Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies


Near Miss


Sunday, 23 November 2003

November 7th 2003, I was due to have my first child. About a month prior to my due date, I suffered from a hormonal rash – which covered my body, and was unbearably itchy.

My midwife didn’t know what I had.

After a couple of visits to Angelsea Clinic in Hamilton, I phoned my Aunty in Perth, who works at a university. She had a doctor friend look at my notes and symptoms and said I had PUPS, a hormonal rash related to my pregnancy. I visited Waikato Hospital in October and scheduled an appointment to be induced, as labour was the only thing to reduce the rash and itch. I made an appointment and returned home. The same afternoon I had a phone call from my midwife, saying she had cancelled my appointment and moved it to a later date as it didn’t suit her; why should it have to suit her?

On 7th November, my due date, I was induced. After spending the night at Waikato I was sent home, nothing happened. It didn’t work. Thursday 20th November 2pm in the afternoon, I had a show of labour. I phoned the midwife and she said to wait, as I had no contractions so I should be ok till then. During that night I had no sleep, my contractions started. Being my first child and only 19 years old, I started to panic. My partner and mum supported me throughout the night. When morning came we again phoned the midwife. She came around home about 1-2pm Friday afternoon and said, right lets go to Rhoda Read (Morrinsville Maternity Unit).

Upon arriving, my care was handed over to the midwife on duty. I had an internal examination and was told that when I felt the need to push I could. The urge to push came on quickly. Nothing was happening. I was feeling like I needed to push and I was, yet after about 4 hours I still had no baby. I was sent to Waikato Hospital, in my own car, as the labour hadn’t progressed.

Upon arriving at Waikato Hospital, I was examined by another midwife, as mine was still not around. I remember her saying, ‘Why have you been pushing you are only 4cm’

My heart sank. I was exhausted from 24hours of contractions and no sleep. I was given an injection to help with the pain and told to sleep through the night. The pain relief didn’t work, and I continued to have contractions throughout the night. I did manage to get about an hours sleep though.

Saturday 22nd November, I was contracting still, all day. After another midwife examination in the morning, Waikato proceeded to break my waters to help encourage the labour. Labour slowly progressed during the day. Late afternoon, monitors were placed on my belly to monitor my baby’s heart rate. This was at a normal level.

About 10pm Saturday night, things started to happen. I was examined again, was 9cm. Nothing happened for an hour.

At about 11pm I realised that my baby’s heart rate wasn’t looking normal. The staff started to panic, normal rate is 120-150, and my baby was at 45. I could have lost her.

After a small discussion, I was prepared for an emergency c section. About 5 minutes prior to be being rushed down the hall to theatre, my midwife arrives.

12.05am Sunday 23rd November, my baby girl arrived. After a dramatic birth, I decided I do not want to ever use that midwife again. She wasn’t there for me and after being told in Morrinsville I could push because I was ready, then being sent, in my own car to Waikato. Only to be told I was only 4cm, in labour for 3 days, and then not being able to have a natural birth. I am forever scarred after this.

In 2007 I did however give birth to a second girl, by elective c section, with a different midwife. Everything was great. That midwife was awesome. I thought after my first I wouldn’t want to do it again, but the next one showed me that there are midwives out there that do know what they are doing.

Concerned Mum

Red Flags

        RED FLAGS

  • Lack of monitoring
  • “Normalising” the abnormal
  • Lack of action/delay in getting emergency care
  • Going over due date
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Meconium-stained liquor (waters)
  • Lengthy handover during emergency
  • Inconsistent reporting and documentation
  • Your concerns being ignored

    Click here to read more about common warning signs


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