It took a few years before I could really explain this story in detail. It took years before I truly understood what happened to Tanner and I at Miami Valley Hospital. And once I thought I really understood, I would find out more information that infuriated me!
How do hospitals and obstetricians get away with things like this? Americans are conditioned to trust their doctors, and we should be able to. Even after my the tramatic birth of my son I still went to this OB. I still believed he had my best interest at heart.
4.5 years later, 6 months into my second pregnancy, I requested a copy of my birth record. Mainly to see if there was any information in there that might be beneficial for my midwife. Imagine my suprise to find a report of lies. Below you will find a copy of my birth record, specifically I have copied the report of mine and my sons condition at birth. There are also pictures of Tanner that are graphic in nature. If you chose not to view these photos please stop where I indiciate a warning that photos are below.
The interventions started at about 38 weeks. I was told that I should expect “a big baby”. I had an ultrasound and they told me that the baby was already measuring at 9 lbs. My doctor recommended induction. I had my membranes stripped twice, which did nothing.
At 40 weeks, I was impatient like many pregnant women. The doctors had warned me that my son was measuring quite large (10 lbs). I was 2 cm dilated and had been for 3 weeks. I decided to go ahead with the induction. I showed up Tuesday at 5 pm and was given cervidil to sleep on so that I woke up with a nice soft cervix. That never happened. I didn’t sleep that night, Tanner kept rolling off the monitors and the nurses would not leave me alone. All day Wednesday I was not progressing. They gave me pitocin. They gave me more pitocin, more pitocin, more pitocin. Somewhere in the middle of the pitocin, I was given nubain which made me feel awful. Then more pitocin. Then they stripped my membranes again, because I wasn’t dilating. Eventually I got to 4 cm about 1 pm on Wed. At that point, I received my epidural – which, of course, lead to more pitocin. Sometime afterward, they broke my water. I slept the rest of the day, through the contractions, through everything. I remember being SO thirsty and begging in the nurse for apple juice. She kept telling me you cannot drink while you are in labor because they might have to give you a c-section.
I woke up about 8pm on Wed evening. I was 9cm dilated. The nurse checked me and said she felt that the baby was in an awkward position; specifically she said she thought she felt an ear. I was sent for an ultrasound. My son was “face present” meaning he had locked into my pelvis coming out face first. Face presentation births are pretty rare, but even more rare is the fact that he was coming out lips first. I was told that I would need a C-Section. My worst fear.
My OB/GYN arrived at that time and the nurse told him she was prepping me. I was mortified. Thank God I spent the last 6 months stressing to my Doctor that I was NOT having a C-Section. He told me that I could have a vaginally delivery but I would need to be prepared to have a bruised up baby “Nothing serious, nothing permanent”. My friend was present during my birth that happened to work in the NICU at the hospital. They wanted a NICU nurse present “just in case” so she hand selected two of the best NICU nurses.
I recall asking why this happened and not really getting a good answer, other than “the baby just happened to descend into the birth canal this way.” To be honest the staff did a great job of not alarming me.
I started pushing at 12am Thursday morning. That’s right, Tuesday….Wednesday…. Thursday morning. After 10 minutes of pushing, the nurse flew across the room, hit the emergency button, and I heard my OB cut me, 3 times, snip. snip. snip. (This is contradictory to what my hospital records report) And out came a baby. I didn’t feel my episiotomy, but I heard it. I would argue that hearing your vagina being cut open might be as awful as feeling it. I didn’t see Tanner. I remember looking up to try and see him and seeing my OB cut the cord. I was mad because my mom was supposed to do that. Oh well, too late now. They took him to the other side of the room and in a blink of an eye there were 6 NICU nurses working on my angel. There were so many people and my epidural was wearing off. My OB started stitching me up. It was painful. Stitches were the most painful part of the entire experience. After a few minutes I realized my son wasn’t crying. My mom knew he wasn’t breathing, she saw him, she knew what he looked like, but I didn’t. My mom was trying to find a way to comfort me. She was antipating having to tell her daughter that her first born child just died. She did a great job of keeping me distracted. There was so much chaos. Tanner was resuscitated after 10 minutes and started nursing immediately despite his poor face. He is my angel.
I will never again be induced unless it is medically necessary. Tanner was not BIG. He was 7.6 lbs. He was not overdue. In fact, despite them “measuring me at almost 41 weeks” they think he was 37 weeks gestation. I was in labor for 30 HOURS.
All of the interventions caused further problems.
The doctor told me after that having my water artificially broken resulted in the face presentation, because Tanner descended too quickly. This was during a routine post partum visit. And mentioned quite casually. In 2013 when I mentioned having a home birth he told me that because I had already had a face presentation baby that it would likely happen again. The story changed.
The episiotomy resulted in me having a 4th degree cut with 46 total stitches. Literally the stitches are all the way to my anus. The scar still causes me pain 4 years later.
They cut the cord before Tanner was stable which resulted in them spending 10-15 minutes resuscitating him.
They also put an internal fetal monitor on. In the second picture (below) where he was not as purple you can see the cut in the middle of his forehead from the internal monitor. He also had abrasions on his eyelids where they missed his forehead with the monitor. Had his eyes not been closed they could have very well made him blind because the monitor sliced both lids.
I spent the next week with the most terrible epidural withdraws.
My son almost died from NOTHING OTHER than my decision to let the doctors induce me and a series of piss poor medical interventions.
Here is a copy of relevant information from my birth records. Here you will see that they reported an APGAR score of 8 when Tanner was born. Compare this APGAR score to the first picture below. Are you telling me that this child has an APGAR of 8? (A score of 7, 8, or 9 is normal and is a sign that the newborn is in good health.) While the birth record indicates that a resuscitation team was in attendence, the delivery comments state that once the mouth and nose were suctioned there was a “vigorous cry”. The report also states that my child was born over my “intact perineum”. There is no record here of my 4th degree episiotomy resulting in 46 stitches. And finally “mother and baby both doing well.”
This report was entered at 2:01am, just 27 minutes after my son was born, and just 10 minutes after they were done resusciating him.
I first read my birth records in July 2013. My son was born in January 2009. I contemplated revisiting my OB and asking why this report did not reflect the accurate story but I am not convinced I would receive any answer worth my visit to his office. I have made the decision to not seek any type of explanation from the OB who delivered my son because I have gotten no where going that route. I am currently expecting our second child in November 2013 with my absolutely wonderful midwife. I will be having a home birth with my second little boy and am hoping that experience leads me to place of healing.
My motivation for creating this blog and story is simply to help other women see the ugly side of inductions and make better decisions.
When you know better, you do better.
The following are pictures of Tanner after his birth. They are somewhat graphic and may disturb some sensitive viewers. However, as they are a real and valid part of this birth, I would like to share them. Please feel free to stop reading now, if you do not want to see the pictures.