Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Rant, with a capital R.

I can't knock the NHS. It was there for us in our hour of need and its midwives and obstetricians were faultless. But by golly it still has problems.
I received a letter just after we left the hospital, a copy of which went to my doctor's surgery. It was concise, to say the least, and said something along the lines of:
'Alice Pullen has suffered a stillbirth. Baby was born not breathing on 29.11.10'
It didn't make pleasant reading, but it was necessary. My doctor needed to know.
Then, a fortnight or so later, I received my post-birth check up appointment from the same doctors surgery. It asked me to come in today, January 25, at 2.50pm - with my baby. To be honest, I looked at it as some kind of administrational slip up.
I was too kind.
Just now, the practise called to confirm the time and date and again, and I knew it was coming, she said, 'And don't forget to bring your baby.'
The receptionist went silent. Literally, she just sat on the other end of the phone, I assume her mouth was open in shock and her stomach had left her several seconds previously.
I finished, by saying that yes, I would be there today, thank you very much.
You would think, wouldn't you, that these stupid receptionists would read your notes or put a big BE NICE TO HER sign by my name.


  1. You know it seems that they never learn, day in day out, month in month out, year in year out they do the same thing - administration/receptionists still cause so much heartache and pain. Only recently I had a letter about my son ( who was stillborn) asking for me to bring him to an appointment and after numerous calls and letters, they kept coming asking me to bring him in, even though they knew he was dead and then me writing a letter to everyone and basically ranting like a mad woman and having to kick ass, I thought I got somewhere. The calls stopped but the letters kept coming and now every few months one arrives.

  2. You don't know me. I just read your story on facesofloss. I lost my baby at 20 weeks over a year ago and when I received my reminder call for my follow-up appointment, the secretary said, children are not allowed but I am welcome to bring my newborn. I hope what you say is true, that you called the receptionist an ill-informed fool. I couldn't have said it better myself. In shock, I just thanked my caller for the reminder, hung up the phone and cried. I sometimes wish I could go back to that phone call and call her out on her idiotic mistake. Jeez, all it would have taken was perhaps a simple asterisk by my name or some sort of system.
    I wish you all the best in your healing. I remember feeling just as horrible 2 months after my loss as I did 2 days after, perhaps worse. I know I did not have as much time to bond with my babe in my womb as you. But to some degree I know the place you're at right now. It's very very hard. Hugs.