"Traumatising experience"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

We had a tour of the maternity ward prehand and felt quite comfortable when we went in to be induced. I was there for a total of three nights - two awaiting birth and the third post baby. A string of midwives came around on regular visits to check up on me and they were all friendly. I was in a room with another 4 ladies awaiting labour, separated by a curtain. The first two days went slow but well. I had a pessary followed by two sets of gel. Once the contractions started is when the issues began. I had previously been told that once I had 5 contractions every 10 minutes I would be moved into the labour ward. My contractions started at 2:30pm and I was offered pefitone (apologies if this is misspelt) which within minutes got rid of the huge pain. I was informed that if I had this injection I would not be able to have an epidural for 4h, but I could have another injection if and when the effect wore off. The midwife on duty at that particular time was not very helpful at all, dismissing us from this moment onwards until after the baby was out. Pain subsided for about an hour, after which the contractions started being painful again. Around 4pm I asked for another dose as I could barely breathe between the now very regular contractions (6 in 10m) and I was told I would need to wait about an hour as the doctor was in emergency and as such couldn't prescribe it. I fully appreciate there can be emergencies and by all means that's where the doctor should be, but you cannot have one doctor only for a whole maternity ward?!?! We were now in hospital visiting hours and every woman around me in the room had guests - and I was not being moved anywhere and screaming in pain without being given anything. My mom and my husband called the same midwife assigned to us numerous times just to be told there is still no doctor, and the midwife would go off again. Contractions became 7 in 10 and I was screaming at the top of my lungs in pain. Eventually my mom grabbed hold of a different midwife - by the time they arrived I had lost blood and all of a sudden five midwives appeared panicking and telling me to get off the bed and in a wheelchair (as if that's easy!). When I eventually managed they ran me down the hallway into the labour ward and stood there all confused not really knowing what to do next. A doctor finally appeared and started giving directions. I was put on a monitor and told the baby is distressed (of course he's going to be distressed!!) and if he didn't come within a minute or two they would be doing a C section. I was told not to push and called 'sweetie' and 'darling' - really patronising - and I had enough so pushed and got an incision and the same time and he came out. Many stitches were needed. the labour had us all traumatised. An hour after I was told to get up and walk (not joking!).. To top it all off I had a text requesting feedback of pre and post natal care, but surprisingly not on the labour. Never again!

Story from NHS Choices

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