In my 11 years of experience of midwives, antenatal and post natal care, I have never met anyone as unsympathetic as you. From the time you walked into my room on delivery suite, you had no time for me or my unborn child. You told me straight you were busy and had a million things to do, and although I appreciate your honesty, looking back I should of stood up for myself more and made a stand.
The midwife who left to go home at 2pm had put down in my notes that I was to be hooked up to a drip to speed up my contractions. I asked how long it would be when you walked in and your response of ‘I have other ladies with more urgent needs’ was understandable but the sharpness in your voice and the way you stormed out of the room made me feel uneasy to question it again….so I wandered the room for 3 hours until you came back in. You hooked me up to the drip, no chit chat, no pleasantries, no communication of any sort. A face like ice. I was hooked up to the monitors and my request to go to the toilet first was met with sighs and tuts that I should dare delay you.
My waters had been broken earlier that day and laying there hooked up to the machine contracting, they started to gush. My trousers were soaked but with a drip in one hand, and two monitors on my stomach I was unable to move. You didn’t care, simply left me there, looking at me like I was an inconvenience. I asked if you could help me to remove them, you simply replied ‘Get your husband to do it.’ Me and my husband looked at each other in dis-belief that someone could be so uncaring. Then you left me for an hour or so, and only came back in when I pressed the buzzer I had been working up to press all day.
I told you I was in pain, I had tears down my face. You looked utterly pissed off that I had dared to press that button. Your answer to my pain ‘Would you like some pain relief’ was much welcome, until you said ‘You can have paracetamol … My reply of ’Seriously that isn’t going to cut it’ clearly agitated you, but I was not expecting the snappy reply of ’How do you know unless you try’. I asked for gas and air and you refused with a very sharp NO. I was too scared to ask again and just laid sobbing. You didn’t care and just walked off, not to be seen again for an hour or two.
When you came back in my whole body was shaking, my chin was shaking, I was sobbing and pretty hysterical. You didn’t even care. You stuck a thermometer in my ear, turned up the drip and left for a little while, only coming back in to say and I quote ‘I am off home, you might actually get someone who has time for you now’ before flouncing off out of the room, me still shaking, moaning in pain with tears streaming down my face. As I write this now, my tears are flowing as I remember all too clearly how scared and alone I felt right then.
Now I know that you might of been having a busy day,or maybe having some problems in your private life and that maybe your were short staffed and has lots to do. I understand that you must have some serious pressure on your shoulder, but a tiny little bit of compassion would go a ruddy long way.
Now I look back and thank my lucky stars that you left, the two ladies who walked in to start their shift when you left were a breath of fresh air. They came over horrified to see me in such a state, and a simple stroke of the arm, and some calm talking had me reassured that I would be looked after. I knew they cared from the way they spoke to me, I felt safe, I felt like my baby would be safe too. They were the complete opposite to you in every single way. They may have been a lot younger than you, but you would do well to take just a tiny bit of their caring nature on board. Luckily for me, the two new midwives (one student in her third year) were totally amazing. I could not of asked for anything better. They turned the main lights off, instead putting on dim lights which made the environment softer and more calming, they even offered me aromatherapy, I thought I had been transported elsewhere with the change, I was delirious that I was no longer alone. They spoke to me with care, they listened, they sympathised. They asked me if I wanted pain relief, my husband told them how you had refused to let me have gas and air, and their shock was clear to see…within a few minutes I was breathing the gas and air that you had forbidden me. In fact it was probably all the better for being forbidden for so long. It was the gas and air that I continued to use throughout my whole labour and birth, nothing else. I never once even mentioned anything else, and certainly never considered an epidural which probably would of been a bigger inconvenience than letting me have the gas and air, although looking back as a patient, surely I would of had the right to demand one if I so wanted…
I had never made any demands (aside from asking to use the toilet once before I was hooked up to the monitor), and never once been rude to you despite your sharpness and rudeness to me. But looking back I wish I had, I wish I has stood up to you and made it clear how you were acting. You lacked any compassion and I hope I never have the pleasure to meet you again. I hope you were just having a bad day, I hope you don’t treat any other patient how you treated me. I think I am quite a strong person, so for me to made to feel that way shocks me to think how someone more vulnerable would feel to have that experience thrust upon them, and at a time when as a patient we are needing some reassurance and care. I hope you went home, and came back to work refreshed and maybe with a different persona, well I hope you did…for every lady who walks through those delivery suite doors…