without DH at that sort of time. The Rosie seems great from ante-natal, but I know zip about the JR.

CS I am really impressed by the Rosie, it's making the choice hard. Though the idea of a 2 hour stay is blissful! I so hope I am that lucky. The big pro of the JR that I can see from their website is that NHS patients can book a private room if they have to stay overnight, so you can get some actual sleep/have a clean loo & shower.

Pruners Sun 06-Jul-08 14:31:25

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Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:33:45

Thanks ButterflyBessie, can I ask why, or is there a link to a thread you posted before, maybe?

callmeovercautious that's making me blink a bit - the big draw of the Rosie to me is the MWL unit, so if it's never open....

VictorianSqualor Sun 06-Jul-08 14:36:53

I agree with pruners about being informed.
If you know what you want, tell them.
With the VBA2C before the placental issues I was told, no problem, I was going to have the VB.
When the placental issues first came to light I had to show that I knew what I was talking about and then they were fine, I even called up the day before my 40weeks CS date and told them I wasn't ready to go in for a CS and they just put it back a week, no arguments.
Have you thought about maybe getting a doula to fight your corner during birth?

Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:38:51

Pruners my Mum will be with me, she used to be practice manager of a huge central London health centre, so she will be in charge of ensuring I get the care I want, while DH handles supporting me! Assertive isn't even in it when Mum is in a medical environment, and it's spooky but they always seem to love her despite it.

Breastfeeding support is a big issue, but I'm lucky in that my godmother is a La Leche League counsellor so I'm sorted on that front. I plan to rely on her, so as not to be confused by different approaches.

One thing that did bother me was the availability of water birthing pools in Oxford - can you bring your own? Waiting for an epidural is one thing, I think that's a universal, but waiting for a pool would be hellish.

Pruners Sun 06-Jul-08 14:38:54

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TheFallenMadonna Sun 06-Jul-08 14:39:10

I had both mine at the Rosie, but not at MLU, and had to stay in for 5 and 3 days after delivery. Neither in a MLU.

Both deliveries were very well-handled and I can't really fault them.

Aftercare on the wards was absolutely shocking TBH, especially the first time. There just weren't enough staff was the long and the short of it.

I moved a month before DS was born BTW, and was glad I had.

Pruners Sun 06-Jul-08 14:42:57

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Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:46:53

VS if I didn't have my Mum I'd so opt for a doula - she's someone I can just trust to get on with being an advocate for me, too. I know it's the last thing I'll want to have to do if in hard labour. I'm very lucky in that way.

TheFallenMadonna that's really reassuring, because part of me is also freaking out a bit over moving at that stage. As to aftercare - as far as I can work out isn't that terrible in all major hospitals? It's one reason I find the option private room appealing, I can at least be sure the bathroom is clean and I get some sleep. And while private care is waaaay beyond us, we could probably stretch to a private room if I really have to stay in and can't just go home right after.

Pruners Sun 06-Jul-08 14:49:03

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Qally Sun 06-Jul-08 14:51:16

Pruners no, you don't at all sound a cynic or a harridan, you're telling me exactly what I need to know, and I'm really grateful!

Walkthedinosaur Sun 06-Jul-08 14:53:54

Had both DS's at The Rosie, 2002 and 2004. Can't fault the care I received during labour and birth, but will agree that the after care was maybe a bit lacking at times due to lack of staff - but they were lovely and it was very clean.

In fact during labour with DS1 I had a midwife by my side for over 12 hours, (there were complications) but I was never left alone in that time.

Pruners Sun 06-Jul-08 14:55:58

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VictorianSqualor Sun 06-Jul-08 17:26:10

Good about your mother, I was the same with DP's mum, if I had had natural labour she was coming in!
She's a paed phlebotomist at the Jr so would happily tell them what's what!

