Friday, November 07, 2014


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.
            This was the view from her room , Houses of Parliament and the iconic Big Ben

                                                           Day rolled into night
                                                               Night rolled into day
                             And finally a wee baby boy was born. Baby Lewis was born weighing 5 pounds
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.


  1. What a story!! I'm almost in tears reading it. It's a total disgrace that anyone should have to suffer like that to have a baby. Your new grandson is beautiful and I am sure you will have a lovely time getting to know him and care for him in the days ahead.

  2. Congratulations to your grandson!
    Too bad that you and your family (especially daughter) had such a dreadful experience. I hope you can forget all of it soon and enjoy Lewis!

  3. What a horrific experience for all of you! At a time when you need to be cosseted and cared for most. Thank God all are well now. Go enjoy your grandson and I hope the rest of his life is calmer than the start!

  4. Your poor daughter! I know it wasn't easy for you or her husband either. So sorry you had this experience. Your grandson is precious! At least you have him out of the experience. Congrats to all!

  5. So sorry the experience was horrid and not as it should be. I hope it doesn't taint the next few weeks. I hope you can enjoy your grandson, and she enjoys being a mum. x

  6. I'm so sorry your daughter had such a negative experience. Lewis is a beautiful baby and I know you're all very glad to have him but I also know that doesn't take away the pain and sorrow of a negative birthing experience. Both of my births were truly terrible, due to a combination of medical problems and hospital incompetence. I don't plan to have more children. That I will never have a happy, positive birth still bothers me all the time. Please let your daughter know that if she ever wants to talk about it, to a person who knows what it's like and would never judge her for her feelings, she can email me anytime. I'm more than happy to listen. In the meantime, enjoy that beautiful baby boy and keep being such a wonderful support to your daughter.

  7. Oh my goodness what a story! How horrible for all of you, delivery is hard enough without all the other horrible things thrown into the mix. You have every right to be upset with the treatment your daughter received. I wish it had been different, but you do have a happy, beautiful grandson to cherish now. I am sending you all positive thoughts.

  8. First of all congratulation to you all on the beautiful baby boy. My daughter had her son 3 years ago in the same hospital with complications like your own daughter with the rude staff similar to your own experience, which ended up with an emergency caesarian. Make a complaint officially nothing will ever change unless we make a stand.

  9. How traumatic for you all but in the end an excellent result, a beautiful grandson for you all to cherish and enjoy. Welcome, baby Lewis!
    New mums need to have an endless supply of TLC before and after the birth, I think these days we have a "have your baby, then get on with it" nature which is a real shame.
    We are so fortunate to still have a cottage hospital here and that is where I returned to for a week having had complications when my daughter was born over 30 years ago in our nearby county town. Fortunately my son was born here in our hospital. The staff were wonderful and treated me and my babies with so much care.
    We may now have a greater knowledge of medicines but sometimes a simple thing like care, is side stepped!
    Are you going to be a granny or a nanny?

  10. I am so sorry to hear that your daughter had such an awful experience-it reminds me so much of the nightmare I went through with my first daughter-I was traumatised for so long afterwards and I really hope that with yours and the family's loving care she will soon recover. What a beautiful baby boy though, he is just gorgeous-many congratulations to you all,
    Best wishes
    Alison xx

  11. First of all Congratulations to you all!! I am sure that you are all very pleased to have a new member of the family, and I hope that he has a long happy and wonderful life. I am so sorry though that you had such an experience at the hospital, not good at all. I hope that you never have to experience anything like this again ever. xx

  12. He is adorable, and your daughter, both your daughters, are clearly amazing young women.

    I know you probably want to put all this behind you but please make a formal complaint ... to be left labouring for hours without any checks once her waters had broken was a risk that should never have been taken x

  13. What a traumatic time for all of you. Thank goodness something was done about finding a room for her. Disgusting treatment which should be looked into for sure, especially as her pregnancy had been difficult. Lewis is gorgeous and many congratulations on becoming a grandmother. P x

  14. Congratulations to you and your daughter! Lewis is completely adorable, and I hope that mum and baby are doing well.

    I am so sorry that your daughter had such a terrible experience of labour. First labours are frightening enough without having to go through that as well. Take care. x