Please help me, feeling so down

(55 Posts)
iwanticecream Mon 08-Apr-13 16:12:44

Right, will try not to make this too long.

I had a c section with my dd almost 13 years ago. I had an extreme fear of natural birth which wasn't helped by some appaling and humiliating treatment in my pregnancy. After I broke down and had a panic attack during an examination at 31 weeks, I was finally seen by a consultant who agreed to a section, which was wonderful, no probs.

I have had such a fear that I have waited all these years to try again. Panic that has gripped me in the night for years. Am now 11 weeks.

I have hired a private midwife, have seen her once, she know my fears, has said she'd help me re a repeat section but at the moment she's proving to be as useless as a chocolate teapot really, already thinking that i've chucked 3k down the drain, but I can't be at the mercy of a hospital midwife team again.

She is now saying that the 3 hospitals she contacted will push me for a VBAC and will probably not agree to a second section on my request.

I am thinking of terminating this pregnancy, I cannot have a natrual birth, I don't know what to do.

brettgirl2 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:15:34

Please go and talk to your GP about this. Ditch the private midwife, ask for your money back. If you dont get it take her to small claims court once this mess is sorted.

Your mental health and that of your baby is much more important than 3k.

Get referred to the hospital consultant and perinatal mental health team. As you've had a previous cs I think that makes it massively easier tbh.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 11:22:08

The thing is, my GP wanted to refer me straight to a consultant at the hospital. She just told me to get the name of one.

This midwife said she spoke to the hospital, and they want me to be referred to the midwives first.

Am seeing GP soon, I hate all this stress.

Potol Tue 09-Apr-13 11:31:14

Is it just me or is the midwife not giving you the full story? No test is a 'must' although some are indeed recommended. E.g. we have a family history of diabetes although my own sugar count is quite low, and so I had the GTT. Now, as for the ELCS, I am wondering if there are two things happening a) they are fobbing your midwife of because they dont want to discuss with her and will be far more reasonable when YOU speak to them face to face b) that she isn't pushing for the ELCS as strongly as she makes it out to be? Yes, London hospitals are trying to bring CS rates down, but you need to be able to speak to a consultant face to face to discuss this.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 11:39:39

I think I don't trust her already.

I have only met her once for booking, and since have had contact via phone and email. To be honest, her emails are long and rambling, full of mistakes and appalling grammar... doesn't sit right with me.

I am well informed on all the tests. I did lots of research in first pregnancy, and when I was planning this one. On top of that, I studied healthcare, so am far from uninformed.

All I want to do is speak to a consultant, not faff about with midwives, who IME, push natural birth.

brettgirl2 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:42:10

So do that. Can you self refer?

Ask your GP to find out who she should refer you direct to, she can phone the hospital and ask.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 11:58:42

No, i can't self refer to a consultant.

When I spoke to my GP, she said just give me a consultants name and I will refer you, but, I have been told that even though I have this private midwife, I have to get booked into a hospital by the hospital midwives, who will then book me to see a consultant.

I don't understand why this is the case. I am having all scans elsewhere (privately). I am having all appointments with the (useless at mo) private midwife.

I don't understand why I can't be referred to a consultant? I was made to wait so long the first time round for a decision on CS, it was hell, i can't go through that again.

Viviennemary Tue 09-Apr-13 11:59:59

I agree that you should talk to your GP. You don't have any faith in that private midwife. Can you get some of your money back from her. It just seems pointless if she seems to be making things worse rather than trying to reassure you which should be her job.

Viviennemary Tue 09-Apr-13 12:00:50

Cross post. Sorry.

TerrysNo2 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:04:29

Iwanticecream I have no experience in c-sections or this area but I totally understand your rationale and decision - at the end of the day whats most important for you and your baby is that your pregnancy and birth is stressfree.

