"The good and bad of having a Premature Baby in Ninewells"

About: Ninewells Hospital Ninewells Hospital / Maternity care

(as a relative),

I was 32 weeks pregnant when I went to the Maternity Unit at Ninewells Hospital. I had been up all night with severe pains. Upon arrival, I was asked to do a urine sample, which I did. Blood was visible in my urine. I was escorted in the lift to a maternity ward. I was shown to a bed, and then asked what pain relief I had taken. I replied that I had taken none, because I was worried about taking medication while pregnant. The midwife answered with "well, you can take paracetamol when pregnant, and that is what 24hour shops are open for". I was in agony, and could barely stay still. I went back and forward to a toilet, where I continued to bleed. The midwife came back to use a foetal heart monitor, which I could not tolerate (it seemed to increase the pain, and I was unable to lie still). She gave up, and informed me that a Doctor would see me, but they were busy in theatre, and it was a Sunday morning. I pressed the alarm, and was given a co-hydramol tablet, which I was unable to swallow. After being told by the same midwife repeatedly that the Doctors were all busy, another one came, and seemed to notice immediately that I was in advanced Labour. At this point, both midwives took me on bed back downstairs to the Labour suite. 15 minutes later, my son was born. He had the umbilical cord round his neck, and had to be resuscitated. All staff in the maternity unit were lovely. I am so grateful I never gave birth to my son in the toilet of the other ward.

The next two weeks were spent in SCBU (special care baby unit) with my son. The staff were lovely. My sons weight decreased from 5lbs8oz to 4lbs2oz in the 6 weeks between his birth, 2 weeks in SCBU, numerous visits to a+e / GP practice. Only then was it noticed that he had pyloric stenosis, for which he needed surgery. I continue to wonder why none of the medical personnel involved in his care noticed this. I felt as if I was seen to be a neurotic, first time mother when I was in fact worried senseless that my premature baby was losing what little weight he had.

He is now a healthy, happy child, for which I am eternally grateful.

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