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Long spells in hospital antentally/postnatally

(25 Posts)
SueW Mon 03-Feb-03 20:26:30

Aloha mentioned in another thread about spending a month or so in hospital due to placenta praevia. This happened to a friend of mine too who also had some bad bleeding - same condition. I just wondered - how did you pass the time?

I felt really lost and lonely spending just 7 days there - mind you I had no visitors to speak of as I was away from family and DH had to go back to work overseas and the only people who could come in came by for an hour or so after work. 2 days were antenatal (although tbh I did leave on the second day after monitoring and post insertion of gel to go for lunch and a spot of shopping).

But the 5 days postnatal were awful. Everyone else seemed to have loads of family, husbands who arrived at 8am and left at 10pm, etc.

I take off my hat to anyone who has endured longer. Did the wards have any 'entertainment' or classes etc you could attend (ours was undegoing work and didn't even have a day room)? Were there other long-term stayers? Did you get friendly with them? Are you still in touch? The whole subject has been popping in and out of my mind all day.

Marina Mon 03-Feb-03 20:42:01

I was in for 10 days postnatally after a c-section went wrong and felt VERY lonely at times. I was practically out the door with dh and ds when my scar ruptured and those extra five days were hellish. BUT the staff were very kind to us all and staying so long meant a lot of people remembered us when we were back there this summer, and that was much appreciated. No-one else stayed as long as I did - three people from my antenatal group came in, gave birth and went before I did.
I had some visitors and dh was there a lot during the day but the nights were long. Like SueW, my family were far away.
At least I did not have to spend a long time on the antenatal ward worrying if my baby was OK. One of my best friends had placenta praevia and the waiting and enforced quiet nearly drove her mad.

Chiccadum Mon 03-Feb-03 21:50:19

I am very unlucky, i was in hospital for 10days trying to induce me then another 4 days due to her being Jaundice, dd2 is was in hospital 10mins before she was born (nearly had her in public corridor), but, after the first 8 hrs she was rushed into SCBU and very ill, i was feeding but collapsed one night through an infection at 4am and at 8am the next morning the sister tried to discharge me even though i was feeding every 2 hours and i lived 40 mins away, on the whole i found them very unhelpful, My dd2 was finally discharged from all her consultants on 12/12/02

prufrock Tue 04-Feb-03 12:52:03

I was in for 7 days, out for 5, in for 4, out for 4 then in for inducing. 2 days later dd was born by c-section and 5 days later we came home. So that's 18 days out of 27.
Antenatally was worse - I was in a ward meant for 4 with 6 beds in it. No day room etc available because of refurbishment. Meals were served from trolleys in the corridor. No TV, not even hospital radio. Because of the overcrowding my bed once didn't have its own light or a chair for visitors to sit on.
There were a couple of people in at various times that I spoke to, swapped magazines etc, but the majority of other women in the hospital were Bengali, and most did not speak English. I did get on well with one of them who was in the bed next to me for 4 days, and who helped to involve me in their conversations and translated comments for me, but I remember one awful night crying myself to sleep at 9 pm whilst animated conversations that i couldn't inderstand went on around me. It was possibly the most miserable period of my life.
DH did come to vist every night for 2 hours, and I spent my days in the corridor on my mobile to work and my Mum (my bill was horrendous that month) I also did a cross stitch sampler for dd - which I haven't actually touched since the day she was born. I really must finish it at some point. I read lots of books - but only crappy novels as I couldn't concentrate on anything weighty.
Both times I was let out I think it was only bacause I was making so much fuss baout staying in. When I was out, I had to go back every day for blood tests and foetal monitoring, so spent 4 hours there each day, but at least I got to sleep in my own bed.

Postnatally I didn't have a problem. - apart from the woman in the bed next to me who snored so loudly. I couldn't get bored, I had so many vistors during the day, and at night I just used to stare at my beautiful baby. My whole world was contained in my little cubicle and I no longer cared about the conditions outside of my curtains. I was glad to get home, but it just didn't seem that important in the grand scheme of things.

bells2 Tue 04-Feb-03 13:20:52

Both times I gave birth at night and then counted the seconds until I could go home (as soon as the paediatrician did the rounds in the morning). I found those 2 nights horrendous as due to constant noise and overcrowding, sleep was totally impossible while understaffing meant no help whatsoever. Prufrock, I really don't how you survived such a long stay in that place. Next time, I am determined to go straight home from the delivery room.

clucks Tue 04-Feb-03 13:51:32

I had 4 days antenatally in August, by a big window and no fan!! It was dreadful, i would spend an hour in the shower just to not be there. The post-natal stay was awful too, no food, no midwives and the head of ward telling everyone to write in and complain. Also, people fainting in the shower and other women having to help them due to short-staffing. I discharged myself after 3 nights but noone to sign drugs forms etc.

different hospital this time, things may be different.

