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How good was that feeling of satisfaction!

(17 Posts)
Lilylaundry Sun 20-Sep-20 20:53:00

In 1971 I gave birth to a baby, by caesarean section, who was born dead. Horrendous experience. The surgeon instructed all staff not to talk to me about this baby. I was put in a room on the men's surgical ward, far away from the maternity ward. I asked questions, cried and pleaded but got no information. A cleaner accidentally let slip the baby was a girl, I was so grateful to her and never told anyone. Even my then husband knew but wouldn't tell me. The reason behind all this secrecy was - my mind and body would heal quicker! A few days after the birth the arrogant, Australian , surgeon came to visit me in the secret hideaway they had put me in. He was surrounded by a dozen or so medical students. As he flung the door to my room open I was sitting in bed with a jug of water in my hand, ready to reach for a glass. I asked him why all the secrecy, he said:

''It's yesterday's news, all gone, all finished, all forgotten. Get yourself better and think what fun you will have trying for another one.''

For a minute all I could do was to stare at him, gobsmacked. Then with accuracy I never knew I possessed, I hurled the water from the jug straight at him. It hit his face and sloshed down his dicky-bow, soaked his shirt and white coat through. There was a minute of complete silence which was my chance to say to his entourage:

''That is exactly how not to speak to a woman who has just given birth to a dead baby.''

I glowed. He stormed out and I never saw him again.

HAZBEEN Sun 20-Sep-20 21:10:18

Well done Lilly! I remember the way I was treated after both my sons died shortly after birth, horrendous. You have my sympathy for your loss but oh how I wish I had had the chance and the bravery to confront the prat of a doctor who I encountered at the time.

OceanMama Mon 21-Sep-20 07:50:34

Good for you!

Yearsold Mon 21-Sep-20 08:40:25

Well done, and many sympathies for losing your baby girl. So tragic you were treated in that way. Thankfully things are very different nowadays. A relative recently had a similar tragedy but they were allowed to spend as much time as they wanted with the baby, who was named and had a proper funeral. The parents can now visit the grave and happily have a healthy baby who will be told about their older sibling in a positive way.

It’s unbelievable that anyone used to think the treatment you had was ok.

Luckygirl Mon 21-Sep-20 08:44:34

Thank goodness things have moved on - difficult enough for you to get over, but they way it was handled beggars belief.

PamelaJ1 Mon 21-Sep-20 08:48:49

I hoped he learnt something from that experience.
All power to you, sometimes reading the threads on here you start to despair about the attitudes today. Your story shows that some things have improved.
🥀 I suppose they thought that they were doing you a kindness🤦🏼‍♀️

PECS Mon 21-Sep-20 09:09:23

The loss of your baby daughter was a huge sadness. thanks The arrogance of some male medics. when dealing with women ( & men too sometimes!) was , & maybe sometimes is still appalling. So glad you showed him the error of his ways!

Teetime Mon 21-Sep-20 09:39:33

lilylaundry I am so sorry this happened to you and so glad you struck a blow (and a surgeon) for all women. flowers

NotSpaghetti Mon 21-Sep-20 09:51:00

You may find there is something in your medical file about your little one.

I had a horrible consultant once who was arrogant and treated me very badly, before, during and after the birth. I didn't have the misfortune to lose a baby though. Even in my case it was awful. I am sure this terrible loss and his treatment of you will be with you forever, as my much smaller pain still lives with me after many many years.
Sending love.
I hope his students learned something from your water incident and they have gone on to be more humane.

As Freida Kahlo said - not delicate like a flower, delicate like a bomb.

annsixty Mon 21-Sep-20 10:14:32

Well done Lilylaundry
Not in the same way but I reminded some medical students that their compassion is needed throughout their career.
My H had Alzheimer’s and then suffered a severe stroke.
When we went for a review I was asked if some students could sit in.
There were just two, very attractive bright young things.
As I answered questions and my H just sat bewildered uncomprehending, something made me turn to them and say, always remember, this is a very intelligent, highly qualified man, a loving husband father and grandfather.
He’s still there, the consultant thanked me and told the students to always treat their patients with the respect they deserve.

