A new mum told today how she gave birth on the toilet – just hours after being sent home by midwives who insisted she wasn’t in labour.
Gemma Wotherspoon, 28, phoned the hospital when she developed severe back pains on her due date to let midwives know the baby was coming.
But despite showing the classic signs of contractions, nurses assured her the birth was imminent and instead advised her to stay home and take paracetamol.
When the pain got worse her husband Alistair, 30, drove her to Penrice Hospital in St Austell, Cornwall, to give birth.
But after being examined nurses again insisted that she was not in labour and discharged her with “back pain”.
Gemma gave birth just two hours after arriving back at home, while sitting on the toilet.
The furious mum, from Bodmin, Cornwall, yesterday slammed midwives for sending her home and described her care as “shocking”.
She said: “After they sent me home from hospital I tried to sleep but by 2.30am the pain had got much worse and I couldn’t get comfy, I had all the signs that I was in labour.
“I felt the urge to push so I went to the toilet to try and ease the pain but when I realised what was happening I just sort of gave birth.
“I shouted to Alistair to grab his head, but before I knew it Ryan was in my arms.
“I just took one push and he was out, I had him in my arms and thankfully he was just crying and crying.
“Alistair called the paramedics and they were here within about seven minutes.
“I can’t believe they kept sending me away, it’s shocking. Luckily we were all ok, but imagine if we weren’t. It’s a very scary experience.
“The back pains were consistent, it was going and coming every five to ten minutes to begin with and then as the evening went on it got quite quick and then got to less than a minute apart.
“To be quite honest I don’t see the point in the hospital being open if they don’t use the facilities.
“Clearly I was going to have him but they still sent us home. I think the midwife just wanted an early night.
“I’m very angry with how I have been let down.”
Gemma, from Bodmin, Cornwall, was elated when she found out she was pregnant with Ryan after tragically suffering three miscarriages following the birth of her first child, Jasmine, in 2010.
However, as the birth of her daughter was induced, the mum-of-two did not know what the beginnings of natural labour felt like.
Gemma began to experience back pains on her due date, October 27 2011, and she rang her former-midwife auntie who told her she was in early labour.
She then called the local hospital where she was instructed to take paracetamol, have a hot bath and contact them again when her contractions were 50 seconds apart.
When the contractions got worse Gemma begged Alistair, a baker, to take her to hospital where she was sent home by a midwife.
Gemma added: “I rang up and a midwife told me to watch and come into hospital when my contractions were 50 seconds apart.
“The contractions started getting closer and closer and I rang up the hospital three more times and spoke to a different midwife who told me that if I came down they might send me straight home again.
“I think she thought I was being a bit of a drama queen and complaining about backache.
“I finally went down to the hospital at about 11.30pm where, during a speedy 25 minute appointment, she told me I was just 1cm dilated and was just suffering with back pains and sent me straight home again.”
But only two hours after she returned home Gemma gave birth to Ryan, who weighed a healthy 6lbs 13oz, on her own in her bathroom while frantic Alistair called paramedics to help.
On arrival doctors cut the umbilical cord and checked over Ryan before giving both mum and baby a clean bill of health.
Gemma later complained to the hospital, which apologised and agreed to reimburse her for any furniture that got ruined during the birth.
Have you been affected by a hospital blunder? Irwin Mitchell Solicitors can help you claim Medical Negligence Compensation.