Why I’m Too Scared To Have Another Baby

October 9, 2017


*This post originally appeared on the Meet Other Mums site. I’m now feeling brave enough to own it, with the view of letting others know that it’s not ok to be mistreated in the Postnatal ward. You do not have to suffer in silence. That there are people who will listen and hear you.


I don’t tend to write too many serious posts. This is one of them. It’s not a short read so you might want to grab a drink and stick your feet up.


Even after 5 years now, this is still very raw.

I can feel my chest shuddering as my body is instinctively trying to stay calm and in control. I am sweating. My head is spinning and wondering why the heck I am letting myself think about what happened… but maybe this is what I need to do.

Right away I should tell you that this is not another birth gone wrong story. This is my experience of the postnatal ward. My own personal nightmare.

Little Button’s birth was by c-section. Without it, I was told that she could die. At the time, these chilling words were enough to have me briefly forget my paralysing fear of surgery and instead eager and impatient to sign the consent form for the go-ahead. Who wouldn’t!?

I am telling you this because, as it turns out, the act of having a c-section played centre stage to my mistreatment by the postnatal ward staff. I just didn’t realise this at the time.



It’s just a room

Blissed out by the sight of a much alive and kicking Little Button, I was wheeled up to the postnatal ward to recover. On arrival I was met with icy glares from the staff and was promptly plonked on my trolley in the middle of a corridor whilst they argued over where to put me. I remember thinking how weird is this! I don’t know why, but I thought that I would have been greeted by smiles, congratulations and tea and toast. Isn’t that what happens on One Born Every Minute?

After what seemed like an eternity, the most senior looking midwife begrudgingly sneered through her teeth that it was my lucky day and that I could have a private room because everywhere else was full. Ha! You mean the private rooms especially reserved for recovering c-section mummies… which is me. I raised my eyebrows at Mr Button, but he shrugged it off making excuses for their behaviour and putting it down to them being busy.



Leave now

We had a laugh at the private room which they seemed so protective over, it looked more like an old fashioned prison cell. Lovely and oh so inspiring when you have just had a baby…not!

I was, however, grateful that they seemed to be leaving me alone, as I hardly wanted sour faces ruining our first family moments. Except, after a while I started to notice an increase in pain creeping over me… normal right? Most ladies post-section will refer to the pain as ‘being hit by a bus’. But give or take a few hours later and I felt like I was dying, the pain was unlike anything I had ever felt… again possibly normal. But agony took hold so strongly, that quite franky I was on the very edge of losing the plot. Then in popped a sour faced midwife who, without saying a word gave me something for the pain (I presumed) and then scarpered off after promptly telling Mr Button he had to leave, as apparently all the post-birth ladies needed peace and quiet.

Great. Not only was I in complete agony still and couldn’t physically get up on my own accord to look after Little Button, but the midwife’s who (I thought) were meant to be helping me in a gentle and caring way had the right hump with me for some reason. This was going to be a long night!

I pleaded with Mr Button to hide under the bed or something and not to leave me, but even as he tried to loiter behind, he was met with daggers and a cross ‘leave now’. He insisted that I shouldn’t worry and would be there all night by phone.

I was worried though.

I wasn’t JUST worried, I was petrified. Of the pain, the inability to get up and the scary midwives who seemed to have it in for me.



Don’t ask for help

Things got incredibly worse quite quickly from there. Little Button was crying and of course I couldn’t get up to see to her. I hauled with all my might on the bed barriers, but I just couldn’t make myself work. On pressing the ‘help button’ I was yelled at… ‘what do YOU WANT!’ the midwife shrieked  and what’s the word… kissed her teeth at me (I think?).

She gently picked up Little Button from what I could see, but then roughly plopped her on top of my c-section scar laughing and headed out. The agony I was feeling was only slightly masked by the pain killers I had been given earlier, so this was enough to send uncontrollable volts through my body and bring me to tears in a second. She came back. Oh, she didn’t realise what she had just done and was going to help me. NO, no, no. Instead, she grinned and took the help button out of my reach.

