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Epsom or Kingston?

(15 Posts)
londonlivvy Thu 20-Nov-14 09:01:39

Sorry to all those not local, but hoping some folks will know... I had DD at Kingston and whilst the midwives were ok, the whole labour did not go to plan (back to back) and every time I have to go to kingston I get palpitations and am on the verge of tears. The parking is also a pita. Very expensive and hard to get a spot.

I'm wondering whether changing to Epsom (equal distance from our home) would give me a fresh start and put me in a better mental place for DC2. Can I change birthing location preference at 20 weeks? Is Epsom ok? Do they have NICU expertise in case of baby problems?

I'd really appreciate any thoughts. And other tips on how to get past a bad experience with a first birth to try to approach the second more positively and without fear.

Peaceloveandbiscuits Thu 20-Nov-14 13:50:16

I can't help but am waving as you're semi local to me! grin I'm going to St Peter's but probably too far for you. Good luck

DorisIsALittleBitPartial Thu 20-Nov-14 13:57:17

Hello Livvy, you should change hospital if Kingston makes you feel uncomfortable BUT I think that now Epsom is with St Helier the NICU is at St Helier so any problems would have to be dealt with there. That might be a deal breaker for you.
I can't help you how to move on from a bad experience but sure there will be someone along soon thanks

Pumpkinnose Thu 20-Nov-14 18:23:50

Depends whether they have space - some hospitals including Kingston limit the number of women they will take. Not sure if it's the same for Epsom but worth asking if you are upset at Kingston.

Linguaphile Fri 21-Nov-14 00:28:18

I had mine at Kingston! <waves> Also had a back to back 33.5 hour labour, utter misery, but when I ended up needing an EMCS they all sprang into action and were very good. When are you due? The ward was very crowded when I had mine, which did affect the birth experience (they couldn't get me on the ward or give me an epidural until I was 9.5cm dilated because there were no beds, and I was having twins!), though they said the crowding was because of the month... September is popular apparently. Can't comment on Epsom but if you park on the side streets around Kingston it's a LOT cheaper.

Kaekae Fri 21-Nov-14 00:47:13

I had a very traumatic labour with my first baby at Kingston and ended up with an emergency csection with failed ventouse and forceps. The ward was very very busy. When I fell pregnant the second time less than two years later I felt very much how you describe. I was very scared to return to Kingson. However, I decided I would go back, I paid for a copy of my maternity records went through it with a fine tooth comb and then arranged a meeting with the Head Midwife. I explained to her my fears, and we put together a plan. I was placed on a different birthing unit and because it was a lot quieter I was actually given my own room after my dd was born! I was also consultant lead which gave me that bit more reassurance. I did end up back in theatre but had a VBAC and the experience overall was better, but I still feel the midwives are sometimes too harsh at Kingston. I have heard mixed reviews about Epsom, some good some bad. My sister had her baby at St Helier and raves about how well she was treated.

londonlivvy Fri 21-Nov-14 08:11:45

Thanks for all the replies. My first was end October (not this year, obviously!) at Kingston and next is due in April.

I think by objective terms (ie midwives) they wouldn't describe my birth as that bad, (and I know others have it worse) but regular contractions started saturday night (every three mins) 9pm and she was born Monday 5pm. It was excruciating from about 4am. I asked for an epidural at 1130 am but didn't get one til 330pm due to various other hospital issues (needed to be transferred to Worcester suite, no midwife available on Worcester suite as was lunchtime, blah blah then there was a c section emergency (which I accept was more important)).

By the time i finally had the epidural I had been wanting to throw myself out of a window for over an hour. I had nightmares about the birth for months. dd was finally born by ventouse. It took til 9pm til anyone offered me anything to eat (a stale sandwich and cold cup of tea) and we paid for a private room but I didn't get any sleep anyway so not sure it was worth it. The whole experience meant I just felt resentful of DD and didn't even begin to think I might love her for weeks after the birth. And I had PND for months. I really don't want a repeat of this.

