Jesica's Story - St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

March 2007 - I started bleeding early that morning. Being 32 weeks pregnant, I was very concerned, So I made my way to the hospital. After a quick assessment in the ER, I was sent to L&D where they hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor. Almost immediately, it started to beep, warning that my baby was in distress. A nurse would come in and adjust the belt, push on my belly and it would stop.

I was told the doctor that was to deliver my baby was not available. I said "Deliver my baby???!!!! You cant! She is too early!!" Again the fetal heart monitor went off, the nurse adjusted the belt, pushed on my belly and it stopped. I was then told to relax, that they were waiting to hear from the available doctor. That they were not sure what would happen. I remember thinking, "how am I supposed to relax?!" 

This went on for SIX hours. Every few minutes, I was told not to worry, that it was just the belt shifting. There was so much blood. Every time I would move in the bed there would be a gush of blood. So for six hours I sat there. Alone. With the nurse coming every few minutes when the monitor would start beeping. I was young and scared, but I trusted that they knew what they were doing.

Around the same time that my Mum arrived, I was informed that my baby would be born that day. The whole time the fetal monitor was going off every few minutes. I could see the worry on my Mum's face. I was in shock. Finally the Doctor arrived, I was given drugs to start labour and they broke my water. My daughter was born shortly after. There was so much noise and confusion but as soon as she came out, it was silent. Immediately the nurse called a code and a bunch of people rushed in and whisked my baby away. I remember thinking "why isn't she crying?" I wanted to see her... I sat up and the room looked like a murder scene. There was so much blood. I wanted to see my baby but I was not allowed to get up. A while later I was told she was okay.

The details around this time are blurry but I was not able to see her until the next day. I found out later from my mum (should the hospital not have told me this?!) that she was born with no heartbeat, her skin was dark blue and I almost died. No one told me anything. All of my focus was on her. I didn't think to ask questions about my labour. She stayed in the NICU for a month but I didn't find out what happened until I saw my family doctor. I had a placental abruption. Why did they not do a c-section? My daughter was clearly in distress the whole time and they waited??!!

I don't know for sure why, but I sure did feel that they didn't care enough to explain things. I didn't give the hospital any feedback after. I was too focused on getting my baby well enough to come home. I had 3 kids at home and balancing the time between them and her, at the NICU, was very difficult.

We found out before her first birthday that she has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and also has a unilateral hearing loss that has progressed to profound (meaning that her ear doesn't work at all, even with a hearing aid) I cant help but think that this was caused by her delivery. No one is willing to say that though. Her whole life has been full of appointments and therapy. She has major GI issues and developmental delay but I am just so thankful that she is alive. Whenever I think about the whole ordeal I cant help but think why?

Submitted by Jesica