"Traumatic birth experiences in Leeds"

About: Clarendon Wing, Leeds General Infirmary

(as the patient),

I have been pregnant 5 times. First time induced hospital. Was made to lay down on bed throughout, with no freedom to move. The failed inducement led to a long labour. 2nd baby lost at 21 weeks. Told at my scan that, what was clearly a foetus, was only a "blood clot" (to save me pain?). Was promised would find out sex, and why baby died; went back 6 weeks later and was told they had not bothered to do this. Told that "miscarriages are common", and to go away and have another baby. I was totally fraught that they made false promises. 3rd baby was home birth in 4 hours. Healthy 10lb baby from lovely home birth. 4th baby I was made to have at hospital, as had slight staining in waters, which is common in late babies apparently (even though their monitoring showed baby was 100% fine). So left home 5 cms dilated and regular contractions to hospital. I was forced to lay down in a bed again (like my 1st). I was induced, as labour had stopped - no surprise there with stress of being in hospital. However, inducement went wrong, they over stimulated my uterus and as a result ended up with my longest labour and ventouse. This resulted in large cut, trauma and as a consequence could not have a sex life for 6 months after. Yet my last birth had been a quick wonderful home birth. I feel very resentful for hospital midwives, who coerced me into going to hospital; they quite clearly did not support home births. 5th baby – I vowed, would only go to hospital if something wrong with baby. However, after a normal healthy pregnancy as I was "late" according to their dates, despite me telling them they were wrong! I conceived this baby when I started having sex again after 4th baby, so knew when baby conceived. My midwife told me "hospital will use their powers" if I did not go into hospital to be induced. I asked for a C section, as I could not go through long painful hard labour and failed inducement again. Inducement clearly did not work for me, but I was refused a c section and home birth, despite my worries and fears. Hospital scanned me and told me I was having a 10 and half pound baby again, I told them that this baby was my smallest and indeed my measurements fundal height supported this - but the hospital were blinkered. They say that they support home births, but really don’t!. I was aghast that my midwife was bullying me and clearly happy to have me forced into hospital and induced against my will. This was despite scans showing baby was fine - just because, according to their dates, I was 2 weeks late. However, I knew exactly when conceived, I also knew that baby was not 10lb. Happily, I went into labour naturally and because I was scared of midwives, I laboured alone and my husband delivered our healthy 8lb little girl - not the huge baby they told me i was having. A community midwife (a man) came to my home. He was vile - telling me to "open my lips" so he could check me. I felt like I was in a dirty porn flick - they do have an official name - labia! Despite arriving an hour after my birth at home, he wrote patient declined skin-to-skin contact with baby. I actually held for an whole entire hour without her being whisked away as in hospital environment. He wrote this because I did not want to breast feed in front of him (he was a man and had already made me feel uncomfortable with his "lips" remark). He wrote in his notes that my baby passed meconium at birth, this was not true - he had not even been there at delivery. The final insult was the paramedics had put my placenta in a bucket, which he could not open, so he wrote in my notes "placenta whole and complete at delivery" 2 days later I passed a piece of placenta the size of my babies head and, because he had given me an injection that makes your uterus shut down, he actually put my life in danger - I was lucky not to be poisoned by the remaining placenta in my womb.
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Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

In view of this description of events, we would like to offer an apology for the disappointing experience you appear to have suffered. We would be happy to review your concerns, if you would like to get in touch. If this is the case please could you contact Karen Dunwoodie, Patient Relations Manager, so that your concerns can be investigated. She can be contact by email or telephone 0113 2066261, or by writing to her at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Patient Relations Department, St James's Hospital, Trust Headquarters, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF.
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