A new mum almost lost her baby down the toilet after an inexperienced midwife sent her home from hospital – while she was having contractions.
First-time-mum Sophie Holmes, 28, went to hospital just three days into her maternity leave with partner Dan Holmes, when her waters broke and she started having contractions.
But staff at the hospital said there was no way the baby was coming 14 days early, because her cervix was still closed, and told her to go home and take a hot bath.
An hour after arriving back at her their home, in Southend, Essex, Sophie was sitting on the toilet, because that’s where she felt most comfortable, and looked down – to see her baby’s head.
She suddenly shot up and managed to catch the newborn baby girl it before it hit the bathroom tiles.
Sophie, who has been with partner Dan for ten years, said: “I don’t know why, but I shot up from the toilet and felt a head sticking out.
“The next thing I know my baby fell out and I managed to catch it within seconds.
“I’m just grateful I saved her, but furious at the hospital.
“I had to have my baby alone in the bathroom and it could have gone down the toilet.”
Before the arrival of baby Olivia, the couple had been sent home from Southend University Hospital twice that day, leaving both times on advice that the birth was a long way off, despite her waters breaking.
When the first-time mum got home she found comfort on her bathroom toilet as it was the only place she felt relaxed.
Just minutes later healthy baby Olivia arrived, weighing 7lb 13oz.
Since the birth, on April 18, Sophie and Dan have registered a formal complaint with the hospital who they claim handled the birth “so badly”.
Operations Exec Sophie added: “We shudder at the thought of what could have happened if I hadn’t caught her.
“My baby was born in our bathroom, which is just ridiculous.
“The hospital handled this so badly.
“I’m a first time mum and should have been treated better.
“I was so scared, I didn’t know what was happening or what I was expecting.
“Dan took a day off work for the complaint hearing, only to be told it had been rescheduled.
“We just feel so let down.”
Southend University Hospital claim they are investigating Sophie’s case and say they are “sorry” she is unhappy.
Denise Townsend, associate chief nurse at Southend University Hospital, said: “We are sorry that Ms Holmes is unhappy with the care she received from Southend University Hospital.
“We are meeting with Ms Holmes so that we can discuss the concerns she has about the care she received during and after her labour and investigate accordingly.”