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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i need opinions.
what would you do if the death of your baby at birth was due to the midwife failing to suggest transport or notice major screaming signs of an abruption? what about if she also failed to give you pitocin, and it was only by the grace of God you didn't bleed to death? what about if she then went on to misrepresent you to make herself look better on the birth records?
what about if she told you she wasn't practicing right now while she figured out if she should be doing births, but you find out she is right back in the game and not disclosing anything about what happened to her potential and current clients (although legally she is supposed to) ?

i feel like i am drowning in mud right now. i don't want to think about thisstuff- but it is becoming more glaringly obvious....
 

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Well, mine was a homebirth when I abrupted. We flew to the hospital. I had minor bleeding - actually just perhaps a tiny bit more than this time, when the bleeding I had (looked the same in the hospital toilet) was actually a sign, a normal sign, of cervical change.

We flew to the hospital when we failed to hear the heartbeat. The blood and very intense contractions I was having were not out of the range of normal, you see.

I say this with the greatest of care, mama - the greatest of care: what happened to you and I is actually an obstetrician's greatest nightmare in a hospital setting. It also happened to my mother in hospital even, and they still lost my brother...

I say it's an obstetrician's greatest nightmare because complete abruptions are pretty much "curtains" for the mother, the baby, or in quite a number of cases, both. Placental abruptions are extremely hard to see, most of the time, on the ultrasound even when they're in full swing - you think it'd be easy, but it's not. Bleeding can be mild, or it can be severe - or there might (like with my mother) be no bleeding at all. Severe bleeding in childbirth can signal a placental abruption, or something else. By the time the severe bleeding has started, it basically means the placenta is mostly off and the blood is coming from you, and from the baby as well. At that point, you have probably under ten minutes to get the child out.

Had I been in hospital when we lost Josie, the same outcome would have prevailed - or indeed - I may actually have died. I was only 3cm dilated when we got to the hospital. Had I gone in at 3cm, bleeding slightly, they would have sent me home for not being dilated enough to be admitted. It's very lucky I had my midwife with me, with a doppler because if I'd been alone, I would never have known my baby was in trouble and would probably have bled to death in my bathroom...

Had I been in hospital, the OB on call (once the abruption was noted - which would probably have been once they themselves lost the heartbeat) would have had about 3 minutes (no lie, 3 minutes) to get the baby out. I had an emergent cesarean, in an attempt to save the baby, and that took 8 minutes to cut through and get her out - and by then it was too late. A 3 minute cut-to-baby-out cesarean is damn near impossible and the problem is, by the time they get the baby out, the baby has already lost all it's blood...

...and then mama, you have to consider, how this baby is going to live with no blood. And then you have to give a transfusion...but there's no clotting factor left...so the baby still bleeds...and the mother does too... My mother actually died from blood loss on the delivery room bed, because she lost her clotting factor along with her blood. They had to restart her heart three times, and they read her the last rites. She did live in the end but it was an extremely close call.

So I say all of this because believe me, I've been over and over and over it. This time as I sat on the hospital toilet, dilating, watching the blood come out, I was reminded so strongly of Josie's labor that I had to mention it to my midwife when I saw her next: the amounts were the same. It was really striking and really put everything I'd been thinking about into perspective.

So mama, what we've both been through...I kid you not...no lie, is probably one of, if not the most catastrophically bad thing that can happen in labor, really. It's sudden, unpredictable, and a complete abruption is simply devastating to mother and child. It's just bad. We're both really, really, really lucky to be alive. I look at Bella and wish I could have kept them both, but going over and over it in my head, the glaring thing for me, at least, is that no matter what I'd have done differently, Josie would still not be here...

I hope that my words don't stir anger in you: your situation, after all, is not mine, but, I felt compelled to write because sometimes, these things have the tendency to tear us apart inside as we look for reasons why we lose our children and try to mend, in our hurt, human ways.

*HUGE huge hugs and so much love you to, my friend* XxXxX
 

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No real advice....just another scenario of what seems like a godawful error....My son was still born on Earth day of last year. Tiny and perfect, and gone. No reason. Just gone. I almost died that night due to an allergic reaction to morphine. (I HAD told them that I didn't do well with even aspirin...I'm really sensitive...but...no, they went ahead and dosed me up with Morphine even though I had only asked for a Tylenol, so I got to see a golden field with my baby in it....yeah...that's death alright.) A month later, I began to hemmorage badly. REAL badly. I got to die again due to massive blood loss. I also got to see that golden field...and my baby...only he looked different. I figured that a spirit must be able to look like whatever they want, and didn't think much about it. Until they told me I'd had twins. And that my twin, who had been taken out in parts with a D and C, was a boy. Nice.

