Midwife Mayhem

What is happening with maternity care? Everyday we read about the possibility of Chase Farm Hospital closing and now this Midwife Mayhem story appears in the local paper.

I gave birth to my twins Poppy and Harry in Chase Farm Hospital on April 17th this year and can tell you that a midwife’s lot does not appear to be a happy one.

What I noticed from my first hand experience in hospital was that midwives are working an exhausting 12 hour shift. They have to be extremely flexible and have great endurance. For example the midwife that helped me through labour came on shift at 7.30pm expecting to be on the general ward looking after 30+ pregnant women (a feat in itself) and ended up supporting me through labour up to 4am without a break! I’m sure the EU would have something to say about that.

There is a lack of stability and every day is different.  Other Labour wards such as Barnet could be closed for a night creating more work in Chase Farm (this is a common occurrence) or indeed Chase Farm Labour unit could close and make for a quieter day for the midwives.

Imagine being 9 months pregnant and going into labour. You phone Chase Farm Labour Ward and they tell you that they are closed. How scary is that? You have received all your ante natal treatment there and are then told to contact another labour ward in another hospital such as Barnet or North Middlesex hospitals but there are no guarantees that they will be open either.

I only managed to have my babies after waiting 3 days to be induced because Chase Farm’s Labour Ward was closed to new admissions on that Saturday night.

Sickness levels appeared to be high causing strain on the staff who are working, this clearly affects staff morale. All the uncertainty that surrounds our local hospital and the care that they provide is affecting morale which in itself contributes to staff being sick.

I received fantastic ante natal, labour and post natal care in Chase Farm Hospital despite the apparently terrible organisation of the care trust and this is due to the committed staff.

I want clarity from our politicians in simple terms so we understand what is being proposed. It is a hot potato that our back bencher MPs are not leading on.


Car crash

Sadly a car crash but happily no one hurt!

We had just sat down to dinner when a Policeman came knocking on our door to let us know that the sporty 2010 Fiat 500 that we bought for my daughter’s 18th birthday had been involved in an accident. A man had been arrested for drunk driving which leaves us with a broken car, a devastated daughter and no quick repair as the driver had no insurance.

I’ve emailed the Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association so we can discuss traffic calming at the next meeting.


Running for TAMBA

My husband Jonathan is running the Great North Run 2011 in aid of TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association).

They have been the source of help and support in the lead up and following the birth of our twins Harry and Poppy.

Jon is featured on the TAMBA website here https://www.tamba.org.uk/sslpage.aspx?pid=933&srctid=1&erid=908846

and Jon’s Just Giving page is here http://www.justgiving.com/Jon-Daniels-TAMBA

I am considering running but worry it may not work as I would have to run with the twins!


Mrs Daniels

I am a hard working mother of 4 children, and stepmother to my husband’s 2 children. I have been employed since leaving college taking only 6 months and 2 years off respectively for the birth of my children. I am currently on maternity leave following the birth of my twins Poppy and Harry.

I worked at the Bank of England for over 10 years, the Houses of Parliament for 5 years, local government for over 6 years, as well as the private sector at Queenswood School. I currently work for the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London.

I come from an ethnic background and I am second generation immigrant as a result of my parents fleeing the problems in Cyprus in 1960.

I have served the local community as a governor at Ashmole School since 2004; and serve on committees including the curriculum, pupil discipline and staff admission. I also serve on the Fox Lane and District Residents Association (FLDRA) comittee.

My experiences in the local community, as a parent and as a governor have given me the knowledge of the local community and specifically the difficulties that youngsters face, such as the lack of places for them to enjoy themselves, the gang culture that has increased knife crime, and their career and employment issues.

I am keen to widen the community that I serve and my ambition is to make a difference and improve community life.

I believe that I represent the average working person in my area .I am a working mother and I have shared many experiences that the public and local community can relate to such as trying to get my children into good state schools.

I have worked both locally and in London and experience the travel issues that Londoners face and the ever rising cost of being in employment.

I have experienced and share the concerns of all working parents; such as childcare and the ability to work knowing your children are safe. I understand how the economy affects our ability to work.

In my career I have experienced recession and taken voluntary redundancy, I have been outsourced in the workplace, and I understand how an uncertain future can affect communities.

I have put my children through state education and have experienced the concerns that all parents face regarding the quality of education and the inability to get local children into local schools.

 

I have gone through the school appeal process and been disappointed. I have waited until the last moment to get my child into the closest school to us due to local authority rules and expect to go through all of these issues again with my young twins. I know that my children will be unable to go to the closest state primary school due to the lack of primary school places.

Gonul Daniels

 


The Birth of Our Twins

After 9 hours of labour I gave birth to our twins!

A wonderful experience and a roller coaster of emotion, pain, adrenalin, self control, lack of control and much more.

My labour was induced and I had booked into Chase Farm Hospital on Thursday 14th April. I was still waiting to be induced 2 days later and resigned myself to spending another uneventful day on the hospital ward. I dressed and went for a few walks around the hospital grounds hoping that gravity would help nature take its course and bring on labour…. to no avail.

Being in hospital meant that my babies hearts were monitored at regular intervals; today the babies heart rates were higher than the acceptable range so the doctor agreed to take me to Labour Ward to be properly induced.

When I arrived in Labour Ward I was having contractions every 10 minutes and they were all quite bearable. The next few hours were spent by me and my husband doing the Daily Mail crossword; as you can imagine I didn’t get many of the answers correct.

In my birth plan I had requested that I have a natural delivery and that I only have a caesarian section if there was an emergency. I discussed this with the doctor who would be delivering and she said that “We like natural deliveries”. We then went on to discuss what pain relief I would be using.

I had checked the pain relief available and had decided I would try to not use any of the options as I thought that by the time the pain was unbearable I would be in the second stage of labour, ready to deliver, and  it would be too late to change my mind about drugs.

