"Birth- so so, post delivery- horrific"

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

There's a bag of mixed feelings in it for me. I've walked away physically pretty much unscathed, but bearing some emotional scars (at least I'd like to think they're only emotional). Events leading up to the delivery month were pretty standard for the NHS- I was one of many on the conveyer belt, personal wishes dismissed as mental instability, quotas had to be fulfilled, targets met. I'm not used to being a part of a braying herd so it was an out of body experience for me, but as far as I was concerned, it was means to an end. I don't want to discredit some fantastic individuals I was privileged to meet, so I won't disclose certain nuiances because of it. But what I will say is that if bearing and birthing children was as straight forward as certain individuals asserted, we all would be like Amazonian women who would squat in a field to have a baby and then pick the baby up and keep on hoeing, as opposed to having teams of dedicated specialists assisting the birth. What I find quite insulting and humourous - in equal measure, is how condescending medical professionals can be. I'd highly recommend - as a (non medical) professional, and a human being - please don't throw around hypothesis on certain issues if you've no formal training, or don't know much about the subject, especially if the person in front of you has an IQ above a 100. When we're pregnant we're vulnerable, a bit more emotional, but we're not stupid. Days leading up to the delivery I would rather forget; if I walked into this without a post traumatic stress disorder, I most certainly will have one now (please see: above and below). Delivery was pretty uneventful (thanks to the nightmare endured prior to it), but the maternity ward was akin to a plot from "The Magdeline Sisters". The obsession with breastfeeding meant that my baby, who wouldn't latch on, went without food for almost fifteen hours (post birth), but time is irrelevant in the seventh circle of Hell. Even when I started to raise concerns for my little one's well-being, I got a robotic droning about how I should breastfeed, how I'll be a failure if formula was given to my child (adding, "We only give formula if there's a medical need"; a starving newborn clearly isn't one of them) - from two midwives on that particular shift. When I was being taught by a number of midwives how to stimulate my breast - I could've screamed from pain when my breasts were being squeezed. It took everything I had within me to not make a sound, because if I'd have let go- people would've thought there's another baby coming. My eyes tear up with pain from that memory. On xxxx-day morning we knew we are being discharged the following day. I'd place a safe bet that the queue for McDonalds in 90's Soviet Russia moved quicker than our straight forward discharge process. It took a whole day to get a few papers together (paediatrician came and went in the morning, we left the hospital after midnight). Not allowed to say more here.

Story from NHS Choices

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