"Unprofessional care by midwife during birth"

About: Royal North Shore Hospital

(as the patient),

I was a patient at Royal North Shore Hospital in the antenatal and birth unit earlier this year. I had complications in my pregnancy in the third trimester. It was one of the most difficult times in my life where I was considering terminating my 33 weeks pregnancy. However, I was admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital due to early ruptured membrane. At the beginning, my experience was amazing, I got the help and the support I needed from the doctors and the midwives, until I went into labour where there was a hand over and I got a new midwife.

Because of the complication of my pregnancy I was connected to CTG before and during my whole labour. I was also so stressed and worried that things might go wrong because of the complications. So I was under a lot of pressure as well as the pain of labour and the last thing any woman would want is someone like this person to be her midwife.

Before I had this new midwife, I had another midwife standing next to me during the first stage of labour supporting me, telling me I can move, lie on my back or my sides, sit up, or do whatever makes me feel comfortable, and then the new midwife came, sat on the chair a few meters away the whole time during the first stage of labour asking me not to move and that I have to stay still during my contractions, because the device can't pick the heartbeats of the baby, and when I was moving at any time the midwife would speak loudly (I feel, nearly yelling) telling me to lie flat on my back and if I move I have to hold the device for myself and make sure that it is picking the signal otherwise I am hurting my baby. The midwife kept telling me, you are not doing this for me you doing it for your baby, and when my husband came an hour later, the midwife made him hold the device for me for the rest of the time. 

The minute my husband walked in the midwife told him, your wife is not coping being in pain, she is asking for epidural (not sure what the words were but my husband was surprised), he was disappointed and came to me saying, what’s wrong? The nurse says you are not handling it well, I know you are better than this!

During my second stage where the midwife needed to get off the chair, they stood next to me and I feel was yelling into my ears giving me instruction. All I wanted was a relaxed and calm environment, so I asked the midwife to stop yelling into my ear, they kept arguing, telling me that I have to respond to them at any time they talked to me (which was basically all the time during the second stage repeating the same thing, breath and push) otherwise they will keep yelling, so I just gave up because I didn’t have the energy to argue. Because I just wanted the midwife to get off my back, I start pushing without having the contraction which I think caused me vaginal tear so I  needed stitches. I do not understand why any woman would be 100% responsive during the delivery! Also, the midwife knew I was awake and they were not giving me any new info!

I was alright with all of what the midwife did to ruin the best experience in any woman's life; the worst part came in the end after I was taken for a surgery because the placenta was not delivered naturally. I was under the midwife’s care in the recovery area where they came to me to check on me, I asked the midwife to tell my husband that I am out and I am doing fine, they said, I am going now to let him know, they went out of my sight, I thought they went to talk to him and then they came back and sat behind the desk which was in front of me for nearly an hour.

My husband came in after an hour worried that no one told him I was out an hour ago and had been waiting all that time until he ran into one of the doctors and asked them, they told him your wife was moved to the recovery area an hour ago and that he can go in to see me.

During that hour, when I was left alone in the recovery area I was waiting for my husband to come in to tell me more about my baby as I was worried because my baby was premature. The midwife came running to me the minute they knew the baby had a health issue.  It seemed to me that they came to me with eyes wide open, with a loud voice saying, I have very sad news!  I was really shocked and asked what happened? The midwife said: it is very very sad, at that moment I thought the baby had died, I asked: did the baby die? The midwife said: no the baby has a health issue, and told me what it was, then said do you know what I'm saying? The baby is in trouble! The midwife kept telling me in different words because I was so calm and relieved when I knew that was the sad news (from the way the midwife was telling me I expected worse). All I said is: that issue is treatable, right? The midwife: yeah but I have other sad news, I was like oh my god what else, the midwife said: the baby will be transferred to a very far hospital, and then again they said really far, I thought the baby would be sent to another state or something and it was just to Westmead Hospital, when the midwife gave up on making me cry they left. I feel the midwife just wanted me to feel miserable from the way they were telling me, I guess they did not like me when I asked during my labour for them to stop yelling.

My husband was surprised that I knew about the baby when he came later and asked if the doctors spoke to me, I told him no, just the nurse, he was like, why would the midwife tell you something like this when you are just out of a surgery and by yourself?

I still remember the scare the midwife gave me, every time I remember that time in the recovery area, and wonder if the midwife is entitled to give such info which was raw, incomplete and half incorrect to a patient? (The baby was transferred to Randwick Hospital not Westmead).  Should the midwife not have left it to the doctors to break the bad news in their professional ways with less damage to the patients? Or wait until I have my partner with me? Or at least when the midwife has the full and correct info?

I have been trying to forget about this midwife, especially because I have many other issues to deal with right now relating to my baby’s health, but I still can't get over it, and feel the midwife caused me damage that I don't want any other woman to experience. I feel this midwife ruined what could have been one of the best memories of any woman's life. The midwife was not acting like a professional and they also filled out my proof of birth wrong.

Thank you for your time and consideration, kind regards.

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