That first night was the longest night I have ever had in my entire life. I couldn’t sleep. I held Little Button tight and cried, wishing that I could disappear and as each second went by, the pain got stronger. At some point much later another midwife came in, looked at me clutching onto Little Button and tutted, then gave me pain relief. Again, no conversation. I asked her if she would put Little Button back in her cot and to be fair she did and very carefully. Though not a kind word to be heard.



Partying midwives

I would hazard a guess that sometime way after midnight a party started, right next door to my room. There was music, high pitched squealing and a constant chatter. Yes… this was exactly the peace and quiet I needed. I called Mr Button and begged for him to come bust me out and that they wouldn’t even notice that I had gone because they were having a party. He wouldn’t, worried that I had only just had major surgery, so instead he promised to be there first thing in the morning and would stand outside the postnatal ward door until he was let in.



I said NO

I had barely slept a wink so was pleased to see a different face come in to see me in the morning. Not a midwife, but a different member of staff. Hello!  I winced through screwed up eyes, hoping that finally I would see a friendly face. But no. Instead I got barked at… ‘GET changed!’.  So I replied with a firm but polite no thank you. Given that I still couldn’t fully move, I had wanted to wait until Mr Button arrived for a hand in getting changed.

Obviously this had been the wrong thing to say. Protesting politely at the top of my voice, she threw the covers off me and dragged me feet first down the bed until I was completely flat on my back. In upturned beetle style so I couldn’t move I presume. I shouted for her to leave me alone. Silence. She then somehow (with possible magician skills) stripped me of my clothes. Good god!

Pleading for her to stop she then somehow managed to put a nightie back on me and then left. I am not one for letting it all hang out, so this, in addition to her ignoring my wishes has greatly tortured me for the last few years.



Pain relief errors (deliberate?)

By the time Mr Button got in to see me, the pain was unbearable again, I was lost to it. He managed to get a consultant to see me, it was one of the surgical team. It was quickly uncovered that the reason I couldn’t manage the pain was because I wasn’t being given my pain relief at the right time by the postnatal ward staff. So there were huge stretches where I had nothing in my system, naturally I wouldn’t be able to manage.

There was a meeting, a telling off and the surgical team had said to call them if needed again. Really? I mean… really? All this time I was in uncontrollable agony because they were not giving me pain relief on time.



Thank goodness for the junior

A change in rotation meant that I was assigned a junior to look after me. I cried… with relief this time. Someone who actually noticed I was there and who respected my wishes. She was disgusted by the treatment I had previously received and on the day I was leaving, encouraged me to leave clear feedback. I didn’t. I couldn’t wait to escape the nightmare and didn’t want to think of what had happened again.



We thought you had chosen to have a c-section

I didn’t manage to leave without being seen by the midwife who had dropped Little Button onto my c-section incision in the middle of the night. ‘I am so sorry’ she crooned whilst trying to embrace me, ‘WE thought you had chosen to have a c-section. We didn’t realise that you HAD to have one.’

Wait… what?

I didn’t stick around. But that hasn’t left me. Was it an admission of deliberately ganging up on me, hurting me, undressing me without my permission and letting me suffer… all because they thought it was my choice to have a c-section. Yes, that’s exactly what it sounded like to me.



When are you going to have another one?

I’m too scared to have another baby, not that I wouldn’t love to have a sibling for Little Button, I really would. But I can’t do all that again. It might be different a second time around, but then again it might not.

Even 5 years on, driving past that hospital gives me the shivers. I know that not all postnatal wards are like this, that there are a zillion amazing midwifes out there. It was unfortunate that I was unlucky.

