"Having my second child"

About: St John's Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

Recently had my second child at st johns hospital in west Lothian, I was booked into be induced the day before my due date as I was contracting on and off but no signs of baby arriving, my appointment was at 2 and I wasn't induced till 7pm, I started having regular contractions around 11: 30pm and I asked if I could go for a bath to ease the pain it didn't work and I ended up having to walk along to the midwives desk in agony to beg them for pain relief. they told me as I had paracetamol an hour before I couldn't but they told me to go back to my bed and someone would come see me, I knew myself from my previous labour that I didn't have long to before the baby would be here so I rang my partner as I had done with my previous pregnancy and he was allowed to wait in the waiting room until they took me down to the labour ward. when he arrived he was asked to leave almost immediately as the midwife didn't listen to me when I told her how much pain I was in and how regular the contractions were and told me I wasn't in labour and nothing would happen that night. After my partner left it was exactly 20 to 3 in the morning. About 20 minutes after my partner left another slightly more sympathetic midwife came because at this point I actually needed to push reluctantly examined me to find out I was 7cm dilated (its apparently the hospital policy not to examine people too much so they didn't interfere with things) so if I didn't beg to be examined they would have left me to give birth in the maternity ward with 3 other women around me. It felt like after they realised how far I was dilated they rush me down to the labour ward I almost gave birth in the lift in the process, I then panicked and pushed too fast and ended up rupturing part of my womb which resulted in me losing 2 litres of blood and almost needing a section to deliver the after birth. My partner also missed my son being born because he was sent home all because midwives chose to ignore me, forcing me to give birth alone and scared. what was supposed to be a happy occasion was ruined by poor lazy staff!

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Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear annoyedperson

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for your experience during your stay at St Johns. Induction of labour can be delayed when activity in the unit is high but this should have been explained to you. Unfortunately there are no facilities for partners to stay overnight and this can be a problem when women labour and give birth quickly as happened in your case. I am sorry that your partner missed the birth of your son and that you were alone at this special time.

Frequent internal examinations are discouraged as they are a source of infection however they are necessary to confirm and assess the progress of labour.

I would be happy for you to contact me directly to discuss the other issues that you have raised and my telephone number is 0131 536 3370.

I hope you are now recovering and that both you and your son are well.

Kind regards

Jeannette Morrison

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