I'm proud of my NHS service

Posted Wednesday 9th January 2013   By Ericka Waller

So giving birth in private hospitals is now “beyond reach of the middle class” Good, they will have to slum it on the NHS like the rest of us. And maybe then the NHS will stop getting such bad press, because I’m sick of it. They carried me safely and sympathetically through the births of my three babies.

They were even nice to my husband, in fact I had to stop one midwife putting a blanket over him after he fell asleep (if the excitement, terror and noise of me giving birth hadn’t managed to keep him awake, I was sure the cold would not be too much of a problem either).

I know people have had horrific experiences on the NHS, but they are not all bad.

We’ve made many trips to our local hospital in the last five years for various sweeps, suspected broken waters, final scans, false alarms and finally inductions before the big event. The only thing we ever found real fault with was the cost of parking.

And our big events were big. All three tipped 9lb, with cords-round-necks and suspected shoulder dystocia to boot. One pregnancy involved placenta previa and various week-long stays in hospital. (See above comments re cost of parking, the husband did not visit much.)

Throughout it all, the care and attention I was given was second to none. My worries were heard, my birth plan was read (then probably giggled about later in the staff room, but looking back now I cringe too – why did I mention scented candles?) and my dignity was kept intact (well as intact as it can be when one’s legs are strapped into stirrups while someone pokes a knitting needle up one’s minnie).

I’ll confess we had reservations initially. I thought our first midwife was a student nurse and had to stop myself asking for a real doctor. I’m glad I did. She was amazing.

Maybe the fact we always tried to be courteous (apart from the odd “Get me a beeping epidural now or I’ll bite your beeping fat fingers off**) was reflected in the care they showed to us.

I’m not saying it was perfect, but my children are – and their safe arrival was in the hands of the NHS.

There are so many horror stories around about them. Does anyone else have a positive review?

** See above comments re birth plan and scented candles.

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