"A good maternity experience at Queens - it can happen!"

About: Queen's Hospital / Maternity care Queen's Hospital / Neonatology

(as the patient),

I had an induced labour, as my waters had broken 24 hours before.

I was put in a ward overnight as my baby's head was not engaged and there was a risk that the cord could come out first. After a calm and quiet night, i was given a pessary the next day to induce me but to no avail. So later on in the day i was taken to the labour ward and and a kandualer was inserted, at first by a junior midwife (not my midwife) tried to get it in but failed then a senior midwife tried but failed, so they called an anaesthetist who just got it in. I was then hooked up to a drip to bring on the labour.

All the time i was being looked after by a new midwife who was learning her way around the trust (her word for the hospital) and had another midwife to hand. Not once did i feel like she did not know what she was doing, she was very good and kept me up to date with all that was happening.

Then we had a change of staff, and i was sorry to see my midwife go and she was replaced by agency staff. I did not feel that I had the attention of this midwife as she did disappear a lot, and when all the monitor alarms went off my husband went to find my midwife and said that there were a group of them just chatting outside the door.

As my labour intensified she did come back, I was given gas and air and was asked if I wanted to consider other pain relief and was given the option several times of an epidural, which I declined.

A consultant came to see me and said that he would come back in 2 hours to see how I was getting on, at this point my labour was just starting to get worse, when we discussed pethidine. I said i would wait a little while before having it and the midwife did state that it could last for 2 hours which I thought would be just fine to have as i hoped it would not take that long. Then I felt the urge to push, midwife not quite ready with the gloves but along came my daughter ready or not.

I was glad that the midwife was actually in the room, but along came another midwife who was superb and assisted in the rest of the delivery. Following arrival onto the postnatal ward all was good. Was seen by nursery nurses, midwifes.

All ready for departure, although not dressed, and then had to stay because baby was jaundiced. But was put in a side room as baby required phototherapy. I was in hospital with her for a week. Every stage of what was happening to her I received top class treatment, I knew exactly what was going on, was given advice by midwifes, paediatrician and nursery nurses and reassurance on every step of every test that was done.

This is not a story to say how bad the hospital is but how well me and my family were treated. The staff at the hospital are doing an excellent job, and morale among the staff on the postnatal side is high. Although it did seem to dip when you hear the conversations about management.

My baby and I were discharged home, and all staff were there to say goodbye. Since then my baby had to be readmitted. After a few days at home she was seen by a community midwife who sent us straight to A&E. She was seen again for jaundice and was admitted to neonatal intensive care.

This whole experience was a bit nerve wracking as the ward was full of baby incubators, and lots of nurses and doctors checking and looking after the tiniest babies. What was reassuring was that when my daughter was 'checked in' the doctor that had looked after her in postnatal was the same doctor so he already knew her history and came to reassure me.

It was heart breaking to leave her there, but when I returned the next day to see her, I was met by a nurse who updated me on all that they were doing for her. When i left and returned again, my nurse was on a break but another nurse could update me.

It was reassuring to know that it seemed that every nurse or doctor knew the going on of every baby in that ward, and there were quite a few in there. Although it was a busy ward the feeling of calm throughout the ward was pleasant. When my baby was finally discharged from here, I felt as if every nurse and doctor knew her and came to say goodbye.

I just felt that with all the bad press the maternity unit is having right now that someone should actually a put a positive light on an experience at Queens.

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