I am not sure why I wrote this as a blog post, it’s more like an essay. I think secretly I hope that a midwife will read this and think much more carefully about what they do when caring for someone who has just given birth, no matter how a baby happens to arrive. I hope that they will realise that what happens in the postnatal ward is just as important as in the labour ward. I hope that they realise that words and actions can stick like mud and they have the power to completely nurture or poison a family. To make someone just like me too scared to have another baby.




Linking up to these brilliant linkys: #ablogginggoodtime.

55 responses to “Why I’m Too Scared To Have Another Baby”

  1. Sumra Hassan says:

    Wow, this is scary. I mean, it sounds like a movie or a bad dream. Not real life, people can’t really act like that. And maybe one person, but several people who work in healthcare, whose primary job is to care for their patients. It’s completely unacceptable. In that state, post C-section, you were quite vulnerable and probably couldn’t even understand what was going on, until you reflected on it afterwards and realized how awful your experiences were. I hope that you can block out all of this and your next experience (if you choose) is so much better that you’ll forget all about the negatives of your first. And I also hope someone from your hospital reads this post!

    • Thank you for your supportive words Sumra. I did indeed block it out to be able to manage, and looking back wish I had been able to get a grip and come forwards as the junior doctor had asked. I later found out that many women faced similar experiences at that hospital around that time. It’s heartbreaking.

  2. All words have escaped me. This is appalling behaviour from people who have a duty of care. I can’t believe you had to experience such disgusting treatment. It’s not right for someone to experience this at any time but so soon after giving birth you deserved so much better. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to think about this let alone write about it. #dreamteam

    • Thank you for your words. I think it’s scary that people like this are allowed to work in ‘care’ type of roles. I try not to think about it in general, but I’m hoping that being a bit braver and getting the message out there that this cannot happen, may help someone else. x

  3. Oh gosh Annette, this is truly horrible. My Mum had a very similar experience with my brother but that was over 30 years ago. You would have thought things would have changed. I am so sorry you experienced this. You should take it up with the hospital. Explain that it is still effecting you. You have every right to. I think sometimes not being able to tell someone they hurt us adds to the pain. #dreamteam

    • Thanks Claire. To be fair, the junior doctor who I had in the end did encourage me take it further. But at the time I didn’t have the courage to. I hope that if anyone else finds themselves in a situation like this, that they will know they are not alone and this is not ok. x

  4. My first child was born prematurely and my husband was adamant that we were only having one child after that traumatic experience. It was more so for him as he went with our baby when they rushed her to neonatal and saw exactly how they struggled just to keep her alive for 5 minutes which felt like forever to him. It broke his heart and with the love and bond that they share from the start as he did the whole kangaroo care – it is amazing. However, he realised that having just one child was not going to be a benefit for our daughter at least. And within a space of three years after she was born, we had our second child. Our experience was completely different to yours as the nursing staff were friendly and very supportive. I know your experience was traumatic and service unacceptable but perhaps second time it will be different.#DreamTeam

  5. Such a similar experience to me. I wrote a blog for Huffington last year about how my experiences on a postnatal ward contributed to some pretty awful PND. The nurses, the treatment…. Even your description of the ‘private room’ was exactly how I remembered. Much love #dreamteam

    • Oh no. I am so sorry to hear that you had a similar experience. The sad thing is, I am not surprised. There are so many women going through things like this, and reported or not, nothing seems to be changing. The private rooms are an absolute joke! Could you send me a link to your post to read? xx

