Saturday, September 24, 2011

The uninformed patient

Two years ago, October 21st, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I truly enjoyed my pregnancy with her, the good, the bad, and the ugly. In some strange way, despite all of the "ugly" that happened during my labor and birth, I enjoyed it as well. The pain was excruciating, but it had a purpose. I was about to meet the most precious gift I had ever received.

Fast forward to today and I still hold onto a lot of the trauma that occurred during my labor and delivery. Some things happened that absolutely should not have happened. One of the midwives who did not know me from Adam acted like an OB instead of a midwife. She didn't seem to care what I wanted and didn't even bother introducing herself to me. It would take a very long blog and maybe even a chapter in a book to explain what all went wrong; the unprofessionalism, lack of knowledge, lack of care. But for right now, I need to get one thing off of my chest about the delivery.

I had a prenatal appointment for my current pregnancy a couple weeks ago. My midwife, one that I really respect and trust and have connected with the most, sat me down to talk about my last delivery and strong desire for a natural birth. She informed me that my firstborn had shoulder dystocia, meaning that her shoulder got stuck under my pubic bone and they were close to having to break her collar bone. This could have caused my child nerve damage, paralysis, or brain damage due to lack of oxygen from being constricted. It all happened so quickly that I had no idea her shoulder was that stuck. The midwife should have told me what had happened while I was in the hospital. I should have known for my own sake, but also to look out for any nerve damage/lack of movement in her arm. But I wasn't informed. My midwife, during the appointment, also needed to let me know that because it happened with my previous child, it is more likely to happen again.

I was heartbroken and I spent the most of the next week or so crying. This was my labor and delivery. This was my body. This was my child. I had the right to know what happened and that it might happen again. Instead I had to wait nearly two years to find out. It makes me sick to think that a medical professional would not take the time to tell her patient what had happened to her and her child.