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Need honest input on if we should report our CNM for neglect during labor (Stillbirth mentioned)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I know we are clearly coming from a place of sorrow and grief, which often includes anger. We feel we have investigated our birth in depth with many sources, including the lead midwife at our birth center, our doula, fellow friends who are doula's, nurses, or midwives, and then of course our families. Many seem to be of the mind that our midwife was negligent at the least, and whether or not she could have prevented our eventual still birth is still up in the air. Our doula is still very angry at the care we received from this midwife. We also believe there were signs that our daughter was having cord compression, not only during labor but in the weeks leading up to delivery, and they were all missed by our midwife. 


We were seeing a group practice where you essentially are followed and covered by all three. They are all CNM's and the owner has rights to deliver at two local hospitals as well. Due to my husband's work schedule, we often had appt's on Tuesdays, and as a result we often saw who I will refer to as Midwife C. C appeared "hands off", but we experienced very little education. Our visits were often 10 minutes, a quick listen on the doppler, a measurement, and then to ask if we had questions. There was little direction on any holistic things to prepare my body that I know about from mothering forums, including RRL tea, EPO and other items that some mother's try and some do not. We were also planning a home birth. This midwife NEVER remembered that we were a homebirth couple and this birth center only schedules two a month, so we were only one of two for March. Each visit she could never remember this. 


I had consistently had a baby that didn't move. We had started doing NST's weekly and each week it took longer and longer for her to respond on the heart monitor within the time frame. The last one took over an hour. We know now this is a sign of cord entanglement and compression. I told them constantly that I rarely felt her. When they sent me at 37 weeks for a BPP, no color doppler was done or ordered. This would have shown and detected the cord. It was not ordered and when the results were sent to C, she did not send me back over for a color doppler. During the last few weeks, she increased her amount of violent hiccups. I know now this is cord compression as well. I had lower blood pressure. This is a risk factor if there is already cord compression present. 


When we called her in labor, yet again she asked if we were going to meet her at the birth center. We had to remind her, not even 6 days after our last appointment, that we were at home. She discouraged us from having her come out and kept dropping hints that she was busy. She also said she would need to go by the birth center to get my chart before coming to our house. Friends who are midwives have commented that was unusual and that they typically have copies with them when they are on weekend rotation on call. 


For her first visit, she did an internal and did not ask consent to do a sweep. I remember thinking that I was "testing" her to see if she would ask first or just do it. She did and commented 'you aren't really dialated, you were barely a 1 and I probably made you a 1 just doing the sweep". 


I was having contractions every 3-6 minutes often lasting up to 2 minutes, which obviously little dilation, and hours of diarhhea. So we're looking at some atypical labor here. She instantly suggested nubain, I consented. She did not listen to the heart beat of the baby DURING a contraction or through a contraction, and she listened for around 10 seconds. She did not evaluate me after administering nubain and did not take my blood pressure to see if I might have had a decrease and needed naloxone. 


She leaves, I sleep for around 2 hours, and wake up to begin vomiting. I continue this throughout the night and I know this is another sign of my body preparing. I also start losing my plug. I cannot keep liquids down and feel very dehydrated. Midwife C is called to come back approx 10 hours after she left to administer fluids. It takes over 2 bags before I even feel the urge to pee. She does not take my blood pressure. She listens to the baby, again a quick listen, not through a contraction. We commented the heart rate was lower than normal, much lower, around 110 instead of her usual 160. We were told this was fine. We know now this could have been a sign that my decreased blood pressure was impacting hers. 


She does not ask about fetal movement. She again administers nubain and now phenergan. Does not evaluate and watch for blood pressure, and she leaves. She does not call or check in with us for the rest of the day. She leaves around 2pm and we do not hear from her. She does not indicate that I might need to be checked at the hospital after dehydration. She does not offer any signs or follow up care to my husband to watch. 


The next morning at 5am we call and tell her that I've had excrutiating contractions all night that made me begin to demand a c-section, come hell or high water. We know now that my daughter had died and was essentially sitting in my pelvis, placing constant pressure and obviously cannot move or respond to contractions. When we call, instead of even listening to our question, she answers with "Hi, I'm not on call anymore, Call Midwife A". And hangs up. 


