31 July, 2011

guilt. anger. regret.

i was just straightening up some papers and came across my prenatal records form my pregnancy with you. once again, i am sorry i was so trusting of the doctors, i am sorry i let you down. i am sorry. i dropped the ball.

here is how it goes:

12/17/07 c/o brownish discharge since last week; spec exam, minor brown discharge
12/19/07 pink spotting persists
12/26/07 c/o brown discharge
1/30/08 terazol 7 (this was dr white's plan for dealing with my recurring c/o brown discharge)
1/31/08 increase fluid/blood per vagina all day, U/S - no fluid, to l&d

and that was that.

final report after you were gone:

placenta demonstrating chorionic villous edema, mild chorioamnionitis and funistitis

yup. an infection in my placenta. and in the bag of water that was keeping you safe. and no one caught it. no one. and i didn't keep fighting with them until they did. i let them let you die.

summary --
hospital course: contractions developed every 3 minutes. cervix closed, thick and anterior. sent to l&d for closer monitoring. developed a temperature of 101.4 with diagnosis this point of being chorioamnionitis (they never once told me that in the hospital. i found out from the high risk doc weeks later.) she was started on pitocin and augmented for delivery. (jesus how i wish i knew what i know now and i wish i had the fight in me then.) six hours later the patient complained of rectal pain. she was found to be complete and +3. she pushed for a live male infant, apgars 1 and 1 over an intact perineum (yes, because you were so tiny. so so tiny.) ... intructions to follow up in 2 weeks for a check.

that was the infamous follow-up appointment in which the caring dr asked if i was breast feeding you. i see here in the paperwork that she wrote baby with a little arrow pointing down. that was after i had to remind her that you died in her presence. what a fucking asshole.

high risk doc write-up includes, "i explained the possibility of ascending bacterial infection and intrauterine inflammation. it is difficult to determine the precise etiology, although the fact that there was chorioamnionitis and funistits suggest that intrauterine infection had occurred and that the fetus had begun to mount an inflammatory response." he went on to say that "i suggest she be screened for bacterial vaginosis with her next pregnancy and be treated if it is found to be present."

with mason, i was and it was and i was.

how hard would it have been for those docs at GARDEN STATE OB/GYN CARE to have ordered a check for BV on 12/17/07? six weeks before you died. you would be here now if they had.

it seems like the perinatologist knew exactly what caused your death. i still consider hiring a lawyer and suing that entire practice and that one doctor in particular. daddy says no. he says it will bring too much up. but it's up. believe me, it's up every fucking day of my life. and maybe it would be hard to prove. but maybe we could prove it. and maybe one baby would live because they decided to check moms for bv.

and you know what else hurts? (and here is when i wish i blogged anonymously.) it really hurts when friends stay with that practice. i don't know, maybe i expect too much, but if my friend went through what i went through, i would bail on that place so quickly and tell them exactly why. kind of in a stand and unite kind of way. you know, kind of saying, "girl, i got your back." so when i hear friends say that they stayed there, i still love them, but i kind of want to say "fuck you". (probably just lost another friend or two. not my intention.)

and it hurts when friends don't heed my warnings about being wary of birth in america. my story is not the only one. garden state is not the only place that is too big to care. i know we are all on our own paths and that we all need to learn our lessons in our time. but i am not making this shit up. neither are the countless others that share their experiences with me. i am not simply a disgruntled and angry patient who had a bad experience. these experiences repeat over and over again across our country.

there are facts.
there is research.
i have read it.
something is not right.

we need to make it right.

so i want to encourage all moms, to please, research. learn. be informed. choose wisely. take responsibility.

you do not want to live with the guilt and anger that i will live with for the rest of my life.

cooper, i am so sorry. i don't know what else to say. and i can't say it enough.

p.s. after people have read what i wrote, it seems like i gave the wrong impression of your dad. he just feels like suing wouldn't bring you back, so why should we put ourselves through it? all the money in the world means nothing to either of us. and nothing we do can bring you back, so why drag it through the system? he would do anything to make me feel better. and he suffers as much as i do. he just isn't as vocal about it. when he got home tonight, i showed him the report from the perinatologist. and he said, "all right. so we do it." he hadn't read those papers since it all went down, either. sometimes it seems like the past 3.5 years have been w blurry whirlwind.


  1. Tiffany - big hugs - I know thats not enough - your anger is absolutely justified -I feel like punching yur Drs ights out for such negligence - and all that you have experienced. Please don't blame yourself - we are taught from the earliest ages to trust Drs - some are trustworthy but others are clearly conditioned by 'the system'. And its horrendous that lives are lost and people are devastated because of this. Your friends too are just as conditioned as you were to trust their carers - maybe there is a little in all of us that needs to believe we are in good hands; maybe it is too hard to 'go there' when a friend has had to endure such pain that we need to believe 'this can't happen to us' ; oit was an exception. Yoiur friends arent deliberately being 'disloyal' or taking risks with their own babies. They are victims of the system too.

    Im not sure what is the best way to direct and use your anger - to sue, to create awareness so others don't have to live with the pain you have (you are doing that by sharing so passionately and openly).To join a support groups and 'be there' for others ( check out our Australian group Small miracles and www.lightacandle.org.au.

    But please dont let your anger get in the way of bonding and connecting with the baby you have now.

    Loving thoughts and wishing you all the strength you need,

  2. Good luck, Tiff and thank you for being a voice for change in childbirth. I, too, am so disgusted with the stories of horrible childbirths that did not need to happen that way. I am so grateful for the few couples that seem to find my Bradley classes where I have 12 weeks to educate them on trusting themselves and nature and advocating for themselves! Wish you had been at the Ina May book signing- have you read her new book - Birth Matters? She sees what is happening too and wants people like us to stand up. Thank you for sharing your story.