My main pain relief was my ipod! I had a variety of playlists from relaxing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to the Foo Fighters and Marc Bolan and went through different sounds during my 9 hour labour. It may sound ridiculous but the music helped me so much as a distraction and as mood setting.

I was disappointed that things I had learnt in Ante Natal class such as using a birthing ball or a birthing bath in labour were not really practical due to the baby heart monitors. Any movements could nudge the monitors so even walking around the delivery room proved difficult.

The contractions were becoming unbearably painful by about midnight (5 hours into labour) but I stuck with no pain relief. I stood up, sat down, lay down, rocked back and forth to get through it. One of the things that really helped was the breathing and a suggestion from my husband to actually count through the contaction knowing that after 20 seconds the pain would have subsided.

At the second stage of labour the Operating Theatre was prepared as it is normal procedure at Chase Farm to deliver multiple babies in an Operating Theatre and that a midwife, a pediatrician, a doctor and more are required per baby. I think there were about 12 people in theatre not including me and my husband! During the second stage of labour there is absolutely no pain in-between the contractions, such a relief,  so you get several minutes of resting between each push.

My first beautiful baby was delivered at 3.45am and whisked away for me to continue with my second delivery, I didn’t even know the sex of my first babe. My second baby followed 5 minutes later by forceps delivery. I could see straight away that Twin 2 was a boy. We had a girl and a boy!

We are the luckiest people in the world!


British Heart Foundation

Last year I signed up for the Great North Run to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. I wanted to raise money for BHF because of the good work they do for those with a heart condition, something close to my heart. My brother Mem was born with a heart problem that he suffered with all his life. Sadly Mem lost his fight for life 3 years ago. My husband Jon has also suffered and had a quadruple heart by pass 4 years ago.  I wanted to raise money and give something back for all their good work.

Shortly before the race I found out that I was pregnant with twins and followed advice not to run. Fortunately my husband Jon took over and did the run for both of us. This is what I wrote on the day:

I  have to say what a fantastic event the Great North Run is! it is packed  with fun, energy, optimism, enthusiasm and raw emotion.

The start of the race is a long drawn  out affair but  no-one minds. There are plenty of fluids provided to  the runners at the  start line which caused an outpouring of runners  leaving the start for  an emergency toilet break. It was all very French  with everyone using  the bushes and trees along the course to relieve  themselves, women and  men alike.

The organisers put on a warm up which  was displayed on the huge  screens to all the participants, about 10  minutes before the off which  all the runners participated in  and  seemed to enjoy. 

The Metro radio DJ who was being  piped out was a jolly man who was  equally funny and sincere in his  broadcast. He had us in tears when he  asked everyone to spend a few  minutes remembering their loved ones and  why we were all  there representing different charities and then playing  “Abide with  me”. It was very moving!

Ant and Dec started the run and must have sore hands today.

They  started people  running by slapping the runners hands as they passed them  and wishing  them good luck with the sounds of “Let’s get ready to  rumble” in the  background.

And then 13 uphill miles to the  finish line to receive a finishers  medal. The support on the course was  fantastic! People were coming out  of their homes to give the runners  sweets and biscuits as well as moral  support of cheers, chants and  applause.  Well done all!

I was amazed at the finish line by  the number of runners wearing  silver ponchos who had the energy to be  walking around the town to get  to transport and eventually home.

A marvelous day! I look forward to next year!”


Primary School Places

I am currently supporting a parent trying to get her son a school place in the London Borough of Enfield. Mrs M has 2 children, J who has a place in Year 4 at a Primary School in LB Enfield and K who has not been offered a place at any school and has been out of education sice October 2009.

Mrs M is distraught that her son is not being educated and that there is no iminent prospect of K being offered any school place.

I have been speaking with LB Enfield and their legal obligation is to offer a place at a school in LB Enfield, not necessarily at the school that K’s brother is attending or even at a school close to where they live. It is Mrs M’s legal responsibility to ensure that K attends school.

Whilst trying to help in this problem I realise that it may not be in the family’s best interest to force LB Enfield into offering a place at any school due to the logistics of taking one child to a local school and then taking another child to the other side of the borough to another school which is clearly not sustainable.

Last week I spoke with the Council and found there are 2 primary schools which had a place and a very short waiting list in close proximity to Mrs M’s home. Mrs M has now put K on the waiting list of both schools. I will continue to contact the Council regularly to ascertain if more Year 1 places become available.

My thoughts – The Council are trying to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability and in this case there would be no benefit to the family to force the Council to provide a place at any school for K. I do think that more can be done to maintain communication for example the Council phoning parents who don’t have a school place regularly (I would like to see it done daily).

The problem that Mrs M is facing is clearly affecting the moral of the whole family and there is a feeling of helplessness and desperation that they have endured for 7 months. I’m hoping that between us K gets into a school within the next few weeks and I will be phoning the Council daily to try and achieve this.

17 May 2010

As some of you may know if you have been following my blog, I have been trying to help Mrs M get her son K into a primary school. Today Mrs M was offered a school place for K at a primary school. Good news however the school is too far away from the school where her other child is going. If she takes one child to school then the other will be one hour late everyday and won’t be picked up on time. Mrs M is going to turn the place down with much regret. I have phoned the school where son J is, and K is either 1st or 2nd on the waiting list. I’ll be phoning again tomorrow.

6th July 2010

I am delighted that Mrs M’s son started his first day at school today in Year 1 after being out of school since October last year. Clearly there are not enough primary school places that there is no flexibility to allow 1 child into a class. Ideal class sizes are approximately 18 children however the schools in Enfield have 30 pupils per class and over subscribed. On a personal note I am so happy for Mrs M and her family.