31 January, 2012

to whom it may concern

January 31, 2012

Garden State Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates
2401 Evesham Rd.
Suite A
Voorhees, NJ 08043

To Whom It May Concern:

On this date four years ago, my water broke while I was teaching a class of twenty-six sixth graders. I was twenty-two weeks and two days pregnant. I called your office immediately, but was put on hold. I called back. Again, I was put on hold. I had just been to your office the night before for the fourth time in about eight weeks complaining of the same brown discharge. I had been given a prescription again to control my “yeast infection”. I talked myself into believing that everything was okay and I went back to teach my last class of the day.

An hour later, I called again and was put on hold. Finally someone picked up and I was instructed to come in immediately. When I got there, I was ushered in to the waiting room. Well, one of your multiple waiting rooms. I was finally seen by Dr. Swift who after a vaginal exam diagnosed that my amniotic sac had ruptured. She also calmly let me know that it had nothing to do with the medication that I had been prescribed by Dr. White.

I went directly to the hospital where I was given multiple vaginal exams by at least two different doctors on your staff. Needless to say, the next day I ended up spiking a fever. I was induced by Dr. Steighner. And five or so hours later, my little son was born. Dr. White was there for the delivery. She asked me at one of my follow-up appointments if I was breastfeeding. Each time I returned to your office, I had to tell at least two people during the course of my visit that my baby had died.

I encourage you to look through my records. The perinatologist’s report came very close to stating that I had bacterial vaginosis. Your practice failed to diagnose that. Because of my lack of knowledge, my trust in your doctors, and the lack of concern on the part of your doctors (I cannot use the term care providers), my baby died.

Four years have passed and the pain still weaves itself into every thread of my life. I am now, however, empowered with knowledge. I have become certified to teach childbirth education classes and am in the process of becoming a labor doula. I am co-leader of the local ICAN chapter and am in the process of starting an Attachment Parenting chapter, as well. I am in touch on a personal level with many, many informed parents. And they are always interested in hearing the story of my baby boy.

I urge you to change your ways. Spend time with the mothers who choose you to care for them. I implore you to care; to listen; to pay attention. Read the charts.

In writing this letter I hope to heal just a little bit more of my self. I need to let you and your practitioners know how much pain I am in and that this pain could have been avoided if someone had just cared…listened….paid attention. And read my chart.

The other reason for this letter, however, is to let you know that as a professional, I cannot recommend your practice to anyone. If a woman hires me as her doula, and is using your for her care, I will support and inform her, but I will not hesitate to share my story. I believe that it is part of my life’s work…my calling, if you may…to help mothers make the best choices when it comes to their prenatal care. And in good conscience, I could never encourage anyone to choose Garden State OB/GYN for that purpose.


The mother of Cooper Thomas Hare, born prematurely on February 1, 2008


  1. thanks, man. i love that comment more than you know.

  2. How brave of you to share your story and to speak the truth to those who need to hear it most. May your words be a wake up call to the doctors that failed you and your baby. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss.

  3. Amazing. I would hug you SO hard right now if I was with you, and I barely know you.

  4. absolutely beautiful-- brings back my memories of my Lena-- born at 20 weeks... love you tif-- kim friedman