Yesterday I went to the city to attend an NHS Maternity Review listening event, facilitated by Bliss, for parents who experienced complications in pregnancy, labour or birth affecting the health of mother or baby, including admission to neonatal care. Yesterday, someone listened to me.
I have always said that I can write it better than I can say it, but I knew that if I did not attend yesterday I would regret it. I knew that if there were going to be many more women like me, treading a path like mine, on a journey like mine, I needed to make sure I did what I could to make that journey a little easier. I knew that I was in good company. With Emma and Helen by my side, I spoke out about my experiences.
About the way that my second birth was managed. The cancelled surgery, with no explanations. The lack of midwives on the labour ward that led to being left alone for hours, in pain and fear. The lack of suitable equipment in my delivery room, including blinds on the windows so that workmen outside were able to see in. The lack of compassion. The doctor who refused to believe I was in labour. Decisions made over my head. My husband left in an empty delivery room as I was taken to theatre. Consent forms signed after the event. My husband being sent home, ripped away from the wife and baby that only hours previously he had believed to be dead. Being discharged from hospital with no pain relief, bruised from neck to knees. Being on my knees desperate, frightened, and alone with no health professionals able or willing to help me….