Sierra's Story - Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, Orillia & West Parry Sound Health Centre

October 20, 2015, 10pm - I had a sudden burst of energy and discomfort. I let my partner go to sleep as I stayed up walking around restless, uncomfortable, not realizing I was in labour.

Fast forward to 4am, I wake him up and say something's weird we need to go in, so that we did. I live in Parry Sound, Ontario, so we went to the West Parry Sound Health Centre. Went in through emerge and found our way to the OB unit. I arrive at the desk and say I think I'm in labour where they lead me to a bed, strapped monitors on my belly and had me lay for an hour before coming in and demanding to do a physical.

I was in a lot of pain but they insisted they needed to do it so I agreed. The nurse told me I was 6cm dilated, but they then told me they wouldn't admit me in their hospital because I was small and if I needed a C-section they would not be able to do it.

I was a bit upset and uncomfortable but they insisted I go to Orillia VERY fast because they figured I was "progressing quickly." So I agreed thinking they were going to rush me by ambulance and notify them I was on my way down, only to find out they told me they were NOT going to do that and that I needed to drive down by myself, in my tiny car.

Furious at that news, but not wanting to waste another minute, myself my parents and my partner went on our way in the snow storm, on a 2 hour drive to Orillia Hospital. The drive was painful with contractions 1-2 minutes apart. I thought I was going to die.

I finally made it, I arrived to the desk and said "Hello, I am in labour I'm from Parry Sound, I need to be admitted." The woman at the desk gave me such attitude asking why I came to their hospital and why I wasn't co-operating with her questions properly. Then I waited in a waiting room for what felt like hours. Finally they brought me in to a birthing room and TOLD me they were doing a vaginal exam and to lay down.

For some reason it was very painful which I don't believe it should have been I was so close to 10, at that point they made it clear and pressured me and said that if I didn't get an epidural right then and there, that I could not change my mind, they belittled me and said I was little so I would feel every ounce of pain and that it wouldn't be good.

They keep talking and talking saying how bad it would be and how I couldn't do it until I finally gave in and said fine.

My contractions were bad. I was scared. I felt not ready, I was panicking, I felt like I couldn't breathe. The nurse kept telling me I was overreacting which upset me even more, I was to scared to ask any questions at that point because her comments upset me.

She was acting like I should know exactly what to do and expect even though this was my first child and experience.

Finally a student doctor came in to do my epidural, I wasn't comfortable with that idea but they insisted he do it because the real doctor was "busy with other patients" I looked at my mom scared and said "no, what if he messes up and hurts me?" to which the nurse snapped and said "it will be fine, you're wasting his time, are you getting it or not? If you don't you're gonna be sorry you didn't!" to which I said FINE.

He sat me down had me hug a pillow and began. I felt I was really irritating him because I was trying to be calm and breathe through my contractions when he told me to, but there was a few times when it was hard but felt I was doing great, he missed the first time and he told me so he needed to restart, at that point I was getting nervous and said "maybe this isn't for me" to which he said "what, can't hear you" then he said "oh it's in now" and told me not to move when I lay down or I could hurt myself which frightened me.

He then left and I continued to labour in my room. It finally came time to use the epidural so I pushed the button only to discover it only numbed HALF of my body (one side of my leg and belly) I called the nurse and her solution was that "I will be fine, it's too late now we have to make do with it" she then said she will come flip me every half hour to change which side is numb. I was so upset and it was terrible. One side of me was in terrible pain always.

I didn't understand but I didn't want to burden the nurse anymore after the ways she was making me feel. So I just went with it, I didn't feel in control of my labour at that point. NOTHING had went according to my written birth plan they the PROMISED they would follow, and I had been there for hours and my doctor who was delivering had not even been in to say hi or check on me.

Finally 3 hours after he came in and without telling me performed a vaginal exam and said "You are 10 cm, I am breaking your water to start pushing." and that's exactly what he did within a minute, then he left again for another hour and a half leaving me with the nurse who didn't even pay attention to me.

I was in a blood fluid soaked bed wondering what is happening and what is going to happen? Finally a different nurse comes in and says "Start pushing when I tell you and stop when I tell you to." Scared and confused, I started freaking out asking who she was and where my doctor was and why he wasn't there, to which I was silenced and told he had other patients and that I don't need to worry about that, I just need to get this baby out. 

So as I started pushing I was crying and emotional because I wanted my doctor but I also just wanted to hold my baby boy so I began pushing. After an hour of pushing my doctor came in for a whole TWO-MINUTES, said I was doing great and then left again for another hour, as I continued pushing.

After pushing with this nurse for 2 hours I was EXHAUSTED at that point I told her I can't, I'm done pushing I NEED my doctor in here. She told me I need to do this and that he isn't coming. We fought for 10 minutes, finally my mom went demanded to see him, to which he came 10 minutes later, he said "Wow you should have had this baby in a total of 40 minutes, everything looks great so I'm not sure what happening" so then he grabbed the forceps and he TOLD me "I am using these, they never fail. Push when I say." before I shouted "No, what are those?" they were in, it was so painful, I cried as I pushed when he said to push.

After 3 tries he took them out and looked at me said "weird they never fail, I can see your babies scalp and the forceps seem to have cut him on both sides, I'm sorry for that but they don't look too bad he won't need stitches"

I cried and all of a sudden monitors started going off like crazy, he looked at me and said stand up, I couldn't but he forced me. I was in so much pain I was crying and freaking out, then he started putting me in all these weird positions, on my knees, laying on my tubing, squatting until finally he screamed "code blue" and pushed the alarm button without telling me what was going on even though I asked millions of times. 

At least 30 doctors and nurses came rushing in. Two picked me out of my bed onto another and strapped my legs and arms down, I was fighting the straps because I didn't understand what was happening or why, they came and took me from my family I was screaming and crying so was my family as I got taken to a whole different room.

Still nobody said what was happening, a girl then hovered over my face as they ripped off my gown and said "breathe deeply" as she put a mask over my face as I screamed.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in a new room, terrified and unpregnant, not knowing what happened or if my baby was alive or where my family was. 

5 hours later of watching the clock and saying "hello?" the doctor came and said "We did a 4 minute surgery on you, your baby is in the ICU, congratulations." 

I later learned my baby DIED from the stress of forceps and needed to be cut out and resuscitated back to life.

After 6 hours, I met my son for the first time. It felt okay and like it was all over.... Until 5 days later when I went for an ultrasound after fainting and learning I wasn't closed properly and that my incision was infected and I needed to have a repeat c-section to get it all out.

My incision bursted open during the ultrasound and started bleeding everywhere to which she then just shoved a unsanitary towel in my incision...that was only the beginning of the other terrifying part of after birth and healing process and the 3 surgeries after with the terrible care at that exact hospital. I am traumatized.

How did it make you feel?  Traumatized, scared, hurt, invaded.

Did you provide feedback to your care providers? Yes, I was told I wasn't a special case and that they can't control what happens.


Submitted by Sierra Newton-Watkinson