"My first baby delivery at Watford General Hospital"

About: Watford General Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

My story is quite tragic. The worst experience. I have been a patient in Watford General Hospital, who had been listed to deliver her baby in the Alexandra Birthing Centre.

It was February of this year (2014) when I was admitted to the hospital due to my contraction pains. They were not even admitting me because they thought the bleeding I was experience wasn't alarming. However, I couldn't believe it wasn't. I was bleeding heavily and I so wanted to be there given I reside in Hemel and travelling from here to there in such a condition seems thousands miles. So I insisted and they let me stay there. The worst part was, they didn't allow my husband to stay over although it should be allowed if you have no family in the town.

I entered to the hospital at almost 9 in the night and by that time, I was hardly dilated. They wanted to send me back and I insisted to stay due to the heavy bleeding. Husband left me there according to the rules and this entire night, I was moaning in pain really loud in the empty ward and NO midwife came around to see me, even out of humanity.

I was left alone, unattended. A few who came, came for the routine check up. But yes, they checked me internally almost thrice or maybe more (between my contractions and delivery) and assured me that the baby has fixed his head. I wanted everything natural, no epidural and nothing so I knew I had to bear the pain.

I was dilating really quick. By 6 or 7 in the morning I was dilated up to 4 cm and I was shifted to the delivery ward! by that time I was 8 cm dilated already. During my pains, a midwife came to me for a routine check up and tried to talk to me. Because I was moaning already, I stopped her from talking by my hand and said, can you pleaseeee rub my back for a while? Her answer shocked me certainly. I was crying and she said, Sorry, its your husband's job, wait until he comes, he would do that to you, I won't do it! ! (she could do it out of humanity) she and me were alone in the entire ward! ! ! So my first question is, if that's my husband's job, why he was sent back to home? ? So that I keep moaning out of pain and no one would come to me? for my help? ?

The time I was sent to the Alexandra Birthing Centre, I was quite shocked to notice (which I noticed at the time of pushing my baby) that there was no support in bed. It was an ordinary bed.

In my birth plan I was given three options, delivery at home, delivery at ABC and delivery at delivery suite that gives edipural and I chose ABC. When later I raised the question about the bed, I was told, "You wanted to deliver the baby naturally so the bed was ordinary so that you could feel delivering your baby at home" and my reply was, "if I wanted to feel homely, I would have chosen delivery at home instead and not ABC and if three options are given already, then they should differ between each other. "

Story doesn't end here, the midwife was not understanding my situation at all, she was all alone in the entire room and seemed to me a student. I could see her poker face. I was moaning so loud and she had the "I DON'T CARE" tag on her face. I know she couldn't do anything until my baby doesn't want to come out but at least she could have given me moral support. Stand by be, be nice to me, be polite to me but she chose to stand at a side, bowed on a piece of paper and writing something as if nothing is going on in the room. My husband was there too but at this moment, a woman wants to have another woman around too as she can understand her situation more better. She seemed so unsupportive. Not only this, when I addressed her, she said, when you feel like pushing, let me know... and when I felt like, I called her.. she looked and said, baby head isn't coming yet. I was taking a lot of gas and air. She made me frustrated more. Just then I realised there was no support on the sides of the bed and when I told her this, she said, hold your thighs yourself and push your baby... and went back to her desk at a side. so ladies, the bed was like your own bedroom's bed. Only it had height. That's it. Now, would you imagine how can I hold my thighs myself and push the baby at the same time when I am in deep pain and she is not touching me at all and even not showing any concern. If I had to go through all this, wouldn't it be better that I would deliver my baby at my home in the presence of my hubby only? ? Why are the hospitals and midwives are for, then? ?

Then after a lot of efforts, when I was exhausted, she said, let me check you internally again and then when she checked, she said (at 9cm dilation) Oh, I think, it's not baby's head, its his Bums! ! OoO

I felt like................ (can't write here seriously what I felt like), she then called a surgeon who checked in internally too and said, yes, I believe that too, then they brought a mobile ultrasound machine and confirmed me the baby's breech position. Told me, I need to get the Emergency C-Section done and by then I so wanted that too.

I was tooooo fainted and exhausted by that time. I was taken for emergency C-section and the operation staff was at least good.

I have now my baby :)

Story doesn't end here too. I was sent to the ward where I was not looked after properly as well. They asked me to stand up and walk in almost 24 hours. Which was ok, because that helped me to recover fast, BUT, they wanted me to do my work myself. Even asked me to bring my breakfast and other meals myself from the kitchen. I am operated a day back and they are asking me to move out of my recovery process. Making me stand for a while and making me stand to do my chores (that includes not only walking but moving your entire body) are two different things.

Overall, Watford General Hospital, to my understanding, is the worst hospital to get your baby delivered. It's not the first time I faced this, I was admitted during my pregnancy due to continuous vomiting in the same hospital and even then the nurses were so rude and harsh except of just one. Not only that, when I asked for the food, she said, the food is finished however the time by then was morning 11 and I had to order my food from a local food shop.

I am so clueless who could none of the midwives and doctors know, my baby was breech, as studies later showed that my baby had not change his position at the eleventh hour but he was breech for a couple of months.

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Responses

Response from Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Communications and corporate affairs, West Herfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Antony Tiernan

Thank you for taking the time to let us have feedback about the care you received from our maternity team at Watford Hospital.

I would like to start by congratulating you on the birth of your baby. However, I am very sorry that the care we provided was clearly not to the standard we would expect.

You have raised many issues and it would help us if we could meet with you to go through them and to answer the questions and concerns you have raised.

It will also allow us to raise the concerns with our team, in particular the staff on duty the day you delivered your baby.

I know our Head of Midwifery, Frances Jones, would be more than happy to visit you at your home.

I would be grateful if you could please contact her directly on 01923 217 979 or you can email frances.jones@whht.nhs.uk.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the standard of care you received.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht.nhs.uk or you can call me on 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan.

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Update posted by scorcat79 (the patient)

Thanks Antony for your quick reply and kind consideration.

I would love to meet or talk to France Jones and will make sure to send her an email.

However, the reason for publishing my story isn't only to be answered on what I went through. I just wish that other patients (mums-to-be) will not be treated the way I was, in future!!

Thanks again.

Response from Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Communications and corporate affairs, West Herfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Antony Tiernan

Thank you for your message.

I am pleased you will be contacting Frances. She is very keen to hear from you.

I fully understand your point about not wanting other mums-to-be to be treated in the same way and this will be a key priority for Frances.

I know Frances will share feedback about your experience with appropriate staff in the unit including the lessons we need to learn to avoid similar issues in the future.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the standard of care you received.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht.nhs.uk or you can call me on 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan.

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