Lisil’s Story – Lessons to be learnt from my son’s death
I recall that fateful day in July 2010 when I first discovered that I was pregnant, and all the conflicting emotions that ran through my head over my forthcoming motherhood. Like most expectant mums I thought it was just a matter of enduring some inconveniences, being a bit uncomfortable for nine months, a bit of pain at the end after which I would be a proud mum with her child. Nothing that happened during my pregnancy, which was completely normal, led me to believe that anything could go wrong.Unfortunately about two weeks before my due date things started to go wrong when the midwife I had been dealing with throughout went on leave and I was given a replacement who only knew me as another number which ultimately had a bearing on my later problems.When I was eight days overdue I phoned the hospital staff telling them I was discharging “yellowy/brown substance,” and instead of calling me into the hospital for a physical check they just told me everything was fine and I should stay at home as this was only a show. This process was repeated several times over the next few days, and after a physical check and despite my waters having broken the midwife still sent me home stating this is still a show.
After enduring another eighteen hours of constant pain and two more telephone calls to the hospital where I was continually fobbed off by the midwives I was forcibly taken to the hospital by my family who were getting very concerned for my welfare. After one look at me the doctor realised that there was a problem and I was immediately rushed into the emergency theatre for a caesarean section where my son was delivered 5 minutes later but died soon after from the effects of muconium brought about by infection having entered my system after my waters broke.
After a time of bereavement I commenced litigation against the hospital for the negligence that I believe caused my son’s death. This is still ongoing, but as a direct result of the failures highlighted by my son’s case several of the procedures at the hospital have now been changed.
In July 2012 I fell pregnant again, however after many problems, a month in hospital and another caesarean section my daughter was born seven weeks premature which was only because of the most dedicated and extreme care offered to me by the hospital staff. This demonstrated what they can do when they want to, and was a total contrast to the treatment I received when my son died.
So when I visit my sons grave I wonder what could have happened had I been offered just the normal care and attention every expectant mother should expect instead of the neglect I received. Worse still when I cast my eyes to the left and see all the other tiny graves, that possibly could have been prevented, this is when I forget my own grief and come to realise that no amount of tears or individual court cases will ever resolve this scandalous problem. What we need is a full judicial inquiry into the happenings at the hospital maternity section to prevent so many more avoidable deaths being allowed to happen.
My name is Rachel and my first pregnancy was great, probably the best you could hope for. I was 13 days overdue and was due to go into hospital to be induced on Sunday 9th September 2007, but on the Sunday morning things started for themselves. They happened very quickly as my first pains started at 9am and by 10am with contractions less than two minutes apart I was down the hospital. This is where things went down hill very quickly. I arrived in a lot of pain, I was put in a room by myself for quite a while before anyone came to check on me, then a junior midwife came in. I was talking to her and obviously in a lot of pain she replied “I can’t talk to you until your pains stop.” Well hello they were not stopping, but over about 10-15 minutes different midwives came in and finally listening to what I was telling them, their faces seemed to change. I had a probe put on baby’s head followed by a scan machine coming in. Still none the wiser really to what was wrong they told me my baby had died, around me my partner was on the floor quite hysterical, but I’m still not understanding what is happening until about 10 minutes later it started to sink in. My baby had gone but why and how? We had a post-mortem done but this showed nothing.
It is still so very hard to this day not having a reason as to why our baby was taken from us as he was healthy and even had a heart beat while I was at the hospital. This was a very traumatic time as my sister and neighbour had both just had their babies too. I was the one going home without my baby.
My first thought was I need to have another baby so as soon as my body was ready that is what we did. By the following September I had Liam and was induced 2 weeks early and then I went on to have Alicia 3 weeks early both times being watched very carefully with at least 4-6 scans in each pregnancy.
This has been very hard to cope with but over time we have got through this and got stronger each year that has passed. Callum will never be forgotten but the pain is not as hard now.
Thank you to Lisil and Rachel for sharing their stories.