September 28, 2011 - My due date was September 31, 2011 for my first born son. I experienced bleeding and went to the hospital, where they did an ultrasound. They could not determine where the bleeding was coming from so they induced me and broke my water. They tried 4 times to give me an epidural and I could still feel everything.
At one point before hard labour had started, I expressed to the nurses that I had to pass a bowel movement, and could I please use the toilet. Active labor had not yet started but the nurses said, "Absolutely not." They said I only thought I had to poop, and that I was not to use the washroom. After arguing with them, they finally brought me a wooden stool with a hole in the middle, placed in the middle of my room. They said if I actually had to poop, I was to do it on that stool. I, of course, proceeded to sit on the stool, and pooped in front of family and nursing staff, crying the entire time of embarrassment. I couldn't reach around to wipe myself, and the nurses wouldn't help me so my mother had to do it.
When I was in active labor, it lasted 36 hours and I was hysterical and in severe pain. Despite me pushing, my son would not come out. It turned out he was stuck at my pubic bone, and with every push, I was bruising his head. They finally did an emergency c section, and when they were removing him, the doctor (Dr Davies) audibly said "he's not breathing" I was hysterical asking questions and no one would tell me anything.
They took him to the NICU and when they finally let me see him, I was not allowed to breastfeed him. They insisted he needed formula. A few days later when I tried to breastfeed him, I had zero support or help with breastfeeding, and it was incredibly painful. I now know I didn't have him latched properly, and he was just sucking on my nipple.
A week later I was incredibly sore, and my incision was very red. They said they were discharging me and I plead with them to let me stay, saying I couldn't sit up on my own without extreme pain, and that my incision was very tender. They said I was fine and gave me paperwork to go home. Just three hours later, I had an appointment with my family doctor. (Dr Karn ) When she examined my incision, she told me to go to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY. When I got to emerg, they took me in and ripped open my incision down to the uterine lining to check for pus pockets and infection. I screamed in pain, and after stuffing me full of gauze, and putting me on IV antibiotics, they then gave me something for the pain. I was in hospital for 4 days to get the infection under control and had to pump while in hospital, missing precious time with my newborn son who was at home with my partner.
This experience terrified me and has caused Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have another son now who was born January 2017, and I was terrified and apprehensive the entire pregnancy. The anxiety I experienced and the staff not validating my fears or feelings was incredibly damaging. It took months for me to heal afterwards and I had to receive homecare for my incision. I missed precious bonding time with my child, and suffered terrible postpartum.
I had a mental health history and a history of going to the emergency room for severe anxiety. I feel that staff assumed I was overreacting and didn't take me seriously at all. I also have quite a few tattoos and piercings and I feel like that was also a factor. At one point a nurse said "how can you be afraid of a needle when you have so many tattoos and piercings?"
I did not give feedback... I was made to feel like I was inconveniencing everyone there, and that my presence was a hindrance. This kept me quiet and withdrawn for fear of ridicule.
Submitted by Jacqueline