Our delivery at Epworth Freemasons was perfect! The staff were fantastic. We were made to feel calm, safe and cared for.
I have blogged about delivery yesterday so I won’t revisit it in detail but want to elaborate on our experience with Epworth Freemasons East Melbourne.
From the moment we left the recovery area of the Day Procedure Unit it all started to go downhill. I was shocked that we were wheeled through the main reception area of the hospital and into the lift to go up for Level 2 to the Maternity Unit. As soon as the lift doors opened we were greeted by our waiting family, whilst I was happy to see them, I had hoped that we would be in our room before we saw everyone so they would get a proper first look at her and not a quick glance whilst we are still doing skin to skin breastfeeding.
In recovery I had been medicated and allowed to sip on some water. Upon arriving in our recovery room on the maternity ward we allowed our family to come in to meet our little Alessia Lucia for the first time. It was here that we told them her name. We had kept it to ourselves until this point as wanted it to be special.
The midwife on the ward was abrupt and frankly quite rude. I had asked my mum for a glass of water and the midwife advised that I wasn’t allowed! I mentioned that I had been allowed to sip on water downstairs so didn’t see an issue in continuing, plus I felt really well. She reluctantly agreed provided I sipped it. We tried to order Adam some dinner from the menu and were advised that we had missed the cut off for the kitchen by 30 mins , despite having been in the room for almost 2 hours at this point. I felt that if there is a 4:30pm cut off then there should be a courtesy “if you’re staying and wanting to order some dinner that you will need to do so by 4:30”. Funnily enough when we asked if she could enquire with he kitchen if it was possible for him to get just a light meal she responded that she couldn’t as she was due to go on her dinner break -ha! Looks like Adam is having Maccas!
After everyone had left we asked we could please have a roll away bed for Adam so that we could try and get some rest. ( The first night post C Section I was in a single bed with a catheter in).
We were told that his bed would be in the hallway and he needs to bring it in and set it up without assistance. The position where he was told to put it would have meant that the midwife would have had to have stepped over him during the night so he put it under the window and needed to move my bed and Alessia’s crib to fit it.
Now you might think that these things are petty, but these “little” things just kept happening!
Due to being doped up on pain relief I don’t remember what time we went to bed but around 2-3am I woke to a splatter in Alessia’s crib after she sneezed. Lots of gunk had come out of her lungs/mouth so I pressed the call button to get the midwives help as it needed to be cleaned as it was all over the side of her crib as well as her linen and swaddle wrap.
When the midwife started she told us that if we needed assistance we were to call her mobile/cordless phone from our room phone and avoid using the call button. Due to it being the middle of the night when this happened I instinctively called out to Adam to wake and help and hit the call button. When the midwife walked in, rather than ask what we needed assistance with she said “I told you to call my phone if you need me!”
I almost threw the bloody phone at her head! My baby was 12 hours old, has just spluttered black shit from her lungs and this stupid woman is gonna tell me off for not calling her phone?!?!? Turns out the nursing staff/midwives are rated on their response rate however this is avoided when using the cordless.
The following morning we met a lovely midwife , she helped me up to the loo and then requested I have a shower. I felt great so Adam helped me shower. We mentioned our disappointment with the staff from the afternoon/night before and she passed it on.
As I was mobile and felt ok we were moved two doors down into a bigger room with a bigger bed. A lady who advised she was in charge came to discuss our concerns with Adam not being able to order dinner the night before. I was shocked when she wouldn’t even look at me and rather focused on my electronic chart. She simply stated ” dad doesn’t normally eat on the first night!” WTF! They don’t eat?!? Ok Then!
The midwives continued to come in and give me medication despite me expressing to them that I felt ok and am not one to normally take pain relief. I was given a concoction of Endone,Tramadol,Panadol & Voltaren. As I was demand breastfeeding (still am) they would ask to see how I was going when feeding so I would breastfeed Alessia with them present and take on board their advice. Thankfully my milk came in on the morning after delivery. I knew it had come in and told the afternoon midwife. She wanted to check to be sure and it squirted her in the face 😂😂 – serves you right for doubting me!
I was seeing a haematologist in pregnancy due to my blood condition and was prescribed blood thinning injections-Fondiparinux to take for 2-3 weeks due to developing an allergy to Clexane. Each 6 days it cost me $140! I had filled my script and taken the medication in with me. On night one the midwife took the medication from me and advised she would store it in the drug store.
On Tuesday night I was so exhausted having been up every 2 hours feeding so come 8:00pm I was ready for bed. I had been told to take the blood thinner at the same time each day and as it had been administered at 8pm on Monday I requested that I get my injection at 8pm so that I could get some much needed sleep.
The midwife came in with another nurse and grabbed my wrist to check what I was allergic to before giving me pain relief – I advised them that I didn’t want pain relief as I felt fine but would appreciate them getting my blood thinner so that I can get some rest.
They advised me that the meds have already been dispensed so I needed to take them. They also mentioned that they were having difficulty locating my blood thinner but as soon as they locate it they will bring it in and administer it. I just wanted to sleep and was so disappointed that this was happening.
