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Mom To Many

by Traci Woody

This is my story, it is long, please be patient.

My husband and I have been married for almost seven years. We waited to try to have kids, because we wanted to make sure we were ready. Our first pregnancy turned out to be a blighted ovum, only I didn't miscarry on my own. I went in for a regular office visit and there was no heartbeat. The sono showed the baby had died. I was sent for a D&C at 14 weeks pregnant. That was in December of 1992. Four weeks later, I was hit head on by a drunk driver. I suffered several broken ribs and severe bruising to my breast. I was advised to wait a few months before trying to get pregnant again.

The next pregnancy, we got pregnant the first month we tried. On my birthday. My daughter, Carson, now three years old was born on April 11, 1997. I was scheduled to be induced on Monday morning, but I went into labor on my own Sunday night. She weighed 8lbs. 8 oz. and was 7 days early. I gained a heathly 35 lbs. with the pregnancy and lost 25 lbs. right away. The other 10 lbs. are still attached to my backside. ha ha ha.

When Carson was about 1 1/2 years old, I began to want another child. We started trying, and after a few months, I became pregnant. At 8 weeks I miscarried for no apparent reason, except "these things happen".

I was having really painful periods, and my doctor was putting me on stronger pain killers every month. He suggested I have surgery for endometriosis. He said it could also keep me from getting pregnant. I had surgery in Jan. of 1996. My doctor said my chances of getting pregnant were pretty good now. He said, if I didn't get pregnant within six months, we would try Clomid.

I got pregnant again a few months later, but miscarried again. This time at 5 weeks. Again, there was no clear reason, except maybe a luteal defect. It would need more testing.

I got pregnant again on my birthday in July 1996. This all happened in a twelve month time period. We were very excited, as we had been through so much that year already. We had just moved to Houston, from Dallas, and our HMO did not move with us. I applied for private insurance, but because I had just had surgery six months earlier, they denied us.

My options were quite limited. I could either divorce my husband and qualify for medicaid or go to a clinic run by the hospital I was to deliver at. I chose the clinic. My first visit, I begged them to do a sonofgram to see if they could see the baby's heartbeat. They said, they didn't do sono's this early in pregnancy, and didn't want to do one on me. I insisted and they did the sono. There was my little angel, his heart beating. I was so happy. With all the misscarriages and surgery, I finally had a growing life inside me.

My visits at the clinic continued every month. I hated going there, because I was the only patient who was actually paying for my care. Everyone else was on medicaid. I didn't feel comfortable with it from the start. I'm still kicking myself for going there. Each visit I was seen by a different doctor. The doctor's were residents at my hospital, but they had three supervisors, whom I saw occasionaly.

My pregnancy progressed. I went for a sonogram at 20 weeks. The doctor was an idiot. I really didn't like this guy. He was one of the supervisors, but he was incredibly non patient friendly. Some people are better left to books. He was one of those people.

He started off the sono by telling me and my husband that he had just gotten back from a big sonogram convention. He bragged about the state of the art equipment they had and berated the machine he was using on me. I asked him about the competance of this machine, and he said, it was old and had poor clarity, but,he had used it on all his previous patients and it had detected everything it needed to detect.

He said, our baby was behind schedule according to my due date and that the baby would be small. This really worried me, so I was a nut case the rest of my pregnancy. I constantly worried about the baby. He couldn't determine the sex, but it didn't matter anyway. We just wanted to know, so we could buy clothes.

The doctor didn't change my due date. He also told me that babies usually do not have growth spurts inside the uterus. Well guess what? My baby did have a growth spurt and did catch up and then some.

I called my previous doctor in Dallas, to get a second opinion on what my current doctor told me. He said to definetly get a follow-up sono to measure the baby again, and see how it was doing. My doctor refused for a while to do another sono. He said those appoitments were for people who really needed them, not me. Finally, at 30 weeks I got another sono.

This time it was supposed to be an in depth sono, to determine the baby's measurements. The same idiot doctor did the repeat sono. He thought we were there for a social sono for sex determination only. When I told him otherwise, he still didn't do all the measurements he should have. I had to ask him specifically to measure the baby's head circumference to see if it correlated to my due date. This time, it did.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I got really miserable, as we all do. I started to swell, my blood pressure elevated a little, but went down when I went to bed, so apparently it wasn't serious.