Anniebach Mon 21-Sep-20 12:07:28

1970 , birth of my second daughter, after the birth taken to
the main ward. The babies were kept in a nursery and brought
into the ward for feeding. Two nurses came into the ward carrying babies, one walked to the bed of a woman opposite me, she said ‘I haven’t got a baby’. She had a still birth and was
in the same ward as feeding mothers, I can still remember her
face and her voice, no anger, no tears , just flat, no emotion,
it was brutal.

Lilylaundry Mon 21-Sep-20 15:39:56

When I got out of that appalling hospital, I bought on antique ticking clock to hang on the wall. It so reminds of my lost baby and I love it to bits. It will tick with me to the end of my days.

Thanks for all the replies. Over the years I did think of contacting the hospital but thought that it won't bring the baby back. I listen to my ticking clock, that's all I need to make me smile and remember that people have gone through worse times.

Galaxy Mon 21-Sep-20 16:22:31

So sorry that happened to you Lily, your story about the clock is lovely flowers.
I do wonder how much thought we give to those who lose babies and how easy it would be to improve things.
For my second pregnancy I went for my 3 month scan only to be told the baby had died, I then had to walk through a waiting room full of pregnant women waiting for their scan, I was obviously crying and it was afterwards that I thought how that would have affected all those women. Surely it would have been kinder for everyone for there to just be a seperate door. I dont mean like a dirty secret I just mean in terms of privacy and dignity.

Bluebellwould Mon 21-Sep-20 16:57:57

My wonderful next door neighbour that I lived next to in the ‘80’s, had twins at home when she was 7 months pregnant, that was in 1958 I think. Her husband was told to put them in the kitchen range. He did as he was told and it had haunted them ever since. She had no other children.

grannysyb Mon 21-Sep-20 17:15:04

Oh Bluebellwould, that is horrendous. My DHs first child was stillborn, it still haunts him. Years ago I read an article about people ignoring those who had suffered this type of loss and it struck a chord with me.
A colleague of my ex husband had just suffered the loss of stillborn twins, and I went to see her in hospital, just to hug her.

MellowYellow Mon 21-Sep-20 17:16:50

I'm so sorry for your losses, each one of you. My first baby was born prem, dark blue in colour, assumed dead. As she was being delivered the midwife said, 'It's an abortion,' (the then-clinical term for babies of under 28 weeks gestation I believe). I was so angry as I knew for certain she was a 30 week baby, and yelled, 'She's not, she's a stillbirth!' She survived but went blind aged three weeks through being given excess oxygen. When the cause of the bindness was revealed the paediatrician said to me, with my bonny, smiling four month old baby on my lap, 'Maybe it would been better if she'd slipped away in the beginning.' She grew up alongside two sighted younger brothers, went through Uni, travelled extensively, met a guy and married and your story Lilylaundry has reminded me about the heavy-handed treatment I received, and it's been good to share my indignation. I had it tucked away somewhere. Thank you.

BlueBelle Mon 21-Sep-20 17:40:33

I lost my last baby at about four months with a miscarriage I ll never forgot the shock when they kept referring to it as an abortion I kept protesting crying I didn’t abort my baby no one explained it was the given term
With my third child I started bleeding and a doctor sent me home for bed rest I can’t remember why but I had reason to call a doctor out and a very stern, very posh, older doctor arrived and told me to get up and start walking about saying ‘if you lose it it’s meant to be, there’s probably something wrong with it anyway, nature will sort it out
Thankfully I kept my baby and she’s a very athletic 47 year old
When I had my second child I was in a lot of pain and having a good old moan the midwife slapped me across the face and said ‘stop all that noise mother’ however I got my own back because my baby son peed all over her after he was born