T's Story - Kingston General Hospital, Kingston

Spring 2015 - I've had two instances where my healthcare was upsetting - through one pregnancy and halfway through another.

I was under midwife care for my first child. There was no connection and little things bothered me in the pregnancy (they couldn't find veins resulting in trying in my hands and feet, my glucose test was late, they were just not overly welcoming). After 42 weeks I was induced. The induction wasn't explained very well and we were confused as to what was happening a lot. We weren't shown around the hospital or told there was a kitchen for water. There was a lack of communication between nurses and midwives. My birth plan changed due to an epidural and my midwife was trying hard to get me to change my mind.

I was eventually transferred care and against my wishes, I had a male doctor. I am extremely uncomfortable with men assisting in medical procedures. No one understood that anxiety - there was little compassion there. I was in labour for 23 hrs. It was intense and the epidural wore off when it was push time. I ended up tearing quite badly. While I was being stitched, I asked for my husband to hold our baby and do skin to skin which the midwives were disappointed and made me feel awful about. They kicked the grandparents out of the room only 10 mins in and gave me a talk about eating a big Mac for a post delivery meal instead of a tuna sandwich provided by the hospital (no one told me I could eat so I was without food for just under 48hrs) Afterwards, not much was explained. Nurses wouldn't come if I rang the bell, they told me 8pm was too late to bathe my baby and wouldn't help me. I still had no idea the hospital had a kitchen for us to use. Once I got home my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I could tell my baby was hungry. I mentioned formula a couple times and my midwife quickly shot it down. After a few days my baby was weighed and lost a dangerous amount of weight. I gave her formula and she chugged it, wet a diaper and was a whole new baby. Our first week together could have been so different if the midwife wasn't so stuck on breastfeeding (she also deterred me from a nipple shield and a breast pump).

My second baby was a January 2018 baby. Our family doctor was to take us to mid-pregnancy and my care would shift to an OB. During this time, I was forgotten for ALL scans, bloodwork and pap smear. I had to call and remind them what I needed- sometimes multiple times. Other times they would send me for things that required one trip but extended it to three trips (bloodwork) because they forgot what I needed. I finally made a written complaint about the lack of care and was dismissed from that practice at 23 weeks pregnant... that doctor also convinced my OB not to take me on somehow. 

I found a new doctor and she delivered babies as well. I am so thankful...she was SO incredible. I literally laughed through my whole labour and delivery. The experience was so great. I am also so mad though for my past experiences. It never had to be the way it was.

I know my story isn't as bad as others but my first labour and delivery almost kept me from having another child. It was very traumatizing to me! I still have a hard time talking about my midwife experience... I usually cry. It was so awful. 

I do have anxiety and come from a broken home. I'm also in a longterm relationship (unmarried but I've legally assumed his last name) for 14 years. I'm not sure if any of this affected the situation though.

I did provide feedback to both care providers. I didn't take the midwife complaint to the College of Midwives, but I did leave a complaint with the College of Physicians regarding the doctor that dropped me for stating my concerns with her practice.

I got an apology from the doctor but was told she stands by her and her staff's practices - took no accountability. 
The midwives didn't seem to care - dismissed me.

Submitted by T