The Story of the Delivery

March 19, 2011 at 21:06

Mama Lewis

56

You’ll excuse me if the following sounds a bit clinical, but it has taken me almost two years to put May’s delivery into writing. I find it easier to deal with if I am straightforward, so I’ve left out a lot of my own personal thoughts or fears at the time.

I don’t write it for sympathy. I don’t need comforting. I write it because it has been two years and it is time to move on.

WARNING TO PREGNANT LADIES: Do you really want to read this? It doesn’t end well.

When I was pregnant with May, there was no sign that anything was amiss. Nothing. In fact, I felt exactly the same in that pregnancy as this one. That is either very worrying or reassuring, depending on how I wake up on any given day.

So, when my waters broke, no one fussed. The midwife visited me at home to test my waters for infection and told me I could labor there for up to five days if I wanted. (I didn’t. FIVE DAYS!)

The following day, I received a call from a different midwife who told me my waters had tested positive for Strep-B. This is an infection that can kill babies, so I urgently needed to come to the hospital. The process of all this happening, from waters breaking to booking in, was 36-hours.

Once there, it was another five hours before a drip with Penicillin was administered to fight the infection. Still, I had no contractions, so they decided to induce.

A drip of Pitocin was administered and I went from no contractions to full, constant torture in under ten minutes. From then on, I had an epidural.

I pushed for a long time before a doctor checked andĀ discovered that I wasn’t fully dialated. This was the first time, since I arrived in the hospital, thatĀ I saw a doctor. By this point, we were already over 60-hours since my waters broke.

The doctor asked me to make a choice: continue to push (as the baby didn’t show signs of distress) or move to the operating room for further assistance. At this point, I hadn’t eaten or slept in days. My body shook with exhaustion, but also a reaction to the epidural. I thought I was going into shock.

Once in the operating room, May was delivered fairly swiftly. But, her arrival only came after a failed suction, and successful forceps delivery. She had a gash on her head from the failed suction for days afterwards. Really, you would have thought she’d been in a car wreck not a delivery.

May after delivery

That is the reason why I didn’t question her not wanting to feed, or shaking, or any other signs that I now know were signs of distress.

May was rushed to the Special Care Baby Unit the following morning after a midwife recognized she was seizing. She stayed there for almost six-weeks.

But, what exactly caused the brain-damage? We may never know for certain. A lot of people have theories. A midwife for my current pregnancy, told me that Strep-B needs to be treated with Penecillin within 18-hours of the waters breaking to be effective. Strep-B is known to cause brain-damage. The obstetrician assigned to my current pregnancy believes it was the combination of a protracted labor with the Strep-B. My mother thinks it was socialized medicine.

I’ve always thought it was a combination of a lot of small things that isolated would have caused no harm, but together damaged May irrevocably.

We don’t know what the future holds for May. We aren’t deluding ourselves, which I’m thankful for; she is severely brain-damaged. Our goals for her have much more to do with independence (feeding herself, using a toilet) than they do with attending a university.

We haven’t sued anyone. We looked into it, but it is a very difficult case to prove. So far, it doesn’t look like we have one. But, that might change.

Here is what we focus on: our love for May, the joy she gives us and the security we can give her.

56 Comments

  1. wordsweneversaid March 19, 2011 Reply

    *hug* (hope that is okay)

    I just wanted you to know that I was here and that I read.

    If I could?

    I would encourage you to seek legal advice for a possible suit if it will not deplete your resources to do so.

    May will need some extra assistance to achieve her full potential and I believe that you are entitled to ask for help from those who deeply neglected to care for you during your time of need.

    Mistakes DO happen in medicine - but neglect is a crime - and IS preventable.

    Be well,
    Stay strong,
    I wish you all my best,
    M.L.

  2. Articulate Abby March 19, 2011 Reply

    You can tell your mother that as this American,* who has worked with dozens of children with special needs, I would choose to have a baby in a country with socialized medicine in a heartbeat. I've known so many families who will quite literally never pay off their hospital bills, and have gone from middle, or even upper-middle class, to struggling. Families who can't even possibly sacrifice enough to get their children the health care they need. Parents who have had to be in the military, and even go to Iraq/Afghanistan to keep their health coverage.

