Carla’s Story, UK

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On February 17th 2012 at the age of 27 years, I gave birth to my first baby Thomas. My pregnancy was great, I loved every minute of it, we had been trying for our baby for 10 months after having chemotherapy treatment for my Crohn’s Disease.

At 40 weeks baby still hadn’t made an appearance so midwife intervened with stretch and sweep to hurry things along, for a week I had horrendous back pain, I had tightenings but nothing. I went into hospital thinking I was in labour, but was sent home to be told I was only 4 centimeters dilated and wasn’t in active labour, for the next 3 days I did this again and again, I finally had a midwife shout at me and tell me “do you even know what labour is??” Well no I didn’t because I didn’t make the antenatal clinics because they always ran when I was working.

After being sent away from hospital on a Thursday night around 10pm I climbed into bed and my waters broke, the pain in my back became more and more excruciating, I went into hospital and was sent to a ward because again was told I wasn’t in established labour. After an awful night of using the hospital bath 6 times and no pain relief but a birthing ball to bounce up and down in, I finally met a midwife on the Friday morning shift who offered me pethadine to help with the pain. After this everything becomes a blur. It’s a bit foggy, but the events that did happen are absolutely heartbreaking.

I finally get on to a delivery suite, to be examined, by cervix was 5 centimeters dilated, I was examined numerous times and my cervix just didn’t want to break down, baby ended up in distress so they finally made the discussion to give me the hormone drip along with an epidural. Then my blood pressure dropped so much so I nearly had a cardiac arrest.

It was a room full of people, I started pushing, but my babies head kept going back into my pelvis after the contraction. So it was finally called for forcep delivery, they gave me an episiotomy, then realized my baby was back to back so turned him whilst getting him out, this caused me a 4th degree tear and a massive bleed. I was whisked to theatre for 3 hours whilst my baby was left with his dad, I was able to capture this photo very quickly.

No one once told me what was happening! I had to guess due to being a nurse.

When I got back to recovery my midwife told me to get out of bed and get a shower, I had a catheter, I had no idea why. I was weak all all I saw was blood on the shower. I didn’t feel right, but was told this was normal. The pain was horrendous, I couldn’t sit down, I couldn’t stand. No one helped me. I had the worst nights sleep, I couldn’t get to my baby when he cried, I called for a midwife to help and she passed me my baby like I was being pathetic. I needed a blood transfusion, I lost a lot of blood again was told this is normal.

It’s been 6 years now and I still am traumatized by the whole experience. I believe forceps should be banned and C sections should be given in all emergency situations.

What happened to me was NOT normal and no health professional should tell anyone that. There was no after care or anyone to talk to about what actually happened to me.

Thank you to this group, it’s really helped me to know that I’m not on my own.

Carla Navarro-Walker ~ Hull, UK

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