At ten days overdue with my second baby Caleb I was admitted to the local maternity hospital here in Ayrshire. I’d had a lovely birth experience with my daughter Sophie 11 years previously so had no worries or nerves at all. I just couldn’t wait to get my lovely boy out and home. I had been induced with Sophie at 22 days overdue and was adamant that I didn’t want to go that long with him as he was already huge from my scan.
The hospital was fairly new, 2 years old and very modern inside with all new mod cons. When we arrived we were directed to the ward which was a four to a room ward with ensuite bathroom. The nurses station was in the middle of the main hallway which was huge and covered the whole maternity floor.
I was induced at half past 2 in the afternoon and my contractions started at 6pm. Come 6am in the morning I was moved to the labour ward where I was told they weren’t real contractions and false labour and so was given more of the induction drug and sent back to the ward. My husband went home and got a couple of hours sleep and headed back around 10am laden with goodies. We were both still very excited.
At this point I should tell you, my husband is a policeman and had worked in a drug Squad in the town where the hospital was now bases. On my maternity notes my community midwife had noted this down and said that I should be allocated a private room in case of him being recognised by anyone he may have had to deal with I the past. This didn’t happen pre birth and wasn’t acknowledged at all. I was just so excited and so desperate to see my little boy that at this point I wasn’t too bothered and when we told the ward sister she assured us after the baby came we’d be given a room.
So, around 12pm a doctor came down to assess me and told me that I was 3cm and could be admitted to the labour ward again. I was told to walk down the stairs and so we packed up and off we went. As I got to the top of the stairs my contractions started coming thick and fast so we got the lift with the help of a lovely orderly.
I was welcomed back to the labour ward and was still really happy to be there and excited. That soon became short lived. Although my contractions were coming every 2 minutes and were bad I was still in good spirits and laughing and joking with people. First a ward sister came to put an IV in my hand as I was to be given an antibiotic during labour as I had been diagnosed with strep B at 38 weeks. She couldn’t get the IV in at all but insisted in persevering. Eventually when my left hand was pouring blood and swollen like Grapefruit she gave up and moved to my right hand eventually with the help of another nurse it was in. . By this time I was in a lot of pain and also crying as she’d hit bone several times. Next was the epidural saga. I was talked into taking one as they were going to speed up my labour with a drip so they could measure my antibiotics. I didn’t want one and was shouted down by 2 separate midwifes. So the saga began. A trainee anaesthetist was called down and she took 11 attempts to get the tube in my back, stopping every minute for my contractions. She also kept hitting a nerve which made excruciating pain in my right thigh and hip. After half an hour I was begging them to stop and leave me alone. My poor husband who held my hand throughout was so upset and supporting me the whole time. I was told by the midwifes to stop being silly and the girls boss was called down to try. She got it in on her 3rd attempt….. Or so we thought. For around 15 minutes I had relief and my other IV was attached to speed things along. Soon after though the pain started coming back and I told me midwife. She topped up the epidural with a button above my head and I could feel it running down my back.
When my midwife left to go and get something I told my husband I could feel it wearing off and my back was wet. He checked and said the tube was out and that I had to tell the midwife. The pain started coming fast and the cocktail of IV’s I was on was making me feel sick and woozy. I begged my husband not to tell the midwife about the epidural though as I was terrified of them trying to get it back in again. I went through another hour of labour and started feeling really ill and sick. At 8pm I told my husband to grab a sick bowl, and told the midwife I could feel the babies head. She poo poo’d me as Id been 5cm when she checked me 5 minutes before. 30seconds later I was sick and out shot my son all 8lb 14oz of him. I was ecstatic but just wanted to go home straight away.
I was stitched up and taken for a shower. All IV’s and tubes removed and and baby cleaned up. My husband was just in shock. I think the whole thing was so traumatic for him he was exhausted.
I was taken up to a ward with another 3 girls for the night and as soon as I got there I wanted out. My husband was sent home instantly and rudely and I was put in a bed and left. There were 3 babies and one was going through withdrawal which meant it screamed like you’ve never heard before all night. Caleb slept but I felt sick and wanted to go home. I lay in bed and cried all night. At one point he threw up in his bassinet and I needed help with him as I didn’t feel good at all. I had to carry him, bleeding and exhausted along the outside corridor to get help as my buzzer didn’t work. I wasn’t leaving my baby in the ward with drug addicts alone. When I came back to the ward there were two girls in the bathroom smoking which meant the whole ward was full of smoke. I told the nurse and she had a word and also told the girl with the screaming baby to attend to him. Needless to say this didn’t work at all. I was told I had to pee ASAP in a container so I staggered into the bathroom and found it covered in blood and used sanitary towels. The toilet was covered as were the walls, sink and shower. That was it for me. I went back to my bed and text my husband and told him to come sign us out. I wanted home.
He arrived 2 hours later and told the nurse he was taking us home now. At which point the was told we would have to see the doctor and then hopefully we could go. Caleb still hadn’t fed at this point. He was full of gunk and kept just throwing it up. The doctor told us we could go home when he fed.
We went back to the ward and at this point my husband realised he recognised and had dealt with at least 2 of the girls in there and their partners. It was obvious they recognised him and that was it for us. We found a midwife who was sympathetic to us and begged her to help. She told us we had to get Caleb feeding now. We spent the next 3 hours with her on and off, trying to force milk down his throat but he just kept throwing it back up. Eventually my husband drank 2oz of the milk himself and we were cleared to go. This was at 5pm and he had been born at 8pm the night before.
It was the worst and scariest 2 days of my life. After such a lovely birth with my daughter 11 years before I was genuinely in shock for weeks after, at the state of the hospital, and the treatment I was given. The feeding of my baby was another story I will share but the whole experience has left me scared and upset. I so want more children but the thought of ever being in that place again or going through what I went through leaves me cold. ￼