33 weeks - update/NHS rant.

So I had my 32 week Growth Scan when I was 33 weeks and 2 days. As usual, we were there for 2 hours - I truly believe we have the slowest ever NHS maternity department with Arrowe Park (Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

My scan took all of around 4-6 minutes then we hang around waiting to see the consultant.

Got called in (yess!) only for it to be a midwife to check my BP and urine (d'oh!). Even this was bemusing. I told her the electronic cuff wouldn't work (it NEVER works) and she had to go and find someone who could take BP manually. Honestly!

Back out in to the waiting room after that, to THEN be called by the consultant. (yesss!)

She asks why I was referred for a growth scan (they all ask, songographers, midwives, receptionists, doctors - at every single appointment), I gave my usual answer of "I don't know - no one has ever told me" and she glanced over my results. Told me all was OK and as long as I'm alright I'm, get this, "free to leave" (Even she thinks it's like prison!)

Well hang on a minute!!

What do I do about the Whooping Cough vaccination? I've just seen signs in the waiting room about how I should have it 28wks onwards?
"Oh, yes. It's actually 32wks you can have it from so no panic - Just ask your community midwife" ... Thing is, I don't see 'my' community midwife, I see these nameless people who can't even take my BP manually and dipstick my pee. I don't get their names, they don't prod my belly, they don't ask me questions. So I'm asking you, as my immediate care-giver, and you don't seem bothered one iota.
Answer: Forget it, I'll call my GP.

Why does no-one answer the phone in the rehab and physio department - how many voicemails do I have to leave to get a call back?
I am, still, YET to see anyone about the fact that I cannot move/walk/dress etc.  I requested the referral at 18 weeks so we're talking a good 3 months here. The referral came through with a number to call and book my appointment, approx 4 weeks - it's an unmanned number surely? The message says to leave name and number and someone will call back. I've left them the house number, my mobile number... what - do they want my bank account number? By the time I see anyone, I'll have given birth!
Answer: Still waiting! I was looked at blankly. Going to look on WikiWirral website for second hand crutches instead.

Is there any particular reason as to why it's taken so long this time? The only reason I ask is my next appointment in April is at 1.30pm and 45 minutes later, at 2.15pm, I have a separate appointment with the Anaesthetist and I'm wondering whether I should push it back?
"Ummm... it's never normally like this, there's a lot of sickness and we have skeleton staff at the moment. No need to change your appointment"
- My response... are you sure? Everytime I've been here for an appointment, I've never once been since in under 2 hours you see. It's not a problem, per say, given that the 'pink book' i.e. maternity notes, give a guideline of 10-20 minutes for appointments that include a scan (apart from 12 weeks booking in - that's estimated at 90 mins... was closer to 3 hours!)  I just wanted to ask so I don't waste their (the anaesthetist) time.
Well, her face was a picture. Like I'd just stumped her out in The Ashes. Devestated that I called her on the waiting times and she had no answer to give. I wouldn't even mind, honestly, it's just that feeling of being palmed off... all the time!

Feeling less than confident, I couldn't be bothered with any more questions/answers so promptly got out of there!
I had intended on asking about the ward tour (because it's all change from 5-6 years ago and I don't have a clue where to go should I go into labour!) I also wanted to ask about using the birthing pool - just to labour in. I know I can't use it for birthing, being high risk, but really do want to use it as a form of pain relief in the earlier stages of labour - if possible. I'm just gunna ask them on the day... or rather demand (mwahaha!)
Photo: Bump at 20wks, 25wks and 33wks!

Points I discovered @ 33wks having read my notes afterwards...

> Currently weighs approx 5lbs 1oz and his measurements are perfectly average (yay!)
> Amniotic fluid measures 'normal'
> Cephalic Presentation i.e. head down spine against belly wall

Seeing notes like these excite me. I can't believe my little man has a 'weight' to speak of! It's like he's real (if you know what I mean!)

Google and fellow pregnancy bloggers have been my saviour during this second pregnancy. *THANKS GUYS!*
I feel having a consultant-led pregnancy makes you a number/statistic rather than a person.
Maybe I'm just being irritable?
Did you find your second experience completely different from the first too? I'd love to hear of your stories xx


  1. Ugh, sorry to hear you're having such a rubbish time with the NHS. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly x

    1. I'm not dissing the NHS on purpose honest, I just feel that as a second time mum, regardless of whether it's consultant led or not, you're not as important! Thanks for your message xx

  2. ugh bloody NHS, hope it all goes well xx

  3. My NHS experience pre baby was a complete nightmare too. I was consultant led and it was totally pointless. Thankfully after baby the care was spot on.


    1. That's what I'm hoping myself Cat! Thanks for the message x

  4. What a crappy experience.... you just have to hope you have all the after care you need :)

    Laura @ Tilly Bailey & Irvine


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