The breastfeeding clinic is supposed to be amazing, thankfully I didn't need any help but know of people that have. All the mws were supportive of BFing with em though, and as it's baby friendly they have to be. They even encouraged co-sleeping which I was quite (pleasantly) surprised about.

JodieG1 Sun 06-Jul-08 17:31:07

I had ds2 at The Rosie last year and I had a fantastic time there. I had a difficult pregnant with my waters breaking at 22 weeks and I received amazing care. I would definitely go back there again.

I found the consultants, drs and midwives all wonderful and I never had any problems with any of them.

I was seen there at least weekly for months and sometimes twice weekly with a few overnight stays so I was there at all different times of the day/night and for a prolonged period of time. I was so impressed with the staff that I took a card and chocolates back to the delivery suite and the MFAU in which I spent so much time over the months. They made it all bearable for me and I couldn't praise them enough.

ButterflyBessie Sun 06-Jul-08 18:06:02

Qally

A shortened version follows, this took place over 5 years ago and I still wouldn't set foot in the place!

I attempted to have a vbac there, they ignored all my wishes, strapped me up to a monitor and left me there - I didn't know any better sad

I had the world and his midwife stick their hands up where the sun doesn't shine, any dignity was left in the car park.

They did not care about me, just their stats. Due to their inability to look after me and help me get the birth I both wanted and deserved I ended up with yet another section.angry

I suffered from pnd due to my birthing experiencesad

I have since had two amazing births at a hospital where the staff actually care grin, the difference was incredibleshock

LiegeAndLief Sun 06-Jul-08 21:53:47

I spent a long time in JR antenatally and thought everyone was very good, especially the mws who were all really kind. In fact we are purposefully not moving before having another baby as I want to be in the JR again! Showers and toilets were also very clean (apart from the observation ward which was covered in blood, but thankfully only used that toilet once!).

I had cs with no labour and ds went straight to SCBU, so not much info on care during labour or help with the baby, but everything else I couldn't fault. Theatre staff were brillinat. Aftercare was great. Good luck.

hedgepig Sun 06-Jul-08 22:05:47

Hi Qally I has DS @ the Rosie in 2003. He was an unrecognized breech that was picked up when I went into the MAFU for reduced movements at 40 week. Because of this and other reasons I had a cs the same day. This was handled very well and professionally. I would say that afterwards the post-natal care was a bit patchy just because they were very busy (this was 2003) until some issue were picked up with my son and then the whole after care support was undeliverable we had big wig consultants at the bed discussing ds as soon as the issue were picked up . So I would say if you are in the Roisie and your baby (heaven forbid) has an issue it is a great place to be.
I would just also say to think about the private room idea, you you will get more sleep but if you have issues you are out of the flow of the ward and if you they are busy (in any hospital) you may get over looked. although it sounds like your mum will be out there rounding up an assistance you need. grin

minouminou Sun 06-Jul-08 22:43:56

The JR was great, although i felt like i had to pass some kind of oral exam in order to get my epidural.
pools aren't that available there, but there is a fab bf-ing clinic which is renown throughout europe
it's a teaching hospital, and i had a male student in with me, which i found v reassuring, as there was always at least 1 trained person there

madmouse Sun 06-Jul-08 22:46:31

Agree with liegeandlief, both the jr in general and the obs ward not being too clean.

I have just moved away, and I wish i could have my next baby there too. Important for me was that they discussed and explained everything, so i always felt in control (homebirth ending in rotational forceps, baby in distress, epidural the lot).Forceps skilfully done, episiotomy done so well that I cycled two weeks later (mad i know)

Most importantly ds fell very ill 12 hours after birth, ward mw was decisive taking him to scbu, doctors and nurses in scbu have wings under their uniforms. When i wanted to discharge myself early (lived close to hospital) ward sister persuaded me to stay so they could help me express for my sona nd support me. gave me a lovely family room and everyone who came to do small things like take my blood pressure stayed to chat about my baby. friends were allowed in at all hours. quite a special experience.

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