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Labour & birth
10/05/2016 at 09:21
I wanted to share my story about NHS and choosing a C-section. After I had read the NICE guidelines in Nov 2015 I was convinced that a woman has the right to elect for a C-section with or without medical reasons. So I decided to get pregnant. First time trying after being married for 7 years I was fortunate to have fallen pregnant straight away. Yes because it was planned I went out and got all the ovulation tests there was. Especially the clear blue digitals and the advances. And every time they told me I’m fertile we bedded. We bedded every day for 7 days. And every other day a week before and a week after. I am very impatient and didn’t want to take any risks of losing my fertile days. Then after it was a matter of waiting 2 weeks before you can test. I remember 7 days before my period was due I done a test and it came back negative, but I didn’t give up every day after that I tested until 3 days prior to my due date I saw the faintest line ever on one of my tests. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And as expected every day after the lines would get darker and darker. On Christmas eve I was 2-3 weeks pregnant according to my clear blue digital test. Me and hubby decided to announce it to our immediate family. Parents and siblings only.
I booked a GP appointment straightway and saw him that same week. Who referred me to my preferred hospital. I also done a self-referral to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In my referral I made it clear that I wanted a c-section. As expected it was now a waiting game to hear back. 7 weeks later I had my first midwife appointment. I was so excited. I went in with my husband and she told me that Chelsea and Westminster don’t offer elective C-sections, and the guidelines are just guidelines they are not compulsory she also went on to say that its very difficult to find a hospital in London who will allow it. At this point I broke down in tears. The only reason I got pregnant was because I thought I had a choice and the thought of natural birth scared me.
I told her im scared and I can’t cope she said she will book me in with a consultant to discuss my fears. I was sent home with an appalment at 17 weeks.
Anxiety started to take over and every day I would get worse and worse I stopped enjoying the pregnancy and was diagnoses with HG sever vomiting. I was in an out of hospital for drips twice a week until I was 20 weeks.
I started to get very depressed and scared about the natural birth so I decided to email my consultant who I was scheduled in to see at 14 weeks. I begged her to see me earlier as I couldn’t sleep and I was getting depressed. She told me she has no earlier appointments. So I waited. The day finally came and she asked me a few questions and repeated that they cant offer me a C-section unless there is a medical reason. I told her I was scared and everything about the thought of natural birth scared me. I had zero pain tolerance. She agreed to send me to see a psychiatrist. This was booked in at 24 weeks. During the wait my anxiety was getting worse and the more I thought about it the more I knew I couldn’t cope with natural birth I started to research into abortions and found out that the last date you can have an abortion was 24 weeks. This made me worse. I was now in a position where I had my appointment at 24 weeks but if they still refused me I wasn’t able to have an abortion.
I couldn’t take anymore I was not sleeping and becoming snappy and teary all the time. I decided to email the directors of the maternity ward and copy every email address I could find on line including PALS.
I stated that it was ridicules that they will make me wait so long and I felt like they are forcing me to have an abortion by not offering me what I wanted. I said I have become depressed, and anxiety had taken over my pregnancy I was not bonding with the baby.
With in a day I got a phone call from one of the senior members of the hospital and she had arranged for me to go in the following week at which point I was 20 weeks. I saw the same consultant who originally refused me with the senior lady. And I was surprised when she said “ its your choice if you want it you can have it.”
I was then referred to a senior midwife who spoke with me about the advantages of natural birth and referred me to my local hospital for therapy. At 24 weeks I had an appointment with another senior consultant. He read my notes and said how are you feeling “ I said I’m still anxcious, he then said maybe if I book your c-section you will feel better. With in 5 mins he booked me in for 22nd of august. I couldn’t believe it I had finally got what I wanted but I feel like I went through so much unnecessary stress during this period that it really had a bad effect on me.
I now have to wait for my appointment. I remember when I was going through this I couldn’t find anything on line with other people’s experiences. So I wanted to share mine. I also remember when I saw the psychiatrist she made me more frustrated. She told me there was nothing wrong with me. Then I snapped at her and told her I came to see her so she can help me sleep at nights and overcome my anxiety not to send me home and say nothing is wrong.
She asked me a few questions like was I abused when I was younger and where my parents are from and what job my husband does then concluded nothing is wrong. This infuriated me.
We should all be given the right to choose our birth plans without going through this stress. Ive paid all my taxes and for once in my life I wanted the system to support me but felt it failed me until I was at a point of break down.
I hope all you lovely ladies get your birth plans and don’t give up until they offer it to you.
23/11/2016 at 17:09
Seriously?!? I can't believe i'm reading this. Get a grip.
20/12/2016 at 22:53
Perry83, so sorry for you, any update? Did things turn out well in the end?. I know this post was a few months ago. I'm facing something similar at the moment. Starting to become very concerned bout having a natural birth. 3 friends of mine all GP's seemed to just get their c sections no questions asked. why then is it for us lesser individuals to have to fight for our birth plans. I've done my research and spoken to mums that have had natural births and c sections. some people think women opt for the easy option but I've heard some hellish stories of c sections and pain one of the mums still suffering 6months on.
i have fears of tearing and becoming faecalily incontinent, I'be had some issues pre pregnancy and the more I read the worse my fears become. I work for the NHS and have access to peer reviewed journals and have been reading up however none of this knowledge seems to count. I know a vaginal birth is best but so is a stress free pregnancy , the long term damage stress can cause baby as it is developing far outweigh the risks of a chosen birth plan
thanks for sharing your experience. I'm currently 18 weeks +5 days.
21/12/2016 at 08:44
Sarahjones2016, a bit unsympathetic me thinks 😕
What perry83 describes is a recognised phobia, the very real fear of coming to harm or dying during childbirth. She is not the only woman to suffer from it & for these women a known elective section date can make their pregnancy safer as they will not be so stressed.
It is a sad shame that we are still forced to fight for something the law says we have the right to choose (Why make it law that we can choose our preferred method of childbirth if the consultant & MW are then going to try & force you into a Vaginal birth anyway 😕)
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