Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies




Tuesday 17 February 2009

Our darling little boy Hunter was born on 17 February 2009, I was so glad the ordeal of labour was over and we finally had our baby boy. However when he came out we were shocked to realise that he was not breathing. Our midwife tried to resuscitate him – his heart rate came back up to over 100bpm within minutes – but it was too late, he had been without oxygen for too long and the damage was done. Our midwife of 15 years did not recognise the signs that he was in distress and lacking oxygen. The fault was in the lack of CTG monitoring and monitoring in general during the second stage of labour. I was at a birthing unit – perhaps if I had of been at the hospital where there were more resources and medical staff – we may have had a different outcome – we will never know for sure.

Hunter was taken up to the NICU and surrounded by ice packs and put on a ventilator. I did not get to see him until the next morning – as I had complications after giving birth and was in surgery for 5 hours. I woke up in the HDU with Hunter’s doctor telling my husband and I that he was not breathing on his own and probably never would. We had a decision to make, and only a small amout of time to make it. I was in shock and disbelief. How could this be happening? My pregnancy was perfect, I was fit, young and healthy – what the hell went wrong – what did I do wrong? After talking through options and all the possibilities with his doctor, we made the heart wrenching decision to disconnect his life support – this was done the following day in the afternoon. He looked so perfect – like a normal healthy newborn baby. We spent some time just looking at our beautiful little boy – we held him and hugged him and kissed him, and told him that we loved him. He was placed on my chest and then he slowly went away… I look at it now and think how lucky I was that I had the opportunity as his mummy to hold him and love him in his last moments. Some people don’t get that. I will remember those precious moments forever…

If I can give any advice to a new mum – have your baby at a hospital and if you have any doubts in the way your midwife is handling your birth – ask for medical intervention. Don’t be passive – be assertive – this is your baby’s life.

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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