  6. Sarah says:

    Wow!!! Just Wow! I’m so sorry you had to go through such a horrendous first day with your baby. You need to send this blog post to the Management of the postnatal Ward. Your treatment has made me so angry for you! It’s such a vulnerable time regardless of nasty behaviour. No new mum should be treated this way!
    I had an emergency section with my first boy and the thought of having to spend the night without my Hubby after a pretty horrific time made us fork out for the private ward in the hospital where I delivered. It was worth every penny!! Second time round I had an elective section. The actual surgery was fantastic it was the most positive birth I could of wished for after being advised not to try and deliver naturally. But afterwards I haemorrhaged and the baby ended up in neo-natal. I was going to be fine thanks to the surgeon coming back to check on me (the midwife thought I was just reacting to medication I’d been given.) and the baby would be fine after a weeks stay in hospital. Unfortunately funds didn’t allow for me to stay on the private ward for a week so I was moved to the normal ward. Here’s where I feel your pain… They didn’t want to know. I was taking up a bed they needed (granted I wasn’t in it much, spending my time expressing and struggling up and down to special care.) One night I’d been sent away from Special Care and told to sleep and eat – I was no use to my baby sleep deprived and hungry. I asked the Midwife if they could get me something to eat and I was laughed at! They “don’t give out food at this hour!” When they realised where my baby was and the situation I was thrown an apple and a miserable chicken sandwich. I couldn’t wait to get us all home. If there’s ever a next time I hope I don’t have a long stay on the post-natal ward.

  7. I’ve written a LONG status post on this on FB where I’m sharing it tomorrow! I just don’t know what to say. I had some horrid staff too and still remember the one who ripped my clothes off and changed me roughly hours after my first c-section right in front of my husband WHO SAID NOTHING for crying out loud. As I said on my FB note to this, people who don’t like people shouldn’t be in people-facing jobs. But I think we can replace the word people with women…
    I’m appalled that they have put you off having another and feel so sad for you. #dreamteam

    • Prabs, I’ll look out for your post tomorrow. It’s disgusting that staff in the so called care profession can do and get away with stuff like this. I’ve had a bit of a wobble after reading that you had a clothes incident too. I have no words. xx

  8. msmamabean says:

    Oh hun, I feel so bad for you! That midwife was unprofessional and what she did was plain unforgivable. No one should be treated that way whether it was their choice or not, what right does she have to judge? I know there probably will be others that would have suffered like you, but this needs to stop. Their job is to look after and care for us and our babies and if thats not what she has done, then she has failed and something needs to be done. #DreamTeam

  9. Oh my goodness your experience sounds absolutely terrifying. That is so so awful. I cannot believe you were not cared for with the dignity and respect that you deserved. I Understand why you felt you couldn’t report this at the time, it must have been so so traumatic. I’m just in disbelief and so sorry you went through this. I would have been terrified and it would certainly have put me off having another too. Sending big hugs. Well done for writing this down, it needs to be told. Xx #dreamteam

  10. Your experience was deeply upsetting and I’m sure (if you can face it) that feedback to the hospital and ward might spare other mothers going through what you did. It’s really important and brave that you’ve spoken out about everything in this post and to be having this dialogue. By sharing your experience you are helping others who have been through similar ones and hopefully yourself too. I agree with Claire from Life, love and Dirty Dishes that talking to the hospital may ease your pain. All the very best xx #dreamteam

  11. RawMum says:

    Omg this is awful. I’m so sorry it’s put you off having another. It’s a big fear of mine too and I’m going to be very clear with my instructions to hubby. Such a terrifying time. I hope you feel better for writing it and getting it out there. I think you are a better person than them as you’ve not mentioned any names or places. Much love to you #dreamteam

  12. Oh my goodness – what an horrific experience. I can’t believe someone could treat another human being like that.

    When I had Miss P back in May I unfortunately needed to stay on an antenatal ward for 10 nights before eventually having her by ‘elective’ C-Section, and thankfully all the staff on that ward were lovely. I got to know them well, and saw how hard they worked… they got terrible treatment from some of the labouring women and their families, but nothing stopped them giving these women the best support. The treatment you received is disgusting.

    Sadly I had a bad experience with the community midwife who came to see me on my my day 3, 5 and 10 check… She came to check my scar and left me floundering on my back in the middle of my living room. She accused me of not feeding my baby, she made me think I was an awful mother. I was in floods of tears. In the end I located the details of the Head of Community Midwives and provided feedback on the appauling bedside manner, and asked never to see her again. Amazingly my feedback was taken seriously, and I had a call with senior member of hospital staff a few days later.