I could have died from blood poisoning. I DID die from blood loss.

The mismanagement was UNBELIEVABLE to me. I could NOT understand HOW a woman could be carrying a dead child inside of her, and no doctor thought to do a simple ultrasound after the stillbirth, to make SURE that there wasn't a piece of placenta left behind. That SIMPLE procedure would have revealed a lot MORE than a piece of placenta....a WHOLE BABY in fact.

But....even though I was deathly weak for over two months, with two babies lost, and a grief that continues 9 months later....I know that they just....made a mistake. There's really no one to blame about it. In the end, they saved my life when I was bleeding to death. In the end...my babies were dead already. In the end....I'm still here....

I am SO very sorry for your loss. What a terrible loss....and it must seem so terrible raw and unnecessary.

I really second what Jay said.. She is one of the wisest women I've met on this journey of pain.

Many tender thoughts to you....I wish life never included this option in anyone's path. because it sucks. and it's awful. and ugly.

((HUG))
 

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If she missed major signs, is lying to new clients, messing with your birth records to cover herself then, if you feel like it, something needs to be done. She needs to be looked at by the licensing board to ensure that she doesn't miss something else for another mom.

Whether or not your child could have been saved even if you transferred at the first sign of trouble is beside the point - you and your baby were never given the chance for advance medical care and life saving treatment.

If you feel the need to pursue this talk to a lawyer. A lawsuit might not be the only answer - the lawyer can explain what options you have to report her to the state. If she is not competent someone needs to know about it. It is not fair to future moms and babies to not have the full story of her abilities to provide care for them. We hire our birth attendants to be the experts when bad things happen.

I'm so sorry. I understand your feelings (we are also considering a lawsuit). It can be so heavy to know that others messed up - not just human error but messed up because of incompetence or just because they are in a hurry, distracted, etc. If they were on top of their game there's always a chance.

We have dear friends who lost their 26 year old son. They are also ministers. I asked what they would have done if they knew their son could have been saved on three occasions before his death (that's what we've been told by the doc that reviewed our records - she said perfectly healthy baby if they had just noticed obvious distress). The dad told me he would be mad as hell. He said he couldn't tell me what they would do because they weren't in our shoes and to do whatever brings us peace. He said there is nothing wrong with "going after them." I appreciate his honesty because I value his opinion. They are two of the wisest people I know.

I'm not considering this out of vengeance. I struggle and don't want to make anyone's life more stressful (I can imagine what it would be like from their side). But, I want justice and I want change in the way they practice. I don't want anyone else to have to go through what we went and are going through. We're all adults and if we go forward the experts can work it out. I want more answers and change. It will not bring my son back and it won't solve any grief but it will help me sleep knowing that I might have saved another family from this heartache.

You do what you need to so you can find peace. Many hugs!
 

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I would start by reporting the MW to her licensing board. Whether or not you decide to sue, it is important that other moms are protected. I would advise you to speak with an attourney experineced in malpractice. Theywill be able to review all your records and advise you about your options.
 

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Liz, I've been reading your blog and following this, and I would absolutely report the midwife you used. Falsifying medical records is a crime, and if SHE did not feel guilty, she would not alter the record. You don't need to wash what is already clean. Not administering pitocin is absolutely inexcusable. If you know that a baby died from placental abruption, you *have* to be thinking that mom is at risk and make sure you've got pit ready.

I mean, I can kind of understand why a midwife wouldn't want to frighten clients by bringing up that placental abruption can happen at home and actually happened to a client. But a large part of why you bring a midwife into a home birth is because she is supposed to have the judgment to know when you do NOT belong at home, and there was *no* attempt at timely transfer here. I don't know what screaming signs of abruption she missed, but if she missed the signs with you, she could easily miss them with someone else and that person doesn't know that her judgment is lacking.

I would pursue whatever avenues were available to me to ensure that a midwife who missed an in labor emergency by that much and my baby died as the result of it was not continuing to attend births. I would want to avoid a lawsuit if possible, but this is what professional bodies exist to remedy.

I will keep you in my prayers. I am so so sorry that this happened to you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you all for your responses. i am filing a complaint with the midwifery board. My midwife does not carry insuarance, so there will not be a lawsuit. it is just so yucky revisiting all the facts , only to be left with certainty about the death of Aquila not being some random thing, but a direct result of poor care...
my abruption was classic- she had hearttones in the 180-190s, i had a fever (101)and tetonic (nostop) contractions. i was bleeding (at some point the blood changed color as it became mixed with meconium-which the midwife said nothing about) and passed three blood clots, even though i was not dialting.
the signs were there for almost two hours, plenty of time to transfer.
my husband is so angry that it makes me even more sad-he isnt one to usually get angry.

and now, today i find out my sister in law is having a girl-and i feel crushed .i wanted her to have a girl with me back when i was pregnant, but now i feel so envious- and completely immature for my feelings...

i just want my baby back. i guess that is always what it comes back to huh?
 

