About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow) Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow) Harlow CM20 1QX
Generally speaking I had a very good experience in the labour ward. After discovering my baby was in Breech position at 36/37 weeks I had 2 attempts at an ECV (both failing) during which time all staff were very attentive and available. After attempt 2 the doctor spent a good deal of time discussing options with us and listening to our concerns/wishes. He agreed to proceed as if a 'normal' pregnancy in case baby turned at the last moment and if not that I could try a breech delivery if I wished, this was written into my yellow notes for whoever was on the day of labour to see. My two worst experiences occurred on the day I went into labour. Firstly when my contractions had reached 8 mins apart I was asked to come in to checked how labour was progressing etc. what there I was subjected to a very rough and painful exam by a male doctor on duty which had me is tears begging him to stop. I know this was more painful than necessary as when I had to return 2 hours after for a follow up exam I had another doctor and while it was uncomfortable it was bearable and nothing like the first. The second bad experience was the amount if time it took to receive pain relief when I returned after in the evening after my waters broke. I came back in at about 11pm and was shown to a room and told and connected to monitors then left. I was experiencing back labour so each contraction was extremely painful and very difficult to find a position that was comfortable. My husband and I were left on our own for long periods if time and kept being told I couldn't have pain relief until the doctor had seen me and that they were with someone else. It got to the point where I was was actually pushing (though I didn't realise this at the time) that the midwife came in and said that I could have gas and air after she had spoken to the doctor telling them that was what was happening. At this point I was examined and told I was 7cm and promptly wheel chaired to a delivery room. Once there my experience was fantastic. The doctor was still busy so delivery was started off by the midwives who were very supportive and encouraging at this point. It got a little tense when the doctor first appeared as I believe they had not read my notes to see my wishes for birth, but once the midwife explained I was aware of all risks and what it was I did/didn't want I was relaxed and delivered my baby with no further worries or intervention.