"I wouldn't have my second baby here"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

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I had my first baby a few weeks ago in this hospital. Every single staff member was amazing except one midwife who ruined my first birth experience. At 10.30 pm my waters broke at home, although I had no contractions I went in to confirm that my waters had broken. Once that had been confirmed I was booked in for induction and sent home. By the time we arrived home my contractions were every 2 mins and 40 seconds long, and so painful I couldn't walk without getting down on all fours every few steps. So I went back in and at 2 am I was 2 cm... I met a wonderful midwife who even though I wasn't in active labour didn't send me home because I had been checked twice since my waters broke and she wanted to avoid infection. So they put me in Cedar ward to sleep and gave me pethidine. She said when I was 5 cm I could go back to Aspen and have the water birth I had wanted all my pregancy with just gas and air. While in Cedar ward I was under a different midwife, who just ignored me. The pethidine had no effect. So I was allowed to have a normal bath to help the pain. This also did nothing. I was contracting every 2 mins now for a min each time. So when I sent my partner out to tell her I felt the need to push. She came in and said she could check me till half 7 because of infection and that being my first baby there was no way I was in active labour...(but i was and i should have been on gas and air and having my water birth) she gave me paracetamol and codeine. This had no effect either, because I was in active labour. So we waited till half 7 while the midwife came in again and agian to check on a lady across from my bed an never even once did the mid wife look in my direction while I tried to force myself to stop pushing and my parner rubbed my back until I brusied because that was the inly thing that took the edge of each contraction. At half 8 another midwife came in read my contraction print out looked surprised and said oh wow these are quite strong I better tell her about this. An hour after that still no midwife had checked me. For the last hour i was too afraid to let my partner out of the room because he was all I had, we didnt know about the the buzzer by the bed, that was never explained. So at half nine my partner went out and got a midwife. She said sorry she didnt know they had just changed shifts...so that midwife had ignored me for hours thaen went home without checking me and without telling anyone I was there. So this new midwife came in to check me, by now I was crying and couldn't spread my legs or take off my pants. I was nine cm. it was too late for a water bith I had to be rushed on a bed to delivery suite. There i met a wonderful midwife would allowed me gas and air and helped me push my baby out. However it did take another hour and half as i was so tired from the pain of the last night. If i ever have another child I wouldn't have it in hospital...i would be too afraid of being ignored.

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to write this review and for commenting on how amazing the midwifery team were with the exception of one midwife. I was very sorry to read that your birthing experience was marred by what occurred on Cedar ward and please be assured that as a Ward Manager I take any such comments seriously. Over the last year we have made many improvements to ensure that patients and their partner’s experiences on the ward are as professional and comfortable as possible. It is very disappointing to read that a member of the team appeared not to treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve. At Darent Valley Hospital we do aim to promote a positive ethos and culture within our maternity department and are keen to learn from all experiences. I do apologise that on this occasion we fell short of the values we work towards and please do contact me on the details below in order that we can discuss your experiences and concerns further. With best wishes Senior Sister Blanchard Cedar Ward Manager Darent Valley Hospital Darenth Wood Road Dartford DA2 8DA Tel: 01322 428100 E-Mail: sarahblanchard@NHS.net

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