Having said that, why don't you also look into some form of therapy - my stepdad does CBT and thinks its very useful to people with fears. I am not saying this to convince you into a VBAC in anyway and think that at this stage of your pregnancy you don't need any pressure about into choosing one but it could be worth trying to alleviate some of your fears in another way too IYSWIM? It might make you feel less stressed?

TerrysNo2 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:05:42

to be clear, my stepdad practices CBT as a form of therapy and has done the training so he has experience (not from having CBT for himself)

EldritchCleavage Tue 09-Apr-13 12:07:58

Your midwife seems to have set herself up as a gatekeeper so you can't access advice and services without going through her.

I am fairly sure you can get a consultant privately without going through the midwife team, or at least do it all on the same day.

I agree with going back to GP getting GP to talk you through who to have as consultant (or do some research before hand) and setting up an appointment/referral.

Unfortunately, I think you have to have it out with the midwife so you can ditch her and get some money back. That might be better done after you've had a consultant appointment on the basis that if the consultant confirms the midwife is talking nonsense you've got a stronger basis for complaint.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 12:14:07

The trouble is, I have tried do research on the consultants at the hospital (like I said, GP just said give her a name) but it's like banging my head against a brick wall. I keep getting told the midwife team will refer me.

I know I can see one privately - I wish I could afford it! My GP is not in my area so has no links to the hospital, she usually deals with women wanting private referrals.

How can I get to see a consultant myself?

You cannot usually just see a consultant without going through some form of gatekeeper. If your GP can't help (but I am honestly surprised that she cant just phone and find out who usually specialises in women with similar issues at your chosen hospital) then you have to go through NHS antenatal appointment with a midwife, who will then refer you on for a consultant appointment.

BeehavingBaby Tue 09-Apr-13 12:30:28

There is no way to see a consultant on the NHS without having your 'booking' appointment, you would automatically be allocated consultant led care though and in the absence of risk factors other than prev cs, the 'next available' appointment, or even as you fear one at 36weeks. However, if you were able to state your level of anxiety/ mental health problems clearly, at my trust you would receive a swift referral to the specialist mental health mw who would be an excellent advocate ime. I struggle to understand how an indie mw would liaise with an NHS consultant but that may be a London thing? Good luck.

Potol Tue 09-Apr-13 12:35:08

Ah that makes sense. Basically you will see the midwife who will then refer you to a consultant. Once the midwife has seen you, you will be able to make a booking with the consultant's team. You can't see the consultant directly. Sorry, but I think if you do go for the booking in appointment and get to see the consultant, your mind will be at rest.

And if you don't trust the midwife, then you don't. Doesn't matter what she does or says. It is her job to make you comfortable and she isn't doing that.

herethereandeverywhere Tue 09-Apr-13 12:45:26

Ok. There are lots of people here on mn who want to and will help you so you are not alone. I think that all the anxieties you have about hospital/VB/midwives/lack of control/what to do are all getting jumbled up and causing increased stress and pressure. I was in a similar situation to you in that I wanted an NHS CS in London as a 2nd birth (1st was traumatic VB). I got one.

Firstly, you do not need to consider termination. You WILL get a CS and we will help you take the steps to access the right help and support to get one.

Secondly, I think that the mixing of private and NHS care is causing a muddle about who will be responsible for what. It's fine to do it this way I think but we need to work out who is responsible for what and where you need to be when. Am I right in thinking all your antenatal care is supposedly to be provided privately but the birth NHS? Or will you have a private delivery at an NHS hospital? If you are ultimately giving birth under NHS care you'll still need to be booked in. I'm not sure how the private info transfers across but they would tell you that at the booking in appointment.

Thirdly, I want to reassure you that NHS midwives does not automatically mean "bad" (although I appreciate you may have had that experience before). It was my booking in midwife who suggested consultant referral, another one who accelerated my second opinion when I was struggling to function after the 1st consultant refused me. I was never discouraged from my CS choice by any midwives.

