"Over stretched maternity unit"
About: Calderdale Royal Hospital Calderdale Royal Hospital Halifax HX3 0PW
Posted by Caroline snell
My experience of giving birth at Calderdale royal was mixed. I was 2 weeks overdue and had been having mild contractions for 30 hours with no progression. I called the maternity unit but no beds were available and instead they arranged a midwife examination for me that afternoon in Huddersfield. Here I was told I was 2cm dilated and would need my waters breaking instead of being induced. Later that evening a bed came available at Calderdale, I was examined again by a midwife who told me I was not dilated at all and would need inducing (and that basically whoever examined me earlier didn't know what they were talking about). After giving me the pessary this midwife told my partner he might as well go home because the baby 'definitely wouldn't be born that night, that the likelihood was I would need inducing again the next day and it could even take 48 hours. So my partner went home, luckily for me my mum stayed with me. My labour accelerated incredibly fast and within a few hours I was in a lot of pain. It was 1am before we managed to attract the attention of any midwives and eventually I was examined and 5-6cm dilated. At 2am I asked for an epidural as I was in agony. The care I received from the midwife after I had the epidural was second to none, she was so caring, kind and gentle. My son was delivered by forcepts at 6.29am (luckily my partner made it back in time!). The midwife who had administered the epidural came in the room just before I gave birth, she was very surprised at my progress and told me that it seemed sometimes a batch of the induction medicine seemed to be 'supercharged' and much stronger than usual, which even in the state I was in I thought was quite outrageous. my son breastfed well straight after the birth and I was exhausted so we both tried to get some rest, we were quickly disturbed however by a male midwife who tried to get my baby to feed again even though he was asleep and I was exhausted, I asked if we could just have an hours rest and told him the baby had fed but he insisted I should feed on demand, which I thought was bizarre as my baby was not demanding at that time. In terms of after care my experience was mixed again, I received some invaluable help and support with breastfeeding, but at other times felt completely abandoned and unsupported, which I noticed with other ladies on the ward too. I do think on the whole the staff and midwives do a good job, but they seem very over stretched and stressed, there seemed to be an attitude of 'I don't have time for you'. My thoughts are that a labour ward at HRI would take the pressure off Calderdale quite a lot. Overall it was a rather stressful experience! I suppose my reason for leaving this comment was primarily to raise the issue of this unit being so over stretched, and to ask midwives who are inducing patients to avoid giving them false information, I didn't have my partner at my side when I was in a lot of pain because of the foolish words of a midwife.