Uncaring Carers


Towards the end of my pregnancy I was being monitored for obstetric cholestasis and high blood pressure so had to go to hospital every few days. I went to hospital on the Sunday just for a blood pressure check, it was through the roof, I was told there and then I had pre eclampsia as there was protein in my urine too, I was admitted straight away and told I was being induced within next few hours - shocked and scared don't even begin to describe how I felt.

I was induced at 4pm, contractions started at 8pm, waters broke at 1.50am, 2cm dilated at 7am then told I had to have an epidural to lower my blood pressure as it was still rising, even though I'd been begging for an epidural for hours. Contractions stopped then even though I was 8cm dialated - I don't actually remember any of this I was in complete agony and off my face on all kinds of drugs.

I was put on the syntocinon drip to start contractions again, this was like torture! I was pushing all day, being monitored hourly with consultant saying C section may be needed. 7pm Monday night I was fully dialated pushing but nothing happening, all this time, thankfully, the baby was happy as Larry. I was exhausted now, I was having hallucinations and calling out for my husband even though he was sat next to me holding my hand, throwing up and no pain relief was working anymore then they realised he was stuck in an awkward position and wasn't coming out on his own so at 9pm they decided to take me down to theatre to try forceps or failing that then emergency c section.

He was finally born at 10.19pm by forceps, he wasn't breathing and help was called from the paediatric team to resuscitate him. It was 4 minutes until he took his first breath and although I remember thinking 'why isn't he crying?', we were never informed of this, we didn't find out until I requested my birth notes months later.

I was very poorly in surgery, had a haemorrhage and lost over a litre of blood and wouldn't stop. The consultant told me they were struggling to control it. The consultant looked like something out of a horror film - neck to foot plastered in blood which didn't phase me at the time because I was convinced I was going to die and, sadly I actually wanted to. I remember lying on the table feeling suddenly so relaxed that this was all going to be over any minute because God was going to finally take me now. They had to take blood from the placenta to avoid giving me a transfusion and insert a balloon to stop the bleed in the end, 3 hours in theatre. Our family were all at the hospital now waiting to see us, and the new baby, they were beside themselves with worry as they were told nothing.

After this everything was normal, or so I thought, but we had to stay in hospital in the high dependency room because I was so poorly. We were told that we would be going home Thursday, should nothing change but then Wednesday night, after we were moved to the ward at 9.30pm, me and the baby were both very poorly and again, after lots of pleading that something wasn't right with my son and a screaming baby all night (which they acknowledged but didn't offer to help) they asked a paediatrician to check him over, it was then I was told we'd both got Sepsis. My baby was taken to neonatal intensive care baby unit where he was put into incubator and had to have lumbar puncture and a hundred other tests. I've never been so scared in all my life and because at this point it was only 5.30am and being on a ward, my husband wasn't there so I had to face it all alone. I had no idea what Sepsis was at this time, I'd never heard of it. I had no idea that my husband could have potentially lost us both. I was kept in hospital a further 5 days and on the morning that the neonatal consultants had agreed and arranged to have my son transferred to the ward to be with me, the ward nurses came and literally kicked me out of bed at 8am and told me to go home. I hadn't seen a doctor, I was offered no breakfast, I was even told that because I had now been discharged I couldn't have a shower. My stuff was thrown together on a trolley, I was left waiting in triage waiting room for my husband to collect me in blood stained pjs, barely able to walk! I told the nurses I wanted to be with my son in neonatal and they threw my belongings into a cleaning cupboard and left me to struggle over to the neonatal unit. This then meant that as I had now been discharged, my son would have to stay in neonatal and unbearably, we'd have to leave him overnight. We spent every waking moment of the next 7 days sat by his bedside in the neonatal unit.

8 weeks after his birth I was still having to attend weekly appointments at the hospital as issues with episiotomy stitches being infected and unravelling, consultants were arguing amongst themselves whether or not to re-stitch. Luckily, my son has recovered from the experience and he is a happy, healthy little boy. Me, well, the psychological trauma haunts me every day and to say I am extremely protective of my son is an understatement.

Three weeks before my sons 1st birthday, we discovered I was pregnant again! I began reliving and having flashbacks of what had happened and what should have been a joyful time actually became a living hell for me in which, I'm now ashamed to admit, I contemplated suicide as the thought of going through this experience again, or worse, scared the living day light out of me - I was a mess! Myself and my husband eventually decided that we had to have a termination. This killed a part of me that I'll never get back as I have always promised myself that I'd never put myself in a position where I'd need an abortion and also, I know my husband desperately wanted the baby yet despite this, he stood by me every step of the way. I never, ever in my life thought that I'd have to terminate a life because of such fear - ultimately, I will never forgive myself for this and daily, I think about the baby and the person he/she would be now.

Even this brought further traumatic events with complications that saw me rushed to hospital in an ambulance and hospitalised 4 weeks after the termination due to severe blood loss and clots. Again I was treated terribly and I was eventually discharged from hospital with no diagnosis or real explanation as to what had happened. Two days after being discharged I was once again rushed to A&E with the exact same symptoms.

During my time in hospital I had no visitors apart from my husband as I was so ashamed and worried about being judged and misunderstood that we never told anyone about the termination.

© Make Birth Better CIC 2019

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