1/2 [Trigger Warning! – related to child birth] “I had my baby in the Coombe, back in May. My partner dropped me off at 8 am to be induced. Once the induction started, I was in agony. I couldn’t stop vomiting. I had gestational diabetes and was so worried for my baby. I was 36 hours alone and scared out of my wits. My baby’s heart rate had dropped, so all I was offered was Panadol. When I say offered, I mean I begged for that. They kept saying they’d be back in a minute, but they weren’t. When my waters broke, I was able to go to the delivery ward and call my partner. I had a horrific labour. The anaesthetist never arrived despite my pleas. I had to have an episiotomy and vacuum. My baby was whisked away almost immediately. She had swallowed meconium and had low blood sugar. I was rushed to the theatre as the placenta wouldn’t come out. I had lost 1.7 litres of blood. We didn’t get to hold her. That wonderful moment was stolen from us. My partner was left in the delivery suite alone with my blood all over the floor not knowing if me and our little girl were going to be okay. Thankfully, my partner was there when I got back from the theatre, but they wouldn’t let him up to see the baby. We begged and pleaded and each time the midwife called they said no. I was so devastated that the midwife went and took a picture of my baby. She was hooked up to tubes, weak and alone. I sobbed. She thought she had no mammy. My husband was then asked to leave after visiting hours were over.
“I was moved to a ward with five women and their babies. I was scared to cry in case it took over my whole body and broke what was left of me. My profile picture looks happy with my new-born. It was the first time I held her. The photo was taken by a nurse 16 hours after she was born. Until then I was alone and terrified. This should have been that big moment I waited my whole pregnancy for, but I was broken, paralysed after the theatre, in a wheelchair with a full catheter bag on my lap. All-day and night, I listened to all the mothers with their babies in the ward. None of them spoke to me. Too afraid to ask. I finally got her back 38 hours after she was born. I didn’t get to shower until I got home. I had haemorrhaged and my legs were stained in blood. My baby wasn’t washed. I’m a first-time mammy and had no idea what to do. I lost so much blood that I kept feeling I would faint at any moment, but told the nurses I was fine. I was afraid they would keep me in longer. My partner didn’t get to hold her until she was four days old. We were robbed of the experience of getting to hold our baby girl after the birth. I was so scared the whole time and genuinely thought I was going to die on my own. I needed him there. I needed his support. This is not bashing the nurses and midwives. They are spread so thin and you can see they’re exhausted. They are doing their best, but women need someone they know and trust.”
This series was created with @InOurShoes_ covidpregnancy to highlight the difficult situation parents have to go through during the time of Covid-19 in labour wards around the country.
How can you help?
Sign the petition: https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/lift-restrictions-on-maternity-care
Contact your TD: www.whoismytd.com
If you have been directly affected, make a comment or complaint about your care to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been affected by the issues in this post, support is available. Don’t be afraid to reach out for it. Contact your GP, PHN or maternity unit. The following organisations may also help:
– AIMS Ireland http://aimsireland.ie/
– Féileacáin https://feileacain.ie/
– Aware https://www.aware.ie/
– Your Mental Health (HSE) https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/yourmentalhealth-information-line.html