"Bad Birth Experience with Midwife"

About: St Mary's Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

My experience at St Mary's manchester

Although my daughter is already a year, as I am now expecting again the thought of giving birth has brought back the unpleasant memories of my previous labour.

I had initially planned a home birth but due to a bleed I was admitted to a ward at St Mary's so that I could be monitored. On the first evening after admission my husband left me at around 11pm and shortly after I fell asleep.

I awoke again at around 1. 30am by painful contractions. After a little time I approached the midwife who was assigned to me and told her I was in labour and would like to call my husband in. She responded that I was in the early stages of labour and therefore my husband would not be allowed to come and if I did call him she would not let him in. Dissappointed and scared I returned to my bed and tried my best to work through the contractions. I was surrounded by 4 other women who were asleep and I felt unable to relax and moan through the pains as I was conscious about disturbing the other patients. When I felt that I couldn't deal with the pain anymore under the current circumstances, I approached the midwife again asking for her to hook me up to a monitor so that I could convince her that I was having strong contractions so that she would allow me to call my husband. As she did not seem to take my word for it. She responded that she had 2 other IMPORTANT ladies to deal with who were on a sliding scale for diabetes and they were priority. She would get back to me once they were sorted.

Another lonely hour passed of gripping the sheets and biting my lips to deal with the pain. At 4am approx she finally hooked me up to the monitor. After showing the doctors the babies heartbeat pattern from the printout she told me that my baby was showing signs of distress and told me to lye on my left side. I responded that I could not move onto my left side unless she provided me with gas and air as my pain was so great. She refused to give the gas and air! But then added "do you not care about your baby? " This felt like torture. She then said that the doctors were concerned by the babies trace and had recommended that she do an internal incase I was more advanced than she thought.

I finally stood my ground and said I would not allow her to do an internal without my husband being present. She reluctantly agreed but said he would be sent home immediately after it was confirmed that I wasn't in labour. My husband arrived at 6 approx and after doing the internal she told me I was 7cm dilated (I suspect I was fully dilated at this point, as she then told me that I must wait until we reached delivery before I give birth and went in to a right flap to get me there quickly) she also mumbled something about why was I so quiet about it. She then wheeled me to delivery where things sadly did not improve.

My current midwife was advised that they were too busy and she would have to stay with me in delivery. She tried her sliding scale patter to her colleague but to her shagrin they insisted that she stay with me.

At this point she went off into a right flap again mumbling that there was no birth pack in the room she scuttled out to fetch one. She then found as many other excuses to leave the room as she could while repeating I haven't done this in 11 months. I told her that I felt ready to push to which she replied you still have a full hour yet as your waters are still intact and your contractions aren't regular. I responded that my waters always go at the last minute and my contractions are never more regular than what I was currently experiencing. I stated that this baby will be born in the next 10 minutes. She again mumbled that she hadn't done this in months which completely destroyed my last shred of confidence in having this person deliver my baby.

At this point a colleague popped into the room looking for a weighing scale. I hollered to her that I wanted someone else to deliver my baby as I had no confidence in my current midwife who had gone off into another flap about her fingerprint not being recognised by the computer system. The colleague ducked back out of the room after saying that my current midwife had been doing this for many years and I had no reason to worry.

At a complete loss I asked my husband to glove up to deliver our baby which he did. At this point I began pushing in earnest and baby was born. This was 40 minutes after my husbands arrival at the hospital and within the 10 minute time frame that I had advised my midwife. She did step up finally and deliver our little girl. If this had been my first or second delivery then maybe the lack belief in my assessment of my progression would have been more understandable. This was birth number 5! I think my biggest grudge was having the gas and air with held during those long lonely hours of horrendous pain that became so bearable once supplied with the gas and air at the point when the midwife proceeded with my internal.

Besides putting myself and baby at risk by having a home birth which is not recommended due to a previous section. What can I do to ensure I have a better birth experience for number six? !

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Response from Patient Experience Team, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the Patient Opinion website about your previous experiences within Saint Mary’s Maternity department. It is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail. We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. If you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on (0161) 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be happy to discuss this with you, and perhaps there is something we can do to provide you with the reassurance you need regarding your current pregnancy and care.