May vs The Hospital: Part 1, Missing information

Posted on May 20, 2012 | 11 comments

Last autumn, my husband and I sat down with a lawyer to instruct him to open an investigation into May’s birth. The only cases I’ve heard of going through, and I do know personally of a couple, are ones where the hospital admitted fault from the very day it happened. The moment of wrongdoing was that obvious.

We can think all we want that the birth did go wrong; unless the lawyer can prove it, forget it. In our household, even with our beliefs that things did go wrong, an investigation will probably not uncover that one terrible moment. As if there is one moment, I believe there are several. But, cases like May’s are notoriously difficult to prove.

So, why do it?

I want a bit of peace. I want it over. I want to know something, anything about those days that I don’t know already that will tell me why my baby was hurt so badly. Not having an answer, or even an inkling, is hard. It is really hard. Indescribable.

Yesterday, I received our first letter from the lawyer about the investigations so far. How long did I stare at that thin envelope? How long did I stand in my hallway with Ieuan crying for me upstairs, as he waited for me to return?

Inside, the lawyer sent a copy of his letter to the hospital explaining that the records they sent him were incomplete. Where was the report regarding their investigations? Or, the results of that investigation? In that moment, on the stairs, I realized I’d never seen them either. There were other missing items as well; incomplete records from my personal hospital records and May’s.

But, what does this mean? Does it mean they are lying or incompetent? Evasive or just plain lazy? Perhaps it is nothing, an accident or oversight.

We will know more once those blanks are filled in. Months will pass before they are. Full investigations into May’s birth will take a long time. Maybe a year, or more. All the while: limbo.

11 Comments

  1. I am so glad you are doing this. I think a lot went wrong with May’s birth and you have the right to know. It will give you peace that May was fine until the actual birthing process from what you have described went horribly long and was fraught with incompetence in my mind.

  2. Stacey, I can only tell you that if May’s birth occured in the US exactly the way it did there, fault would be placed on the hospital with no question. I applaud you for fighting for May’s future, and am sad that you should have to go through all this. Good Luck
    Michelle

    • Thanks Michelle! Hearing that from you, with your medical background, means a lot.

  3. I am so glad you are doing this with the lawyer. You had no signs of problems during your pregnancy. Honestly you have wondered along with the rest of the family what happened the day your water broke and labor started with May. I am not surprised that info is missing from your paperwork. If you didn’t look into this it would eat away at you each year May got older. You deserve to recieve more help for May and some answers. May has the best parents but the items she needs to make her life easier are exspensive and I really hope this work with the lawyer bring you some extra help. It will be hard to learn about, but for May I know you can handle it. Really proud of you guys!

    • It makes it whole lot easier having family like you to bounce things off of Carrie.

  4. I think you should do this for your own peace of mind but also to get compensation so that May can have everything she needs and the very best equipment.You have fought so many battles with so many people and you shouldn’t have to.Something went wrong and you need answers so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

  5. As someone in current litigation for our daughter, I can say it does bring some closure and a whole lot of pain. Finding out details about how bad things really were and how preventable it was is hard to hear. And then talking dollar amounts to cover your pain and expenses, well, it’s hard. But as mothers we are born to protect our babies and will do everything we can to give them everything they need. Good luck to you and your family.

  6. I also think that what you are doing is a good thing – if nothing else, it will get you some answers. I’m pretty shocked at the way you were treated by the hospital – Zara was very ill when she was born although she thankfully made a full recovery. In spite of this, an investigation was carried out into my labour and her birth and I was sent a copy of the report. I was also offered an appointment with my consultant which I accepted and he went through the report with me which detailed my labour minute by minute. He told me what they could have done better and where they made mistakes (even though these didn’t have a bearing on Zara’s illness).

    You deserved this much at least. Wishing you lots of luck.

    • We didn’t get anything like that Surraya. Three weeks after May’s birth – while she was still in the hospital and we were still completely shell-shocked, a consultant obstetrician and the head midwife – neither of whom we’d ever met before – called us into a massive conference room. They showed us print outs from monitors during labour and May’s notes. At the time they seemed forthcoming. They said May’s problems were a complete mystery. We never received a written report.

  7. Glad you’ve decided to do this Stacie. We are going through similar at the moment as we never received a satisfactory explanation for what happened either. It has been difficult reading through the expert reports but I hope that eventually it will bring us closure, and for you likewise. xx

  8. I am glad you are doing this. If there is the chance, the tiny chance, that by you doing this and holding the hospital responsible (if not to blame), and another child is not harmed, it was worth it. I do find it fascinating that your records are MIA. I had a traumatic birth with a brilliant doctor, and my son has some very minor issues (mostly around sensory stuff, learning, reading etc) – his apgar was zero (blue, unresponsive)and my blood pressure was barely registering when the doctor was about to make the first cut (I was on my way out from general anesthesia). My son is 7, but for years every day I would look at him and be thankful that our doctor was there when he needed to be. After these experiences I remain convinced, “modern medicine” or not, every birth of a healthy child is a miracle.

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