Fourthly, it sounds like your independent midwife is causing you increased anxiety by being unclear, incorrect and potentially pushing her own agenda of VBAC. I'd seriously consider getting rid of her and demanding a refund for the services she hasn't yet rendered. You've listed enough errors and examples on unprofessionalism to report to the RCM if she gets difficult in this situation.

I would book in with the NHS midwives - they will get you the consultant referral. You should also request support from the perinatal mental health team to reduce your anxiety. They will not try to persuade you to vb, they will work on getting you to feel calmer and back in control (I have done this myself). This does not mean you can't revert to private midwife support but I think you need to get in the system for the consultant appointment.

Once you have the consultant appointment you can run through strategies about what to say and do to ensure the CS. Although some of us have been refused CS at 1st appointment I do not know of a single example of anyone made to VB when they wanted a CS. And I have read A LOT of ELCS threads on mn! They all got the CS request granted eventually. You will too.

Keep talking on here, keep sharing the issues. Apologies that this is so long.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 12:56:39

Thank you. Thanks to everyone on this thread.

Yes, I will be having my own private care - private midwife, private GP and scans but having the birth on the NHS. This due to the horrendous experience I had the first time round.

I booked the private midwife as I wanted continuity of care. The last time I never saw the same midwife twice and was barked at by a succession of rude and aggressive midwives and subjected to a forced internal. She will also come after the birth instead of community midwives - I am not registered with an NHS GP and never will be, my new baby will see the same private ped as my DD has seen since birth, no HVs etc.

All I want is to be able to get to see a consultant asap.

brettgirl2 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:25:11

I must admit I'm slightly confused, I could ring up a hospital and find out the name of a consultant so why cant a private gp?

Or I could find out the name, ring his secretary and book a private appointment myself. That way surely you would save money on gp appointment and just having one private consultation to talk this through wouldnt be that expensive.

Personally I think its easier and cheaper to stick with nhs but pick and choose who you will see and where you should go. I think the issue is actually about feeling in control rather than nhs/ private.

If you are going to gavd birth on nhs then you are going to have to have booking appointment anyway I imagine.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 13:29:35

Yes, and that's fine, I understand I will need a booking appointment and have my blood group taken there so they have my blood on site. I'm ok with that one midwife appointment, all the rest will take place in my home or at my workplace with my private midwife (IF i keep her on, an undecided).

I don't understand why my GP can't also contact a consultant, so she can voice my concerns and try to get me to see someone sooner.

lotsofcheese Tue 09-Apr-13 13:30:27

If you're having an NHS birth, you will need a referral to an NHS consultant. A private midwife has no jurisdiction in the NHS & the NHS consultants will not discuss your case with her, as they have had no referral & won't have any medical information about you - there's also confidentiality/consent issues.

I guess you have 2 options: your GP could refer you or you can book in with an NHS midwife.

I'm pretty sure your anxieties will be recognised & appropriate support put in place for you.

Good luck - I really hope you can get something sorted - and hopefully start to enjoy your pregnancy.

brettgirl2 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:36:01

Why not ring your gp and ask her why not? presumably private gps are much like vets in terms of how easy they are to contact/ arrange appointments with? grin

brettgirl2 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:36:56

That seemed like an odd response but the vet rang me back within an hour this morning! !!

BeehavingBaby Tue 09-Apr-13 13:47:30

Your GP can write to your consultant and request that they care for you, I have seen such letters occasionally, but they just seem to be popped in your notes to guide referral when allocating a consultant at the booking appointment. The timing if the process doesn't change I don't think.

iwanticecream Tue 09-Apr-13 13:48:43

lotsofcheese - I know that and so does she, she will only be able to come to appointments as an advocate for me. She just rang around some hospitals to see where the ground lay with them. Which I actually have a massive problem with, I am capable of doing that myself, she didn't even ask, just did it and then informed me I would be billed for extra work hmm

My bones with her is that I feel she has her own agenda in terms of VBAC.

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