So after the actual birth of my baby girl, I was duly moved onto the observation ward. This is where things got even worse for me. Where I felt completely invisible and not worthy of any help. I was on this ward for about 7 hours and it was better care than I received from the general ward, but still below acceptable in my opinion.
When the baby started crying, it took ages for anyone to come to me and help me. This is bearing in mind that I was still under the effect of a spinal so could feel absolutely nothing from my lower body. I was huffed and puffed at when I asked if someone could help move me up the bed, and told I had to wait until there was more help available !! So I led there, all the time slipping further and further down the bed. And as I began to feel my legs and toes again, I started to feel how incredible cramped my feet were against the end of the bed. So being uncomfortable I attempted to move my way up the bed. Big mistake. All I achieved was to pull out the line in my back for the drugs. So there I am hanging off the bed, trying not to pull on it too much, trying to get anyones attention. After awhile, a midwife came to help me, saying ‘ well I hope you don’t want any pain relief put in this line’ whilst fully removing it.I then asked if I could go for a shower and was shown to a bathroom and left to struggle on my own. Not easy when in loads of pain, have a catheter in and trying not to get the bandage wet.
By lunchtime I was moved upstairs, where I was dumped and left again. Because I was mobile I asked for the catheter to be removed, as it had been in place for 10-12 hours by then, and I could get to the toilet. I lost count how many times someone was coming to remove it. I eventually had it removed after 28 hours, after threatening to do it myself and crying like a complete fool. To be honest, it was so sore and painful by then, I should have done it myself earlier.
I noted there was maybe 5 midwives during the day, and just 2 over night. That was the longest night ever. I hit my buzzer to get pain meds yet no-one came, even though I was meant to get them ever 4 hours. After what seemed like forever ( which was probably 2 hours ) and being told yet again countless times the meds were coming, I crawled to the front desk. This is no joke, I actually crawled, and then begged and cried for pain meds. By the time my husband arrived for visiting hours the next day, I had told them I was discharging myself. At least at home I could get some help, and pain medication. So I left that tea time to face the longest most painful drive there ever was, with no pain meds again.
I got home and hubby got me upstairs and put me to bed. I didn’t sleep, well you don’t after major surgery and just paracetamol for pain relief. The next morning the GP surgery were fuming I’d been left with nothing for the pain, so I finally got something to take the edge off. I could not bath myself, stand or even walk. The pain was excruciating. Every midwife visit for the next 12 days went the same way, being told it was normal and I was healing well. I knew different but was too ill to argue.
On the 13th day after the birth, my health visitor came and introduced herself. I crumbled, I sat there and sobbed my heart out. I told her how much pain I was in and how awful I felt I had been treated. She took one look at my wound and said you have a major infection. My stomach had actually turned black from the ECV and C-Section. Within 2 hours this amazing lady had got me even better pain killers and antibiotics that I so desperately needed.
It took 4 weeks of antibiotics, which included about 6 different types to get the infection controlled and cleared. I can still smell that distinct smell of flesh rotting ( sorry if this offends ). I had nightmares and flashbacks every time I shut my eyes for a very long time, to the extent where I couldn’t sleep at all. I suffered with mini panic attacks and my love of horror films is well and truly gone for good.
I missed out the first 2 months of her life because I was out of it on so many different pills and I feel bitter, angry and guilty for that. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over this experience but I have learned to cope with it. And I also know there are ladies that have had a much more traumatic time, but for me this was just horrendous.