The parents of baby
Dahlia have written to the Maternity team at Royal Stoke University Hospital to
thank them for the exceptional care and support they provided during her birth.
Mum Stef and dad Darryl have shared
"Our experience started in the MAU at 11pm on the 16 July as we had to visit the hospital for a movement scan. Stef's waters had broken that lunch-time and her latent contractions had started that morning. This being our first child we looked (and felt) like deer's in the headlights! But the nurses, midwives and doctor on call in the MAU were brilliant and reassured us. We also had to make a decision at midnight as to whether my wife would be induced, although they all clearly thought it was the right thing to do, the team put no pressure on my wife nor I to make the decision. Our plan had been to have the baby at Stafford but we decided to stay at Stoke (this being our first visit!) and have the baby there.
"We were then passed on to our midwife who would lead the delivery, Fay, and taken to the delivery room. The facilities were amazing, clean and private. The bath in the room was a godsend for my amazing wife who took a very long bath to help with pain relief as the contractions increased in frequency and pain! Fay was absolutely amazing as she was with us from about 12:30pm on the 17th right through until 8am at the end of her shift. She provided an amazing service ensuring we felt supported throughout and we genuinely felt she wanted to see through the delivery (despite obvious family commitments of her own from 8am). There is no doubt her amazing support over the eight hour period made a massive difference to my wife and I. My only issue was her taste in music and her insistence that Bananarama are a better band than Slayer… madness! Fay actually came to see us on the ward the following day to see how we were doing and meet Dahlia. It is this kind of attention to detail that changes your experience from one of being a number in a hospital bed, to being a human that is actually cared for.
"Unfortunately our baby didn't want to come out naturally as she had moved back-to-back and after support from the doctor and other midwives the decision was made to have a forceps birth. The whole team involved with this were amazing, professional and caring. When I walked into the theatre it was clear that they had kept my wife calm and reassured, which in turn kept me calm! Once the whole process begun you had a real sense that the team in the room were right behind us trying to get the baby out safely. Fortunately this was the case and it wasn't long before we were in recovery and then on Ward 206.
"We stayed for two nights on Ward 206 where we had a room and absolutely brilliant support from all the team. Unfortunately we cannot remember everyone's names, but the team of midwives and nurses that helped us during this time were a credit to the profession. With a small team covering the whole ward at no point did we feel they were not able to give us the support and care we needed, especially the ever-so-important breast feeding support. There is no doubt the persistence and attitude of the staff supporting my wife and (lazy) daughter to get the breast feeding right is why she is still breast feeding eight weeks later! Dahlia gained a reputation for being a bit of a lazy diva when it came to breast feeding and this carried on once we got home, but we will never forget the support we got at 3am on our first night in Ward 206 (Charlotte I believe) after we had gone for something like 30 hours without sleep. Or the support we got the next day when one of the nurses gave Dahlia a stern talking too about feeding properly, Stef still lectures Dahlia when she is being lazy to this day!
"I understand some mums/couples have complained about the lack of support during the busy hours on the ward. I really do not think this is fair or warranted. I believe the responsibility for taking care of children sits with the parents and the team on the ward have to prioritise the support they can give during those busy periods. It is a shame people cannot be more understanding/patient, but I suppose it is natural during these times of stress!
"The whole team effort from those keeping the wards clean and safe, to the person who pushed Stef's bed between wards and sourced a chair for me to try and sleep on, right through to the nurses, midwives and doctors was amazing and made sure the experience of having our first baby was safe, unforgettable and as stress-free as possible."
Darryl, on behalf of Stef and baby Dahlia