"RPA managed to make an awful event somewhat bearable."

About: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

At our 19 week scan it was discovered that the placenta was not working as it should, our baby had stopped growing and would die in utero, so following an amniocentesis we made the decision to be induced at 21+4 weeks. We had two doctors talk to us; one left a little bit to be desired re: his bedside manner, but the other was brilliant and compassionate in spite of his incredibly busy schedule.

The midwives were absolutely brilliant. I am so grateful for their compassion and care. We had a scheduled induced labour where I was allowed morphine and gas and had both my partner and mum with me for support. Our son was stillborn and following delivery we were allowed to hold him for as long as we liked and was then taken to our room for the night. The midwives very kindly located allocated us a room at the end of the ward as far from the babies as possible to try to minimise our exposure to newborn cries and allowed both my partner and my mother to stay overnight for support with me which made such a difference.

After my discharge the next day, we were permitted and encouraged to come to the hospital and spend time saying goodbye to our son as much as we liked until he was transported to the perinatal pathologists two days later. On one of these occasions one of the midwives asked to sit with me and meet him and she sat with me, hugged me and cried with me. I cannot express my gratitude to the midwives enough.

The only real negative experience I had with the hospital was with the admin. Admin and birth registration papers were not in stock when we left so we were forced multiple times to return to the hospital to collect papers in the weeks following, which was a bit unnerving. In addition, about a week or so after the birth, I had a phone call from a doctor asking how your pregnancy is coming along as we have not seen you in a little while? After recounting to him the situation, he said oh my god, I'm so sorry... I should have read your file before I called. In my shock, I stupidly did not confirm his name so I can't be 100% sure which doctor it was (and the hospital conveniently has no record of the phone call) however I am fairly sure I have an idea and as we are currently expecting again and have had another poor experience with his not reading files and his poor bedside manner, I have requested a note be out on my file that I not be seen by that particular doctor anymore.

That doctor's behaviour however has definitely been the exception... All in all we have received fantastic care at RPA, particularly by the midwives. Compassionate, genuine, caring and attentive. They managed to make an awful event somewhat bearable for which I will be ever grateful.

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