"My maternity experiences"

About: Derby City PCT Royal Derby Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

On 25th June 2007, I gave birth to my son. The birth itself was straight forward but things for me slowly went down hill from there. I needed stitches, which the newly qualified midwife was unable to do, so the senior midwife was called. I was injected with an aesthetic, but she didn't wait for it to take effect and I remember screaming out in pain as she stitched the area that had torn. But I was just told to shut up and stop moving!

I suddenly had immense chest pains, felt my breathing going and was slipping in and out of consciousness, neither midwife noticed. My husband was holding the gas and air tube to my mouth and I managed to catch his eyes and somehow managed to flick the tube away from my mouth. I somehow communicated to my husband that my chest hurt and he told the midwifes, only for them to dismiss my discomfort as my bits going back into place.

I felt fairly ill but just assumed what the staff had said was correct and, as it was my first child, assumed that that was how I should have felt. The newly qualified midwife eventually took my blood pressure and it was sky high and we were just told that the machine must have been a bit dodgy but she didn't go and find another one. I was desperate to go to the toilet but was told that there wasn't one and that I would have to urinate in the shower. I was told to get up and have a shower, I could barely stand, felt dreadful and was still in agony from the stitches. So my husband was told to help me and hold me up in the shower while I washed.

I was taken to the short stay ward. I felt a bit breathless and informed a midwife, who called the Dr on duty. I was sent for an x-ray, had an ECG and was sent for a nuclear scan.

I couldn’t hold my son for 12 hrs because of the radiation levels, the staff were too busy to assist me in feeding my son, so my mother had to look after my son for me as I had sent my husband back to work so that he didn’t waste his paternity leave while I was in hospital. Finally after 2 nuclear scans, 3 days later it was confirmed that I had suffered a Pulmonary Embolism and was lucky to have survived. That night I collapsed and was rushed to the High Dependency ward with my son at my side. Three patients was were in HDU but still the monitoring nurse offered no assistance with my son when he needed changing or feeding. I was so weak I couldn't lift him up let alone hold him but the nurse would pop him on my legs and then leave me bottle feed him, which I found to be a total disgrace.

The following morning I was feeling a bit better and was told to have a shower, but the shower floor was covered in blood that had not been cleaned up. I was then taken to the high-risk ward where finally I was given a pair of Ted stockings, which I should have been wearing from day one. I was kept in the hospital for nearly three weeks. I had over 40 midwifes look after me and as they never had time to read my file, I had to repeat myself at every shift change and inform them of what happened. I was supposed to have my ob.s taken every 15 mins; I was lucky if they would be done once an hour. The ward itself was filthy and my mum had to thoroughly clean a side room that I was eventually placed into. I would often traipse from toilet to toilet to find one that either wasn't blocked or wasn't covered in blood.

I saw over 15 Drs, all of which contradicted each other and kept adjusting my medication incorrectly, despite the consultant specifying the level of medication required, which was not to be changed. This resulted in me being kept in the hospital 2 weeks longer than necessary.

To my horror, one day the maternity ward actually ran out of baby milk, so I had to request my mother to make the 20 mile journey to the hospital and urgently bring me some - only to find that the hospital didn't have any baby bottles on the ward.

I am currently pregnant again and am due to give birth in 7 weeks. I know there have been a number of changes at the new super hospital, but this has done nothing for my confidence in the system, seeing that for my first 16 weeks I was prescribed a blood thinner and was given 3 times the daily dosage that I should have been receiving. This resulted in my morning sickness being amplified to the point where I couldn't get out of bed. It took over 8 weeks for me to actually get an appointment with a consultant at the hospital, despite the numerous requests by my community midwife. When I finally saw the consultant she was, needless to say, extremely embarrassed and we were given very special treatment for that particular appointment, including tea and biscuits. Nevertheless, I was told that throughout my pregnancy I would have consistency and would only see this specialist consultant and no other Drs. I have since had 2 appointments where the consultant has not been available, so I have seen House Drs who couldn’t answer any of my questions and only on complaining and insisting that we see the consultant have we finally seen her, with only 7 weeks to go.

This time I am just thankful that my community midwife has been so good and has seen me every 2-3 weeks throughout this pregnancy.

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