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Finally I feel I can write my birth story, NOT recommended for firstimers

(27 Posts)
AnguaVonUberwald Tue 15-Jul-08 12:17:30

I had DS at the end of march, but somehow i have not been able to do this till now.

I phoned the hospital and complained and today htey finally phoned me back and said: yes they were crap, they appologiesed, etc.

Somehow this has validated my feelings. It really was as bad as I thought, I didn't just imagine it. so here goes:

My baby was 2 weeks overdue so I went into the hospital on the sunday night for an induction. They gave me the gell, but it didn't do anything proper. I was having contractions, strong enough that they couldn't give me more gell, but not strong enough to actually push me into labour.

Monday evening, they gave me a second, big dose of the gell. My bits were really sore by then, what with an adverse reaction to it previously but I was desperate to have my baby.

Things started happeneing pretty quickly I was in a lot of pain and asked for pain relief, only to be told "you have had your paracetamol".

When the shift changed, the new midwife agreed to give me gass and air, gas and air don't work for me!!

Well, they lower my inhibitions enough that I started screaming, very loudly, but that was it.

I am told that I was examined and found to be 3cm dilated (an hour and a half later I was pushing)! and then was left on the maternity ward to scream.

I had three other women in the room with me, plus their partners, parents, IL's etc.

The baby monitor was left on me, I was in so much pain I actually tore it off at one point.

It did however run out of paper for half an hour (which no-one noticed)

I was not coherent in any way at all, I was saying things I still don't want to remember, things related to my past and how the people who made me feel so crap about myself must have been right, I coudln't do this, I wasn't good enough, please, please just make it stop.

My husband, was trying to push the gas and air on me as they told him it would help (it didn't)

Eventually someone passing from the labour ward (I was still on the maternity ward) heard me screaming and came and checked the monitor. She noticed that the babies heart rate was lower than mine.

I was finally moved to the labour ward, not because they had realised I was fully dilated and pushing, but because my baby was in trouble.

Now to be fair, on the labour ward they were very good.

I arrived there and begged for an epidural, the midwife agreed, but wanted to to examine me first, she took one look at me and pushed a button and suddenly there were 6 people in the room and I was being told to push.

There was no time for any pain relif, the doctor talked about an emergency c-section, but they didn't really have time for that either, DS had to come out, and he had to come out NOW.

They tried to break the waters but for some reason couldn't/didn't. Instead they but me, put the vontuuse on his head.

IT was 11.58pm and the doctor said, do you want this baby on the 31st or the 1st (april fools day). Me and DH both said "the 31st). Well push said the doctor, and out he popped!

There was meconium in his waters and they had to work on him for a few minutes, but he was fine, a big, beautiful baby boy. His now 15 weeks and probably well over 16lb (we last had him weighed two weeks ago).

Having him is the best thing that ever happened to me, giving birth was the worst experiance of my entire life.

I have just been told by the hospital that if we do have another child I am unlikely to be allowed a c-section, that is something we will have to deal with if an when we look at having another child. IF this labour was only 4 hours, the next one can only be quicker, however at least they have acknowledged that their care was inadequate.

belgo Tue 15-Jul-08 12:23:26

I've just read that Angua. It's inhumane to induce without making sure there are adequate provisions for pain relief - you went through the pain of labour without any of the endorphins that a natural labour would produce.

And it was neglect for them to leave the monitor on you without checking it properly.

I'm glad you complained.

AnguaVonUberwald Tue 15-Jul-08 12:25:48

Belago, they offered me pathadine, and then didn't have time to give it to me!!

ITs actually a very good thing I didn't get it as DS's heart beat was slower than mine, so it would have been very very bad for him, but it was still hell lying there knowing they had pain relief for me and just weren't giving it to me!

Timefortea2 Tue 15-Jul-08 12:27:42

"you have had your paracetamol" shock

So sorry to hear of your experience angua, you sound very brave.

FAQ Tue 15-Jul-08 12:29:38

what a dreadful experience, sounds similar (in some ways) to my DS2's induced VBAC.

It was sheer torture, and I still have flashbacks now occasionaly (he'll be 5 in November) - however since then I've had another VBAC which was an absolutely dream - so just wanted to let you know that it doesn't have to be another awful experience if/when you have another.

