"My testimony – Vaginal birth of blessed baby daughter"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / General surgery University Hospital Lewisham / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had challenges regarding previous pregnancy, at start and during recent pregnancy:

• Emergency Caesarean section delivery for first two children

• Pre-eclampsia experience during pregnancy for first two children

• In one of my first two children labour time experienced was long.

• Last period date before recent pregnancy confirmation was unsure, due to inconsistent menstruation cycle. This seemed to affect the gestation birth date(s) for recent pregnancy. More than two delivery dates suggested by the hospital.

• Was advised that my age range at recent pregnancy coupled with the above factors makes my recent pregnancy high risk and have to be continually monitored. My blood pressure was regularly monitored.

• Abdominal pain, intermittent high temperature and severe headaches during early and mid periods of recent pregnancy.

• Unbearable itching towards the end of recent pregnancy.

• Due to the above two difficulties I seemed not to be feeling baby move regularly.

• Initially Consultant Gynaecologist advised that I book for Elective Caesarean section, to be scheduled few weeks before the most recent delivery date. I was informed of the high risks of going into labour to try having vaginal birth.

• Very anxious about the outcome of the recent pregnancy and delivery. I was opportune to further discuss possibility of vaginal birth with the Consultant Gynaecologist, Consultant Midwife, Doctors and other Professionals. Collectively it was agreed that the elective date for Caesarean section should be scheduled for a date after the estimated delivery date to give me a chance to try having vaginal birth.

• Very anxious and scared about the possibility of any mishaps whilst trying to have vaginal birth, further discussions where held with the Consultant Gynaecologist and the elective Caesarean section date scheduled was brought forward.

• Struggling with my thoughts regarding the right balance/judgment for a safe delivery and the possibility of a safe vaginal delivery, overwhelmed with anxiety, I contacted and had further discussions with the Consultant Gynaecologist and Consultant Midwife, the Elective Caesarean section was rescheduled for the third time for a different later (backward) date to give me a chance to try having vaginal birth, with extra monitoring processes suggested.

• I started having very strong and unbearable contractions. Due to my past and present medical condition it was established that it was safer to be taken to the QEH via ambulance.

• The labour pain was ever so strong to the point I thought I may not do it on my own.

Despite most of the above listed challenges and difficulties not listed above, God has his own unique way of showing his unlimited love to us, including myself. Labour pain was stronger than ever but labour time was shorter and God made it possible for safe vaginal birth delivery with limited intervention (except gas and air which did not seem to give much comfort as the labour pain was so severe).

I am so grateful for God’s divine favour and how he ordered every step and input of all professional staffs, our Church, family members and friends.

Even though there were challenges through pregnancy and post delivery, the positive outcome far outweigh some of the challenges experienced.

My family and I are ever so grateful to all involved, in small and big ways, to help achieve the delivery of a healthy baby daughter via safe vaginal birth. We thank all, especially the Consultant Gynaecologist, Doctors, Ambulance staff, QEH Labour Ward staff during delivery; especially the Midwife, Doctors and student Midwife that delivered my baby daughter, and also the Midwife that was on the phone with my husband continuously assessing and reassessing my condition until the Ambulance Crew arrived, Consultant Midwife, Midwives, Ultrasound Technicians, General Practitioners (GP), etc. I experienced ongoing support, compassion and wisdom from all applicable NHS staff members at QEH, Lewisham University Hospital, Wallace Health Centre and the Cutty Sark Midwifery Team.

One thing that I feel could be improved is the intergration of the professional and helpful NHS teams.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Keep delivering excellent service and a great job. May God’s divine favour be with us all always.

To God be the glory.

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Response from Rachel Sugarman, Patient Experience Manager, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

Thank you for your feedback about our service and congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I was very pleased to read your positive experience of our service which I will share with the medical and midwifery staff.

Helen Knower
Head of Midwifery
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
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