Chloe's Story - Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa

2015 - I was 17 years old about to have my first child. I went to the hospital after having my membranes swept and was in full blown labour. I got my epidural and continued to progress. Everything was great until it was time to push. I pushed for 2 hours and finally they called the doctor who used forceps and vacuum (I would later be told is horrible practice and never to use both) finally after another hour of trying to force my 8 pounder out, I was given an episiotomy and my daughter was sent right to the NICU with serious trauma to the head and trouble breathing. She was 38 weeks and totally healthy but would spend the next 48 hours in the NICU with a huge bubble of water and blood on the back of her head. 

2018 - I also went to Queensway to have my second child. When giving birth they only froze half my body with the epidural, kept giving me shots of extra every 20 minutes with a syringe because the drip wasn’t freezing my right side, so my left side was totally numb. For 24 hours I could barely walk without limping because of how much drug was going to that side. I was given pitocin because after my epidural, I stopped dilating. She kept upping my pitocin so much that I went from 6 - 10 centimetres in 45 minutes. The nurse was always leaving the room which I found weird cause with my first I always had a nurse with me but she wasn’t even in the room when I felt the head coming out. I looked up at my friend and said "Go get the nurse!" with panic. She had to run down the halls searching for a nurse or doctor WHEN THEY KNEW my daughter who was 34 weeks gestation, WAS A PREEMIE AND NEEDED A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST ON SITE!

I was totally alone with my boyfriend and the baby's head coming out. I was literally crossing my legs bawling that she was coming and wouldn’t be able to breathe. The nurse came in so slowly and said, "It’s impossible you dilated that fast", then I opened my legs and she said "DONT PUSH!" and ran out to find the doctor who was ASLEEP!!!!!! My baby was out 5 minutes later. 

After delivery, I was high risk for hemorrhage and I had very low blood already. Close enough for a transfusion while pregnant but the nurse who was supposed to take care of me after delivery so I could go to Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario left me alone in the bathroom for 30 minutes to “pee" and no one knew if I was okay or not. No one checked on me until my friend came in to see 'cause she said it was too long, thinking the nurse was with me - no. 

We were transferred to CHEO for a week via CHEO Transportation Team because Queensway doesn’t take preemies with respiratory issues. They were AMAZing. But after being discharged, we were re-admitted to Queensway by our paediatrician for jaundice treatments. The evening nurse didn’t take any of the correct tests for her even when I had asked during the night if she was going to test and check her weights and jaundice. She said it wasn’t her job (this was the same nurse who had left me in the bathroom). The morning nurse told me to write a complaint 'cause this person does stuff like this often, but nurses can’t complain on other nurses, it’s better when we do. But new mothers are soooooo busy! I almost didn’t complain but I can’t imagine another woman going through that.

My birth experience with both my daughters was very traumatic. Instead of being the best day of my life, it was some of the worst because my girls were taken away with no bonding time, it killed me.

Submitted by Chloe