    As wonderful as a new baby is, there are ‘horror’ stories – well done for sharing. Huge hugs. xxx

  13. How bloody terrible. I’m livid for you lovely! How dare you be treated like this! Please don’t let it out you off expending your family, Annette. I had a terrible first birth experience but a wonderful second one. The other thing to say is that if you are strong enough, make that complaint, even after 5 years. It’s important. Good luck! #dreamteam

  14. Kim Scotland says:

    I cannot even begin to imagine the hell you endured during those first few days. It sounds so terrible, it’s no wonder you don’t want to go through that again. I can’t believe that trained medical professionals would care so little for someone who had just been through major surgey regardless of the circumstances of it. Truly horrific. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. #DreamTeam

  15. Jaki says:

    I am completely at an utter loss for words. This is shocking, completely appalling behaviour! I can’t believe they only got a telling off. I am so sorry that this hideous experience has spoilt for you what should have been a magical few hours and I hope by writing the blog post it has helped in some way. #DreamTeam

  16. Kate says:

    So very sorry to read about such an awful experience and I think you should contact whatever the national midwives organisation is called as you have valuable input that could help their practice and other women.
    And I hope this is part of the process to moving on to another baby if you want one

  17. Chloe says:

    Oh my goodness I am not really sure what to say after reading this post. I am sorry that you had such an awful time in what should have been a wonderful experience #dreamteam

  18. I’ve nearly cried reading this. What an awful time you had. The way you describe you were treated was horrific especially at a time when you are at your most vulnerable.
    I can completely understand your doubts and worries but I hope that you don’t let it be the reason for not having a second child. My experience of my first birth and postnatal care was completely different to my second and I wish someone had told me not to worry about my second so much.
    Thank you for being so honest in your post with your experience- I’m sure it will help so many people to hear they are not alone with similar cate/lack of.

  19. Oh my god Annette, this is horrible. Absolutely shameful! I’m so sorry you had to go through this, especially during a time that’s meant to be special. NO WOMAN must have to go through this, whether she has an elective C-section, an emergency one or a normal delivery. It must be brought to their notice, in some way, so that no-one else is treated like that.

    On a separate note, keep the faith if you do decide to have a second child… your second experience might just be magical:)

  20. I have just cried…and got the shakes reading this…you poor woman how dare they, its abuse plain and simple. I expecting my second after six years and have the perinatal mental health team and a counsellor keeping an eye on me as my fitst birth and aftercare was so bad. I have been having nightmares I’m so anxious. I ended up with a spinal after an episiotomy and my heartrate too high..I had gone into shock and rejected Leo…they wheeled me to the ward and after soon told my other half to go as it was not visiting time, I hadn’t eaten in 2 days but they said I couldn’t eat as I’d missed the meal time. Like you they told me to dress and feed my baby and I couldn’t move to get him. One midwife came and shouted at me that I had made a mess when hemmoraging. My mum that’s a nurse thank god came that evening and helped. Its you at your most vulnerable, especially as a first time mum. This time I’m more ready to demand care, and facebook live any bad treatment! Big love lady xx

    • Oh my god Jade, this made me cry back, reading your account. This is terrible, and exactly why I now realise that we do have to yell from the roof tops our experiences so that something is changed and more safe guarding is put in place to prevent stuff like this happening over and over again. It’s good to know that you are getting support with your 2nd. Big love right back at you xx

  21. I can relate to this, it is scary after such a bad time X #dreamteam

  22. Kate says:

    Dear God what a horrific experience! I hope you reported this to the authorities, they could have caused you serious injury!

