"First Time Mum birth experience "

About: Ormskirk & District General Hospital

(as the patient),

My waters went at 18. 30 on the 23rd Jan, we went up to the hospital and they did some monitoring, confirmed it was my waters and made an appointment for 18. 30 the next night if things hadn't started progressing.

We went back at 18. 30 for induction and I was given a bed at about 8pm. It was very busy on the ward and so I wasn't seen by a doctor until 10. 30pm, which wasn't a problem, I had no where else that I needed to be, : -) I was given an antibiotic as my waters had gone more than 24 hours before.

At 01. 30 I asked for some pain relief and my midwife gave me paracetamol and codiene and asked if I wanted a bath. I got in the bath at 2am and didnt get out until 3. 30 when the pain was much more manageable out of the bath, that bath was amazing, the pain stopped as soon as I got in.

Midwife told me to get some rest and I fell asleep at about 4am til 8am when lights were switched on.

I was examined again at 11am and had made no further progression so I would be going to the delivery suite for the hormone drip. My mum and partner came back and waited with me. I was put on the CTG monitor throughout the day and had BP checked. At 5pm I was sent through to delivery to get started. I was put on the drip at 7pm then I don't remember times after that. They struggled to get lines into me as my veins were rubbish since I got pregnant. On the drip the pain was starting to get bad so I was given diamorphine, which helped a lot but I then felt really spaced out and dizzy. I was examined, I had only got to 3-4cm, but I was getting constant pain so I asked if I could have any other pain relief, but was told only an epidural at this point. My midwife offered to put a catheter in to help after questioning me over again about the pains I was getting, as I felt like I needed the toilet really bad but couldn't go, so once fitted it released 200ml straight away, which was a relief for a short while but then the pains came back. I discussed briefly with my mum and partner about the epidural as I had said I didn't want one, but as things were I couldn't go on, I was getting tired as well and the pain was too much, there was no let up.

I agreed to the epidural and my midwife went off to get the anesthetist. I stood off the monitor as baby was doing fine, consistent heartbeat and movements. All I could say was ow, and after what seemed like an eternity the midwife came back with the anesthetist. My body had gone into shock so my legs were shaking uncontrollably, back on the bed and hooked back up they had to get another line in my arm, easier said than done.

I then had to lie on my left so they could do the epidural, staying still was so hard. it took 2 attempts as she wasn't happy with the first, all I wanted to do was move around in pain, but just stayed as still as possible and inform her when I needed to move so she could wait.

once the epidural was in and taking effect I was so much calmer, it was amazing stuff. I could relax a bit, but my legs were still shaking. I managed some rest as I was concerned that I would be too tired to push. I had both the midwife and doctor examining me to check progress but nothing was happening, I was contracting but not dilating and baby wasn't moving down.

Early the next morning before my midwife finished her shift she checked me again, and I was 5-6cm, but she thought my cervix was swollen. so in comes doctor again, and he thinks its more like 6-7cm, but couldn't feel any swelling. So after some discussion between them and my midwife directing him to where she thought it was swollen he decided it was as well, but to continue as baby was happy and I was doing ok. I was having blood taken from me and lines changed because my veins kept shutting down, at one point they had to get blood from my foot!

Just before my midwife left at 7. 15am (the only other time I remember! ) she checked my temperature and it had spiked to 38. 5, which she was not happy with and went to get the doctor back. he decided to push the antibiotics and set up a fluid line and see how I got on. so my mum and partner went for breakfast as my new midwife said not much would be happening.

It took ages to get other lines in, they tried in various places on my hands and arms eventually getting one. The other one they had to use a scanner to find my vein before getting it in!

then the doctor came back and said the words I knew were coming, that after speaking to his consultant and my temperature not coming down even with the antibiotics, paracetamol IV and fluids that it would have to be EMCS.

I was still calm and accepted what he had said as I knew it was coming after they had said my cervix was swollen. So it was all go then, the only thing I panicked about was getting my mum and partner back from breakfast, but my midwife was great and said it would be a little while before they were ready. All these people came in the room, all calm and doing their jobs. I was put in a gown and hat, and it felt like forever til my partner and mum came back. They knew as soon as they came in the door, but I was so calm about it I was telling them I was fine, and it was all ok! My OH got ready, and I was wheeled away.

Theater was a calm place, lots of people in there who once ready came and introduced themselves to me and what they were doing. Epidural was topped up and tested, very strange not feeling anything. My OH came in and I knew it was starting at that point. All I felt was a lot of tugging and moving, no pain, just uncomfortable. When they opened me up there he was staring straight up them, back to back, I was also told after, there was a strong smell, which was the infection. it felt like an eternity of them pulling around inside me, I knew baby was nearly on his way out as I felt them tug him from under my ribs and out of my pelvis. they announced he was born and did I know what I was having, so I said yes a boy, I hope, and they cut his cord and that first cry sent me over the edge! I cried, as did OH, it was the most amazing sound ever, my midwife showed me him and then he was taken to the SCBU team who were waiting to check him. He was born at 9. 43am on 26th January, 63 hours 13 minutes after my waters went. I was allowed some snuggle time, we rubbed noses and had little kisses before He was taken to SCBU and given IV antibiotics as a precaution incase the infection had been passed on. I wouldnt see him again for 6 hours, that would be the longest 6 hours of my life.

I was stitched up and taken back to my room to recover, under 24 hours obs because of the infection, which was found to be in my womb and passed into my waters. I later also found out I would never have been able to deliver him and it could have turned into a real emergency risking both our lives, but I was so happy with how it turned out, the staff were amazing, and so supportive. They looked after us and everything was alright in the end. All the care that I received in the antenatal ward and Delivery Suite was amazing, the 2 midwives that primarily looked after me, Helen (Night time) and Donna (who went to theater with me) did so much for me and I couldn't thank them enough for the care that they gave me, not leaving my side and answering any questions that myself or my birth partners had. Also putting up with me saying sorry a lot! My little boy was lucky as he had non of the infection, little fighter.

Once I was sent down to the post natal ward the care changed, as they were so short staffed, so understandably took them a while to come to you. As a first time mum I wasn't sure when I should be asking for help or what care I should be receiving, I also felt that communication could be better. Overall a good experience on that ward, but more staff are needed in order to support all the mums.

So although a little traumatic, it was a positive experience, and I got the best and most precious little boy. Hopefully next time things go more naturally and smoothly, but if it did happen again, I know I am in safe hands at this hospital and will be looked after.

Thank you for reading, and well done if you have read it all. I was a first time mum and it hasn't put me off having more children. : -)

(I hope the Delivery suite got my thank you card: -))

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Response from Tony Ellis, Marketing and communications manager, Marketing and Communications, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Thank you for your constructive feedback and kind comments which will be fed back to the staff concerned. We wish you and your son all the best for the future.

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