    I would give anything to have socialized medicine.


    *I realize your mother is ALSO an American. But these are the experiences I've had, the heartbreaks I've seen. (And this is just the special needs baby-related stuff.)
    **I don't mean to sound strident. This is just an issue that means an enormous amount to me. I'm pretty bad about commenting on blogs except when I'm frustrated, but I swear I do love yours!

  3. Madge Woods March 20, 2011 Reply

    I think as you said it was a combination of things. I think midwives can be very good but they need to know their limits. I would opt for a doctor after someone would tell me you can wait 5 days after water breaking. If that were really the case why does everyone usually go to the hospital quickly after the water breaks. For fear of infection is the reason here in the states. We might over medicate and over treat but I would rather have that than the under treat theory which seems to be the care you received. I am holding you in the light with this pregnancy that you and your group of "people" act faster if needed. I am trusting all will go well this time. And I would consider looking into a lawsuit because of the lifetime care May will need before the statue of limitations runs it's course. I assume you are using different "people" this time.

  4. Ruby McGill March 20, 2011 Reply

    I applaud you decision to focus on giving May love and security. And I think she may surprise you! Despite brain damage, it is amazing what some of these special children can accomplish. No, she may never go to university, but I bet she brings joy and sunshine to the lives of those around her! I see her developing such a personality, such an awareness of HER ability to determine her future. It will be in her time, on her course, but she will achieve her potential, with parents who love and support her. I am sure that when Baby comes along, it will give her even more incentive to progress. I can sense how difficult it was to write about May's birth. Sometimes we need to 'get it out/down' to endeavour to move on. Thinking of you during this pregnancy - keep positive, and enjoy each day. Good luck.

  5. karamelissa March 20, 2011 Reply

    I imagine you must think about all of this all over again with all these questions and comments from your knew midwives. You know, I wish someone, everyone, would have told me their difficult birth stories when I was pregnant because maybe then I would have been less naive about how having a natural birth can go so perfectly wrong.

    And that whole exhaustion, shock, unable to really engage in decisions thing, yeah, me too.

    As for the whole national health care thing, there are kiddos all over the world with CP for all sorts of reasons. Maternal health care in general needs some time and money put into it. Everywhere.

    I hope that you are feeling well and that not too many thoughts are poking at you from the experience that you are letting go.

  6. Aunt Arlene March 20, 2011 Reply

    Dear Stacie,

    My prayers to go you, and I share your wish for May to be able to feed herself and not to have to wear diapers for life!! You and Griff are wonderful loving parents. May is your baby, no matter what her capabilities are or what went wrong. I'm no making light of what happened, but there's only one place to go, and that's forward. It's unfortunate, but you CAN have a happy life. You will find the strength you need. I love you!!

    Aunt Arlene

    • Stacie Lewis March 20, 2011 Reply

      Thanks, Aunt Arlene! May sends her love to you as well (bounce! bounce!)
      And, of course, I agree with you! We are lucky to be so happy (and have such a supportive family). Love you!

  7. Sapna March 20, 2011 Reply

    As a mother of a little girl who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, I applaud you for being brave enough to write this. My daughter is 2.5 years old now and we love her completely and fully but when I look back on those days in the hospital after the diagnosis my heart still sinks. There is no way to describe to someone who hasnt been through it the moment when you find out there is something "wrong" with your baby. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and whenever I meet another mom of a child with special needs and our eyes meet I know she's felt that same ripping pain. In our case nothing could have been done differently so I can only imagine how you must feel and all the alternate scenarios that must play in your head. With my second daughter (2 months old) everything went so smoothly (4 hours between first contractions and her easy birth) and its been so easy in comparison this time. I wish you the same with the birth of your second child and wanted to let you know that I pray for you and May everyday. She is adorable and lovely and even though I'm just a lurker on your blog I have the deepest affection in my heart for her.

