"Great Antenatal - Poor Post Natal on a Dirty Ward"
About: St Mary's Hospital (Manchester) St Mary's Hospital (Manchester) Manchester M13 0JH
I had a really mixed experience with my care at St Mary's. The antenatal care was brilliant. From 23 weeks, I was under the care of the specialist placenta clinic and owing to some minor complications, was, by the end of my pregnancy, there 2 or 3 times a week. The doctors and midwives in the placenta clinic were absolutely amazing - always making sure I understood what was going on and involving me in the decisions about my care.
In the final few weeks of my pregnancy, I developed gestational hypertension and my placenta began slowing down. The consultants in the placenta clinic had prepared me for this as a possibility many weeks prior and took great care to see me regularly in order that the baby could get as close to full term as possible. Eventually, they recommended I was induced (when I went in for induction I was 36+4 days) and at that point my care was transferred to the induction ward.
Because I was under 37 weeks, my prostin gel induction treatments had to be administered by a Doctor and this meant a lot of waiting around at times. I appreciate doctors do get called to emergencies, but at one point I was left in bed, hooked to a heart monitor for the baby and unable to move for 5 hours waiting for a doctor who was "on the way." That said, the midwives were brilliant.
Once I was ready for a delivery suite, however, I ended up with a 36 hour wait for one!! That seemed a hideously long time and therefore I had been in hospital 3 nights before I even went to delivery.
The anesthetist I dealt with in delivery was brilliant and so too were the consultants. However, the midwife on duty with me failed to notice for 45 minutes that my epidural had become disconnected at the shoulder. This left my in an oxytocin drip induced labour with intense contractions 1 minute apart with absolutely no pain relief. The midwife didn't notice until the anesthetist pointed it out when trying to establish why I was in so much pain. I also heard the midwife mumble under their breath, after the anesthetist asked when they last checked the epidural, that "everything is going wrong for me today." We all have bad days at work but when you have a patient in a complicated labour it is unprofessional to say so. My fluid drip was also allowed to run out and not changed resulted in dehydration.
Ultimately, the team started to lose the ability to track my baby's heartrate so I ended up having an emergency caesaerean. The team in theatre were absolutely amazing. They were brilliant. I was panicking and very emotional, as was my husband, and they reassured me no end. A great team there.
My post natal care involved 3 days on Ward 47. The staff were lovely. However, the ward was dirty. I was in a little ward for 4 people but it was tiny and very cramped. Visitor limits were not enforced so it was often overcrowded and you could run your finger along things and see the dirt. Very worrying for the risk of infection with newborns too.