Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies


Near Miss


Thursday, 20 November 2008

My little fighter

My pregnancy was perfect – ironically I didn’t even know I was pregnant. There was a shortage of midwifes and I had a choice between 3 hospital midwives or one independent midwife. At the hospital it would vary on which one I would get so I chose the independent midwife. I did everything right in my pregnancy; no alcohol, ate right, everything.

I went into labour a few days after my due date. It was very slow with contractions every 15 minutes. Even though it was slow my partner and I were very new at this so rang and midwife early morning. She said ‘great but wait till things speed up’.

Later that day she came to examine me, and I hadn’t dilated.

The contractions went on like this for 3 days. I didn’t really sleep as I kept getting woken up by the 15 min apart contractions. I remember asking my midwife ‘will this go on for days?’ – ‘no’ she said ‘ you will have the baby soon’ but the contractions didn’t speed up.

The contractions began on monday night at 10pm. By Thursday at about 4pm my partner rang the midwife and said we were both worried how tired I was and even if the contractions got faster, I wouldn’t be able to push my baby out.

We also felt like we were pushed towards a natural birth and to avoid any intervention.

I went into the birthing suite. I was put on serotonin, and given an epidural. My waters were eventually broken by a doctor and they realised scar tissue had been holding one side of my cervix shut and so that’s why I wasn’t dilating.

By Friday lunch time I was taken into the theatre and told to push. The doctor left the room for 20 minutes to ask another doctor if he should use forceps?? In that time Alex went into distress, turned to posterior, and started to go back up the birth canal. The doctor ran in and realised he needed to get him out. Alex came out with a massive cerebral haematoma and spent 8 days in the neonatal ward.

Thankfully, Alex is fine. He has a 5% chance, as opposed to 1% in other children, of having a fit or seizure but is doing well and is a ‘normal’ baby. I suffered from PND and cried for a lot of his first weeks of life.

Both my husband and I are so glad he will never remember his birth.


Red Flags

        RED FLAGS

  • Lack of monitoring
  • “Normalising” the abnormal
  • Lack of action/delay in getting emergency care
  • Going over due date
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Meconium-stained liquor (waters)
  • Lengthy handover during emergency
  • Inconsistent reporting and documentation
  • Your concerns being ignored

    Click here to read more about common warning signs


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