  8. krlr March 20, 2011 Reply

    (American here) We actually have decent (employer provided) health insurance but the year my daughter was born we maxed out our annual contribution & even after that, the copays hurt. And my daughter's issues (ds/heart) weren't nearly as complicated as May's.

    What CONTINUES to bleed us dry though is the life insurance we bought, just in case we get creamed by a semi or are hit by a meteor. I understand the UK has a better safety net, but I'll be D*mned if my girl ends up in some flea bag room without anyone to watch out for her. So trust, will, hefty premium payments.

    I handle claims (though auto, not med mal & the UK would have entirely diff system... so, sorry, no advice forthcoming)
    I compensate people when their lives are effed up because someone dropped the ball [insert caveat in case google really IS that powerful: assuming coverage/liability/negligence]. It's compensation*, not blood money, and -even standing on the other side of the line- I don't have any problem with people coming forward.

    I wouldn't know what the medical standard is, or if there was compensable negligence... but I DO that if someone's were liable for the fact that my daughter may need assistance to lead a comfortable life, then I sure has heck would rather they pay for it.

    *Actally, the term is to "make someone whole". Given the the title of this blog I don't know if that would strike you as ironic or painful. Sorry!

  9. krlr March 20, 2011 Reply

    also apologies for posting on your blog!

    • Stacie Lewis March 20, 2011 Reply

      No apology necessary - a very interesting comment. I've lived in the UK so long, I'm never 100% certain to how insurance would work.

  10. barbara March 20, 2011 Reply

    I am glad you have told us about May's birth.I am sure this time you will have extra special/personalised care.Our first baby was stillborn with multiple handicaps,we nearly lost our second through a difficult delivery(he was 10lbs1oz) and I had to have forceps.Fortunately he was fine.We then had a third and it was a very easy delivery(but she developed type 1 diabetes at 4 yrs old).So what i am saying is I have an inkling of what you have been through.I have been following your blog and May's progress since your article in the Guardian and from my observations she seems to be doing amazingly well and she looks so happy.She appears to be making better progress that you perhaps thought.What we all want for our children is for them to be happy whatever life throws at them.You are wonderful parents and i am sure the new baby will be a great joy to everyone.
    Sorry to go on but I felt the need to comment today.

  11. Stacie Lewis March 20, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for all the comments and support everyone! Don't worry about us! While some things to do with May's history are disturbing, we are very happy.
    In regards to legal action, like I said, we may consider it at a later point. In the UK, you can wait until a child is a teenager to sue, so we have time. And, her legal fees will be covered by the State.
    But, I want to stress - just because it seems like negligence on this blog, and just because we love May so much and want her looked after, doesn't necessarily mean we have a case. I'm going to focus on this pregnancy first. I don't want to discuss in-depth all the things that went wrong with May's delivery and have it running through my head day and night while I'm pregnant with my next.

  12. Melissa K. March 20, 2011 Reply

    Stacie, thank you for posting this traumatic story. It must have been terribly difficult for you to write it - it was very hard to read, too. I hope having it written and "out" will be therapeutic for you.

    Continuing to wish you joy with your daughter and peace in your current pregnancy -

    Melissa

  13. Eils March 20, 2011 Reply

    Goodness ! That sounds like what happened to me with Max - but they finally got him out OK. By the way I wasn't trying to argue with you in my previous post - I do get why you have to keep on with the authorities, I was only saying that I love to see May, and how she's growing up.

  14. Rebecca March 20, 2011 Reply

    I'm sorry that May had such a difficult entry into the world.

    I don't know if anybody's told you this, but did you know that people with CP who are *not* born prematurely are much less likely to have any intellectual impairment? May might or might not feed herself or use the toilet, and she might or might not go on to university - whether or not she has an intellectual impairment.