PictureThis Tue 15-Jul-08 12:30:08

how awful for you. You absolutely did the right thing in complaining to the hospital.

AnguaVonUberwald Tue 15-Jul-08 12:31:31

Thanks FAQ. I really do think it was like torture, I was crying to DH, asking him why the midwife hated me and wouldn't give me pain relief.

I would literally have done anything to make it stop, if there had been a window nearby I would have thrown myself out of it.

I had no idea my baby was in trouble (something I still feel guilty about), I was just out of it from the pain.

belgo Tue 15-Jul-08 12:33:46

Angua - it wasn't your responsibility to realise that your baby was in danger - it was the hospital's job to monitor you properly- you trusted them with the care of you and your baby, and they let you down by not providing that care adequately.

I'm so glad that your baby was fine at the end of it.

Lazylou Tue 15-Jul-08 12:33:50

Cogratulations on your DS!!

What a terrible experience to have to go through. My DS was 2 weeks overdue also and I was due to be induced on the Tuesday but luckily went into labour myself. The midwife I had (the third hmm) came into the room and told me it was time to push (it wasn't) and then, as I'm pushing and nothing is happening, proceeded to fall asleep at the end of my bed, only opening her eyes for a quick stare up my fanjo before falling back to sleep.

This charade went on for two hours before I demanded, after a failed epidural, hours of gas and air and a shot of pethidine, that I needed help getting him out. The anesthatist (sp) came in, was downright rude to me about how I wasn't trying hard enough to push DS out and then reluctantly agreed to attempt a forceps delivery. The consent form was thrust at me, I was made to sign and then off we went. DS was born after a 25 hour labour.

It was horrific - the pain, the whole childbirth experience. I was told that second babies tend to come quicker - not in this case. DD was born after an 8 hour labour, no intervention at all. If I had had my second labour first, there is no way I would have gone through a second labour. No way on this earth.

So, you have my sympathies. We have complained to the hospital and are yet to hear back from them.

Congratulations again on your DS smile

philmassive Tue 15-Jul-08 12:35:14

So sorry to hear your story and that you are feeling sad and bad about what happened.

I can't say much really only that it is clear that none of this was your fault, they have admitted their care was inadequate and you did a fantastic job of birthing a beautiful baby under not very helpful or pleasant circumstances.

Be glad that your son is a little beauty and think about how you are so lucky to have him.

I had one horrible birth (ds1 emcs in the end, due to being left and left for hours in the delivery room, and not checked) and one wonderful one (ds2 gas and air, all over fairly quickly), the wonderful one has helped me to feel better about the horrible one. But at the end of the day I have 2 lovely boys and that's the most important thing.

Talking about how you feel about your birth will help too, I didn't and felt bad until my ds2 was born, which has healed the fact that I felt inadequate about ds1. You are talking about things, which is great.

Wishing you the best of luck. Try not to feel guilty or sad about the birth, it doesn't stop your ds being the best thing that's ever happened to you. He is lucky to have you as a Mum.

PS - gas and air made me sick the first time, the second time it was the best thing ever - don't dismiss it out of hand next time around!!!! grin

nellyonthetelly Tue 15-Jul-08 12:39:13

Took me along time to get over my first experience of birth too and the 3rd degree tear - but more the way I was treated afterwards. Good on you for complaining, you've got to do that, I was encouraged to but was too raw and just wanted to forget it which wasn't the right thing to do- however now I'm looking forward to birth number 2 at home and I'm really confident it'll be better. I'm sure in time the horror of it all fades for most people. And one thing is for sure, you have more idea of what to expect a second time round! Good luck.

lulumama Tue 15-Jul-08 12:59:37

hey angua smile

am very, very proud of you for taking this big step of writing it all down.

your labour clearly went far quicker than anyone thought, hence no time for pain relief.

you should have been transferred to labour ward at 3 -4 cm dilated. but perhaps it was full?

sounds like the birth dredged up a lot of feelings that were negative and upsetting, which in itself can make labour harder to cope with.

i am glad that it has been acknowledged your care was inadequate and hopefully changes will be made to stop it happening to anyone else

lots of women who have a traumatic experience first time do still go on to have much more positive experiences second time round.

you know so much more clearly what you do and don;t want.

glad you are enjoying your beautiful boy and i am glad you are healing .


