Having been through the whole pregnancy and parenting lark before with Jack, I felt like I knew what to expect when birthing Olivia. I was petrified that similar things would happen like they did with Jack – a midwife who was so uncaring, an epidural done too late, a tear ‘down there’ (obviously not the hospital’s fault), catching an infection during labour and then being left in the delivery room for well over 7 hours after birth when they are meant to move you out to the ward or home long before that.
However, Olivia’s birth was on the whole a lot better. My waters broke around 11pm the previous night and Steve rung the hospital to be told to bring me in. I went in, they did multiple tests and since I wasn’t having any contractions and was nowhere near dilated enough, they sent me home. However my contractions started on the way home and boy, were they bad! I managed just half an hour at home before begging Steve to take me back and from then on, everything went quite quickly. I was given some painkillers and gas & air and they checked my dilation – just 3cm but they didn’t see any point in sending me home. I’m quite glad they didn’t as about 10 minutes later, I was already fully dilated and Olivia was ready to make her appearance. It was too late for an epidural and they wheeled me through to the delivery room from the ward. They asked me to just make one step and that was obviously too much for me in my pain addled state and I threw up – they quickly cleaned me up, got me onto the bed and within twenty six short minutes, Olivia was here. My midwife and the other midwife with her were amazing – they weren’t even flustered by how quick my labour was progressing and they supported me at every step – making sure I was comfortable and trying to ensure a safe and calm delivery for both mother and baby.
Whilst the way I was treated in my pregnancy aftercare after Jack’s birth wasn’t necessarily great, it wasn’t that severe. However I have some friends who had much worse experiences and if they considered visiting clinical negligence solicitors, I wouldn’t blame them at all – after all, giving birth is meant to be an amazing experience and when the care isn’t there, it can really ruin the experience and maybe even your life afterwards if the negligence is severe enough!
On the whole my birth story and aftercare with Olivia is much more positive than with Jack – the only two things that brought it down for me was the lack of communication from staff – I was getting phone calls to remind me of my induction at 8pm that evening when I had already given birth to Olivia – and the fact that yet again I was left in the delivery room for multiple hours after giving birth when I shouldn’t have been. The midwife even said I should be discharged or moved up to the ward within a certain time period and it didn’t happen. I was also desperate to get discharged as I’d just found out my Dad had a few days to live and needed to get to the other side of the hospital to say my goodbyes. You can imagine how distressed I was and how frustrated I was getting at the lack of communication.
Other than that, I cannot deny that the care during my pregnancy, my birthing and the aftercare in my checkups with my local midwife were faultless. My midwife (let’s call her C) supported me fully during the first few weeks of Olivia’s life as I struggled with feeding due to a lack of milk supply (the distress of my father’s death had caused my milk supply to be quite depleted). She supported me giving Olivia formula to ensure she was gaining weight and to ease the stress on me at an already stressful time. I now completely breastfeed Olivia, no formula unless we absolutely feel the need to use it, but I am so glad C supported me and made those first few weeks so much easier at such a hard time.
All in all, I had quite a positive experience this time around. Do you have a pregnancy and birth story to tell?