"Don't have your baby here on a weekend"

About: Croydon University Hospital / Maternity

I had my baby a good few months ago, but it has taken me this long to feel able to discuss my experience. I truly feel it has scarred me for life. The day before I was induced, I attended triage as I could not feel my baby moving. I told the midwife that I was concerned, I was 40+3 weeks and exhausted. Even after a trace was carried out, showing a healthy heartbeat, I still couldn't feel baby moving. The midwife admitted she was not happy but as the unit was so busy, I had to go home. She asked me to come back the next day (a Friday) for another heart trace and booked me in for induction on the Sunday. Well the trace on Friday wasn't satisfactory so I was induced on the Friday after all. Midwife was lovely but disappeared off to theatre with another lady for most of my labour. Midwife changed shift while I was pushing so I had no idea who was now 'looking after me'. Baby was born and after being examined I was told I had to go to theatre for stitching. Not one single person in that room spoke to me the entire time I was being stitched. Back on to Mary Ward...considering I had just given birth and not eaten for 12 hours you would think I might be offered a cup of tea and toast? Nope, nothing. I had to ask for my drop to be hung up and my catheter bag put down. The only time I saw a midwife on that ward was when it was shift change and they would come and introduce themselves. I asked for help with breastfeeding & expressed concern that my baby wouldn't wake up to feed. I have since received a copy of my medical notes & it was documented in more than one place that lots of help was given. This is a complete and utter joke. Standing at the curtain for 2 seconds is not help. On the Sunday we were desperate to get out but still concerned about lack of feeding & by now baby was twitching her leg & arm while blinking. We pressed the buzzer, a midwife came and turned it off (they are very good at doing that) and again we expressed our concern. She did not stick around to witness baby twitching, instead dismissed it as normal for babies. By 7pm we were still waiting to be discharged when my mum and I expressed concern, again, about drowsiness, lack of feeding & by now jaundiced. The midwife sent us down to SCBU (on our own) to see a doctor. We were there barely 2 minutes when our baby started twitching again. Very quickly, we were told she was having a seizure, and they got her in an incubator to be helped. Sadly our baby was diagnosed with brain damage and we spent 2 weeks in SCBU with her. The staff in SCBU are amazing. I feel sorry for the staff who do work do hard, are friendly & good at their job who have the misfortune of having to work with the likes of those on Mary Ward. They are understaffed, especially at weekends, and I honestly don't think half of them should be doing the job. Don't make the same mistake as me; have your previous baby elsewhere. Please

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