"Traumatic experience giving birth"

About: Hull Royal Infirmary / Paediatrics

(as the patient),

In December 2008 I went to Hull Women's and Children's Maternity hospital to be induced, due to high blood pressure. When I got to the hospital, everything was great; I was on maple ward and made to feel very welcome. I was later transferred to the labour ward, which again when I got there was brilliant. The midwife I had was great with me and helped me through contractions and gave my partner advice on how to help and give me massages, she also gave me a birthing ball.

Unfortunately she had to leave at 2am, the next midwife who delivered my baby came on shift and this is where my problems began. She was yawning when she walked in the ward, didn't seem like she was listening to anything the other midwife had to say on passing over and generally had a bad attitude. I asked her if she had just started and she said no, she had to come here because some staff had to leave early. She left me for hours in the labour room with my partner, then came in and told me to lie on my side, and asked another midwife to come in and check the baby’s heart rate. My partner asked her what was going on and she just mumbled to herself and ignored him, he had to ask again for her to explain what was going on. Then the other midwife who had come in asked our midwife when she was going to start me pushing, and she said at ten past six, the other midwife advised her to do it now, and started mentioning using forceps, then they told me to lay on my other side. At this point I was shaking due to being ignored at first. I had never been so scared in my life, then the baby’s rate went back to normal and I delivered normally about 4 mins later.

When he was born and they passed him to me, they injected me with the drug to help my placenta come, which the first midwife had told me they couldn't give me because of my blood pressure. The midwife that delivered my baby then yanked at the cord hard and ripped it off the placenta. I saw the horrified look on the other midwifes face, she then told me to push the placenta out because she had ripped the cord off it. I then couldn't stop urinating and had to have a catheter fitted. The midwife then asked me if I was ever going to stop urinating. I eventually pushed the placenta out.

As the midwife was doing my stitches she was watching TV and talking to the other midwife, whilst doing hand gestures as you do when you are talking and hurting me as she was pulling on the stitches. She then weighed my baby, gave me the information on how much he weighed etc and walked out of the room. Me and my partner were left in the room for a few hours with our baby. I pressed the nurse button to get some Paracetamol, as I had a headache and no one came for 10 to 15 mins, then said they will get the midwife caring for me. She then came back in 20 mins later and said has anyone been yet and we said no, so I then pressed the button again. I finally got some pain relief off a new midwife that had come on, she said to us, has no one been in and we said no this had been a good few hours after I had had him.

I was then moved to the rowan ward I think it was, which was 25 degrees, the room was stuffy and there was no water at the side of the bed. I was asked if I wanted some water and I said yes – though it never arrived. The nurse came in again and said did you want some water and I said yes I did and she said she would bring me some. I still didn't get any water, she came in again and said oh I haven't brought you your water have I, don't want you getting dehydrated. At this point I wanted to leave the ward and go home, as I had been up from 7am the day before and had no sleep til around 3pm the next day. I couldn't sleep in the bed as it was so warm and I was sweating, I have bad anxiety and by this point every time a midwife came in I would tense up and feel my heartbeat accelerating due to the way I had been treated.

The next day, I asked the midwife if I could and she said we will review it and let you know. By 3pm I had still not heard anything. I was asked to give a urine sample, which I did and I took it to the front desk and they told me to leave it on the table near my bed, it was still there a good few hours later. By then another midwife had come on shift and had asked me why it was there and how long. I was very frustrated and upset by this point, when I was told I couldn't go home I broke down as my partner had gone home and as I am so quiet he was the person that spoke up for me when I was too scared to say anything. I was woken up all through the night, not by my baby but the staff. I was exhausted. The next day, I was told not to cuddle my baby when feeding him as he wasn't feeding properly, so I was feeding him on his back which I thought was what she meant. Another midwife of the lady next door to me walked past and said don't feed him like that you will choke him, then said is this your first and walked off after looking at me like how I feel I was a bad parent. I couldn't even look at her and broke down. The ladies mother in the bed next to me said I bet she made you feel awful didn't she and I just got so upset I could hardly breathe, then I had a midwife come in and take my blood pressure, which was then obviously very high. I spoke to someone about this and I think they had words with her.

That morning I asked the midwife if I could go home and she said I don't see any reason why not. So when my midwife from the previous day came on I asked her in the morning and she said she would review it with the doctor. My partner was then asking again what was happening, after being left for hours without any information, and they said they didn't know as they were busy. It then got to 4.30pm and finally was told a doctor had been paged to come and talk to me. At this point, knowing my baby could come home, all I wanted to do was discharge myself and when being told I couldn't leave due to my high blood pressure (which I believe went up from treatment of staff on that ward) I told the doctor I wanted to leave and would discharge myself if I couldn't. This is the reason why I discharged myself and when I talk to anyone about my experience of what happened I break down.

My anxiety has got worse since I have come out and I now have a fear when midwives come round to my house which flares up my anxiety, I have a blood pressure monitor and when checking my blood pressure before and after they leave it raises significantly. The thought of going back to hospital at all with my baby even for check ups now gives me chest pains and I get upset. This whole experience has ruined what should have been the most amazing day of my life as all I can remember is everything that happened.

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Response from Engagement Section Assistant, NHS Hull

Dear emmahayward248

Many thanks for placing your posting on the Patient Opinion website. The experiences you have recounted were clearly very distressing for you and we are very concerned about the points that you have raised.

We have made our colleagues at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust aware of the concerns and they have asked that you contact their Patient Advice & Liaison Service so that they can obtain more details and investigate this matter thoroughly for you.

They can be contacted on 01482 623065 or by email on pals@hey.nhs.uk.

Alternatively if you would like NHS Hull, in our commissioning role to investigate, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01482 335409 or by email on pals@hullpct.nhs.uk.

NHS Hull is the organisation responsible for deciding how money is spent on local health services [also known as commissioning], ensuring those services are of high quality and meet local needs.

Thank you once again for taking the time to provide us with your views on local services.

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