aloha Tue 04-Feb-03 14:38:46

I got really institutionalisted - I have a tv in my room (my absolute saviour) and I knew the schedules backwards. Eg Double ER followed by a trip to the shop for a paper and a flapjack, then House Invaders etc etc Lunch (followed by trip to shop for a sandwich to take the taste away).... maybe a visitor, a bit of reading, then dh would visit. Sometimes I would cry when he went home and I had to stay in my horrible room with my plastic pillow. I recommend books/own pillow/newspapers/Heat/radio with earplugs if on a ward and your own food. The food was horrible, horrible, horrible. Missing my home and dh was the worst bit though. And I really longed to be outside in my garden because it was a lovely late summer time and hot. The bit after was much better because I had my baby safe and sound, unlimited visiting because my work insurance covered a private room and I knew the end was in sight.

aloha Tue 04-Feb-03 14:40:48

Oh, yes, I had phone vouchers. VERY important! The cleaners kept saying 'You STILL here?' every morning. 'Well, um, yes.'

sobernow Tue 04-Feb-03 15:10:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aloha Tue 04-Feb-03 15:29:19

This probably sounds awful, but I was in such a busy ward at first - 8 beds, full of people screaming, bellowing, coming in and out all night, chatting loudly at 4am, that after three days I thought I'd die of exhaustion and anger, so I told the dr that if they didn't find me a side room I would run home right that minute as I was so stressed it couldn't be doing me any good. They found me one right away. The idea of staying for over a month on that ward made me cry.

bells2 Tue 04-Feb-03 15:35:54

Aloha, the first room you describe was exactly my experience. Both times, I fel fantastic after the birth and could immediately have gotten up and walked home. After a night in the ward however, I wanted to top myself.

prufrock Tue 04-Feb-03 15:53:09

Aloha Bells - that was mine too - I also had private medical insurance through work that would have covered me, but only if my consultant had transferred me - which the bitch wouldn't because it was too much hassle for her.
I did get very friendly with the outpatient staff who I had to go in to see every day. I would call from outside to take the midwives breakfast order from Mcdonalds, get there for 9am, have my blood taken and sent to the labs, 1/2 hour of CTG monitoring whislt eating breakfast then sit in comfy armchair and watch ER till the results came back and I could go home - or be admitted again!

slug Tue 04-Feb-03 17:02:07

I was in for 6 days following a bad forceps delivery. The sluglet was in the SCBU and I had tears that would not stop bleeding no matter how much they stiched them. (I look like a sampler down there)

It was horrendous. I had a private room (£25 per day) but no TV. It was a relief to be away from all the other mums who got to be with their babies. To be honest, I think they forgot about me. I spent most of my time in the SCBU and frequently I got no meals as you had to be up on the ward when they came around, and it was anyone's guess when that would be. I survived on dried fruit and a small packet of biscuits I had packed in my labour bag. Dh came every evening, but it was no substitute for the long hours with only the bleeps of the heart monitors for company.

I have never been so pleased to get out of somewhere.

susanmt Wed 05-Feb-03 02:27:46

I was in hospital for 2 seperate 8 day (or so - I think) stretches antenatally with Kidney stones. Dd had to go to a childminder, (dh was saving holidays for after the birth) and dh was at work so all day I was on my own, and although I was in maternity (being looked after by the obs) I had my own room. A lot of the time I was on large doses of pethedine for the pain do I just slept, but apart from that I read a lot and wrote letters to people and went for little walks around the hospital - on one busy night (never very busy here)I ended up bottle feeding someone elses baby as the midwives were all in the delivery suite (not normally more than one birth at a time here but that night there were 2!), and the auxiliary had to answer a bell, and I was sitting having a cup of tea with her, so she just handed the baby over and said 'hang on a tick!' and was back in a couple of mins. I know in big places this would be frowned in but things are a bit more relaxed in a small community hospital! And my dh had worked on the ward for 6 months so they knew me! I also went to the breastfeeding group and waxed lyrical to terrified first time mothers about how wonderful it was, and helped put up the Christmas decorations!
I hated it, though. It was terrible to only see dd and dh for a couple of hours each evening, and although people popped in to see me, it wasn't the same. I missed my own bed and my family and just being able to get on with things. I hated it so much that when the third stone began we managed to get permission for dh to give me the painkillers at home, as I was so opposed to going in again.
So there was no surprise when I was out of there 48 hours after ds was born!

Crunchie Wed 05-Feb-03 10:06:26

I was in for 4 days anti-natally and then about 7 afterwards. But I had a prem-baby, so it was horrendous. Like sobernow I had blood pressure checks every 30 mins (15 on the first night) so I was prementantly attatched to the bed, they left an electronic one on. I had catheters, drips and the works, so I could move around for 48 hrs. I finally persuaded them to get rid of everything, and let me wee in a jug (they had to measure fluid in and out!) and let me have a cool bath!

Afterwards I was so sick I couldn't move for 48 hours and I was kept on the delivery suite for 4 days (post natal wasn't enough)

All in all I must say even though I was in a crummy hospital (Guys)Facilities weren't too bad. I ended up staying 7 weeks in a Ronal McDonal house next door, so when I came home I'd missed nearly 2 months of my life!

