My Experience of Having my Baby at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol
Hey there lovelies, how are you all doing? We are five months into family life as a four and it’s going well. The move from one to two was certainly easier for me than zero to one. Having a child was a shock to the system. Having another, less so for me. Today though I want to share my thoughts on having my baby at St Michael’s hospital in Bristol. I’ve only ever read bad things in online forums and posts and I want to share my experiences with you. I honestly thought the level of care and the kindness from the staff was amazing.
So if you’re a mum-to-be considering St Michael’s, then read on because every experience is different. And as we know with all things online, people don’t often post the good!
During my actual pregnancy, the majority of midwife appointments and check-ups took place in Weston-super-Mare. Either at my local doctor’s surgery or at the hospital maternity unit. Because of my mental health issues surrounding emetophobia (read more on what emetophobia is here), I was under consultant care. This meant going up to St Michael’s for appointments with my consultant there. They do have consultants that work at Weston too but my consultant was a specialist mental health consultant. I had two appointments with her in total before the birth. She always made it clear that I could meet more frequently if required.
During my second pregnancy, I needed to have some iron infusions. My iron levels had dropped and they wanted to top me up before the c-section. Luckily I was able to go and have these done on the maternity unit in Weston. You can read about iron levels and infusions here.
Around two weeks before I reached 39 weeks, Bristol called me to book in my C-section date. I was told to go up to the hospital the day before for my pre-op. The pre-op basically meant taking bloods and going through everything that would happen on the day. Everyone was really lovely and I met with an anesthetist to discuss my particular worries around vomiting. We discussed the type of medication they could administer to help stop this as much as possible. I know a lot about anti-emetic drugs already so felt happy after talking it all through.
On the actual day we had Lewis, the care was amazing from start to finish. We got up to St Michael’s super early after having dropped B at a friends house. We went into the Central Delivery Suite and only waited five minutes or so before we were taken into a room. I met the midwives, my anesthetist and also the surgeon. They were really calm, patient and professional. I really felt like everyone listened to my worries and concerns about being sick. No one laughed. No one made me feel silly.
When the team were ready, we were taken down to theatre. I was looked after from start to finish. I actually felt much more anxious having the section second time around. Perhaps because I knew what to expect. I don’t know. I felt on edge the whole time.
You can read my full c-section birth story here for more details on what happened during the operation.
After Care on the Ward
After the op, I was taken to recovery to relax and bond with Lew. We probably spent an hour and a half there before they took me up to the ward. Now I’ve read online and on forums that the after care is really shocking at St Michael’s. I’d read nothing but bad things. I want to tell my positive account though because everyone was so kind, patient and caring towards me, my husband and our baby.
Every few hours the midwife would come round to administer any drugs I was supposed to have. I was very anxious about taking anything stronger than paracetamol and ibuprofen but come 6pm I was in quite a lot of pain. One of the midwives suggested I take a half dose of liquid morphine to top me up – rather than a full dose. I was super anxious about vomiting. The half doses worked really well at keeping pain at bay without causing any nausea.
While on the ward another person came around to ask me what I wanted for my evening meal. I can’t say I ate much but they took my order and bought me my food later. Of course it was pretty standard hospital fare. Nothing special but not awful. Take some snacks and drinks if you want something else during the night.
Because I’d had a section, I was unable to really get out of bed that first night. Whenever I needed help I pressed the call button. And someone always came. Maybe not straight away but within five minutes of ringing. On the night the midwives took Lewis for a few hours so I could rest. He was very mucussy and kept being sick. I didn’t get a wink of sleep but it was nice to just rest for a couple of hours.
Now let’s talk boobs. I didn’t breastfeed B. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I found it incredibly difficult, and after weeks of trying and expressing, I’d had enough. This time I was open minded again. I wanted to try. But what I didn’t want was weeks of expressing. On the ward the midwives were so great with feeding. They helped me with trying to breastfeed but I didn’t feel they were forceful or pushy at all. On the second day when Lew had crystals in his pee (this happened with B) I wanted to top him up with some formula. Not once did anyone make me feel crap about doing so.
There was one particular midwife that stood out for me. She can’t have been more than 20 years old and she was bloody amazing. Patient, kind, yet firm! And that is what I needed the next day when I sat crying my eyes out, convinced I’d never walk again. I found recovery from the section second time around a lot harder. I really struggled to get out of bed this time and walk. This particular midwife really encouraged me and come lunchtime I’d not only walked but also had a shower and got changed. I felt amazing! I felt so much better that we even went home that evening. Luckily the snow had pretty much gone. This was the view from the ward window – my first glimpse of the world after getting out of bed!
So there we go. My positive story about having my son at St Michael’s hospital in Bristol. The staff were nothing but amazing. Join us over on our social channels to see how we’re getting on with our new baby: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!