Conditions that threaten women’s lives in childbirth & pregnancy


Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 33

Brief outline: Although Mike's wife (Joanna - Interview 07) had caesarean with her first baby, they were advised she could try for a natural birth. Jo went into labour at home, 9 days overdue. A searing pain developed. She had had a uterine rupture which was undiscovered. Their baby died in utero.

Background: Mike is a police officer, married with one daughter. His wife was expecting their second daughter. White British.

Audio & video

Mike is Joanna’s husband (Interview 07). He was with his wife throughout her experience in hospital, but was not talked to or consulted. He found the whole experience terrifying. When she was due to be taken through to theatre to deliver their baby, who had just died in utero after his wife haemorrhaged, he defied the doctors by refusing to leave her, and stayed with Joanna throughout the operation. He was handed their dead baby, yet no one really took any notice of him/addressed him, although he was sitting there with his dead baby in his arms and his wife fighting for her life. 

Although his wife had been told that her baby had died before she went into theatre, she was so drowsy and weak that Mike had to tell her again when she woke up in recovery. He then had to tell their daughter (who was 2) that her little sister had died. He and his wife kept the baby with them in the hospital room for a couple of days so that family members (including their little girl) could meet her. 
Since being discharged, the feel they have been abandoned or forgotten about by the hospital. The report into their daughter’s death was slow and they have had to chase up meetings with the hospital and the report. No one has asked them for their story/side of events as would have been done in a police investigation. He feels that because they know the system better than most (they are both former medical researchers, and emailed the Chief Executive’s office) they have been able to make some things happen, but feel that others would have been completely abandoned.
The interview with Mike and his wife took place just over a year after their lost their daughter.


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