Birth Stories That Go Wrong, My Baby Birthing Experience
Name and Shame! It's Milton Keynes Hospital!
This is a true story account of my experience in 1995 of the pregnancy and birth of my first son, Daniel. He was diagnosed in 2004 with Asperger’s Autism. I cannot help wonder if the birthing experience, was a contributory factor to this.
Although the quality of care up to the point I shall start with was good, I feel that my pregnancy was left far too long after my due date. When it was decided that I should be admitted into hospital for induction, the nurse on duty turned me away. The ward was too full. I felt and expressed, that even at that point, things were not going too well with the baby. He was not moving as often as he had been. My midwife, therefore, suggested that I should have extra monitoring.
I Was Used As An Experiment That Went Wrong!
I was finally admitted on 15th July, 1994, some two weeks after the expected date of delivery. It was noted that my blood pressure was high and induction began. The levels of pressure continued to climb to which I which I was given, as told, a ‘wonder drug’ to reduce this (to this day, I am still unaware as to the drug concerned).
As a result of this, I experienced a very bad reaction to the drug, the symptoms consisting of headache, sickness, hallucinations, confusion and distress. I felt alone, unsupported (my husband had be sent home) and close to death. I could hardly speak for the weakness I was experiencing, so I could not fight and advocate my rights to others.
After verging on collapse, I was taken into surgery for an emergency caesarean section at which point my blood pressure went from being excessively high, to very low. I heard somebody remark that I was to be saved rather than the baby.
Finally, I went into the general anaesthetic. Although I felt no pain, I heard conversations between the staff members during the operation. I was paralysed and at one point unable to breath. I remember desperately trying to do this but nothing happened. I panicked in my thoughts but couldn’t make anyone notice me… I was frozen, powerless and aware. I heard a man’s voice.
A Relief To Breath!
This turned out to be the anaesthetist and I felt immediate relief in my breathing. He remarked at what a brave young lady I had been. Am I to presume that something had gone wrong? Had the oxygen canister broke in some way?
When my baby was born and I was recovering, I told the nurse the sex of my baby - I had heard this news whilst still under anaesthetic – again I was aware.
It was many hours after the birth that I saw my baby. He was in special care baby unit. I was still poorly. However, the basic standard of care I experienced was poor. For example, the ‘bank’ midwife ignored my need for my catheter bag to be emptied. It was full to bursting. It was finally relieved. During my stay on ward 8, I was ordered to scrub my wound with soup, water and flannel.
I Didn't Need To Take My Tablets
I didn’t think this was the right procedure for a caesarean wound for reasons of cross contamination. I requested that the nurse would be kind enough to use the sterilizing fluid for this, but the nurse insisted that it was all right to do. I trusted her ‘superior’ knowledge in this matter. It is no wonder, therefore, that I developed the staphylococcus auras infection. Although I have been treated with strong antibiotics, this problem is ongoing and I still have flare ups of soreness.
I was semi-discharged to a ward attached to the Special Care Baby unit. This ward was not managed by professionals. It is for the use of new mums so as they can be near to their babies. However, as I was not formally discharged from the birthing ward, I had to visit there to be monitored. I was to continue to take high blood pressure tablets, based there. The same ‘bank midwife’ that had falsely given instructed me to bath my wound with a flannel, told me that I didn’t need to take my tablets anymore. She said this in front of witnesses.
A Gut Feeling - Listen To This!
That night I suffered severe headaches, from ear to ear. I felt a sea of coldness and numbness spreading over me. I shouted for assistance but this ward was not managed and it is only by luck that a nurse had come to my aid. I am unsure if she or someone else had heard me, but she informed the night nurse at the birthing ward who came to my aid. My blood pressure was sky high.
I was verging a stroke and was scolded for not getting my evening tablet. I was powerless, again. Despite doing everything in my power to help myself, this was denied to me. I was ill and frightened at the possibility that I could have ended up in a wheelchair, disabled for life. All that I can say is that my care was neglectful.
This experience had a traumatic affect on me. I am scarred, mentally and physically. It often crosses my mind that if I had been listened to, in the first instance, that all the above would not have happened and perhaps my son may not be ‘Aspbergers’. I feel that the affect from the birth may have given him this condition emanating from some level of brain damage.
My advice to readers, is never ‘just accept’ medics advice. Query, question and ask for a second opinion. If your gut feeling is wrong – then it invariably is!