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

2002 - I was already overdue with my daughter and was showing signs of pre-eclampsia. When I finally went into labour, there was meconium present in my amniotic fluid. At that time I had agreed on a family doctor delivering my daughter, not an OB/GYN like I should've in the first place. He was late showing up and looked worn-out and disheveled in appearance.

As my labour progressed, it came to be that my daughter was facing the wrong way. She was face up and stuck in my pelvis. This was after pushing for 3.5 hours. I distinctly remember the doctor asking what he should do. He decided to try and use forceps but couldn't figure out to place them around her head and he couldn't figure out how to use the vacuum suction properly either. The nurses were frustrated at this point and decided to bring in Dr. Small - thank God he showed up. He actually had to cut me open end to end, apply both forceps and vacuum and literally pulled her out of me. She had to be suctioned out since she had inhaled the meconium in her lungs. After 355+ stitches inside and out, I was placed in recovery.

Maybe two hours went by and I started to feel unwell and proceeded to vomit everywhere. I realized I was sitting in a pool of something very, very warm. When I rang for the nurse she came in, took one look and immediately called for assistance. My daughter was wheeled out. I was laid flat and had nurses shoving hands inside me to massage my uterus. It turns out that warm feeling was me hemorrhaging blood. I was wheeled into emergency surgery to find out I had placenta still inside and my daughter should've been a C-section for safer delivery.

I had to have two blood transfusions, stitches removed and replaced, plus I became anemic. Two to three days after my surgery, my daughter turned blue and was found to have irritated lungs due to the meconium. She had to be suctioned and placed in a warm incubator for 24 hours. It took 6+ months just to recover internally and physically. Thankfully my daughter hasn't seemed to suffer any real trauma from her delayed birth. I went on to have 2 more children both boys and Dr. Small was my OB/GYN from about 6 months on, and my pregnancies were carefully monitored.

I made sure I had the same OB/GYN who delivered her and saved her life. I will always use Dr. small if I have another child. I'm always worried that her traumatic birth would impact her mind brain development. She's 15 and has only shown signs of anxiety disorder she was diagnosed as ADD as a young child, mind you. We also really struggled to bond in the first few years of her life, especially right after birth with my own medical issues.

I don't think that doctor was experienced in dramatic birth experiences and he should've mentioned that right away if he was worn out, exhausted, inexperienced - whatever the case - instead of putting me in that situation. It was my first child and my only daughter and I was told at 19 it would be unlikely I would ever conceive. She was definitely a miracle.

I never heard of that doctor doing deliveries again and if so, not mine or anyone that I knew. There was a complaint made on him but I'm not sure of the outcome.

Submitted by Crystal