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Bad childbirth experience at St Georges Tooting..

(26 Posts)
ilovemydaughter Mon 09-Mar-09 16:06:55

If you are prepering to give birth in St Georges make sure they wont treat you as they treated me!
I was overdue with my first child and had to come to hospital to be induced. My husband and I arrived there at aroung 10pm, and around 11pm they started to induce me (by inserting the pill). We were told that usually the first pill doesnt work, so probably after 4 hours I will get another one, so my husband can go home and if it will start they will give him a call. So he left. The pill started to work very quickly, but I didnt realise that was it! The paing was getting stronger so I called for midwife who just looked surprise that Im in pain and left. After a while I had to call again and asked for paracetamol or something stronger. I asked when I wll be able to get epidural but was told that its too early. I got the paracetamol but started to throw up and it didnt work. When I called for help, the midwife just poped her head in and said that its all fine. I was left alone in small room, throwing up and with contractions getting stronger and stronger. I completely forgot all antenatal classes, didnt remember that my hubby supposed to be with me, all I thought about was how scary it was! I cried for epidural but it was too early, and then all of a sudden I was told that its too late. Eventually my waters broke and I felt that I need to push! In my birthplan I said that I wanted to use the pool or take an epidural if I couldnt cope, but nobody really cared what was that I wanted. When my waters broke the midwife came and said that I couldnt stay in the room anymore, but have to go to the first floor (from 4th!) now. I obviously didnt wanna go anywhere, but she was getting impatient. Eventually I got to the first floor and got some relief (gas and air). Half an hour before my daughter was born my husband arrived and helped me through.. My daughter was born at 6.40am. 3 hours after giving birth another midwife came to stich me up. It was horrible. When she was putting the stiches I told her that its painful and I can feel the needle going in, her response was: Are you still alive?
About half an hour later I needed to pee, so I asked my husband to go and ask for something I could use. I was told I have to walk to the toilet. As soon as I stood up, blood just flooded my legs, floor, my slippers. Nobody came to help me to clean myself (my husband was holding the baby, as there was nowhere to put her), so I used the paper towels that were next to the basin.
At 2 pm I was told that I could go home if I wanted, and I didnt think twice. When I was leaving, the blood was still smeard all over the floor, nobody changed the bedsheets after birth..
I didnt have difficult birth, no complication, my baby is healthy. But 6 months on, I still think about that night and it still makes me angry as hell.

EldonAve Mon 09-Mar-09 16:11:05

Sorry to hear you had a bad time

clayre Mon 09-Mar-09 16:15:07

sounds similar to mine at a different hosp except the cleaning up the blood bit, there was 2 people mopping up the blood that was pouring out of me, my aftercare was slightly better till i got to the ward then collapsed cos no one would help me to the toilet!

Sycamoretree Mon 09-Mar-09 16:22:12

When you feel you can, you need to write to the Patients liaison people. They need to know. If you don't complain, they can't act.

I'm so sorry for you. I had similar horrific experience at Queen Charlotte's, which many people think is marvellous. Writing it all down made me feel better - and I had a one off counselling session.

I had a lot of anger too - you need to process it. Well done for getting through such an ordeal. You are incredible smile

MrsMattie Mon 09-Mar-09 16:24:31

So sorry you had such a horrible time. Had similar horrors at the Royal Free with my first baby. Something is very wrong somewhere...

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 09-Mar-09 16:28:41

What makes me so sad about stories like this is that actually, you sound like you could have had a really great birth. You had a relatively speedy delivery with no need for e.g. forceps. But the total lack of support turned it from something positive into something hugely negative. I do think you should give feed back to the hospital and am really sorry you have been through this. I hope you find a way to make peace with it.

Lulumama Mon 09-Mar-09 16:31:24

you must make a complaint

unfortunately, there are a proportion of care givers who will presume that a first time mother in pain, after having a pessary inserted for induction is having 'prostin pains' - i.e painful ctx , but they are not dilating you, therefore you are not in real labour.

what would have been far better is for a MW to listen to you, offer you a bath, and spend some time caring for you

i would suggest that you write to the Head of midwifery adn ask to discuss all of this with her

am so sorry you had to go through this

drosophila Mon 09-Mar-09 16:39:33

I had my DS in Georges 9 years ago and I see they haven't changed much. I insisted on going to Kings with dd and it wasn't perfect but it was light years ahead of Georges. This time with no 3 going back to Kings and coincidently I met a expectant mum in the waiting room who turned out to be a midwife who had worked in Georges and Kings and Thomas's and she said that no midwife in George's would have their kids their nor would they let their daughters have their kids there.