3 hours later we discover at the birth center that there is no heart beat. We had heard it less than 24 hours before. 


When I was induced later that day, when I was on pitocin and had reached 9 centimeters, I remember telling my doula and my husband that what I had been feeling the night before was 10x worse than unmedicated, ready to push, pitocin induced labor. 

post #2 of 20

hug2.gif I think I would report. Even if she hadn't been neglectful, shouldn't a peer to peer review be in order when something like this happens? I am not a birth prof but as a mother I would want to know that my midwife was taking this very seriously.

post #3 of 20

I am so very sorry. If your MW was CNM you should report to her to the Nursing Board ASAP. I would also contac attorney to see if there is malpractice case.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've also found that she was suspended once in Oklahoma, although it was not as high of a level of neglect, but she pre-filled paperwork and she had  temporary suspension

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I also just currently found that she was employed at a birth center in town that I avoid like the plague.


I also just found another board sanction where this midwife is on a 2 year probation period for neglect during labor where she administered cytotec, sent the patient home with no monitoring. She forgot the client was diabetic and did not test her blood sugar. She forgot the client was only 37 weeks instead of 38 and induced. 

post #6 of 20
Absolutely report her. She should be carrying liability insurance, so if it is found that she was negligent then you might be able to get a settlement.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
The settlement wouldnt come from the state board though right?
post #8 of 20

No, state boards don't pay settlements.  Settlements would be awarded by a court or an insurance company, or as part of an out of court settlement.  They'd be paid by the midwife or her insurance.


If this midwife is currently on probation, you have a pretty major complaint against both her and the birth center, and I would consider it a public service for you to file a complaint and pursue disciplinary action through the licensing authority.  You may want to talk to a malpractice lawyer about your options.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Need honest input on if we should report our CNM for neglect during labor (Stil

We were told that our state will not prosecute for malpractice of stillbirth because she was not a living human. Even if negligence caused her death, she "never really lived".

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
post #10 of 20



I am so sorry for your loss.  I would definitely report this midwife.  From what you wrote, it seems like a case of gross negligence.  Again, I am so sorry.

post #11 of 20
She again administers nubain and now phenergan.


At home?

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yes, at home, with no monitoring of either the fetus, or my blood pressure 

post #13 of 20

Mama, I'm so sorry for your loss. hug2.gif I'm not a birth professional but I would report her for sure. I think that what we don't have at our disposal at home by way of interventions HAS to be made up for with focused midwifery care. I'm so sorry. 

post #14 of 20
I am really feeling for you. It sounds like you would like to report her. I personally would do my best to keep her from practicing anymore. It will take a lot to go through an investigation. I hope you are getting good emotional support. Your doula is not in a capacity to be your support right now as she is in trauma as well. I am going to recommend the best trauma specialist for birth I know. Pam England who wrote Birthing From Within is also a highly skilled, educated birth story therapist. She is not pro or anti anything. You can reach her at bfwnewmexico.com or call her at 5052430045, she does phone sessions. I wish health, healing and whatever sense of justice you can get.
post #15 of 20

Even if they do not prosecute for the death , you still should file a compliant with a Nursing Board because nursing board can sanction for not following standarts of care.

post #16 of 20

Report her.


I'm so sorry this happened to you. You had every reason to trust that your midwife was giving you adequate care, and form what you've said it sounds like she wasn't. Following through with whatever you may need to do to report her may help give you a sense of closure, and can help prevent this happening to another family.

post #17 of 20

I would report her. She definitely wasn't following the standards of care. 

post #18 of 20

I'm so sorry for your loss. 


I would not only report her but create a website with your story. This isn't just a case of an honest mistake, it sounds like someone who is lazy, incompetent and has no intention of learning from this. 

post #19 of 20
I'm not a birth professional, but I'm appalled by the way she treated you and the obvious negligence on her part. Repeatedly forgetting that you were one of two homebirth clients for the month, administering nubian and then leaving without adequately monitoring you and baby, and inducing a former client because she forgot how far along she was? Unacceptable! I don't think this woman has any business practicing midwifery!
post #20 of 20

Lashlock, I'm so sorry for your loss. candle.gif  I'm also not a birth professional but if I were in your situation I would report her. Sending support your way. hug2.gif

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