    I'm 25, and I'm at uni. I don't have cerebral palsy but my impairment is partly neurological in origin. I can't feed myself easily, or get to the toilet without a lot of help. But I'm independent anyway - and this is where living here in the UK really comes into its own - because I have choice and control over what I do, when, helped how and by who. It doesn't matter that I can't walk, find it hard to talk, get most of my fluids through one tube and pee through another. I'm in charge of my life, and so will May be, one day. Incidentally, my very best friend in the whole world has severe athetoid CP, caused by a birth injury not dissimilar to May's. She's doing her Masters at Leeds this year - and she needs help with eating and the loo too! This is her, writing from a few years ago: http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/have-your-say/guest-column/communication-matters/

    Don't let anybody tell you what not to hope for with May, and especially don't let them conflate physical and intellectual impairment - they don't automatically go together despite the constant assertions to the contrary, especially from medics.

    • Stacie Lewis March 20, 2011 Reply

      Incredible. Besides your comment (and you are welcome to set me straight anytime!) your friend's article is an absolute inspiration.

  15. Grandma Barbie March 22, 2011 Reply

    I have to take issue with the view I am purported to have regarding socialized medicine. When it comes to May, I believe that medical mistakes were made. Period. Whether the UK or US, bad medicine can cause serious problems for wonderful people. Because of my love for Stacie and May, no matter what country, I take issue with medical mistakes. May is darling and she, like all babies, deserves the best life has to offer.

    • Stacie Lewis March 22, 2011 Reply

      Fair enough Mom - and I want to add (for the record!) that you are a huge support to me and May.

      I meant to write something earlier about this, because a couple of people wrote in and I wanted to clarify. I was trying to say that we haven't established what happened and different people have different views. I think I ended up simplifying those views for the sake of the piece, which isn't an entirely accurate representation of an emotionally complex situation. I didn't mean to make it sound like you were set in a political mindset about it, but I think I did and I'm sorry about that.

      And, actually, I think I said in the article that I think if it had been anywhere else - another city or hospital or country for that matter - if my waters had broken a week later. Anything really, would have changed the fact that the people on the day(s) probably were the reason behind May's brain damage. So, to that end, we are in agreement. And I love you.

  16. celiarichardson10@yahoo.co.uk March 27, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for writing this. It must dog you every day but hopefully doing stuff like this blog will help you process the experience.

    We have started the legal process. We love The NHS - amazing and inspiring - and we don't want to cause it the slightest harm. The mistake that was made in our case (our son was born 13 weeks early with e-coli septicemia) was at a primary care level. It was a blindingly obvious mistake (refusing antibiotics to a pregnant woman with e-coli UTI) but we worry that without any legal backing our case won't be examined closely enough and the Dr in question won't learn. Putting more power into the hands of GPs seems like a wrong course of action having met so many people who have found it impossible to get past primary care when they needed more expertise.

    I am sure the last thing you need is advice but we have been advised about the importance of getting case notes together and locked down, even if we don't want to progress any further. Our lawyers were very gentle and very helpful and we have had no pressure to take any course of action - just great support and advice. I have been surprised - my prejudices against injury lawyers have been well and truly challenged!

    Your piece in the Observer today was great. Keep up the good work!

    I have spent a lot of my career working with self-advocacy groups and I am sure May will have some rich opportunities ahead of her and real capacity for joy.

  17. Kayla April 2, 2011 Reply

    It's beautiful how you talk about your daughter- all love! I saw your story on babycenter, and thought of a book that you might enjoy. It's called, "One Tattered Angel" by Blaine M Yorgason, and it's one of my very favorite books. The author and his wife fostered and later adopted a baby who was born without a brain- only a brain stem- and it's a wonderful story of their love and devotion to her, and the many ways she blessed their lives with her love and strength. The resounding message is that every person has immeasurable worth and contributes in their own way, especially the "tattered" ones. I love it, even if it makes me cry!
    I wish you all the best on your pregnancy!

    • Stacie Lewis April 3, 2011 Reply

      Thank you Kayla! And for the book advice - I'm an avid reader.

