Content Note: This story includes: deteriorating relationship with LMC; unconsented interventions; not being listened to.  

Ella's story



Upon reflection, I realise the relationship between myself and my midwife started deteriorating from about 20 weeks but I didn’t realise it. 

The first real warning bells sounded originally for us when my midwife got angry at me when I told her the doctor said I didn't need to go on blood pressure medication.  From then on the relationship turned unbalanced and corrosive, and as a first time pregnant mother I really didn't know what to do. 

When I went into labour, she performed a stretch and sweep without my consent - she told my friend who was present but denied this when I put it in writing. 

When we went to the birthing unit she ignored my husband’s concerns around how I was handling the labour - another midwife on site made the call to call the ambulance.  I was shipped to the hospital by ambulance. 

While I had the epidural in and was waiting for progress the midwife rang to tell me that she had done everything right.  I hadn't even had the baby yet.

Just before midnight, after 22 hours or so of what felt like utter chaos, I had my boy by emergency c section.

It took me a long time to get over the last few months of my pregnant life.  Probably close to two years.  I felt violated by how I had been treated at one of the most vulnerable times of my life.  I even approached the NZCOM and the Health and Disability Commission and felt even more disheartened after both interactions.

However, what was really healing for me was talking about it with a lecturer who was doing a Uni paper on the midwife and woman relationship.  I actually was given the time to really unpack how we had got to that point and why neither of us looked at alternative options.  I didn't think I had any but in hindsight I did.