“I want her back.
I am suffering like an animal.”
“I begged them not to cut me open”
She was nearly at full term in her pregnancy.
She says she was held down.
She was sedated.
When she woke up her baby was no longer with her.
But things got worse. She held her newborn only briefly and was told she was not allowed to breastfeed her.
The Italian mother who has made international headlines after she was detained in a British psychiatric unit and then forced against her will to have a caesarean has spoken to the UK’s Daily Mail and the Italian Newspaper La Repubblica.
We reported on this earlier in the week in this post here – and today more details have come to light.
After a court hearing in the UK yesterday a Judge has ruled that she can be identified and her image can be released.
Alessandra Pacchieri is 35 years old and from Chainciano in Tuscany, she works in a small village as a care worker for the elderly. She has not seen her now 15-month old daughter since May when the adoption proceedings began. Since the baby was born she has seen her just ten times.
She suffers from bipolar disorder and was sectioned by Essex County Council under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act last year after she went off her medication and had a panic attack while in the UK training with an airline.She claims she is now fully recovered after resuming her treatment.
In her newspaper interview with La Repubblica she sobbed “I was sedated and deceived, that’s how they took my daughter.”
“I want her back – I am suffering like an animal.”
She claims she was “deceived” into having the caesarean. She said: “I thought they were just moving me from one room to another.”
She told the Daily Mail that on Friday 22nd August 2012 she was in the Mother and Baby Unit of a hospital in Essex where she had been placed as she was in the late stages of her pregnancy.
She woke up. It was a normal day. It was only when she went to make breakfast that she thought things were a little strange.
The kitchen was locked. When she asked them why they told her they were going to perform a caesarean and her baby was to be taken.
From The Daily Mail:
I was crying. I could feel my baby kicking inside me.
I begged them not to do the caesarean. The due date was four days later and there was no reason for me to have such an invasive operation with anaesthetic. I wanted a natural birth.
But her pleadings were ignored. In the mother and baby unit, a team of five nurses held her down and injected her right thigh with a sedative.
Then they stood Alessandra up. They told her: Now we have to go. The ambulance is here.
The next thing that she knew she was being walked into a different wing of the large hospital site, which had operating theatres.
Once in there, I was pushed down onto a bed and a mask was put over my face. I felt as though I were suffocating. It was the last thing that I remember.
When she woke up, Alessandra was in a hospital gown.
The jeans she had been wearing before the caesarean were on a chair by the bed. Her T-shirt had been cut off her body to avoid pulling it over her head and was in two pieces.
I tried to get up. I had wanted to see my baby arriving. I wanted to see her first minutes in the world. But I was so ill and they pushed me back on the bed.
Heartbreakingly she talks of how she was allowed to breastfeed her newborn daughter once, before she was again taken away.
Someone handed me Amelia and I began breast-feeding her. She was with me for 20 minutes or even half an hour. I was so happy to cuddle her. I thought I was going back to the mother and baby unit with her. But Amelia was then taken away from her.
Two hours later, Amelia was brought back to Alessandra, who held her for a second time.
‘Someone in the room then said: “You can’t breast-feed her.” I was upset because she was nuzzling me for milk.’
Once again Amelia was removed from her mother. Then a doctor told Alessandra that she had to leave the operating theatre ‘right away’ because the bed was needed for another patient.
She was taken in an ambulance to the Christopher psychiatric unit on the Broomfield hospital site.
‘I kept begging the nurses to let me hold Amelia and asking how she was. Finally, after three days, they told me she had been taken into foster care. They had stolen my baby from me.’
Alessandra was detained in the psychiatric unit for a further few months and her daughter was brought to her once a week – for only half an hour.