AnguaVonUberwald Tue 15-Jul-08 13:23:48

Lazylou, thanks for sharing your experiace, its a horrible thing having a bad birth.

philmassive. i will try and remember that about the gas and air,

Lulumama, really what the hospital said was pretty standard placation stuff but at least they acknowledged that it was awful, and that has really helped me.

thanks everyone for your input and support

crokky Tue 15-Jul-08 13:41:28

I had partly similar experience having my DD in March this year (she was my 2nd). All the same up to the point where you talk about the ventouse, which I did not have.

I am convinced the problem was too many patients, too few staff, too little equipment.

An painful induction with just a tiny bit of G&A at the end can be totally inhumane. Labouring on an antenatal ward with other women, visitors etc is absolutely atrocious. This is exactly what happened to me and I am coming to terms with it now (partly because I had a different experience 1st time round).

I had my DS 2 years before my DD. With him, I had an epidural early on. I really recommend this to you for your 2nd if you get induced again. That was my 1st birth, I had epidural, episiotomy and forceps. It was fine, I was calm, everyone was calm. You are totally in control of yourself, coherent etc. You are not in pain, it is OK.

Aside from all my trauma, my DH was terrified for me and DD as it was horrific and she was distressed (she was a 37 weeker and she had insufficent monitoring - virtually none). After the (2nd) birth I was in total shock, whimpering, crying, terrified, unable to hold my baby as the pain had made me into a wreck. After the 1st birth, I was fine, just waiting for epi to wear off.

On my birth plan for DD, I had asked for continuous monitoring and an epidural as I KNEW she was going to be a 37 weeker and I KNEW I was having a painful induction due to complications and I KNEW I reacted badly to the gel. The hospital ignored the lot and I am so angry with them about it. I think about the midwife on the antenatal ward playing solitaire on her computer whilst I was vomiting in the corridor unable to move due to total pain. I hate her for it but I haven't complained - I don't like confrontation.

AnguaVonUberwald Tue 15-Jul-08 14:46:24

Crokky, thats horrible, really horrible.

To be fair to the midwifves on my maternity ward I think they were genuinly busy (unlike yours playing solitaire), but I have still been assured by the hospital that someone should have stayed with me the whole time.

It might still be worth raising with the hospital, you can always drop it if it gets too confrontational for you, but to be fair to mine, I didn't have to get confrontational, they admitted it all straight away.

Either way, good luck with dealing with it!

dinkystinky Tue 15-Jul-08 15:20:31

Angua - well done you for actually having a beautiful baby boy, despite the best efforts of the hospital to hamper it! And well done for complaining too.

I had an awful birth experience with my DS too (over 2 years ago) when I was induced and firmly felt it was abit of a midwife lottery as to whether you had a good birth experience (great one for first 3 hours of induction - no need for pain relief) or an awful one (witch of midwife for 5 hours left of labour - very negative attitude, totally ignored me when I said I could feel the baby coming, tried to catheterise me without my consent when I demanded she check to see how dilated I was and then pressing crash button when she finally saw the vast puddle of meconium stained waters I was sat in). And dont even get me started on the midwives on the post-natal ward!.... After the event I complained, there was an investigation, the hospital apologised for woefully inadequate care and the evil witch was retrained so I hope at least something positive, other than my beautiful DS, has come out of this. I am now pregnant again and feel well armed to ensure that I have a much more positive birth experience this time round.

susie100 Tue 15-Jul-08 17:47:45

Angua you poor thing what a horrible experience. I can't imagine how awful it must be to be stuck on a ward with no pain relief with other people you did so well to get through that.

Your body was very clever and managed to get through it despite awful conditions so well done you.

I think you should debrief with a midwife unconnected to the hospital (they will have to be careful about what they for fear of legal measures and admission of liability)

You can cover the complaint separately but please call AIMS or Birth Crisis to talk to someone sympathetic who can help you make sense of this all.

On a positive note, think how well you would have coped in a supportive environment with a midwife and goos surroundings? Your 2nd birth need not be as bad.

Huge hugs.

ilovemydog Tue 15-Jul-08 17:57:50

Hi - can I just say that my first labor was fairly identical, although I lost a ton of blood...

The good news is that number 2 was absoutely fine, and more normal labor.

