Posted by Lucy123 (as ),
I wanted to give some feedback regarding my birth experience. Now my little one is over two months old, I feel ready to reflect on this and hope that some things can be improved for another in my situation.
As this was my first baby, I didn't know what to expect, so very much was led by instructions from the midwifery service. When my waters broke, I phoned the maternity triage. They advised me that my contractions might speed up or slow down from here, but to call back when I wasn't able to cope at home anymore or if I felt I needed advice for any reasons.
My labour progressed incredibly quickly from there and I gave birth an hour and 15mins later. As it was my first baby I really didn't believe I was that close to giving birth and tried to ring maternity triage again (as instructed). As I am having contractions every few minutes, my husband tried to call maternity triage. Maternity triage was engaged for 15 minutes in total. It seems ridiculous that there is not a call waiting system that allows you to leave the phone on, instead my husband was left desperately hanging up and redialing whilst also trying to support me for 15 minutes.
When we finally got through, we were told to hang up and call an ambulance. I think it would be improved if maternity triage were able to stay on the line in these situations, as whilst we were waiting for the ambulance we just had support of the dispatcher who doesn't have specialist knowledge that would have helped us.
When the ambulance arrived, we were very grateful for their calm support. I wish I could remember their names as I would love to thank them so much as they were amazing and helped to make my birth the positive experience it was. However, once again one of the paramedics was left tied up trying to get through to maternity triage which was once more engaged for a further 15 minutes. My baby was safely delivered by my husband and we were taken in to hospital.
The care I had at the labour suit was exemplary, and I was very grateful to be in expert hands by this point. I then spent a night on the ward, this was a scary experience that I was very anxious about. I felt quite left alone, not feeling that anyone checked on me. I was told at one point just before the day shift started that the day team midwifes were very busy and wouldn't have time to help me. So I sat in silence until I was able to go home whilst women around me had support with changing nappies and feeding. When I was brave enough to ask for help as I was leaving, the midwife who helped me was so friendly and supportive, and I regret not asking for more support before I left.
Overall I had a wonderful birth, that was all the more special for being a bit unusual. However, the main thing that was difficult was the issue with maternity triage's phone line, and the lack of check in by midwives on the ward. Once I asked for help, there was plenty, but it shouldn't be assumed that all women are able to ask for the help.
I am aware from friends who have recently given birth that you are able to have a debrief, however this has never been offered to me directly by services, despite my birth having the potential for being traumatic. Like on the ward I feel left to get on with things, where others are offered and receive support.