    I have to say I am a c-section veteran, having had three (one emergency, and then two planned – as a direct consequence of the first emergency one) and after such major surgery your body is in shock. I had all the painkillers and it was still extremely painful each time. However, there are some amazing midwives out there, and the care I received was superb, which made the whole experience infinitely more bearable. Obviously it varies from one hospital to the next, but I just wanted to reassure you that your awful experience is NOT the norm! I hope you are well and fully recovered now xxx

  23. Ky says:

    Oh my god this is horrendous! I am so sorry you were treated like that. No one should be treated like that. It’s supposed to be a magical time, not torture!

    I thought my time on the post natal ward was bad but it was nothing compared to you. I just had to put up with construction work right outside my window all night long and unhelpful midwifes. I hadn’t had a c-section but I was extremely tired after being up for so long. I was glad to leave after just 1 night.x #dreamteam

    • Oh Ky. No matter what scale it’s on, at the time when new mums need the most support, unhelpful midwives just don’t help. And as for construction work outside the window – I think that would drive us all crazy, let alone having that to deal with right after having a baby. x

  24. Cherry Newby says:

    Oh my goodness – what an absolutely horrifying experience! I can’t imagine being in that situation and I completely understand why you would be too scared to go through the whole ordeal again. How terrible, in this day and age, that anyone in a caring profession can think that it is OK to treat people like that! #dreamteam

  25. This isn’t the first time I’ve read your story Annette, but reading it again today fills me with just as much horror and despair that you were subjected to such abhorrent treatment. Post natal care is so critical to our emotional strength and well being as a mother and it terrifies me to think that any medical professionals could think this is acceptable behaviour, no matter what circumstances a baby arrives in. I’m so sorry that this experience has scarred you but can absolutely see why. My midwife was incredible and it saddens me that not everyone is able to enjoy the same level of care which EVERY mum deserves. Lots of love to you xx

  26. This has terrified me beyond words & im so sorry this happened to you :'( x x
    Ellis // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk

  27. Oh Annette, I’m in tears reading this – how could someone treat you like that? Especially at the end when she says you ‘had’ to have a c-section, can you imagine how she would have treated me?! You have done such a brilliant thing sharing your story, there is so much that is left unsaid about postnatal wards and how scared and alone women have felt directly after they have had their baby. It is shocking and awful and I’m so sorry this happened, my lovely friend xxx #dreamteam co-host

  28. Mamma_B says:

    This is vile. I’m so sorry your first precious moments with your baby were tainted by the cruel mistreatment you encountered by the midwives. To me it is unfathomable that any professional would treat you in this way. When I had my little girl I was in a fantastic hospital with truly amazing midwives but there was just one midwife that was a bit cold towards me, abrupt – and didn’t show as much sensitivity to my feelings – and the impact that one member of staff had on me was huge. I felt really fragile both physically and emotionally so when she was like that with me I got very upset. But I was lucky that she was just one member of an excellent team – I can’t even comprehend what I would have done or how I would have coped if they had all been the same so I totally understand why this would have such an impact on you both then and now. I really hope that should you ever choose to have another baby, you are cared for and respected in the way that you deserve. Big love x

  29. Aleena says:

    OMG Annette… I’m literally in shock, I don’t think I can form words right now. I’m terrified reading this, let alone you having to go through it. It sounds like the kind of thing you expect to see in horror films. As I said, I have no words… #dreamteam

  30. Chloe Wdod says:

    How horrific! Whatever happens happens for a reason my lovely #DreamTeam

  31. Oh wow, it really sounds like you had the worst experience. I cannot believe they felt they could treat someone like that and justify is as they thought you were “too posh to push.”
    I literally had nightmares leading up to giving birth and was so worried about the whole experience, if it wasnt for me being so stubborn wanting a natural birth, I would have probably gone for an elective c-section and after my 4 day labour, I said if they couldnt induce me on my second pregnancy then Id want a c-section. Does that mean because I choose to have one given my awful experience and fear of putting my baby in the NICU again due to a traumatic labour, that I’m free to be ridiculed by those who are employed to ensure my recovery is the best it can be.
    I am so sorry you went through this and I surely hope that this hospital is a one off and that maybe they’ll change their ways! #dreamteam

