"My pregnancy and birth"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

Last year I found out I was pregnant. I booked into Box Hill straight away.

Being a highly anxious person who was previously medicated for it, I was quite nervous from the get go. I had an ambulance ride at 9 weeks with horrendous pains where they checked to make sure it wasn't ectopic. I was back in hospital at 12 weeks after excruciating ovarian pain where I thought I was losing the baby. I was right on the edge from this point on. I called the hospital one morning in tears and had an appointment made for me that day to see an SMS (Specialist Midwife Services) midwife. I saw Peta. She was ABSOLUTELY amazing and let me cry and then calmed me and made me feel sane again. Peta put me onto Jenny the Psychologist who I ended up seeing fortnightly for the remainder of my pregnancy.

As I was there so often, I not only spoke with Lisa on reception, but Antoinette too. Antoinette remembered my name and would always greet me with a "hello' and used my name which always made my day.

I saw Peta about four times, Tanya once and then stayed in the care of Leanne. I lost my cousin in August who was due three weeks before me and that resulted in me not getting much sleep at all. Fortunately the appointment I had been waiting for for months to see Dr Ling came up a week after and I was prescribed Zoloft. When I saw Lea the following week, I was having trouble functioning physically, emotionally and mentally due to severe sleep deprivation. She called a specialist to check what I could take along side my Zoloft so I could get some sleep again. Her support during this time was incredible.

In September I had to have another ultrasound to check my fibroid size. On the way to Mitcham Private I realised I'd left my referral at home and didn't have time to go back for it. I called Mitcham from the car and was told to call the maternity ward and get them to fax over a new one. They could only wait 15 minutes after my appointment time or I would lose the spot as they were booked solid. I called Box Hill and got Lisa. Lisa told me she could get a referral done and signed, but it could take a while as she had to find a doctor to fill it out and sign it and they too were busy. She told me to call back with the fax number once I got there. When we got to Mitcham about 10 minutes later, I called Box Hill back straight away. It rang out so I called straight back. Lisa answered again and said she was hoping that was me and already had the referral done and waiting for the number. What Lisa did for me that morning was so incredibly appreciated. I was so stressed that at one point I became so light headed I felt as though I was going to faint.

From about 33 weeks, it appeared that my baby wasn't really growing. So at about 37 weeks, Leanne decided I should be monitored twice a week with a CTG (cadiotocography) and ultrasound to keep an eye on the AFI (amniotic fluid index)  just to make sure everything was okay.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I saw one of the doctors who did a stretch and sweep and booked me in for an induction. After losing a fair bit of bloody mucus over the next couple of days, I called the hospital and spoke to one of the amazingly helpful and compassionate midwives who advised me to come in.

We arrived at 9:00pm and I was looked after by Jane who took tremendous care of me. I started having contractions on my own at 9:50pm. Jenny was my midwife and at 12:50am when the pressure was so excruciating, she offered to break my waters for me. Jenny talked me through it and told me what was going to happen. After that everything happened so quickly that three decent pushes and 11 minutes later my baby was born. Jen's care of me and my baby, especially when my baby's heart rate dropped was second to none. She was just amazing.

My whole experience from that first appointment with Peta soon after 12 weeks then right the way through was one that I have spoken of often. Between Peta, Jenny, Leanne, Lisa, Antoinette, Jane and Jenny, I stayed as calm as I possibly could and didn't reach total melt down mode. These ladies helped me more than they will ever know. Both myself and my fiancé just can't thank them enough.

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Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Cared for mum

Thank you so very much for taking the time to provide your story and experience on Patient Opinion. I was so proud to read of the terrific work of so many people, such as Peta, Jenny, Lea, Lisa, Antoinette, Jane and Jenny, who all contributed to making your experience as positive as possible.

Pregnancy and childbirth is a wonderful time of life, but when stresses and life events impact on that, it is great that staff, no matter what their role, took the time to assist you and make sure things were progressing the best way possible.

It will give me such pleasure to pass your feedback onto the staff in maternity at Box Hill Hospital, especially those you have specifically named.

I trust you and your fiancé are adjusting to life with your new baby. Being a parent myself, it is a truly joyous experience (albeit the lack of sleep challenging at times!!).

With kind regards

David

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