  18. Martine April 6, 2011 Reply

    Thankyou for such an honest post and for letting us into your world. I had what I thought was a healthy baby up until she was 3months old. She went into hospital for tests for what we thought would be something minor, only she never left the hospital and we never returned home with our daughter. It would have been very easy to become bitter and it is only natural to want to blame someone for the heartache we are now foced to endure. But for the sake of my other children, for my husband and family and most importantly for me, I am grateful that I have been able to escape a life of bitterness, and like yourself, find joy instead in all that I can and be grateful for all that I have been blessed with.

    • Stacie Lewis April 6, 2011 Reply

      A wonderful attitude Martine that I fully subscribe to.

  19. Pennie April 18, 2011 Reply

    Your family is so brave, and May is a lovely baby- a baby who I can tell, from what you've said about her, has already surpassed many expectations. I wish you a healthy pregnancy and a healthy labor :) Good vibes all around. Your outlook on life, on your family, in light of what you've had to face shows that you have what I might call ENORMOUS lady testicles ;)

    • Stacie Lewis April 18, 2011 Reply

      And you, Pennie, are welcome to comment on my blog anytime!

  20. Amanda Brice April 20, 2011 Reply

    Stacie, hugs and prayers for you and your family. May is beautiful.

  21. libbysmum April 24, 2011 Reply

    I am so sorry for what you went through. I had a similar kind of birth... long and traumatic - 7 hours of pushing; pitocin, drips, epidural... the works. My daughter was born, eventually (after me screaming to get her out of me) via forceps. She was born face down (they didn't know she was round the wrong way till she came out...) and the cord round her neck 3 times. She had an apgar of 2 or 3. She ended up in NICU for 3 weeks. Never latched on to me due to her brusing - she had terrible bruising from the birth all over her head and face. I was so traumatised by the birth physically and emotionally, but didn't know it till much later... family were back in the UK (I live in America now) so no support. I was just happy she had fingers and toes though and so was not looking beyond that.

    Fast forward two and half years and my daughter now has delays in speech and other skills. She is getting speech therapy and occupational therapy and is most likely on the spectrum somewhere, though I wonder if the delays are due to a head injury. She looked like a baby gorilla, her head was so so deformed at birth.

    I have questioned her birth with her doctors, but they said all was well. I am still not convinced. I beat myself up daily and wonder what on earth I could have done differently.

    Your daughter is so beautiful, by the way and she sounds lucky to have such a lovely mummy like you.

    Sorry for the essay... I just wanted to share. Sounds like you would know exactly what I am talking about.

    Love to you and your family xxx

    • Stacie Lewis April 26, 2011 Reply

      Sorry for the delay in appoval of your comment. I'm in the middle of a move so Internet access is limited. Your experience sounds horrific and I am so sorry that doctors were dismissive of your concerns. Like you, I felt an enormous amount of irrational guilt. Congratulatons on being such a strong loving support for your daughter. Best wishes to you both!

  22. Emmie June 15, 2011 Reply

    I applaud your decision to move on & to focus on what can be gained (the joy u all can yet have) rather than on what was lost (expected normalcy). I hope what's presently normal for u all turns out to give perspectives deeper than general (I mean it).
    My nephew suffered (lesser) brain injury during delivery (similar to urs - no specific cause to pinpoint, but lots of surprising ways of handling the labor); watched the parents almost come apart trying to deal with it, the frustration, the feelings of helplessness, before coming to the point of moving on. So it's so good to read of someone else deciding to look forward.
    My best wishes to u all, even if I don't fully understand everything u've been thru...

    • Stacie Lewis June 15, 2011 Reply

      Thanks, Emmie! And, best wishes to your family and nephew!

  23. Ceew September 21, 2011 Reply

    A new visitor here - an American living in England - and my first question is - how did you get tested for Strep-B? None of my American buds (or me) have been able to get anyone to test us while in labor.

    You are handling all of this with grace and love, teaching May and us as much as you feel you need to learn, no doubt.

    • Stacie Lewis September 21, 2011 Reply

      I wasn't tested until my waters broke with May. With my second, because I'd already had it, they didn't test me - they just automatically treated me for it when I went into the hospital. As far as getting one earlier though, good luck! My only advice is to just insist and insist. It's usually a staring contest with these kind of things. I also find that if I claim I am completely stressed out about something, losing sleep and crying (a bit of exaggeration doesn't hurt), I get it. British medical staff always seem desperate to avoid a breakdown in their office.