  32. Oh lovely, I am in tears reading this, I want to say that I can’t believe what you went through and yet sadly I can. Every day I hear horror stories about post natal wards, or the treatment received, and it saddens me greatly that not only are our experience of being a new mum ruined by this, but our futures and the family we had planned. I am so sorry that you had to go through this, sending you so much love. Thank you for sharing, #dreamteam

  33. OMGosh. Annette thats blooming awful! I can’t believe this!! How horrendous, it should be a time to celebrate and be joyous, not cowering from bullying midwifes and that they actually did that on purpose! Awful. Don’t be scared for the future and also don’t feel any pressure to do something you don’t want to do again. We think you guys are the perfect little family x #DreamTeam

  34. I am so sorry to read this – I thought my aftercare was lacking! I lost a lot of blood after delivery and physically couldn’t move but the midwives were telling me to just get up & get on with it – ignoring the fact I couldn’t. It took them 24 hours of me telling them I’m really not right to realise I had a blood infection. It took another 5 days for them to give me a blood transfusion – after which, I finally felt able to get up and care for my daughter! It’s a scary start to motherhood when you’re not taken seriously or treated decently, affecting your ability to care for your new baby! Like you, I’m afraid for another baby, but I’m hoping next time will be different. I really hope that sharing your story has helped you understand some peace Annette 🙂 x

  35. My experience isn’t exactly the same but I can relate. My first was born in theatre via forceps. I can’t even begin to explain the damage that did to my body but that is another story. My night on the post-natal ward was horrific. The pain I was in was unreal but the midwives really weren’t bothered and acted like I was really making a fuss as women give birth all the time and I’m nothing special – and here’s another paracetamol. But the big deal was my baby was choking. The midwives told me I was being dramatic as all babies bring up mucus and I was made to feel like a neurotic first time Mum. She did it numerous times and each time I hit the buzzer they wouldn’t come for at least 10minutes – and by that time i’d already smacks her on the back and got her going again. I couldn’t run with her to the nurses station because the pain from the forceps damage was so bad I basically blacked out when I stood up. I went home the next day (it took me an hour to walk from the ward to the hospital exit because the midwives refused to get a wheelchair for me) and 12hours later we were blue lighted back to the hospital via ambulance as my daughter was choking and had turned blue in the middle of the night in front of my husband and my mum. She had swallowed so much mucus during her extended time in the birth canal and her little underdeveloped throat muscles couldn’t cough it up. A stomach flush and 3 days in Neonatal Unit for us.

    So I can unequivocally state those midwives ignoring me and automatically assuming I was wrong because I was a first time Mum and they knew better than me could have cost me my daughter. Needless to say the memories of the trauma of the hospital and first night at home will never leave us and actually made us a bit neurotic about sleeping. We’d sit and watch her for hours to check she wasn’t chocking. I was told to make a complaint but I didn’t – I just wanted to put the whole thing behind me because if you don’t think about these things they go away right?!?!?

    Fast forward 3 years, surgery on myself to try and fix the damage from the forceps which left me unable to walk until my daughter was over 6mths old and I actually decided to have another baby. I know, I am still in shock that I actually decided to do it again. This time I elected for a C section (which I had to fight tooth and nail for again the hospital) and yes I was really worried how the nurses would treat me based on my last experience plus the fact that they would know I had an elective C section without necessarily knowing my past history. But my mind set had changed. I knew what I was doing this time. I knew I needed to shout to make myself heard. And I was still underneath it all bitterly angry. Angry that they had ignored me the first time, angry that they screwed up my body and my first year with my daughter, then angry that they made me fight for an elective C section. God help the first midwife who crossed my path.

