Please be aware that this post is entirely my views, opinions and experience.
I am only sharing my story so that others can make an executive decision on the delivery of their baby – I am in no way saying that my circumstance will happen to everyone.
So when you get pregnant; You have the decision to make as to whether or not you’re going to go Private or Public.
There are many ways to do this, go fully Private – With Private Health Insurance in a fully private hospital.
Go partially Private – Which is being a private patient in a public hospital.
Or going full Public – In a public hospital.
Its definitely an ‘each to their own’ situation – Everyone has their own preference, financial limitations and just genuine view on what they want in this situation.
No one should be judged or treated differently because of their choice and all mumma’s should just be supported in every decision they make, regardless of outsiders opinions 🙂
I’ve always known that I was going to end up being a private patient when it came time to have a baby. I wanted the consistency of having “my Doctor” with me at all stages of my pregnancy, and at my delivery. Of course, I understood that shit happens, life gets in the way; and there may be a possibility that my Doctor may not be able to be there at my delivery, but at least having them with me throughout the entire pregnancy would be best for me.
So when I got pregnant, instead of looking for a hospital to deliver at, I was looking for an Obstetrician – And the hospital would be dictated by whatever Doctor I chose (as most doctors only have delivery rights at a few hospitals).
I spoke to so many people that had had babies around my area, read forums, found out what doctor they used etc
And I did my own research too.
I called a bunch, found out all the costs associated and set up an initial appointment with around 3 different doctors.
I met my first one, who ended up being my obstetrician, I felt so comfortable with him and his knowledge – His overall personality and calm nature just put me at ease and made me feel like I was in the safest hands. I cancelled my other 2 meet & greet appointments and signed my paperwork to have this Obstetrician look after me and my baby 🙂
He was amazing, from day 1 – So supportive of all my choices (incl. elective c-section) and just genuinely a nice person. He always asked how my week/fortnight had been since seeing him last, how the family was going at home, how work was going – Then he would proceed to ask all the pregnancy related things. He had a genuine interest in every single patient; which I loved! 🙂
Since I didn’t have Private Health Insurance at the time, and was ‘paying my way’ to be a Private Patient – I could only deliver at Sutherland Hospital – Which was totally fine, I had heard amazing stories from other mumma’s who had delivered there, and I had already visited the maternity ward before; So I already knew it was so beautifully set up and managed.
I was stoked; It was such a nice hospital!
I took Rick on a tour there, and he loved it too. So that was our hospital and Obstetrician sorted, so easy! 😀
Fast forward through my pregnancy, and after being diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia; delivery at Sutherland Hospital was no longer an option. They cannot cater for High-Risk mums/bubs and they do not have a NICU so if something was to go wrong during delivery, they wouldn’t have the technology/capacity to handle my baby adequately.
I was really bummed because of course I had this whole idea in my head of what was going to happen on the day I delivered; But again, I had full faith and trust in my OB and I knew he would look after me, regardless of where I delivered. Plus my situation being emergency, I didn’t actually have a lot of time to think about the alternatives.
So the day I got diagnosed, I was rushed to St George Public Hospital and admitted immediately.
When we arrived, no one seemed to have a god damn clue who I was or why I was there; Even though my OB and his receptionist had both called ahead and sent all my paperwork there.
They shoo-ed me into a room on the Delivery Ward floor and told me to sit tight until they arranged a bed for me in Maternity.
Rick, all my luggage and a very anxious me sat in that room for 2 fucking hours.
It was absolutely ridiculous, no one told me what was going on, no one offered me food or drink or anything (We got to the hospital around 5:30pm so it was well dinner time by the time anyone cared enough to come in and let me know what was going on).
Finally a nurse came in and said that I was about to be taken into my room, but first I had to get a Cannula put in for medication throughout my stay – I mentioned to her that I wasn’t scheduled to have my C-Section until the Friday (2 days later) and that I didn’t need medication between now and then – But she just blew me off and did it anyway; It took her 3 goes to get my vein and I was in tears, it was the worst thing ever. And she was so inconsiderate if the fact that I have a hectic fear of needles 🙁
I had finally been taken to my room and by this time it was already 9:30pm – To add to my pile of stress and anxiety, a midwife (a lovely one, surprise!) came in and made sure I was comfortable, gave me some food/drink and checked all my vitals.
She then looked over and saw Rick sitting on the chair next to the bed, and was a little shocked he was still here… She asked when we were delivering etc and then proceeded to tell us that husbands/partners can only be here during the hours of 9:30am-9:30pm unless the mum is in labour, then they can be here whatever hours.
I was in shock! Not only was I in a hospital full of rude and inconsiderate nurses, but no one had told me that my partner could not be with me (which was one of my pre-requisite rules for picking an OB/Hospital) and I was absolutely terrified about the whole experience enough, let alone having to now do it by myself 🙁
So Rick had to leave immediately, and wasn’t allowed back til the next morning.
My poor mum was beside herself when Rick turned up home at 11:00pm when she assumed he would be in hospital with me, she thought something terrible had happened and was left in a panic. He explained everything to her, and like any mother, she was fuming with anger at the whole situation.
Not long after Rick left me at the hospital, my Obstetrician came to see me (he lives 45 minutes from the hospital I was in, so I was so grateful he came to see me at 10pm at night) – So he came to check on me and to give the midwifes a run down of what was going to happen on the day of my c-section; He arranged for me to have the first surgery of the day as it was classificed as ’emergency’ due to my condition. And he was also pretty outraged that Rick wasn’t still with me; they told me they had changed their rules 2 months prior to me being admitted, and he wasn’t notified of this when he called to admit me.