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If you know any attorney's often times they can and will review the records on your behalf free of charge.

I am an attorney and the first thing that popped into my grieving head was that because they failed to do things my baby died. I did get all my records, I even wrote down everything I could remember.

The end result is no lawsuit, because there was a knot in the cord which could have caused her death, but all attorneys who reviewed it said there were issues of malpractice in the case.

I know a lawsuit was not what I wanted, because it would not give me back the one and only thing I wanted, my Isabella Elizabeth. But the one thing it might do/have done is prevent them from doing the same thing(s) to someone else. It also gave me a piece of mind, knowing that it was not my imagination that things were not right with the care, and I could with a clear conscious move on to a new provider and could tell people of my experience when asked recommendations about the old one.

My opinion is find a small law office, who will review your file/records and give you advice. Unfortunately, if you sue her, you wont get anything except maybe her ability to be a midwife revoked or the knowledge that this might not happen again to someone else.
 

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There was all THAT going on, and the midwife didn't say anything about transferring!?

I am so angry for you all, and so sad. It's incredible to me. Absolutely unbelievable in every sense of the word that a midwife wouldn't even mention that perhaps you ought to transfer because things weren't normal anymore. That is so wreckless and irresponsible on her part.

I am so sorry, Liz. Just so, so so sorry.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
thank you all for your responses. i am filing a complaint with the midwifery board. My midwife does not carry insuarance, so there will not be a lawsuit. it is just so yucky revisiting all the facts , only to be left with certainty about the death of Aquila not being some random thing, but a direct result of poor care...
my abruption was classic- she had hearttones in the 180-190s, i had a fever (101)and tetonic (nostop) contractions. i was bleeding (at some point the blood changed color as it became mixed with meconium-which the midwife said nothing about) and passed three blood clots, even though i was not dialting.
the signs were there for almost two hours, plenty of time to transfer.
my husband is so angry that it makes me even more sad-he isnt one to usually get angry.

and now, today i find out my sister in law is having a girl-and i feel crushed .i wanted her to have a girl with me back when i was pregnant, but now i feel so envious- and completely immature for my feelings...

i just want my baby back. i guess that is always what it comes back to huh?

Wow - gosh mama. Heart rate that high? Josie's was never that high. The terrible thing with her was that although in hindsight (which is a wonderful thing isn't it - she was my first birth, so I didn't even know what to expect as far as sensation went...) I had tetany from the very beginning of labor, with peaks of tetany for contractions: very excruciating. BUT I had no idea it wasn't normal!!

Her heart rate was nicely around 135 or so the whole time. Then it went down to 80 during one of the "peaks." We were on our way out of the door, when we did one last heart reading, and it was back up to about 135. So, we thought "well, it must have been the contraction" and I hopped in the shower. Got out of the shower and almost fainted on the toilet. Checked the heartrate again and...nothing. Though R still thought she heard a very faint sound. I just heard static. It was the most terrible moment of my life.

The awful thing was that the whole time, I just had small amounts of blood, cervical change-type bleeding. No meconium, nothing. The large blood came out as I was walking across the ER - well after she'd died.

You're right though: in the end, all we want are our babies back. That's impossible to have, and I don't know about you, but the impossibility of not having Josie back sometimes, in my darker times, just makes my heart feel like it's being pressed through a sieve...

It's at moments like this, that one wishes one were psychic, and that magical thinking and time machines really existed...

*HUGE hugs* XXXXX
 

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I second guess my midwife and myself.

But nothing is going to bring William back. And there was no clear negligence on her part.

However, if there really WAS clear negligence... I might have chosen differently.

I am so sorry. Just so sorry.
 

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I'm jumping in this late. We spoke to lawyers, but due to no insurance nobody would help us. We (and the police) had her falsified records. The "peer review boards" are a joke and did nothing but give us a hard time. The police wanted to charge her, but the county had tried two other times and she walked. She is still practicing. I just hope she hasn't killed any more babies.
 

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Hi Mamas,

I know I'm late responding to this but I just found it. I gave birth in the spring of 2009 and almost died due to the negligence of my midwife and the local hospital. It turns out she was also found negligent in 2008 and I had no clue. Please report your cases to your local Midwifery council. My Drs reported my midwife and she can no longer practice in the state. My life will never be the same, I'm sure most of you can relate. Hugs to all of you!
 
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