Katie's Story - McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario

September 2016 - Even as a little girl playing with my dolls, I knew I wanted to be a mom. So when it took my husband and I over 2 years to get pregnant, it was devastating to say the least. After a intrauterine fibroid removal surgery and months of calculating ovulation, we were so happy to get pregnant with our son. 

Little did I know the pregnancy would be extremely hard or more painful than the labour.

I was sick the whole 9 months could barely eat anything without feeling nauseous. My doctors did little to help and when I was admitted at McMaster for what they thought was a bladder infection, I knew this was not going to be a fun experience.

The typical ‘medical help’ was to offer drugs and send me home before I was ready. My OB's barely knew my name. I felt like just a number and my baby too.

I had a week left of work before my nice relaxing few weeks off before my ‘actual’ due date. Saturday night... after a nice day in Niagara, I start to bleed. I was having cramps all day but this was my first baby so I didn't know these were significant contractions.

Worried and very anxious we rushed to McMaster.

They came at me with a few hard metal instruments (which was the most painful thing of my whole birthing experience) and determined that I was 4cm dilated and also that I was bleeding because they ‘thought’ I had a placental abruption.

I continued to bleed throughout my entire labour. The nurses monitored my son but I had a gut feeling that action should be taken to get him out. They let me labour for hours, while still bleeding. The epidural worked wonders so I didn't feel a thing.

Pushing went very fast and my beautiful son was born. He was perfect. 7pounds at 4 weeks early. Our big handsome boy.

Our joy and happiness was short lived as I was now bleeding like a tap and the doctor couldn't stop it. My husband fainted at the sight and my own mother feared for my life. She suffered PTSD for weeks after. I don’t remember, but she said there was blood everywhere. She had to wash her shoes afterwards.

To give an idea of how much blood I lost... I was severely anemic for almost 1 and 1/2 years after having my son. My hemoglobin was so low they weren't going to release me.

But this is when the most heartbreaking thing happened. I wasn’t even clear to be released and we were told my son was lowest priority in the neonatal unit and was being transported to St. Catherine's, an hour or so away from our home.

My husband and I were devastated I contacted the hospital management and filed a complaint. But this did nothing. They took him without our expressed consent.

Three weeks later, living in a hospital, trying to heal and unsuccessfully trying to breastfeed, we finally got to take our beautiful son home. His only issue at birth from what we were told was that he could not digest milk yet. He was tube fed.

He was the healthiest little pumpkin until 7 months when a whole new journey began. Our son has medicine resistant epilepsy. He has 30 to 50 seizures a day. And I believe in some way our substandard care at his birth is a main contributor to this.

Our journey continues...

Submitted by Katie