  24. Holly October 13, 2011 Reply

    I agree with what you say about it appearing to be a number of things that on their own might not have had consequences. May is very cute and I'm glad you see that before all the legal stuff. Sometimes doctors do and say things, and maybe they don't have great predictions for May but she's definitely shown that she has a very big personality and is obviously so important in your lives. I love reading your blog :)

  25. Charmaine November 12, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a former personal injuries lawyer, now stay at home mum. I can't stress enough how important it is to get a copy of all your medical notes/hospital notes surrounding the birth should you wish to pursue legal action down the road....as they may no longer exist 10 years down the track. All the best.

    • Mama Lewis November 12, 2011 Reply

      Absolutely. In fact, in my post How much will May cost the country? I mention the cuts to legal aid. And, you will be relieved to know that we have hired a lawyer and are in the process of investigating the birth.

  26. The Slacker Mom November 21, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. (I found you via Twitter) My best friend's daughter has CP as a result of a birth injury, they are in the process of pursuing legal action against their birth center right now. It's a long road but one they were advised they needed to take because of the expense of caring for their daughter.

    • Mama Lewis November 21, 2011 Reply

      We are looking into it as well, right now. Not sure how far we will be able to go with it, but investigations are being made.

  27. Mama Bear November 26, 2011 Reply

    I have a daughter with moderate brain damage from group B strep. I have done lots of research as we have also been victims of medical negligence. I'm sure you know already what standards of care were breached here. I would be happy to share research with you. I have heard that infection is one of the hardest cases to win and lawyers like the no-fail case. Best of luck and I hope you can keep us updated. I'm sure that May has done the same for you all as my baby did for us: Our perspective on life has changed for the better and we take nothing for granted.

    • Mama Lewis November 26, 2011 Reply

      Thanks Mama Bear! I agree with you about perspective. Mine has definitely changed considerably. If you have anything in particular you think would help with May's case, feel free to email it to contact@stacielewis.com.

  28. Sasha December 2, 2011 Reply

    I have only just stumbled across your blog and at seven months pregnant myself (I didn't quite heed your warning) I read your blog with my heart in my throat. I'm amazed that UK and USA women don't get tested for Strep B, all women in prenatal care in Australia do a Strep B swab around 34 weeks to get tested for the bacteria. Some midwives advocate it others deem it as unnecessary, but it is an option for all women. You have a wonderful attitude and both of your beautiful little ones are very lucky to have such a positive, open minded mother to guide them through their lives, as different as that experience may be for each of them.

    • Julia January 11, 2012 Reply

      U.S. women DO get tested for Group B strep at 34 weeks. We don't get tested during labor though. If a woman has an unknown Group B strep status for some reason then she is automatically treated with antibiotics during labor.

    • Claire March 19, 2013 Reply

      I had my duaghter in Australia and wasn't offered the Strep B test at 34 weeks, I knew nothing about it until I thought my waters broke at 41w +4days and at the hospital the midwife did a swab. I was told my waters hadn't broken, sent home and told to come back for my scheduled induction which was 2.5 days later. My babies heart stopped at the hospital and I was given an emergency c section. My babies apgar scores were 0, 0, 3. They told me after I did have strep b. I was given no antibiotics. Our daughter spent three weeks in NICU and we were told she had moderate brain damage, however so far, (six months later) she is meeting all her milestones so we don't know if there will be repercussions. I still don't understand the strep b issue, we were told many weeks later that the placenta, my blood and the babies blood had no infection, so they can't tall me why her heart stopped. It's confusing. Sorry for the long post, it's hard to capture in a few words.

      • Mama Lewis March 19, 2013 Reply

        Claire, what an awful experience. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I would understand completely if you don't want their actions investigated, but if you were given no antibiotics and they knew you had Strep B, you may want to seek an independent evaluation of what happened. I'm not sure what that would mean in Australia. Here in the UK, the only way to do that is through lawyers. Good luck and so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well!