At 38 1/2 weeks, I started to ask to be induced. They said no way. I told them my daughter weighed 8 1/2 pounds at birth, and that I was worried if the baby got much bigger, that I would have to have a c-section. They basically told me they didn't care how big the baby got, they were not going to induce me.

The office visits continued the next week. I saw a different doctor this time. He started off the visit by confusing me with another patient. He didn't even know how far along I was when he walked into my room. This was yet another supervisor. I had started to dialate. I was 2cm and 20% effaced. He said they would probably induce me the following wednesday, but he did nothing to schedule me for induction at the hospital.

That weekend, I almost went crazy. I called the hospital on Saturday, my due date. The doctor said, they would not induce on the weekend. Period. I was so big. I hurt everywhere. I knew the baby was big, really big. I had had all I could take, but nobody cared. They just would not listen to me. I had a doctor's appoitment on Tuesday, but I called first thing Monday to be seen.

I was really mad at this point. I was past my due date, and I was losing my mind. I knew they had to get the baby out of me, and fast. I broke down in the doctor's office. I begged and pleaded with them to induce me. They said they would do it in another week. I really lost it then. I told them no way was this baby staying in me another week. They rescheduled the inducement for Thursday. They listened to the baby's heart, but did no testing, nor did they schedule me for a non-stress test or a biophysical profile.

I went home in tears. I to go three more days. The next morning I woke up feeling really good. I took my daughter to pre-school and started to do all the things I needed to do to prepare for Thursday. I went to the bank, grocery store, dry cleaners etc. Around noon, I picked my husband up at work. I noticed that I hadn't really felt the baby kick all day. As soon as I told my husband this, I got a big kick from the baby. I felt a lot better. I went on about my day, but later I noticed I hadn't felt the baby kick again. This time I called the hospital. The doctor said to eat dinner and lay down and count baby kicks. I didn't feel anything, so I called a second time. The doctor said to drink a big glass of orange juice and try again for any hour. Again, I felt nothing. I called a third time. This time the doctor seemed agitated at me for calling. She said the baby was probably sleeping, since I had been so busy all day. She never ever told me to get in my car and come to the hospital. Finally, about ten minutes later I decided to go in on my own.

I had my mom take me, because I thought I would be right back. I left my daughter and husband at home. When we got to the hospital, they hooked up the monitor. No heartbeat. THey sent for a second nurse. No heartbeat. I lost it. I was in shock. They called the attending to do a bedside sono. I saw everything. Little hands, little feet, head, ribs and the heart. It was still, so very still. My mom didn't understand what was happening. They didn't have all the equipment when she had me. She kept asking them, "what are you saying?".

My husband made it to the hospital in record time. I was a basket case. I wanted them to do a c-section right away, but they wouldn't. I had to be induced at 11pm that night. I had already been at the hospital since 7:30pm. The next day at 2:05pm. , my son, Connor was born. He was perfect in every way, only he wasn't breathing. He weighed 9lbs. and was 22" long. I thought is was all a dream. I kept waiting for him to wake up. The doctor and nurses said they would know right away what happened. They said it would be visible. It had to be an abruption or cord accident, or knot in the cord.

It wasn't any of those things. It was unexplainable. I had tests done on the cord and the placenta, but they came back normal. No apparent cause of death. No answers. The pathology reports said there were no abnormalies present.

My husband brought Connor's going home outfit to the hospital and dressed him in it. There were two other women who babies died that night. All of them were right next to me. One of the babies was wrapped in a paper cover and left in the hall. I couldn't have that happen to my baby. Connor was cremated and we brought him home to finally sleep in his room.

I am going to file a lawsuit against my doctor's. If anyone has any information that would help me, please send it to me. My e-mail address is woody@iah.com

You may also e-mail me if you have lost a child to stillbirth, or just want to talk.

Traci- mom to many
m/c 12/92
Carson 4-11-97
m/c 9/95
m/c 3-95
Connor born still 4-23-97

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