I had been told by several midwives throughout the day that they normally have 6 patients each and currently had 9-12! Ummmm not my problem! My Private Health Fund is paying $8220 for my 5 day stay….. get more staff!
The combo of medication they were giving to me made me feel like I was off my head and I was falling asleep constantly during the day. I kept advising the midwives that I did not want them. It got to a point Wednesday that I just refused to take them. I was sick of being drugged, I was sick of falling asleep on my guests. I made the midwife leave the medication and advised that I would not be taking them unless needed. That was 5pm Wednesday (50 hours post op) and I haven’t taken any pain relief since. Not even a panadol! I told you I felt ok lol.
Wednesday morning Alessia had her hearing test and passed without issue. The lady that conducted the test was lovely.
When the midwife was bathing Alessia on Wednesday afternoon, Alessia turned her head and put her nose under the water which allowed her to inhale water and choke. The midwife scooped her out of the bath and when Alessia finally regained her breath and started crying the midwife made remark “due for another breastfeed are you?” …. ummm she just choked on water. Pretty sure that’s why she is screaming!!
I stressed to the midwife from about 5pm that my blood thinner is due at 8pm. I think i mentioned it twelve times. I just didn’t want it to be late again.
Sure enough, 8pm arrives and no blood thinner. I called the midwife on her cordless phone and was advised they’re having difficulty locating it….. again!!! Around 30 mins later they stroll in to give it to me. Not acceptable!
Thursday morning at 7:15am we had a new midwife come in with a student nurse from ACU and asked if it was ok if the student was present – everyone has to learn so we agreed. Adam bought it to my attention that one of them stunk of cigarettes. This didn’t sit well with me. Especially since this is a maternity ward and you’re dealing with babies.
They weighed Alessia and she had gone from 3.16kg at birth to 2.95kg . Length was deemed to be 49cm however when we measured her she was 51cm (later measured as 53cm by health nurse using a proper measure and not a tape). Alessia has screamed due to being naked for her weigh in so when the student midwife went to take her heart rate she was unable to get the reading. The trained midwife discussed with the student that you cannot take a heart rate when the baby is crying. I thought nothing of it at the time but later glanced at Alessia’s chart when I noticed her heart rate had been recorded for 7:30am! And midnight….. how on earth did the overnight nurse check Alessia’s heart rate if she didn’t go anywhere near her?
I was sooooo angry! They were making up Observations of my baby – not acceptable and frankly it’s unethical!
Later than morning I was laying down on my tummy (yes, I felt that good post op!) when a lady entered and advised that she was calling to offer for us to be moved to The Park Hyatt Hotel. We took one look at each other and said “if we are well enough to go to a hotel then we are going to go home!” We were told that we would need my Obstetrician to give the approval but couldn’t foresee an issue. The hospital would send us a $200 gift card for going home early. (They still get the full $8220 from Medibank so are grateful if we leave early and don’t go to Park Hyatt as they save money)
After what felt like an eternity, Dr Sgroi came and gave me the all ok to go home. Alessia had already been seen by the Paediatrician that morning and was deemed perfectly healthy. After removing the gause from my wound and giving me some booklets to take home we were sent on our way. Made to make our own way to the car, they didn’t even check that we had a car seat installed! Get me out of here now!!!
It was such a relief to get Alessia home! I finally felt like a mum. I hated being in hospital and so did Adam. We were starting to get a bit of Cabin Fever!
I emailed my concerns to The Epworth Freemasons and had my Ob & Hospital Staff member call me to apologise. I was then contacted by the hospitals Patient Liason Administrator. That phone call was a complete waste of time! She made an excuse for every single thing! And advised that they spoke to the midwife about the obs and they distinctly remember taking them……. hmm! So my word against theirs.
I am grateful that my new Ob Dr Joseph Sgroi delivers at Frances Perry House & St Vincent’s too. As one thing is for sure, I will never stay at Epworth Freemasons again!!!!
I would go back to the DPU in the event I require another laparoscopy however I made it very clear to my Ob that I refuse to go back to the ward of their maternity unit. The thought of it makes me angry.
I felt like I was fed and drugged the whole time we were there. I appreciate that it was a busy time of year but get more staff! The nursery was so full that we weren’t even allowed to walk in there!
I hope that no one else has to experience such a shitty stay there but made the official complaint and decided to blog about it to share our experience so that they make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I know some of my points may seem petty but it wasn’t just the fact that I wasn’t allowed to have a drink of water, it was the tone in which I was spoken to. I understand that their focus is on me and my baby but if you’re allowing the husbands to stay then at least tell people if they want to eat they need to order by 4:30. I registered with Epworth Freemasons in July 2016 so they had plenty of notice that we were coming….
anyway I’ll wrap this one up here as I’m mindful that it’s a long one. I simply wanted to share this with you all as I was so disappointed with my stay that I felt I needed to share it.
I’d love to hear about others experiences with them..
I do want to mention that we had a positive experience in delivery room. Recovery downstairs as well as with our Obstetrician – Joe even gave us a beautiful gift and his receptionist came upstairs for cuddles after work on Monday! Our paediatrician was also lovely!