I could try for the hospital debrief method (thanks for the suggestion) but I fear they'd dismiss me as it wasn't that bad a birth. But it was that bad, to me. As I say, the sight of Kingston hosp brings tears to my eyes. I think the fact that epsom doesn't have an NICU is enough for me not to want to transfer there. It would seem very selfish, putting Dc2 at risk. And st helier is too far away to consider.

Other tips on how to mentally put myself in a better, less afraid, state of mind before DC2 arrives would be much appreciated. I know that being terrified certainly won't help with the birth and, let's face it, they're coming anyway, whether I'm ready or not.

londonlivvy Fri 21-Nov-14 08:12:53

Dd was back to back too, linguaphile.

WorkingBling Fri 21-Nov-14 22:32:52

I had ds at Epsom and will have dd there. It's a small hospital so any problems that are very significant mean a trip to at George's. Bit I think that's true at Kingston or at helpers too.

Broadly speaking, I have been happy. But they definitely do have the "treat you like a number" mentality which can be frustrating. Having said that, most of the women I know who have had babies there agree that when actually going through labour etc they got what they needed, even if it wasn't always warm and fuzzy.

They also have a new birthing centre which I have heard is nice.

WingsClipped Fri 21-Nov-14 22:53:00

I don't actually have any experience in either hospital but am quite close by it seems and in pretty much exactly the same situation as you.
Like you, I had my DD in October (not this yr) in West Middlesex in Isleworth. Had a traumatic experience.
We have since moved further out and West Mid and St Peters is pretty much similar distance from our new place, so we could have had choice of either. I'm due in April and as soon as I discovered I was pregnant, I've decided to choose St Peters purely to try and get rid of the negative associations and to try and convince myself this will be a different experience.

amicablemoomin Sat 22-Nov-14 08:06:28

I'm having my first baby at Epsom next month so I can't comment on the care during labour but have been very pleased with the support and care so far. The new birth centre is stunning - hopefully I will get to experience it. Some of my NCT friends have already given birth there and reported a good experience with the hospital. I'm sure so much of it comes down to your birth and your feelings about the hospital - I had a bad MC at st helier and so wanted to be based at Epsom where I feel much more comfortable. Good luck.

broodysnoopstie Sat 22-Nov-14 09:49:36

I'm having my first baby at Kingston so can't comment on care in labour but all the appointments scans etc have been great, staff have been caring and friendly, they always run to time, and when I went in terrified at 7 weeks with a bleed they couldn't of been nicer I'm now 30 weeks and planning on going to the midwife led centre if poss although gestational diabetes might mean I have to go to ward. I'd say do whatever makes you feel most relaxed and secure. it's important you feel comfortable in your surroundings x

angeltattoo Sat 22-Nov-14 12:54:32

I had my DD in April at Kingston, birth midwife and care were great, antenatal was a bit patchy but I was out within 24 hours.

I would consider St. Georges too - how far are you from there?

I am due DC2 in Feb and have now moved but am having this one at the 'big' centre as I want to give birth where the NICU is, just in case.

cheesecakemom Sat 22-Nov-14 15:45:54

The side streets at Kingston are 60p an hour I think. The downside is that you have to go back every 4 hours to pay for more parking. There are some free streets and would suggest you go and scan the area weeks before so you can see where to park for free.

I can't comment on the care provided unfortunately. Good luck

londonlivvy Sun 23-Nov-14 09:55:33

I will have to go and have a look at some side streets when I go for the scan. Thanks. As I say, I'm tempted to cycle but DH gave me a bit of a glare when I suggested it.

I hadn't even thought of St George's tbh but it really is quite a way (over 10 miles) so I think not ideal. I don't like the idea of epsom not having the NICU so I think only solution is for me to pull myself together re kingston. Hypnotherapy maybe? Any ideas?

I'm impressed and surprised that you've had great ante natal care at Kingston. Every appt I've had there (2 this time, several last time) has been at least an hour late, if not more! The midwives in labour were good but agree that post natally they were a bit dismissive/clinical/cold. Labour midwives seemed more human, to me.

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