"I only discovered I was pregnant when I..."
About: Hinchingbrooke Hospital Hinchingbrooke Hospital Huntingdon PE29 6NT
Posted by Emma Launchbury
What I liked
I only discovered I was pregnant when I was 19 weeks which was on Boxing Day 2009. Obviously, I had to wait for my surgery to be open to see a midwife and had already missed my first blood tests and scans. When I phoned the hospital to arrange a scan, then MDAU opened early for my on 4 Jan to fit me in for a scan to make sure all was well with the baby.
I was then admitted to the MDAU at 37 weeks and was diagnosed with cholestasis. I was looked after extremely well and even though I had to return to the unit several times for blood tests and monitoring of the baby and saw different midwives each time, they had clearly read my notes thoroughly and were very supportive and explained exactly what was happening each visit.
I also like the improvements made to Lilac Ward with the en-suite bays, electronic doors and the tea and coffee facilities for mums.
What could be improved
I was admitted for an induction at 39 weeks and had to have two sets of gel to get things going. I appreciate the fact that the hospital probably doesn't want women in the delivery suite if they are not in fully established labour and are therefore admitted to the antenatal bay. However, I think that it would be beneficial for there to be another area to move women to once they start in labour. I was in the antenatal bay with several first time mums when I was in labour and I didn't feel that I had enough privacy and was concerned about them seeing/hearing what was going on during my induction and that they would then be scared/worried about their births. I also wanted my husband with me once my contractions started to become more painful and regular but he couldn't come onto the ward until visiting time so we sat outside in the corridor where I had no privacy either. From what I could gather, women are only moved to delivery once they are in established labour but I would have appreciated some pain relief other than paracetamol whilst I was still on the antenatal ward. I would have liked to have had gas and air before I got to delivery, especially as I had a very rapid labour once it started and gave birth within 30 min of my waters breaking. This meant that the only pain relief I got was paracetamol as I gave birth within 5 mins of reaching the delivery room so didn't get any benefit from gas and air.
I also felt the same in 2008 with my first pregnancy when I was kept in due to meconium being present when my waters broke.
Also, I was kept in overnight when I was induced and there was another mum induced at the same time and she started to have contractions overnight. As she was not moved to delivery until late in the process, she was wanting more pain relief than was available on the antenatal ward and also because of the noise of staff in and out and her having contractions, it was difficult for me to sleep and get the rest I needed before giving birth.