What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Today I went to meet my counsellor and make a plan for therapy. I sat in this light purple wall with a terrible (supposedly relaxing) art in a frame. There were three beige chairs with purple pillows. A heater, a big box of tissues and a clock to time sessions resting on a dark brown coffee table. Across from the white nets which draped down the windows was a fireplace (blocked off) with a bin next to it and a burgundy hardback copy of the holly bible. Apparently I might feel a bit Jesusy suffering from ptsd after childbirth.

The woman was lovely, she seemed familiar and put me at ease. She let me have a minuite in the room myself to relax and then came in shortly later to start paper work. We started with the confidentiality spiel and what would be sent to gp and my details. They stated my notes are not kept with my personal details which I guess is to make people feel more comfortable. They asked if I wanted to have a letter sent to my husband explaining I’m having counselling and it’s a difficult time. I explained he knows I’m here so there’s no point and we talk about it.

She asked why I was referred and what I wanted to achieve. It was pretty much instantly decided I needed counselling so we just filled in the gaps. I said I wanted to be comfortable and not worry about my surgery. To not be triggered by my sons birthday impending causing my depression to spike and I wanted to go to sleep without flash backs and fear. I wanted to feel like if I wanted a future child I’d not spend the whole pregnancy in a state of horror and fear.

We set up 2 dates for in December and January and I decided I would be cancelling my surgery till I am in a better head space. I don’t think I need to have exploratory keyhole surgery if it’s going to make my mental health worse and is causing the flash backs and depressive episodes. They said to leave till after my first session but that doesn’t give me enough time I don’t believe to prepare myself. I definitely don’t think one session and a months gap is going to be able to prepare me.

I’m positive about my recovery but the thought process of my surgery and having to be put to sleep again is terrifying me. I feel completely hopeless and have had at least three panic attacks since leaving the session. Who knows maybe it’ll help, maybe it won’t time will tell. If not apparently there’s always a copy of the bible to read!

A Caesarean section is NOT the easy way out.

A Caesarean section is NOT the easy way out.

Let me break this down for everyone there was NOTHING, NOTHING easy about me having a c-section. And when someone says it was the way way out it boils my blood and makes me furious to the extent I see red. Today somebody said it was the easy way out to me again and i wanted to scream. This may trigger some people who have had a stressful birth.

I had a section almost 2 years ago now. There was nothing easy about it. The anxiety I was going to die, the procedure itself, the recovery, the struggle to breastfeed, the struggle to bond just everything was not EASY. It has been 2 years and I still feel pain when I lift something to heavy or move into a funny position, when I stand completely straight or wear tight clothes I feel like my csection scar is going to rip open and my muscles feel pain like they’re being ripped apart again.When people want to make competition out of their child birth it sickens me a bit. So what you had a baby naturally and did something that’s been done for millions of years but it does not give you the right to judge others for choosing what is what is best for them and their baby. Having a baby with no complications naturally you can go home the same day and start your life. You can walk around and carry on life as normal.

With a csection you cannot just get up straight after having your baby to settle them as they cry because you’re paralysed by the drugs and pain at first. The first time you get up you require two staff members to help you out as you SCREAM in pain as your stomach muscles awake to the fact they’ve been ripped apart and it feels like it’s happening over again with no pain relief. The first time you stand up your blood gushes down your legs. Oh yeah, you bleed and hurt down below it’s not just you natural birthers that get the blood and pain as your body reacts to the baby leaving. We also get pain when peeing and pooing too. Oh yeah and imagine your first poo and pee but you’ve had all your stomach muscles ripped open aswell! Ha is it easy now to imagine pushing out a poo when your in so much pain you might just throw up too? Walking is agony, your breathless and exhausted from the surgery you stand up straight and it’s agony in your stomach. Weeks after you’ll struggle to sit up, cough, laugh or walk. You’ll struggle to breath sometimes it hurts so much. You’ll get severe back pain from the medication and ginormous needle they shoved in your back which you can feel on a cold day or just sitting years and years later you can feel exactly where the medication and needle was pushed in. If you had spd you don’t heal as quickly from not having a natural childbirth. You mentally never get over not having a natural birth and if you had to get put to sleep you never, ever get over missing your child’s birth. So the next time you want to say “too posh to push” or “the easy way out” you better count yourself lucky you never had one and hope you never have to. Most importantly keep your backwards judgements to yourself because of that csection and medical intervention mum and baby survived and without it they probably wouldn’t of.

