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Original feedback for

Birmingham Womens Hospital

I encountered good and bad

Whilst giving birth I encountered good and bad. The experience was marred by covid as you would expect, but I do feel there could have been improvements. Like, having a nurse wait for me whilst I went to the loo to get a urine sample after being in triage when my waters broke (with blood). I was given a pot, told where the toilet was, came out and more waters broke with me stood right outside the midwife station, with them in having a laugh and me stood in the hall dripping wet feeling humiliation and embarrassment. I had to call to them for some help. Similarly being told my first birth of "roughly 6 hours but I'm not sure cos city sent me home, and didn't want me back even though I was pushing, then realised I was fully dialated, then made me push for another 3 hours before realising my baby was stuck and back to back and forceps birth" wasn't "quick", which I still maintain it was, wasn't very helpful whilst in labour with contractions. The same midwife also asked me how far apart my contractions were...which I didn't know as I wasn't timing them, but concentrating on breathing through them. I still don't understand why my husband couldn't come into triage. I was in that room for 3-4 hours on my own....really what is the difference between me on my own and me and my husband? If we were both tested? Which we weren't as he wasn't allowed in until I was 7cm 3 hours later. I understand he couldn't come on the ward, but he was allowed in to the room I was in for the birth....I just don't see the difference. And the negatives of not having him there, to me as a mum, outweigh the possible risks. Also, the midwives kept telling me that someone would be in to put a cannula in....they never did and I had to ask for water as I was thirsty. I didn't feel very dignified throughout that first part of my labour. They did listen to the fact I laboured at home in the bath with my first and so got me a bath on ward one. And then left me to it for 2 hours. Not once did anyone check on me in that bathroom. Which considering I told them I laboured quick and wanted the hot bath....and they knew I was there...anything could have happened to me. At the time I was grateful for it though and just cracked on with the labour. If it had been my first I'd have been terrified though. The actual birth I was scared of being a repeat of my first and emergency forceps, but the one midwife in the room with us kept me calm and was amazing. Even when my baby needed recuss breaths due to the cord wrapped round his neck, she was calm and so was everyone she called in. I felt things got explained and we weren't in danger. Overall I'd choose the hospital again, but I do feel things need improvement. I know covid is a big thing, but so is having a child! And it can be traumatic and things can happen very quickly and change quickly. Having a birth partner the whole time would have been a million times better for me. And that's as a second time, fairly chilled out mum.

Alison Wilkinson