        • Claire March 22, 2013 Reply

          I'm not really sure what we would be evaluating, to be honest, as I don't really know where we fit, I wasn't actually in labour when her heart rate plummeted, I had only just arrived at the hospital for the induction and had been put on the monitor. So we were from that point of view, incredibly lucky, otherwise she would have been a stillbirth. So whether they would have given me antibiotics once labour started, I don't know, that may be the protocol.I'm also confused as they said after there was no ifection in my blood or my daughters, so presume that means the strep b didn't pass into the baby?? To be honest I don't know enough about it, I'm totally confused! I have intended to get a copy of my hospital notes and hers, I just don't think I've been ready yet, and as she is doing so well, I wonder if I shoud just draw a line under it. I've been looking and looking for some similar stories on webto gain some more knowledge but haven't found any yet. Thank you for sharing your story, it helps to get insight into other peoples experiences, and you are clearly doing a wonderful job with May!
          ps. apologies there is an error in my earlier post, I was 41w 2d when i thought my waters broke, and due to be induced at 41w4d.

          • Mama Lewis March 23, 2013 Reply

            No apology necessary! And, so you know, it took me until May was two years old before I felt I could look into her birth. The whole thing was very traumatic. If you never want to look into yours, that is your prerogative.

  29. Anya December 18, 2011 Reply

    I just wanted to send you a big hug.
    And a virtual cigarette ;)

    I had strep B while pregnant with my second son. Luckily it was known well before my water broke and I was put on antibiotics within 12 hrs.

    Really, a big, big hug.

    Wishing you well, and happy Hanukkah from a "yiddishe mama" in Canada

  30. Shanon April 30, 2012 Reply

    Hello. God bless little May and your entire family! My heart goes out to you. I know this was posted a long time ago, but I just found your site. I just read your "Second Baby" post on babycenter.com and decided to click through to your site.

    I'm in the U.S. and was a maternity RN for nearly 8 yrs before I hurt my ankle at work, so I can't pound those hard floors right now. So, I have a lot of experience with labor & delivery, postpartum, and the nursery. As I was reading the story of May's birth, I couldn't help but slap my forehead at all the mistakes that were made. I agree with you that it wasn't so much one single mistake, but the combination of mistakes that harmed May.

    I hope my commenting on your post at this late date doesn't bring up or cause you any more pain. I was compelled to reach out to you. I pray that you do (or did) receive financial compensation so that your little one will always receive the medical care she needs without it causing financial strain on your family. Take care and God bless!

    • Mama Lewis April 30, 2012 Reply

      Commenting never causes me pain - go for it! I wouldn't write here and on BabyCenter if I didn't have a thick skin :) Thanks so much for your message, Shanon!

  31. Hanna Greene April 12, 2013 Reply

    ...And a great reason why I LOVE THE HOSPITAL birth in the U.S! You're admitted and you're tested for everything from Strep B to HIV and the baby is monitored for even the most minor sign of distress. And no doctor worth their salt is going to let you be pregnant 24 hours after water breaking. Too many risks that carry law suit potential. The benefit of that is healthier babies.

    Midwives and doulas - a joke!

  32. Jennifer Sami April 25, 2013 Reply

    My heart goes out to you, and breaks on your behalf. My own son suffered double pneumonia after our OB failed to note (and treat) us for Strep B. I've been bitter about his 12-day long hospital stay and the aftermath of my own anxiety and fear about his health for almost 13 years now. I'm sorry to learn that your situation has been so much more difficult, and I'm a little guilty at how relieved I feel that his experience (and ours) wasn't worse.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Mama Lewis April 28, 2013 Reply

      Please don't feel guilty Jennifer! Besides it sounds like your son is lucky he has had you looking after him.

  33. Kerry Lang April 25, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for for your courage in sharing this story. Yet again I have a reason for counting the amazing blessing that both my children are healthy and happy. You are so right to concentrate on the love and joy. I will keep your family in my prayers. May the Lord bless you all.

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