Missing your own baby’s birth.

Missing your own baby’s birth.

Possible trigger…I missed my own child’s birth, yes he came from inside of me but I missed it. I’m not being dramatic or anything like that but I was put to sleep so I missed my own child’s birth. Something I will never get over. A bit of back story…

When I was pregnant I didn’t feel my baby move much. He would have quiet days and I’d be constantly up hospital. It wasn’t until I was 35 weeks pregnant when they decided to give me a scan and locate that the baby was breech. I had a appointment to have something called a turn of the baby inside of me which didn’t work and was the worse pain of my life. So I had no choice but to have a c-section because of how the gremlin was laying. 3 weeks later would be the day he would be born and I would become a mother when I was booked in for surgery. On the day I remember being exhausted from excitement but also I had spent weeks feeling something would go wrong. I was right.

Being prepped for surgery was eventful the staff put a massive ass cannula in me after several attempts and wheeled me in to theatre. I remember thinking the theatre looked a bit boring and like a normal room. The theatres I had worked in had no windows and no outdated machinery. None the less I sat on the bed. I was told not to move while a massive needle was inserted into my back. They do not tell you how much this will hurt. I don’t think the trainee got the placement right to this day. I layed on the bed and meds given to send my body to sleep below the stomach. Although I couldn’t move my legs I could still feel my stomach. They rubbed ice on my tummy and they used needles to feel for pain. I alerted them several times I could still feel the cold of the ice and the prick of the needles. Surgeons being surgeons kind of ignored me. My husband was a bit worried for me when I looked scared as anything holding his hand with wires attached to me everywhere getting in the way.

Then they cut me. I can still remember now the screaming as I felt it. They knew immediately something was not right and that the medication had not worked. I was to miss my own childs birth because it was too late to try putting the needles back in my back as I was open on the table. My husband was pulled from the room and I remember the mask being lifted on to my face and loosing consciousness . I missed my child being born and others met and held my child before me.

I remember coming round. I remember coming round by choking for air as I had a saw throat from the breathing equipment inserted into my airways which had been taken out and then shivering with pain as my stomach was in unbearable pain from surgery and coughing was pulling at it. I was given water and woke up alone. Without my baby. I remembered that I had been pregnant but I thought it was a dream. I thought I had been in a terrible car accident and that I was not really pregnant. The drugs where so strong I didn’t realise my son had been brought in the room to meet me and told my husband it wasn’t the time to bring in blankets. Then it came back to me when I was brought down to my room and I started to come round more. I met my son but at first I didn’t have that immediate rush of love. How was I supposed to know he was really mine? I remember thinking he was too beautiful to be mine. I remember feeling robbed and I think it caused me to struggle to accept I was a mother because I had missed the birth. After drugs had worn it and time had passed my love started to grow and I could see bits of me and his dad in him as I stared down into his eyes.

I’m always jealous now of mothers who witnessed their birth. I’m always sad when people say they had traumatic births and still got to see their baby born and that love that comes with it. I’m not downplaying others emotions or their experiences because I like to think if I was in that situation I would struggle to but I always find it so hard to see others not feeling lucky they witnessed their own children’s births. To see other people’s reactions when the baby comes out. To hear the first cry. To share the first touch, to see them first. Instead wait a hour to meet him and my mum and husband had seen him and changed him, had held him and loved him first. Maybe one day I’ll get over it but for now it’s still fresh and I still long for seeing that moment when he was born. When people say to have a section is the easy way out I want to scream in their face because it’s not. The feeling of not seeing your baby born and struggling to bond as they are born in a unnatural way to not be able to move to hold them straight away and to be in pain for weeks/ months even years after isn’t and never will be the easy way.