Makes me soooo cross that you and countless other women have to endure this level of service. I remember one poor distressed woman being told 'why do you think they call it labour' in the most sneering of voices.

drosophila Mon 09-Mar-09 16:40:42

You can see how cross I am by my poor spelling!!!

ellenjames Tue 10-Mar-09 14:25:25

i had similar experience at my hospital, so have changed for this pregnancy and will take no shit this time! Sorry but looking back at how my 'midwife' spoke to me, i would prob lash out if it happened again! Do complain i did to make sure it didnt happen to anyone else! x

nuttygirl Tue 10-Mar-09 14:35:19

I had a similar experience (not induced but v quick first labour) at a different hospital. Again it should have been a great experience but the attitude of the staff who didn't believe I was in labour made it traumatic.

Complaining did help me though. I got a copy of my notes and wrote a complaint letter. The response I got didn't answer everything (some of it was responded to with "it was in line with hospital policy") but the letter made it clear they had had serious words with the midwife responsible for my care and that she had apologised, which helped me feel I might have made a difference.

notcitrus Tue 10-Mar-09 14:35:35

I gave birth at Georges 6 months ago. My treatment through birth over 2 days was fantastic but the post-natal care was diabolical. I wrote to complain but having not got anything back I've recently written again to both the head of postnatal care and Pals.
I know they got a new head of pn care in to sort out this stuff but i think she's fighting to hold any service toghether on the budget.

complaining in writing is the only thing that will help future women giving birth, as nothing else will get the hospital to pay for more midwives (the main problem...)

Crazycatlady Tue 10-Mar-09 18:20:30

Hi Notcitrus! Hope you and A are well.

I'm in the process of writing my complaint letters to St Thomas' re the appalling experience we had at the Birth Centre and Postnatal Ward. I'm finding it very hard to compose them without getting emotional and sounding like a madwoman. If you feel like sharing your letter I'd be grateful, but don't worry if it's too personal and you'd rather not x

notcitrus Tue 10-Mar-09 20:03:48

Hi Crazycat - no probs, email me.
Should mention I posted it first when A was around 4 months, as I was too emotional to write earlier, but kept having nightmares so figured I had to.

Now I can actually almost laugh at it, but that's partly because I'm determined to fight and improve things in my best civil-servant kickarse manner (invoking FOI and its tougher friend the Environmental Info Regs is always fun) - I've also been helping some friends kick arse with other PCTs recently which is so much easier than complaining oneself...

Thing is, the first 48 hours I was there were wonderful - probably saw 50 staff who were all polite, reassuring, listened to me and did their jobs effectively - the care was faultless. I actually enjoyed my first 12 hours of labour!

So why should the postnatal night shift be allowed to get away with undermining the hard work of all those staff and giving the whole hospital a bad name?

lockets Tue 10-Mar-09 20:07:57

Message withdrawn

MummyAitch Fri 13-Mar-09 18:17:50

This sounds really similar to my experience at Queen's Hospital, Burton-upon-Trent. I was induced with a pessary at 42 weeks and told that nothing would happen that day and that I wouldn't be examined again until 4pm (I was given the pessary at 8 am). I swiftly went into labour, and once the contractions were unbearable I asked for some help, but was quickly dismissed as not possibly being in labour, given 2 paracetamol and told that the bathrooms were busy so I couldn’t have a bath. I was very scared as no-one wanted to listen or help and I was on a ward with no privacy. It wasn't until my waters' broke and my husband had to look for someone to help (only managing to find a cleaner who then went to find a midwife) that the midwife returned and reluctantly agreed to examine me (which was incredibly painful as I was on all fours and didn't want to lie on my back). She then panicked as she realised I was 9cm dilated, and grabbed a wheelchair to take me to delivery suite. Sitting in a wheelchair was also incredibly painful, and I had to wait while they vacated a room for me. I was then strapped to the monitor for the duration of delivery, unable to move off my back. I gave birth at 2.30pm (despite being told I wouldn’t be examined again until 4pm!) I was also very badly teared. Everyone tells me I am lucky that my labour was so quick, but 6 hours of feeling scared, alone and not listened to, feels like forever.

It may seem like I should have gotten over this by now, but I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and terrified that when I am in labour this time no-one will listen and I will be left alone again. I have started going to ante-natal classes with the NCT to help me feel more prepared and understand what happened the first time around, but everyone else on my course are first-timers and I don't think it would be fair to worry them with my story. It is also dredging up lots of memories of my labour that I wish I could forget, and making me very angry. For example, I have since realised that I was actually given a pethadine injection just before I went to delivery suite, and this may have been the reason I was kept on my back on the monitor during delivery.
How can I get over this, and have a positive experience this time?

