I was mostly sitting on the couch in the large birthing room at Piedmont Newnan. Cringing every time Erin had a contraction because I knew they were painful and I could not take that pain from her. But let’s go back a few weeks. She had gone for a regular visit to her doctor’s office, Southern Crescent Women’s, and was told she had a condition called Polyhydramnios. Which is too much amniotic fluid. She was also told the baby was measuring too big for the week she was currently in her pregnancy. They recommended she start seeing a high risk Doctor, again. (As she had at the beginning of her pregnancy. She was carrying triplets, but lost her twins ). An appointment was made and she saw this doctor the next week as well as her regular doctors every week up until her due date. On her due date her doctors did a procedure which probably has a fancy term, but I call it scraping the cervix. Sometimes this triggers labor. In Erin’s case, it did. She began to have contractions soon thereafter. She was also told at the previous appointment they estimated the baby’s weight at around 8 lbs. But what I do not understand, in hindsight. I don’t know why she was not induced earlier? She was told she was dilated to three approximately three weeks before Bennett was born and to 5 at least two weeks before. She was having Braxton Hicks contractions intermittently. On Friday, January 9, she had contractions for hours. We talked her into staying at our house. We called the hospital and was sure she was going to deliver that day. Suddenly the contractions stopped. She spent the weekend with us, but on Sunday she loaded up, went home and being the strong woman she is, taught school all week. So, back to the contractions on January 12th. By nine that evening we knew it was time to get her to the hospital. We loaded up, her and Adam in their car, Dennis and I in ours. We were the lead car. We ran into a detour that raised our blood pressure a little, but we got there, As Adam was wheeling her back I noticed her stomach was incredibly caddywampas. I made the comment that he would definitely have to change his position. They got her admitted and We all, Dennis, Adam and me, were with her as she suffered through contraction after contraction. Finally, she was able to get an epidural which helped a lot.
We all made wagers on when Bennett would make his appearance. We were all wrong. Everyone was shooting around 4:00 am. That was around the time they had to manually break her water. She was and ready to push soon after. I could see everything from where I was in that room. I knew my daughter was trying her best to birth that baby. But after hours of pushing the Doctor came in repeatedly and threatened her with a C Section if she didn’t push that baby out. The truth is the baby was hitting a bone. There were visible indentions on his head that showed just how hard his mom had pushed. She tried so hard her eyes were bulging. Yet, this doctor made her feel like a failure. She could not have this baby on her own. She was going to have to have a Cesarean. But at this point the baby’s vitals were all over the place. My daughter had a fever and was cold and shaking. Yet this did not stop her from having her try, try, try. She gave her time limits. If you can’t do this in thirty minutes I’m calling it. I will do a c section. All the time I’m thinking why the hell don’t YOU call it! She has pushed for hours. I can see the crown, but it is going NOWHERE. I honestly do not know what she was thinking. She actually told us that a c section was now complicated because the baby was stuck. I am scared to death and I began to pray. I was texting Dennis who was probably wondering what happened. I then was kicked out as they prepped her and took her in for surgery. I don’t remember the exact time, but it was probably around 7:50 a.m.
Out in the waiting room was very intense. We were very scared. When after about twenty minutes we asked a nurse to check and get us an update. Finally a nurse came out and told us he was born, had a little trouble breathing at first, but was fine. She said he weighed 9 lbs. (actually 9.7) We waited and waited. Adam texted his mother that they were ok. He didn’t want her to worry. Later he told me it was the scariest time of his life. We later were told the baby was being transported to Egelston, then we found out it was actually Grady. The pediatric Doctor and Dr. Shepard came out and told us he had something called metabolic acidosis and would need to lie on a cooling blanket. Then later the pediatric doctor told us more test confirmed that he was fine. It wasn’t until he got to Grady that we realized exactly why they sent him. Tha t child was bruised so badly. He had lost oxygen. They were afraid his brain was going to swell. This was the first time Adam and Erin learned of possible brain damage. This was a botched delivery. An MRI was ordered. Had Erin been induced when she first began to dilate. The baby might have not been a whopping 9.7 and it would have been easier. Between two sets of doctors it would seem they could make a decision that would help my daughter. The high risk doctor had suggested an induction about a week before she delivered, but made it seem elective and not necessary. The doctors should have made the call. One that would NOT send my grandson to a neonatal nursery for almost two weeks.
Grady did an MRI on Bennett. A resident gave out information to Adam and Erin that turned out to be false. He said Bennett had water on the brain. The doctors at Egelston were sent the results to make an assessment. They concluded that Bennett’s MRI results were perfectly normal. Oops this resident caused the family a couple days of unnecessary worry. This was serious as well. But that was GREAT news…he’s normal! But I wonder if he will have any residual issues from his trauma. This is heavy on my mind. Which is why I feel litigation is necessary to protect Bennett. I also feel it is not the fault of Adam or Erin that Bennett suffered birth injuries. Therefore, his bill at Grady should not be their burden. Sometimes litigation is necessary. I witnessed my daughter pushing with all her might, even though she was running a fever and shaking from being cold, and only to be scolded. I was told she was crying as she was wheeled into the operating room for a cesarean because she thought she was a failure. This Doctor needs to work on her bedside manner. She also needs to realize when a baby is not able to come out a Doctor needs to make the call on a C section without making the patient feel like a failure. And this decision does not need to be called too late. As she did that night. While realizing she is only human, I also know she has been trained to do a very important job. When things do not go as planned there are consequenses. Bennett did not get to lie close to his mother and latch to her breast. He was wisked away. We were discouraged from contact as he was to lie on a cold mat for a few days being fed through a tube. Imagine that, a COLD mat after being in that nice warm womb. Then onto the warming blanket. He was stuck with needles. Had wires everywhere. His poor little bruised head probably hurt as well. I could see the indentions where he was pushed on the bone so many hours. My heart ached for him. And his mother who cried like a baby as he was transported from Piedmont Newnan to Grady had to stay there in the wing where all the other mother’s had their babies with them in their rooms. They had big beautiful ribbons on their doors. Pink for girl, blue for boy. But none for her and no baby in her room. And how about Adam having to leave his wife to go to Grady to be with their son? I’m sure he wanted to be there with Erin to comfort her. But he also wanted to go with Bennett. Thinking about baby Jackson. He is well taken care of by Adam’s mom, but you know he is wondering what is going on. All of this was unnecessary. Doctors should make the right decisions. Erin should have been induced early December. At best a cesarean called early. This could have been prevented. Erin was a high risk pregnancy. This particular Doctor’s office has many doctors as staff. Why not have two on call for a high risk case?
Bennett was transported to Grady. He was kept on a cooling mat for several days, then a warming mat. Being fed through a tube. Erin pumped and froze breast milk for when he would be able to eat. We were baffled that he weighed 10.7 on Saturday the 17th, less than a week from weighing 9.7 at birth. Makes me wonder if the weight at birth was accurate. Not sure how he could have gained that much on that cold mat.
Many may wonder how I stayed in that birthing room observing that abuse without speaking up. I did delicately say to her once I thought Erin was pushing as hard as she could. But I could not afford to make her angry. She was the one who had the lives of my daughter and Grandson in her hands. As much as I wanted to go off on her I remained calm. But I was brewing inside. And at this point I am very angry at how things went down. I want this story told, maybe it can prevent someone else from having such a horrible experience.
We are totally in love with Bennett and cannot wait to introduce him to Jackson.