On October 17, 2013, I had a catastrophic delivery at a teritiary level hospital. It was our last effort after many losses. She was a long awaited hope in our lives after a stillborn daughter, Katelyn, a year prior and multiple miscarriages. It was a long carefully monitored pregnancy with constant reassurance that this would be the baby I would take home. During labour I started to have abdominal pain that was interpreted as regular labour pain. As well as many other signs and symptoms of distress that were ignored. I continued with labour even through my signs and symptoms. The pushing phase lasted three and half hours. During that time the situation went sideways, with admittedly neglected distress of the baby and myself. It was horrific. I knew there was something wrong with me physically, but no doctors or nurses were listening. When my baby was born she came out of me limp. I knew she was dead. How could this happen again? I watched her being resuscitated and whisked away by the emergency team as my husband and I were traumatized. The doctors then turned to me to manage my health crisis that was still undetermined. I laid there crashing while many doctors stood around me discussing the situation and trying to figure it out instead of reacting. I went to the ICU while our baby, Ireland, was in the NICU. I dreamed of holding her after the birth. Now I was fighting for my life and Ireland for hers. Ireland was resuscitated and treated for loss of oxygen to the brain. We were told it was the worst brain damage they had seen and as a result had severe cerebral palsy. They told us her life expectancy was infancy, which could be days, weeks or months. We were devastated. During this time I was very sick and had internal bleeding from a ruptured uterus, that was repaired 26 hours later. I lost several litres of blood and barely survived. My husband was petrified watching and knowing that either one of us could die at any moment. He lived at my side at the hospital while trying be a father for Ireland as well.
I was discharged home after two weeks with numerous complications, that I am still trying to recover from. Ireland remained in the NICU. I tried to visit her when I had the strength. At that point Ireland was determined to be palliative and transferred to Canuck Place children’s hospice. She lasted for only 10 more days and then we watched her pass at four weeks old with us at her side. The experience haunts me. It was and still is a nightmare. My husband and I both suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. We have a four year old daughter who has many concerns about death and heaven, that are beyond her age. I have many flashbacks of the birth, death and labour. My health is still challenged and I have been recommended to not have anymore children as the risk of having any more children would jeopardize both mine and my potential baby’s health.
There were multiple mishaps and mishandling of my labour and care. Anything that could go wrong went wrong. Our baby showed significant variables that were not picked up. The director of the obstetrics/gynaecology has admitted that the team and hospital failed on many levels. We have sought legal advice, which has been extremely frustrating. We have learned of the archaic legislation in Canada which does not allow us to seek any compensation for the death of our baby Ireland, even though there is admittance of failing. There is no accountability or consequence for the doctors involved in the death of her, and the loss of my health. Any victim of malpractice has limited options, as doctors are heavily protected even if wrong from the deep pockets of the Canadian Medical Protective Association. The victims have a uphill battle that taps out most peoples resources. Most lawyers recommend not suing, because the chance of winning is so slim. When you do win the numbers are not worth the effort. If my infant survived than we would have a multi million dollar case, as long as she remained alive with severe cerebral palsy.
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