Youcanthaveeverything Tue 15-Jul-08 18:26:01

Angua, that sounds an awful experinece for you.

Are you able to talk to your Dh about it? Does he understand how much it has affected you? I'm sure it will have affected him too.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of it for you to come to terms with? Is it the fear that you felt? Often once you have experienced such fear all you have to do is recall the event and the feeling of fear is instantly back even though the event is long past.

Or is it the total loss of control? the begging/ranting/screaming that you may have done, infront of your DH and strangers? That can leave real feeings of shame, a fear that yoi revealed something 'bad' or 'hidden' about yourself.

Don't answer these questions if you don't want to, if it's too personal or hard. but I really think you should seek some suport to talk about these issues and try to identify what is actually is that has stayed with you so much and affected you so deeply.

I had a bad birth experince with my DS1. For me it was a feeling of failure and that maybe I should have just tried a bit harder and that I'd failed at the first hurdle of motherhood and was already a bad mother and failing. I then couldn't breatfeed and these feelings stayed with me for a long while.

I had a great birth with DS2 though, best experince of my life!!

Be kind to yourself. think what would you say to another Mum who had gone through this?? and say that to yourself instaed of beating yourself up.

Big step to write about it, sounds like you are doing brilliantly!!!

AtheneNoctua Tue 15-Jul-08 20:26:27

Oh Angua, so sorry. I can't understand why hospitals are allowed to neglect their patients like this.

I would go to a different hospital next time. Speaking of which, what hospital was this?

nicky111 Tue 15-Jul-08 20:26:38

i just wanted to say I too was induced on a maternity ward and still remember the shame I felt trying to quietly get through the pain, while strapped to a monitor, while strangers with children sat just metres away from me. When I started sobbing, one of the visitors went to get the midwife who gave me diamorphine to, I think, shut me up. As I drifted off to sleep I could hear them complaining about me snoring. I think it is terrible that women are induced on maternity and antenatal wards and are left to labour with no privacy. As soon as I had the dismorphine I resolved to have an epidural and it ended in emergency section, baby in special care etc. For ages afterwards I would cry if I saw a lovely natural birth on tv. Your experience was much worse than minesad Could you go through your notes with a midwife at the hospital? It may answer many questions and allow you to vent your feelings a bit. Also focus on your baby and talk to other mothers. Chances are you will find a few who also had a bad experience and understand what you are going through.

AnguaVonUberwald Wed 16-Jul-08 09:13:28

The thing is I KNEW I wanted an epidural as soon as possible, as I had a miscarriage previously which was increadibly painful, I knew there was a really good chance I would deliver quickly as both my mother and MIL did.

I told them this, but they paid no attention.

The worst thing for me was the things I said, in front of complete strangers and the memories it brought back.

Reading all your stories is shocking, how maternity services can be so bad for so many women is just unbelivable

HereComeTheGirls Wed 16-Jul-08 09:31:07

I can really sympathise. My waters broke at 36 weeks and I was sent to the postnatal ward as they would not believe I was in labour (I hadn't been when they put the monitor on me in triage but it started alomst straight after). They sent my husband home and I was there alone in severe pain with no pain relief and trying to be quiet as the three other women and babies in the room were asleep. It was awful. By the time they believed me and sent me up to the labour ward I was 7cm dilated, and could barely walk up there, and was given gas and air.

I then had to wait 4 hours for an epidural as all staff were busy (not their fault I know but it was very difficult for me). My DD was posterior and stuck and I was very close to having an emergency section as well.

I can totally sympathise about feeling let down and not having the experience I wanted. I am still quite traumatised nearly 2 years later.


fishie Wed 16-Jul-08 09:38:53

angua well done for writing it down, for complaining and for getting through it. i had gel induction on maternity ward as well then off to filthy labour room after 48 hours with no sleep for a syntocin drip with no epidural, not allowed off the bed for 9 hours (even for a wee). unsurprisingly this was followed by ecs. it was all so brutal and i was really bewildered and upset.

i felt so much better when i'd complained too. it makes things better in so many ways, taking back some power and hopefully improving future care for others.

AtheneNoctua Wed 16-Jul-08 10:11:02

Sounds likek you were probably the victim of an overworked midwife staff or a midwife who thinks pain relief is not really necessary medical attention.

I would defintely tell everyone on mumsnet what hospital this is. wink

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