    And as it so happens I didn’t need any of this because the midwives were lovely, put in my a bay right by them so they could keep an eye on me. Came whenever I buzzed. They genuinely helped me. This was the same ward as last time. None of them knew my history. But they treated me exactly the same as the other 8 Mum’s in my bay (we’d all had C sections, some emergency, some planned sdue to breach etc but I was the only elective). They were hugely understaffed and they we stretched thin but they did their best and didn’t make me feel like a failure or a hinderance. They treated me with respect and kindness.

    I think my point is don’t let this experience define you. I know it did for me for quite a few years and I saw a counsellor who diagnosed me with PTSD and speaking to them really helped me to move on and look back on the experience as a memory, a horrible one but nevertheless a memory – not a situation I’m living through right now. I’ve learnt that things don’t just go away on their own if you push them away – they in fact just grow into horrible beasts which eat you up in a lot of different ways. Having my second definitely helped me to get over my first experience and whilst I think there is a lot of ‘it depends who you get on the day’ routlette when it comes to the midwife staff ‘ don’t assume that your experience will be the same again.

    I’ve never written about any of this on my blog which probably says something. I think the fact that you have is very brave and proves you are strong and you can move past this with a little help.

  36. Helena says:

    This is no way in which to treat someone who has gone through surgery. I am angry for you. #DreamTeam

  37. This is absolutely awful! I think you should have taken action but the important thing at the time was your recovery. #dreamteam

  38. Nicola says:

    Oh my goodness….this sounds like an excerpt from a horror film! I am so sorry you had to experience such terrible treatment at what should have been a special time. I completely understand why you would be terrified to have another one. #dreamteam

  39. Absolutely disgusting! No one should feel that way, no new mother should be treated that way! I had to have a C-section with my third as both his and my life were in danger, I was in no way mad to feel bad, and I wish you had have had my experience, it makes me so sad, sending love xx Thank you so much for joining #ablogginggoodtime

  40. This is absolutely horrendous! Print this post off and send it anonymously to the labour ward if you don’t want to complain personally. You have suffered years of trauma from this and they need to be held accountable. Please don’t let it put you off having another – book a different hospital and I’m sure you’ll have a much more positive experience. Sending lots of love xxxx #dreanteam

  41. What a horrendous experience you had and I’m so sorry for you. It sounds terribly – especially the nasty comment about having had to have a C-section. As if having an elective warranted such a horrible treatment anyway.

    I had an awful time at the post-natal too. Most of the midwives were just totally unhelpful – and I was stuck there for days because of sepsis and and sickly baby. Still brings tears to my eyes. It wasn’t until I totally broke down in front of a breastfeeding councillor who then gave some of the midwives a bollocking that things changed slightly for the better. Couldn’t wait to get away

  42. This treatment sounds barbaric and horrific! I am so sorry for your experience. That is just so horrible. Here in the US< we just assume the midwives treat everyone better than doctors and nurses. I am so sorry for your suffering. I don't blame you one bit. Please also know that my sister was able to have a vaginal delivery after a c-section. Anything is possible! <3 HEarts and hugs to you, love! #dreamteam

  43. Wendy says:

    Oh my god, I can’t believe what I’ve just read. I am so sorry this happened to you, I just can’t get over how the midwives could treat you like that. And so what is you had chosen to have a c section, that doesn’t mean it’s ok for then to abuse you like that. It makes me sad to read it’s pit you off having another child xx #dreamteam

  44. This is absolutely shocking. I used to work as a press office for a NHS hospital and honestly if this sort of thing had happened and been publicised online (although naming the hospital), the press would have a field day. You should most definitely make a formal complaint though. You poor thing. No wonder you don’t want to go through that again. If you really did want another remember you can choose another hospital/midwife unit, as long as you’re prepared to travel. Much love xx #DreamTeam

  45. I just saw this but I can’t believe you were treated so poorly. To be honest it was criminal.

    While I, as a man, can’t understand the pain of child birth I can relate a bit to the lack of pain meds. I had a major accident last year and went 18h without any pain relief (starting from about 6h post accident). It was torture.

    That you survived that and talk about it makes you a super star

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