"My terrible birth story"

About: Leighton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I am expecting my second child and it's only now I can tell my story of my first birth experience at Leighton. I had wonderful care from the midwifes leading up to the birth, but I think all that changed when the baby arrived.

I was 12 days over my due date when I was admitted for an induction. I arrived at the hospital on the Friday and was kept waiting in the waiting room for about an hour until my bed was ready - I was a bit perplexed as to why I was kept waiting, because when I arrived on the ward all 4 beds were empty. I was made to feel very welcome by the midwives and some of them I recognised from my appointments. I was given a gel to try and start the labour and was told I would have a maximum of 3. I started to feel discomfort after about 10 minutes so I was hoping things were on their way. No such luck!

I was administered three gels and still only dilated by 1cm by Sunday I was exhausted because I had no sleep, the internal exams were painful and I felt the consultant was really rough to the point that I cried when they walked in the room. The consultant said that they wanted to give me one more gel on Sunday morning; I was mortified, tired in pain and felt really fed up. Sunday afternoon my parents and husband got me walking up and down the corridor and finally at 5.45 the contractions started. I was checked again at 10pm and told that I was only about 3cms, but then the pain started to really intensify. I pleaded with the midwife for some pain relief but she said I was fine, I was given pethadine at 11pm and slept for the first time in 3 days for 20 minutes. The pethadine then wore off and I was crawling the walls, I told them it had got worse and I felt like no one seemed to be listening, they were coming thick and fast.

Eventually the midwife said to me that they'll take her downstairs give me an epidural to keep me quiet. When I arrived downstairs I was greeted by 2 fantastic midwives, they gave me gas and air and I immediately felt relief. She checked me and went blimey you have done well, you are 9cms – I don’t feel like I had done well at all, I feel like I had no choice. In my opinion, I was just left with no pain relief because I felt like they didn’t believe me.

They then took the babies stats and they realised he was in great distress - I wasn't surprised. They did some tests gave me and epidural and then whisked me off for an emergency C-Section. My son was born on the Monday morning at 6am. He was gorgeous!

I was then taken to a side ward and really looked after on Monday, although I was so out of it I wouldn't know. On Tuesday the midwives came in took out my tubes, drip etc and thus ends my care. I was put back on the ward and was made to feel like I was left alone. It took me 45 minutes to get to the toilet because I had to crawl there. I could hear my baby crying and I couldn’t get back and visiting hours had not started. I was really in severe pain and my legs didn’t work properly.

I did not get any assistance breastfeeding and one midwife said to me they were too busy, just give him a bottle, which he projectile vomited everywhere. My breasts were so sore because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was in tears.

By Thursday I felt so fed up with the care, I discharged myself so that my husband could look after me at home.

I feel petrified about the prospect of this birth and have opted for an alternative hospital. I am sure this isn't a reflection of everybody’s experience but I would not like to go though it again. Some of the midwives were fantastic and I am sure they were under a great deal of pressure because it became very busy after my son was born. I just pray that my next experience is better.

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