Max's Birth - Our Little Angel By Christina Ullberg - Harrison Print
Birth Stories - Complicated Birth Stories
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 08:58
I am 38 years old. This was my third pregnancy (we have no children). We choose what we thought was the best private hospital for the best care because this time everything was going to be ok.

My pregnancy was normal apart from my slightly high blood pressure. I had an amniocentesis at 16 weeks: no fetal abnormalaties detected.

Thursday the 6th of May 1999, I worked a normal day and felt fine. Late afternoon I experienced some light cramps so I called the hospital and was advised to stay at home and see how events progressed. After a while, the hospital returned my call and asked me to come in for an assessment due to my slightly raised blood pressure.

On leaving the house my waters broke releasing a large amount of clear fluid. During the 22 min journey, I had four very strong contractions. We arrived at the hospital at 00:37 on the 7th. The midwife met us and told us that my doctor had been informed that I had gone into labour. I was taken into the delivery room and an external fetal heart monitor was attached. I was in great pain and asked after my booked epidural (this I never got).

A vaginal examination was carried out and we were both informed that the baby was healthy and I was 8cm dilated and we would have a baby soon. I was then given a shot of pethadine, my dress was removed and replaced with a hospital gown.

Terry (my husband) noticed that the heartrate dipped and the midwife confirmed that this was normal. They started to move me from side to side. The heart rate was either intermittent or low so the midwife decided to attach a fetal scalp monitor, this took app. 3-4 min. The heartrate was now almost permanently low so the midwife decided to call the doctor.

After 20 min the doctor walks in and after donning gloves and gown he carried out an examination. I was moved onto my back and my heals were placed in stirrups and my bladder was emptied as part of preparation for an assisted delivery. The forceps were placed around Max's head and a huge episiotomy was carried out.

After three pulls Max was delivered. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and I wanted to hold him so much and still do. He was 55 cm long and weighed 3610 gr. The cord was wrapped around his neck three times and once around his abdomen. He did not breath. They proceeded to resusitate him. Then he was placed in an incubator and after two hours he was sent to another hospital.

Meanwhile I was feeling faint and my blood loss was estimated to be 2 liters. My doctor was stunned and lost for words. Any nurse that entered the room just stopped and stared. After a while my doctor started to repair the damage and then another doctor was requested because I was still bleeding badly. The doctors agreed that I should be taken into theater for further surgery.

Max was born at 0150 and I had to wait until 0600 before I went into theatre. I was the only patient in the hospital and my doctors only delivery that month and he couldn't be bothered to get out of bed sooner.

At midday I was taken on a stretcher in an ambulance to see our Max. The doctor there informed us that Max had been deprived of oxygen for about 50 min and as a result had suffered extensive brain damage leading to convulsions. The amount of damage was not known at this time due to the fact that Max was heavily sedated.

Subsequently Max did not recover and the damage to the brain was almost complete. Max passed away in our arms on the 15th of May 1999.

We have been back to my hospital asking them to tell us what happened. My doctor says "I can't tell you because I was not there but I would'n allow it to happen again". The pediatrician who has not seen me says over the phone "You are suffering from post natal depression and need medicacion, go and see a GP" The midwife that delivered me left the country the following day. The others say I should forget about what happened and focus on getting better.

In order to have a doctor explain my file to us we have to take the hospital to court. Life is very difficult for us at the moment. We have moved house, my best friend and next door neighbour was pregnant at the same time. She delivered a month after me and then the doctor plus the c-section team just happened to be there. They have there little boy.

I had to give up work because I can't face people. Christina & Terry