Lulumama Fri 13-Mar-09 18:21:59

i would get in touch with the birth trauma association, and also make an appointment to see the head of midwifery as soon as possible to discuss what happened last time, if you are giving birth at the same place

unfortunately, for lot of women who are induced, they have a really hard time convincing a MW they are in labour, rather than having prostin pains..

you could consider having a doula this time, to support you and be your advocate and ensrue you are not alone at any point, i am a doula, and am allowed to be with my clients on teh AN ward, regardless of whether thye are in establised labour or not. if a woman needs support, she should get it

MummyAitch Fri 13-Mar-09 18:26:12

Thanks. I am hoping to go to a mid-wife led unit this time which has a fantastic reputation and would like a water-birth. I can't bear the thought of going back to the same hospital.

I think you are right about contacting someone, as I do feel like I need someone to listen and don't want this to happen to anyone else.

Lulumama Fri 13-Mar-09 18:28:38

have you thought about a home birth?

i would certainly speak to the hospital, and let them know what happened, things will change if enough people complain and speak out.

you could also find out if your hospital has a Maternity services liasion committe, and you could have your feelings raised there, you could try getting in touch with your local NCT who might well have representatives on teh committee or PALS.

a quick labour is all very well if you are being cared for in a labour suite, with the Mw fully aware and with pain relief if you want it

dinkystinky Fri 13-Mar-09 20:49:20

Mummyaitch - I was induced at 42 weeks with my DS1 at the Royal Free and had a horribly similar experience to you. I went to a MLU at St Marys for my DS2's birth last month and had a wonderful and totally different experience (lovely short and manageable labour, water birth and supportive midwives who listened to my wishes re the birth). When I first got pregnant, I too was really worried that my first birth experience would overshadow DS2's birth which I really didnt want to happen. What worked for me was (i) having a doula at the birth to ensure that my wishes were respected and for a second pair of ears and eyes to support my husband and (ii) doing a hypnobirthing course at around 30 weeks and practising the affirmations, visualisations and relaxation exercises (less to deal with the labour, more to deal with tension if I started thinking about DS1's birth). As it happens I didnt think about DS1's birth at all while birthing DS2. Good luck - and I really hope you get the birth you want this time round.

TheCollection Mon 18-May-09 14:04:12

ilovemydaughter> Christ, what an awful experience!

Have you complained? You should definitely complain, officially, I know it won't change what happened to you, but the more people do it the more of a chance there is something will change in the future...

Glad you + daughter are OK.

YorkshireRose Mon 18-May-09 14:49:31

I also experienced very rapid onset of labour after being induced with prostin pessary. I had been told (same as others on thread) that probably nothing would happen thst day and was sent out with DH to get lunch! 5 mins after leaving labour ward got strong contractions and managed to get back to ward with DH helping me.

The difference with my experience was that the midwives immediately took me seriously, put me straight on a monitor and could see the strong (30 seconds apart!) contractions. I was transsferred to a labour ward very quickly and alomost straight away got an epidural as the contractions were so powerful.

The consultant who was very quickly on the scene told me some women are hypersensitive to the prostin gel and this is a widely recognised condition. It is possibly familial as my sister has the same experience.

This all happened almost ten years ago. I am shocked that there is still such ignorance about this issue amongst maternity staff.

The midwives some of the posters here had were obviously not up to date and very bad at listening to their patients. Telling a woman in labout that "you can't really be in labour yet" is arrogant beyond belief! shock

I was at Chelsea & Westminster hospital by the way. Can't fault the care I got.

I have also heard bad things about St Georges. It is not just the maternity dept which has a bad reputation, it is the whole hospital.

Hawkmoth Mon 18-May-09 16:42:38

Missed this thread earlier... I am also one of those people who are sent straight into labour by the prostin pessary.

Oh the fun of being given a codeine tablet after being stuck alone in a bath for half an hour because the contractions were coming so fast. But even I didn't think I was in labour until I started pushing... that's how little they mention it. I was so thrilled to be 2cm, and thought I was going downstairs for an epidural because another eight hours of that sort of pain would have done me in!

Seems like they were a bit more on top of me though, as they thought DD had growth problems. She then had decelerations (cord round neck) and there were about 20 assorted people in the room when I gave birth! AND they let me have G&A plus three injections while I got stitched.

renia1 Sun 25-Oct-09 22:50:18

hello,I am 7 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I hope someone can advise on which hospital to choose ? Chelsea & Westminster or St. Georges. I have heard both good and bad about both, so it is a bit difficult as I am new to London. Please advise

3littlefrogs Sun 25-Oct-09 22:54:02

I had my first in St Georges 20 years ago - it is obviously still the same. sad

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