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Linda

Age at interview: 57
Age at diagnosis: 34
Brief Outline: Linda has her daughter 23 years ago. It was a complicated birth as she was diagnosed with Bandls retraction ring during labour. Her daughter was delivered by caesarean, and she haemorrhaged. She had anemia for several months.
Background: Linda is a PA, married with two grown up children. She described experiences twenty three years ago. White British.

More about me...

Linda was reflecting on an experience during the birth of her second child, a daughter 23 years old. She saw an advertisement in the Evening Standard newspaper and was motivated to contribute her story to try and help anyone else who has been through something similar. Her experience, Bandls Retraction ring (which can lead to uterine rupture) was long before the Internet and she has never found anyone to talk to about it properly.

 
Linda experienced a haemorrhage but was not given a blood transfusion and had anemia for several months after the birth. She felt shocked at the speed of the delivery and as though her baby wasn’t really hers. She was unable to breastfeed and so felt isolated from her NCT group, as though she had failed on both counts – having a natural labour and being able to breastfeed. However, after a rough start she does not feel that her experience has had any long term effects on her family or bonding with her daughter.
 
 

After she was born, Linda's daughter was taken away to be cared for elsewhere, but she wishes...

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Yes, it was just odd to be handed a baby from the Caesarean, I found anyway. Whether it was just from the epidural or… I think it was the whole rushed thing, that it all… I just remember being rushed down the corridor, in there, these big green sheets up. Tugging and she’s born. And then I was handed her. And it just felt like she could have come from anywhere.
 
How long did that feeling last?
 
Well it’s so difficult because I was just so exhausted, so it took a while to recover from I suppose the anaemia. I could see straight away in fact when she was born, the consultant held her up and said “you’ve got a big bouncing…” and I thought he was going to say boy, and he said “girl”. Because she was a big girl and she looked exactly like her brother when he was born. So that’s how I knew she was mine.
 
Did she stay with you for the whole time after she was born, or did she go off to another part of the hospital?
 
No they did take her off actually and also at that time. Yes, I did feel a bit out of control. I should have insisted she stayed with me. They took them away at night which was why they were giving her bottle feeds, which I don’t think I was aware of for the first couple of nights. And I should have insisted which I think they do now, you keep the baby with you. I think I’d have found it better and I should have asked to have her
 
I guess when you’re not well…
 

I think that’s exactly what it was, yes, and you tend to listen to what people advise and they say its best for her and best for you, but I think I might have been better with her. 

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