He was incredibly surprised that they couldn’t make an exception for me as my situation was emergency.
He apologised profusely as he knew how important it was for me to not be alone in hospital. And he assured me he would be here as often as he could outside of the hours that I could have visitors to make sure I didn’t feel so alone. He was absolutely amazing! 😀
He questioned the nurses as to why I had a cannula so early when my surgery was not for another 48hrs. None of them could answer as to why a nurse who was no longer on shift had put one in; but they also wouldn’t take it out cause it makes it ‘easier’ on them come surgery time.
So my OB left around 11pm after spending an hour with me, checking on bub and monitoring my vitals.
He said he’ll be back in the morning before Rick gets in to check on me again. And he mentioned that I also need to meet with the Renal team who will explain to me what will happen during surgery should something go wrong with my Liver or Kidneys due to the Pre-Eclampsia. (So scary!)
I got zero sleep that night as I was in a shared room, and the woman next to me was labouring all night, but not dilated enough to be moved into delivery.
I ended up walking laps of the maternity ward floor for hours to try and make myself tired; but as soon as I got back into bed, I was wide awake again. Terrified of the following days, what was going to happen and the fact that I was fucking alone 🙁
During the night, the midwifes that were on shift were all amazing – I really need to give them a shoutout, they were all so lovely and compassionate, and so so helpful.
One midwife could see I was struggling the night before I had Leo, so we sat together in the kitchen eating jelly and talking about the worst baby names she’d ever seen babies called. She was a god-send and kept my mind off things, and to my delight she actually ended up being my night-midwife for the 3 nights after I had Leo, so she was such a big help for me when I was learning to breastfeed and look after my little bub.
My day midwives though, do not get me started. They were all in a bad mood from the moment they started their shift, and made me feel like anything I asked for was just such an inconvenience to their day.
The morning I had Leo, my OB had called ahead to confirm that my surgery was at 8am, I was to be ready and in the theatre waiting room at 7:30am – And that obviously Rick needed to be there and ready with me so there was no delays once he arrived at 7:45am.
Rick arrived at the hospital at 6:45am, like instructed by my night-midwife the night before; and proceeded to wait in the fucking waiting room for half an hour while the morning shift midwifes made a decision about whether or not to let him in.
It wasn’t until I was practically hyperventilating and having a panic attack because I wasn’t ready, Rick wasn’t ready and my OB was going to be there any minute – That they finally said ‘oh we should let you husband in now’ – No fucking shit sherlock, you were told numerous times that I needed to be in the theatre prep room by 7:30am, which I wasn’t, I was late because they couldn’t differentiate their head to their ass 😐
Once I was finally in the theatre prep room (without any midwives, thank god) – I was greeted by my anaesthesiologist and a surgical nurse who would both be with me throughout my surgery. They were both lovely, so happy & upbeat; and slightly more excited to meet my baby than I was. It was nice to finally be surrounded by positive people who had their shit together.
The moment my OB walked in, all my stress and anxiety just left my body. He made me feel like I was going to be okay, and we were finally getting this baby out! 🙂
And once I was in the theatre; you guys all know that story from my delivery blog here: Story Time: My Birth Story (C-Section) 😀
After Rick had left on the Friday night (day I delivered Leo) – I had my beautiful night-midwife with me who helped with Leo throughout the night as movement was still limited, and she was just amazing. She offered to take Leo for a few hours so I could get some rest, but she totally understood when I said no because I just wanted to bond with him.
The day midwives after I had Leo were a little nicer, but I just felt judged a lot by them. Especially considering the fact that I had opted to have a c-section for my first baby. They just thought it was preposterous and absolutely ridiculous that my OB had allowed that to happen. And even though Leo took to breastfeeding like a duck to water; They proceeded to “show me” how to breastfeed, I understood that I was a new mum, but I really felt like I had the hang of it; Leo had a tight latch and was clearly getting enough milk. But they didn’t believe me when I told them how many feeds he had during the night and how many wet nappies he had.
I just overall felt like I was completely untrustworthy as a mother and that I was doing everything wrong by the way they spoke to me, or their reaction when I answered their questions. They couldn’t possibly believe that I had just ‘got the hang of it’ so quickly.
Overall; I had a pretty shit experience with my hospital stay – And 1000% will I never deliver a baby in the St George Public Hospital again. You couldn’t pay me to deliver there. My experience was just so horrendous 🙁
Now do not crusify me or blast me for my views on this because whether you like it or not, my situation was fucked. And no mother should go through that. Whether it’s for their first baby or their 4th baby.
I totally appreciate that not everyone will have a bad experience at that hospital, and I cannot guarantee that I won’t have another bad experience at a different hospital.
But I will not be taking the risk and delivering there again. No way, no how.
This time around; I plan on delivering at Kareena Private Hospital – It is a 100% private hospital, and with a limited number of beds in the maternity ward – I definitely feel as though I will not be overlooked as a patient there. And another positive is that my OB lives 5 minutes down the road, so rain, hail or shine if something happens, he can be there in a flash.
And of course, the BEST part about this hospital, is that I can have someone with me at all times, whomever I choose; It doesn’t have to be my husband, it can be anyone that I opt to have stay with me. Which is AMAZING! 😍
Of course I will keep you all posted on the progression of my pregnancy, delivery and beyond as I experience it.
And as always, I will be 100% honest with you guys on all experiences I have, and won’t sugar coat anything 🙂
If you have any questions for me or just genuinely curious about something mentioned on this post; Don’t be afraid to ask in the comments below <3