CAM Wed 05-Feb-03 11:02:00

Some of the stories here make me realise how lucky I was. However I did have to stay for 7 days postnatally with dd1 just because everyone did in the early 70's. There was nothing amiss with myself or baby, normal delivery etc, breast feeding straightaway but it was the done thing. We had a very bossy matron and every afternoon had to lie on our beds and do leg raises and other exercises. The ward was huge with many mothers in there. They took the babies away at night so we slept but I would have rather had mine with me. It seems like something from the 50's now thinking back. I was bored out of my mind. When I had dd2, in the modern world (late 90's) I gave birth at 2 am, dh and I were given another delivery room that wasn't being used at the time and we slept together till morning. Like Bells as soon as the paediatrician checked her over we were out of there. Baby was 8 hours old when we arrived home. It was fantastic not to go near the postnatal ward and for dh not to have to go home without us.

mears Wed 05-Feb-03 11:17:26

This thread is really interesting to me because, as a midwife, I am involved in the planning of a new maternity hospital. Ours is going to move to be near a general hospital for emergencies.
The plans are that there will be rooms that you deliver in then go home from within 24 hours - sooner if possible. Some midwives are horrified that women will be going home too soon - especially those who have other children and perhaps need the rest.
Does anybody feel that they would have liked to stay longer? I might start another thread on this actually. See you there.

bells2 Wed 05-Feb-03 11:25:04

Mears I think that sounds fantastic. As to staying longer, I guess it may depend on the conditions and support available and the capacity to get some rest versus your home situation. At my hospital there was no potential at all to get any sleep let alone for someone to help with breastfeeding or even hold the baby while you went to the loo. So, for me being at home was a much better option as at least DH could help. Having said that, I would not want to be away from my other children and DH for a second longer than was medically necessary so personally speaking, I would want to get home ASAP even if the hospital was a relatively nice place.

aloha Wed 05-Feb-03 11:38:45

Oooh, sometimes I have quite vivid fantasies about going to a nice convalescent home on the South Coast, all deckchairs on the lawn and tea and scones at 4pm. Now, that combined with a lovely nanny to take the baby while I had a after breakfast/pre-tea kip, would just be perfect. I'd never go home! Seriously though, someone to take the baby would be such a good thing. Who can sleep in hospital?

mears Wed 05-Feb-03 11:43:03

Have started new thread called 'should mothers go home ASAP after delivery' in pregnany topic. I suppose it should have been in the childbirth section, but never mind, I'm sure you will contribute, whatever section.

MABS Wed 05-Feb-03 12:53:30

well, I might win this one.............

8 weeks with dd, 6 before and 2 after delivery at 32 wks.

7 weeks in total with ds (born at 29wks), but only 36 hours after having him by emergency csection.

Both times I had a side room , but is was very, very lonely and I went stir crazy. I relied heavily on friends popping in and became very close to the midwives. I had a portable tv and a microwave and about 4 times dh was allowed to stay with me.

I think I'll stop now, remembering it all is really hard....

Batters Thu 06-Feb-03 06:50:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

susanmt Fri 07-Feb-03 02:50:18

CAM, are you my Mum? She was made to stay in 7 days when she had me in 1970. No, I supppose you're not, as her last baby was 1986, and she had a homebirth for that.

JanZ Fri 07-Feb-03 10:40:12

I had to go back into hospital about 3 weeks after ds was born with an infection - I was on IV antibiotics for 5 days.

Because I was bf ds the local hospital was having difficulty admitting me WITH him, so I ended up going back to the maternity hospital, which was my preference anyway.

They put me in the "bugs" room - a single room with its own bathroom and loo set slightly apart from the main wards, to minimise the risk of cross infection. As there is no private maternity provision in Scotland, this room is apparently also the one that the "stars" get to use when they're delivering here - only they're not told its "real" use!

I actually quite enjoyed it - I don't think I'd realised how ill I had been (the infection hit very quickly) - but it was quite nice to have time just to myself and to focus on ds and establishing bf. It was almost a sort of "babymoon". I was already on a regime of giving ds alternate feeds of EBM (as he wasn't gaining weight) and I could make use of the hospital's electric expressing machines, and the auxilliaries did all the steralising for me.

The midwives enjoyed having a baby a wee bit older to look after if I wanted a break, and I was even able to continue going along to my BF support group - which took place in the next ward!

I have to say that apart from going along to the BF support group, I didn't venture much out of my room. The day room was full of smokers, so I didn't want to expose ds to that. That meant that I couldn't watch TV - but was not great loss! Dh brought a radio in for me and loads of magazines and I slept a lot!

Maybe I'm just an unsociable git!

CAM Fri 07-Feb-03 11:48:38

Stop it susanmt, I feel ancient enough already! dd1 was born a few years later than 1970 and as I was only just enough to have a child please don't make me older than I am!

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