"Avoid at all costs if you want a goodchildbirth..."
About: George Eliot Hospital George Eliot Hospital Nuneaton CV10 7DJ
On Boxing Day I contacted the maternity unit to say that I was having contractions every four minutes, and that I thought my waters had broken. I was told to come into the unit. I did so, to be told that they couldn't have broken as my cervix was still in a posterior position. I was then given an internal examination by the midwife, who obviously practised on stuffing turkeys. I was left in pain for the rest of the evening by this. I then continued to have contractions for two more days, on the final day they became very irregular and so I went back to the hospital because of how much pain I was in.
After being given yet another agonising examination by the turkey-stuffing midwife, when asked what pain relief I wanted, because of how much pain I was in I responded with 'all of it'. However I was told to try gas and air first. When it became apparent that this was having no other effect other thank making me woozy, they gave me pethedine. This also did next to nothing. It was only when the consultant came in that I was offered an epidural as nothing else was working. There were issues with the fetal heartbeat monitor, they tried three different ones, and at one point one of the midwives realised that they were using the wrong monitor for the machine in the room. They tried to place an internal monitor on my baby's head - the same midwife who kept on causing me pain tried several times - at one point I was physically backing away every time they came near me. Before anyone says 'internal examinations are painful', both the consultant and their team member managed to do them without causing me agonising pain.
Ten minutes after my support (in the form of my mother) had left, I was suddenly surrounded by scurrying staff who didn't seem keen on telling me what was going on. It turned out my baby was in distress (and had been for a while) and so a c-section was necessary. Whilst in theatre, they had to completely anaesthetise me as I had been in pain so long that local anaesthetic wasn't working completely. This was probably a good thing, as the staff there were unable to block the monitor showing me being sliced open! I was told later that my baby came out covered in meconium, so had been in distress for some time.
While some of the midwives there obviously care about the patients, the one who I mostly dealt with clearly feels that we are making their life hard. When giving me pain relief one evening one handed me an oromorph syringe and left, saying 'you know what to do with it, right? as i've got to finish something'.
It's a shame that the staff there who DO genuinely care about their patients are let down by people who see us as an infringement on their time. I'm eternally grateful for the catering staff who at least made me feel like someone was concerned about me, and the consultant and their team member who tried not to make me feel like I was being brutalised each time an examination was done.