At 4.00am on 17th October my daughter called saying her waters had broken. She was having five minutes contractions . We all jumped into action stations. Bags, pillows ,baby stuff , car seat ,blankets you name we had it. She has had quite a complicated pregnancy and was under the care of a specialist pregnancy unit at St Thomas's. She had been told as soon as she felt she couldn't manage please come in.
We drove there and we were shown into a cubicle to be examined. Next to her was a lady who was clearly in the later stages of labour. We had just got my daughter comfortable when we were asked to leave as the lady was pushing and they wanted to give her as much privacy as possible. That poor woman gave birth with just a curtain as her privacy shield. It frightened the heck out of us all.
My daughter was examined and told as she was only 2 cm please go home. The next bit I am going to write shocked me .She was told if she felt like it to have sex it could help the labour to progress. Yes, dear friend you did read that correctly. She was told to go home and do the business. Aside from the fact that no woman feels like 'it' whilst having contractions her waters had broken .I am no doctor but I am sure infection risks would be quite high. Honestly , I ask you has the world gone mad. We did as we were told and we drove home she was now having a contraction every 3 minutes. She had something to eat and a hot shower and she tried to remain as positive as she could whilst being in pain.
After a few hours she could not handle it anymore and we drove back. I'm sure you know the story , she was still only 2 cm and was told she needed to go back home .No pain relief was offered and my daughter was by now hysterical. She was told she could get pain relief once the contractions progressed and she was at least 4cm.
She was inconsolable she could not manage to get back into the car as every contraction she had she couldn't wear a seatbelt and she needed to get out of the car . Home was a good 40 minutes away. It is just wouldn't be possible to stop with every contraction on busy London roads. She was told she could go and sit in a waiting room.
The waiting room was packed. my daughters contractions were coming fast and all they offered was paracetamol. I have never felt so helpless .I could offer no solution other than to breathe with her and tell her that each contraction was once step closer to her son. I can not tell you how hard this part was for her in front of packed waiting room. I mentioned she had complications and the consultants insisted she come to the hospital as soon as she felt she couldn't cope , yet , on the day we were made to feel as though we had made it all up
All she needed was a little cubby hole or the curtained cubicle we first had at least it had a bed. She was expected and indeed she laboured in front of strangers for hours on a little chair before we all had enough and demanded that something be done. I am not one for confrontation but her partner said a few choice words and suddenly we were given a room. She was given pain relief.
I am baffled, words fail me, does it now take shouting to get what a person needs , it is all so very sad. I am sorry to admit this but I am really rather glad that he swore and demanded that they get her consultant my goodness it blooming worked.
Day rolled into night
I have tried for days to write this post but I have found it so difficult. It was truly a terrible experience for my daughter. They had to stay in hospital for four days .As I mentioned she had a complicated pregnancy and baby was underweight.
Over the next four days the list of terrible treatment goes on and on .The lack of care. The unit is understaffed and the staff available were rude, extremely unhelpful. She constantly felt like she was a nuisance such was the treatment.
I believe that there are two professions in life that are a vocation .One is nursing and the second is a teacher. I am sure we all have had or know someone whose experiences of a bad teacher and a bad nurse left a very bad taste in your mouth. I bet you can remember that teacher who went that little bit extra, or the nurse that soothed you with the stroke of the hand, a kind word , a shoulder to lean on.
This was just our experience , I hope to God that this was just a one off .I am not sure what is going on but I wish they would bring back matron .I wished they cleaned toilets with bleach or something that at least made you feel the place was cleaner. I'm sure you remember the smell of hospitals back in the day before sanitizers.I know it was unpleasant but didn't it at least make you feel it was clinical and clean. Whatever happened to your bed sheets getting changed every morning? .My daughter sheets were not changed once all she as given was a little waterproof mat in case she leaked . Whatever happened to staff speaking clearly and with respect and compassion.This was just our experience , I hope to God that this was just a one off
Okay, I'm breathing, inhale ,exhale, rant over I could go on and on but that would sour the miraculous event of my grandsons birth.
Although I have experienced labour twice .I saw things from a different perspective. I watched my little girl become a real woman and then I watched her become a mother all in one day. I watched her and her sister bond. Those two little girls grew in front of me .The youngest supported her big sis, she bathed and rubbed, breathed her sisters pain away .It was so humbling .I cried watching the two of them.
I learnt that I still can soothe my daughter. I felt so many emotions. I'm so proud of my daughter and I love her and baby Lewis so very much, in fact I couldn't love him anymore if he was my own I could just eat him.
Have a lovely weekend.