It was 2100hrs in the evening and it had begun… I was watching tv, I remember it was the series Dallas on that evening, and I had been sitting on the hospital couch with the other women. I was admitted into hospital for what they termed static weight gain in pregnancy meant that I had not put on sufficient weight throughout . I guess this was because of lack of food and constantly working cooking and cleaning for my child’s father and his friends.
Once I was admitted into hospital I was happy as it meant no more beatings, also the doctors were in control; so he couldn’t remove me. In a strange sort of way though he seemed concerned for me when he visited, but then again, maybe it was because he didn’t want anyone to see the bruises.
I was a bit apprehensive about leaving my baby with him but there was no one else. I didn’t think he would harm her but I thought he wouldn’t bring her to see me. However, he brought her to see me regularly so on the whole life in hospital was fairly good. I was given breakfast, lunch and dinner something I wasn’t use to, so there were no complaints.
One night around 9pm I was watching, Dallas, when I started to feel backaches which radiated around the front of my lower abdomen. I was 16 years old and having my second child. I remember the pains I had with my first child but this time it felt different. I was excited as I felt my plan had worked and my daughter would have a sibling. First the pains came every 30 minutes they took my breath away but I didn’t tell anyone, then they came every 25 minutes and so on, as contractions go. As the clock was on the wall I front I started timing and by the time they were coming every 15minutes. I was feeling uncomfortable to the extent that one of the other ladies on the ward noticed I look and asked if I was ok, but naturally I said yes especially as they were the same ladies that had poked fun of me previously.
Well this brought me unwanted attention. Some of the ladies was sorry for me, whilst others were disgusted as I was still a child. I could tell by their body language. However, being as stupid and naive as I was I didn’t let their comments bother me, and although I felt ashamed I tried to carry on dealing with the pain. I also wanted them to change their opinion of me and see me as being brave. I’m not sure if they did though.
By midnight the pains were coming closer together but not intensifying. I was given two tablets by the midwife and told to try and sleep. However around 3am in the morning, the pains were keeping me awake. At that point the midwife came to my room , she said she had a feeling I wouldn’t call, and just came to check. She then transferred me to labour ward.
When I arrived on labour ward the midwives were busy, but again they were mean. Story of my life. I was refused pain relief and I was ignored. I knew this was because of my age and I could hear the midwives whispering and laughing when they looked at me. I remained seated in the waiting area until they decided to transfer me to my own room. I tried very hard not to let anyone know how bad the pain was. I guess we call this pride, and I had a lot of that.
I stayed in labour ward until lunch time, the midwives would occasionally pop in to see how I was, I kept asking for pain relief but I was being ignored and told I wasn’t in labour yet. Admittedly each time they visited me the pain had already finished. So it looked like I was not getting pains; but when they left the room I was on the floor. Also I had already learnt that crying when in pain did not make a difference in my life. I learnt not to cry from my mummy this was because when she was beating me she always told me to shut up.
The pains were excruciating but I was too scared to scream, I also remembered what the midwife said to me the year before when I gave birth to my daughter. So I kept quiet in between contractions I would ring the buzzer, for pain relief but I never received it so I gave up.
At around 1500hrs after ringing the bell again; a midwife came into my room and shouted at me.
“It’s no good pretending you know, we won’t start you off, I’m going to bring you some breakfast, eat it and you can go back upstairs” she didn’t bother to check me to see if I had progressed. I didn’t understand but just said ok, before she switched off the bell and walked out my room unimpressed.
I would say around 15minutes after the midwife left, I felt this urge to push. The baby father arrived just at that point. He looked and shouted out “blousebeat I can see the head” , no I don’t know what that means, I think it was shock. He then ran down the corridor to call someone. Well, the same midwife ran in with another and tried to get gloves on but she only managed to put on one. The baby was in.a hurry, the room wasn’t prepared, now all the midwives were falling over themselves trying to get the room prepared, oh well, too late her head was out. I recall a male doctor coming to the room and I also recall him being very upset and shouted at the midwife saying, ” what is going on, and ” it’s far too late for gloves, don’t you think” I remember smiling to myself saying “see”
Well that midwife avoided me completely and for the whole time I was in labour ward. On the whole I thought it was a good experience as, I had no pain relief, I was able to shower and go back to watching the next episode of Dallas. My new baby another little girl arrived weighing 7lbs 6oz and she slept quietly beside me. My only visitor was nurse Dowling remember her?
I recall being glad it was over and I was pleased with my two girls, but sad that the abuse would recommence once I left the hospital.
This was because I was in a domestic violent relationship with a man older than me and I was now a mum of two girls at 16 what happens next?