"The birth of my baby"

About: The Knoll Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

One year ago I was heavily pregnant. My partner works away full time so it was not an easy pregnancy and I was on my own for most of it.

Around 34 weeks I had an episode where I lost all vision. After that my blood pressure rocketed and I was displaying some signs of pre-eclampsia.

I went for a growth scan where they told me my baby would be a very large one. I began to panic completely and begged my midwife for an elective c section. She agreed that I met the criteria and sent me to see my consultant to arrange it.

At 39 weeks I went to see the consultant but instead was greeted by a trainee. The trainee refused, basically implying I was being pathetic, and offered to book me in to be induced on my due date.

I was taken in the night before as my blood pressure wouldn't calm down. I was induced mid week and things progressed slowly. At the weekend I was placed on the pitocin drip and when it reached the maximum all my waters broke and I went from nothing to contractions every 2 minutes.

I managed on gas and air for a while and finally got a shot of diamorphine. I wasn't dilating and I wasn't coping with the pain and baby started to get distressed. Cue what felt like days of my babys scalp being tested and monitoring.

The anaesthatist came in to administer an epidural. 5 top ups later it still had no effect and I was exhausted and in agony.

My baby went really downhill and no amount of pushing was helping. My birth plan refused forceps but I accepted one attempt in theater.

I was rushed away where the anesthetist reappeared to administer a spinal. At this point All the pain relief kicked in and I was totally paralysed and thought I was going to die.

I could do nothing but exhale and was trying to scream at my fiance that I couldn't breathe in when one of the theater team helpfully said"obviously you can breathe if you are trying to speak". At that point I wished I was dead and when they finally got me under general anesthetic I was relieved it was all over.

Can you imagine it? Being glad you could be dead because you cant take anymore? My son was delivered under general anesthetic. My partner wasn't in there. Most importantly, I, a first time mother, couldn't even be there for the birth of my baby,

I was made to get up in ghe labour ward, trail my bleeding self across the hall full of expectant fathers and take a shower with the door open and no help just so they could ship me off to the ward. Once there I was left without offer of food or drink for the next 24 hours, in a side room, forgotten about.

I was struggling to breastfeed my baby as it was so painful, but the staff just said "oh your latch is fine" and left. That first week I dreaded feeds and screamed in agony with no support from anyone.

I left the hospital feeling like my baby was somewhere in there and the one in the car with me wasn't mine. I hadn't seen my baby being born, hadn't held my baby in my arms until everyone else had. I couldn't love my baby because the baby wasn't the baby I was pregnant with, irrational as it sounds its how I felt.

I went back into hospital 2 days later with sky high blood pressure, and the day after that gave up breastfeeding. The pain had never stopped. I feel the staff didn't care, and I didn't have any fight left in me.

It was the worst experience in my entire life.

Also I had been in and out during my pregnancy with terrible upper abdominal pains, each time dismissed with indigestion.

My baby was 2 weeks old when I had to leave my baby with my parents as I was rushed in to have my gallbladder removed.

I will never forgive my local hospital for what they took away from me. If I had been granted an elective c section in the first place non of this would have happened and I might not have been battling post postpartum depression for the next 12 months and beyond.

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Response from Stephen Bermingham, NHS Borders

Dear Lena225

I am really sorry to hear about your experience. The description of your care is not what we would wish any of our mothers to experience and we would be keen to address your concerns.

In order to do this we need more information. If you would like us to follow your concerns up please contact Nicky Berry, NHS Borders Professional Lead for Midwifery, on 01896 826709 or email nicky.berry@borders.scot.nhs.uk. Nicky would also be happy to meet with you in person to discuss your concerns if you prefer.

Best wishes,

Stephen Bermingham - NHS Borders

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