Tara's Story - McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton

February 10, 1999 - When I first got pregnant I wasn’t even aware I was and thought I had influenza - I was sick. Fast forward to my scheduled C-section and the nurses didn’t want to wait for my support person before doing the spinal block. Then I couldn’t breathe and the doctor said "Oh, you can breathe just fine." I really couldn’t.

When my daughter was born the doctor said “Oh not another stillborn” I was frozen from the chest down and I couldn’t do a thing! The doctor didn’t even close me properly and 3 of the staples ended up popping out. I let it go as I don’t hold grudges and went back to him for two more babies but my 5th child I could have choked this doctor! 

I had to cancel a scheduled C-section as we had a medical emergency with one of our other kids. The doctor called my home and says I will have a uterine rupture and me and my baby would die. I hung up and cried. When I went in two days later the nurses were all talking “that’s the girl who cancelled her section” then to - I guess - pay me back, one nurse attempting to start an IV tore through my vein and says, "You shouldn’t have moved now look what you did!" I was just baffled. She tried again and put a large bubble of saline under my skin. She then says "I just can’t work with you." A second nurse she comes in and gets it in 10 seconds. The nurses then inform my husband that he wouldn’t be able to attend the birth of our child because he was a smoker, so by that point I put my foot down and told them if he wasn’t in that OR with me I wasn’t there at all.

Both those experiences happened at McMaster. Thankfully my youngest son, born 2013, was delivered by a different doctor. If I could do it all over again I’d go the route of a midwife. Both times in the OR no one cared I was vomiting everywhere and would instruct my husband to do the needful and take care of me. The staff there honestly don’t care about the moms giving birth.

With my second child in 1999 I was a young single mother. In 2013 I was happily married and my doctor had said I should have had my tubes tied in 1999, but I said no.

I did give feedback later on with the support of my husband but they reversed it and made me the problem instead of taking responsibility.

It shouldn’t matter a person's background whether married or not and no doctor should say so openly they think someone had a stillborn. That moment alone devastated me. My baby didn’t die and for the most part was healthy. A persons age doesn’t determine if they are good or bad parents either. 

I think doctors, first of all, encourage far too many C-sections on women instead of encouraging VBAC. Doctors take on too many patients and have very little time off. There’s not enough nurses so nurses are overwhelmed and overworked which is why they lack in manners.

I don’t trust nurses and doctors like I used to. I used to say everyone has a bad day or makes mistakes. I don’t anymore. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone.

Submitted by Tara