"Prolonged induction of labour"

About: Rosie Hospital

(as the patient),

I was induced at 38 weeks on the delivery unit (apparently my baby was huge - she wasn't but that's another story). I did not want the induction, but was told it was vital and due to my education, I should know better than to refuse.

After all the emphasis of how essential it was, I was prepared, given a date but when that came, there was no bed.

The following day, I had to go in and wait around for several hours before the decision was made to induce me on the delivery unit.

It took 5 days, on a delivery unit bed before I eventually gave birth by c-section. On day 3, I was given a dose of gel at 9am. 6 hours later, no reaction to this. So at 3pm on Saturday, it was concluded that nothing further would be done on Sat afternoon / evening due to poor staffing.

On Sunday, the process was repeated. After 3 different people tried to rupture membranes, and I was not dilated enough, registrar decided that I could go for c-section at about 4pm. Was waiting for a slot in theatre, when consultant arrived and decided it was not safe for a non-emergency c-section to happen on Sunday evening, and reattempted to rupture membrane (this procedure was successful). This again was unsuccessful with progressing labour. Finally on day 5, I had a c-section to deliver my baby.

The care was ok, but there was no continuity. If there had been, the midwives would have seen my mental health deteriorate in front of them, as it was I saw 15 different midwives and 6 or 7 different doctors in those 5 days. On day 4, I said about 6 times I couldn't cope with any more procedures, but I was continually persuaded they would just "try one more time" - and by day 4, I was so exhausted and emotional, I had no fight left in me.

On the ward, I was left sobbing, exhausted after 6 days of no sleep with a baby I couldn't lift because of my c-section wound and who cried for 12 hours overnight. I had staff open the curtain around my bed, look at me sobbing with a crying baby in my arms and sigh and shut the curtain again.

The only time, I ever felt any kindness was the day I left the post-natal ward, when the midwife discharging me said she had seen in my notes that I must have had a hard time and would really benefit from contacting the afterthoughts service, and asked if there was anything I was concerned about before I left the hospital.

The experience has traumatised me, I still have nightmares and flashbacks and cannot even consider having a second child for fear that I would have similar treatment again. It's a shame, because my community midwife for ante-natal and post-natal care was fantastic, but the 7 days in the Rosie (5 ante-natal and 2 post-natal) have scarred me for life.

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Response from Lee Bennett, Head of Patient Liaison, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We were really sorry to learn of your experience. There are different ways we can approach this. I know that our Head of Midwifery would want to meet with you or talk with you to understand your experience better. I am concerned that you have been so deeply affected by your experience.

We do have a service called Birth Afterthoughts, which you have referred to in your posting - This involves an experienced midwifery counsellor meeting with you to talk to you about your experience and help you come to terms with it. If you contact me via the PALS department and provide me with your address I would be pleased to send you the Birth Afterthoughts leaflet. It's not clear whether you have contacted the service already.

From an improvement point of view we would like to have more specifics about your admission and need your personal details to pursue this further. Again if you could contact me through PALS we can discuss how best to approach this. The PALS email is pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk or you can call on 01223 216756. In the meantime I am going to alert the Head of Midwifery to your post and will see what general comments she can make.

We are so very sorry that we didn't get things right for you and that you have been left so distressed as a result. What should have been such a happy occasion for you has been the opposite and for that we are very sorry.

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