Birth – The NHS and those who work within it

A little over three weeks ago I met my little man for the first time – an undoubtably amazing event – one I’ll never forget for many different reasons. The labour process and the aftercare is a tale of two halves – the NHS and those that work within it.

The NHS – a wonderful institution that I wouldn’t ever want to be without – needs more. More funding, more staff, more rooms/beds, more financial support to help it function at its best and support all those who need it.

Obviously, I can only discuss events in relation to my own experiences; and the birth of my son is the first time I have really relied on the NHS to care for me, my husband and my son. However, my initial encounters were frustrating to say the least. I was told I was being induced (due to medical reasons) on the Thursday, it took until 7.45pm to get myself into the hospital and the induction underway. Unfortunately, the initial induction attempt failed to initiate my labour and I was brought back in 24 hours later to remove the propess – and I assumed continue with my induction. Not the case. I was sent home from hospital that night, with our baby still no closer to us, due to a ‘bed crisis in the East Midlands’.

Surely within the whole of the East Midlands there should be enough beds to provide health care to all the women and families that need it?

The following morning I rang the labour suite hopeful of being brought back in to continue my induction only to be told that the labour suite was still full! Luckily little over an hour later I got ‘the call’ – there was a bed for me. Wasting no time we ran though those golden gates into the labour suite and we didn’t look back…

One thing is for sure – the NHS might need more in many ways – but those who work within it couldn’t do any more for those they care for or be any more amazing. After my experiences I have nothing but the highest admiration for those who work within the constrains of the NHS, offering top quality care and support. I will be forever grateful to the midwife that supported me and my husband during the birthing process; making me feel safe and supported as well as bringing our son safely into the world. We were never made to feel rushed, an inconvenience or like there was anywhere else that the midwife would rather be, she offered us her full time and attention which meant more than anything else.

img_4182Unfortunately, three weeks later I was readmitted to the labour suite due to excessive bleeding. A very scary experience for both me and my husband. As a first time mummy its hard to know what is and isn’t ‘normal’ after delivery. If you are ever unsure about what your experiencing make sure you seek medical help ASAP. I had two blood ‘gushing’ experiences following delivery, I was told it was ‘normal blood pooling’ as I’d been sat too long or done too much, that if it stops and I’ve not got clots larger than a satsuma I shouldn’t worry – turns out that wasn’t the case. It took nearly three weeks before my symptoms showed their full effect and I got a ‘gush’ that just wouldn’t stop – unbelievably the GP had wanted to send me home on antibiotics. You know your body better than anyone, if your worried done let ‘normal’ reasoning stop you getting help before it turns into an emergency situation. After fainting in the GP’s room, I suddenly found myself being rushed by ambulance to A&E and then up to the labour suite to have an ‘evacuation of the retained products of conception’ procedure (to remove part of my placenta that had been retained in my womb), followed by a blood transfusion. I again can’t praise the midwives highly enough. I sincerely hope that the midwife that looked after me, knows how much of a difference she made to our experience. Both me and my husband were cared for, felt informed and supported throughout the whole process.  Thank you yet again to the amazing NHS staff.

I also need to say a huge thank you to those who donate blood.

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