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Head of Maternity Services 'phoned about enquiry into Bo 's stillbirth

(81 Posts)
bubble99 Thu 24-Mar-05 21:45:48

She 'phoned yesterday. I still hate the term "stillbirth" as it evokes images of a baby who died in utero well before delivery. Bo was termed a "peri-natal death" because he died in the minutes before he was delivered by CS.
I still find it incredibly difficult to talk in RL, that is why I spend so much time here with all of you. I'm not afraid to cry but I can't get the words out or make sense.
There will be a "review" by a panel of doctors and MW's at the end of this month. Apparently they go through my notes in detail looking at the care we received from the ante-natal period through to delivery. The ante-natal will provide interesting reading. I didn't see a consultant till I was 36 weeks pg. Remember this was a twin pg and therefore high risk. My attempts to contact the comm. MW's were largely unsuccesful. Wrong mob. 'phone no. given and over the Christmas period (when unable to speak to a human being, only answerphones, to get the correct number) I spoke to an old lady up North - owner of said wrong number- on a few occasions. Nice old lady BTW, had a good Christmas, but not a MW unfortunately.
My antenatal care was mainly provided by my GP (not a problem with a singleton and my GP was great but by her own admisssion not experienced enough to be sole provider for a twin pg)
My "care" when we got to hospital to be induced was shocking and fatal for Bo. I have revisited the scene in my head so many times. I am haunted by the feeling that I did not protest and shout loud enough to save him. I know that Elijah would also have died if I had not, when taken to theatre after my babies had been in distress for seven hours , told the anaesthetist to abandon his attempts to site spinal anaesthesia and "get these babies out alive NOW."
My rational voice tells me that I was in their care, they were the professionals and had a care of duty to me and my sons. I know that I could have been a woman who could not speak English and therefore could not have said anything.
I am a Registered Nurse, not a MW. I did 2 months of training as part of my course in a maternity unit in 1986 and yet even I knew that the CTG traces required immediate action.

I honestly felt Iwas losing my mind. I was lying there thinking "Something is going wrong here" and none of the staff present seemed to have any sense of urgency or comprehension of the nightmare scenario unfolding before my very eyes.
When I said to the doctor (senior reg) for the fourth time that I needed to go to theatre for a CS she stood there smiling and saying we would wait for my DH to come back. They'd sent him home - babies in distress - but they sent him home. We believed that they knew what they were doing, We felt things weren't right but assumed they knew something that we didn't.

Sorry. I'm not sure what this post set out to do. Thanks for listening.

aloha Thu 24-Mar-05 21:50:27

I am so, so, so sorry. You were treated abominably and so were your husband and your babies. There are no words.
BTW I totally understand that 'losing your mind' feeling. When I was in labour with dd (and told I wasn't and left alone (dh sent home) and unmonitored despite being a previous cs, I felt as if I had become invisible and inaudible - quite surreal. Nothing, NOTHING compared to your experience but just to say that the medical establishment can be very good at disempowering the most articulate and indeed bolshy of us. You know what happened was in no way your 'fault'. It was theirs.

jampots Thu 24-Mar-05 21:50:27

bubble - you are coping so well and i am glad you are on here with everyone

There's nothing you could have done short of self operating so please dont beat yourself up. We have to place our trust in professionals sometimes and when they misplace our trust then they should be made to account for it. I know it wont bring your dear little son back but please remember we're all here for you xxxxxxxx

pupuce Thu 24-Mar-05 21:51:34

"We believed that they knew what they were doing, We felt things weren't right but assumed they knew something that we didn't. "

I totally agree with you - and why would you not feel that.... this is their daily job..... ! Reading this story is quite unbelievable....

Are you invited at this review? Will you have a chance to air your views?

PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 24-Mar-05 21:51:47

bubble, every time I read about the way you and Bo and Elijah were treated, I cry, I'm just aghast.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Thu 24-Mar-05 21:51:57

You are and were NEVER NEVER NEVER to blame. You did the very best you could to get the best care that you could. You have a right to be angry, but you must not blame yourself.

mancmum Thu 24-Mar-05 21:53:57

I have just read this with such sadness... I don't know what to say cos I know there are no words as this time that will help... my friend lost her DS (her 3rd child) after he went into distress during her section and swallowed meconium... I have seen her go thru hell over the last couple of years but she has come thru the other side.. not the same, not quite intact.. but you would not expect to come thru it the same person... the one thing I would say that after watching my friend try to deal with it on her own, is to make sure you talk talk talk as much as you can and try to get as many answers as you can.... she did not find SANDs helpful for her as she found it difficult to open up to others, but she found a bereavement counsellor invalulable.. she left it 2 years (and some severe depression later) before she made the step and it really really helped...

Not sure why I am telling you this... just hate to think of what you are going thru and guess want to make you better... not possible.. but could not let this post lie read but no answered...

PrettyCandles Thu 24-Mar-05 21:54:23

How angry and frustrated you must be feeling. Mum and Dad want to do the best for their children, and you were prevented from doing so by the very people who should have been helping you.

Thinking of you and yours.

swiperfox Thu 24-Mar-05 21:57:09

Hi there, I haven't seen your previous posts but am deeply saddened just from reading this one. You must be an incredibly brave person. I can'tbegin to imagine that I could ever cope with what you have. Stay strong for Elijah and know that Bo is still with you (both beatiful names by the way ) Sometimes I think that your intuation as a mother rises above any professional qualifications and it must be unbelievably frustrating to feel that things weren't acted on in the right way. At the same time you have a beautiful boy to spend the rest of your life with and I'm sure he'll be brilliant having a brave a brave Mum like you - Was it you who posted the thread about his first smile?

Sending (((((((((((hugs))))))))) to you all

hatsoff Thu 24-Mar-05 21:57:24

bubble - I think of you often. Especially after the Guardian article. It kind of seems odd that I don't know you from Adam and yet I do feel something very strong about your experience, and I am glad that MN is providing you an outlet seperate from rl.

misdee Thu 24-Mar-05 21:58:23

bubble everytime i read about Bo and Elijahs story i cry. its so sad and also makes me so angry at the same time. I wish all the best and hope you get some answers soon. (((())))

RTKangaMummy Thu 24-Mar-05 22:08:50

Bubble

I really hope that they don't try to cover up all the mistakes that were made

It is just so many mistakes one after another

Potty1 Thu 24-Mar-05 22:11:05

((((hugs))))

Bubble -I hope you get some answers - something that will make you know that you did the best you could for your baby.

Caligula Thu 24-Mar-05 22:14:18



Oh God, Bubble.

Don't know what to say really, just want to send you my support and sympathy. We've (most of us) been there in a situation where what we knew was going on wasn't right, but just didn't have the power to stop it. But most of us haven't had to suffer such dire consequences as you. I so hope you get some comfort, and some answers.

handlemecarefully Thu 24-Mar-05 22:18:22

I so feel for you. I can imagine that you do go through the whole thing over and over again and torture yourself by thinking if only you had done more. I think you need to be told over and over again that YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME for Bo's death. A mother in labour is vulnerable and should be able to completely entrust the care of herself and her unborn child(ren) to the professionals.

There is no way that you are even the tiniest smidgeon responsible for what happened. Life has dealt you an incredibly cruel and unfair blow and YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE.

bubble99 Thu 24-Mar-05 23:02:35

After the review there will be an official enquiry which we will attend. It is chaired/headed by an obstetric consultant who just happens to be the doctor who was my "named consultant" during my pg. It was not her team on duty the night Bo died, that dubious honour belongs to the consultant who had phoned the ward at 11pm to enquire if there were any difficult deliveries/issues that he needed to be made aware of and had beeen told nothing. His first entry in my notes is at 03.30am (we were admitted at 8.30pm the previous evening) underlined in red pen stating "I have only now been made aware of the situation"
He turned up, watched a dead baby being delivered and he had to take Mr Bubble into a room to tell him that his son was dead.

I've worked at the hospital in the past and consequently know a lot of the staff, including the MW's. I was therefore able gain more information and feedback about the whole event than most people would. I was told that the consultant was fuming, upset and V. angry that my son had died so needlessly. My "named" consultant was crying when she spoke to me the next day.
I sincerely hope that the hospital does not attempt a "whitewash". Given that there are printouts of the disturbing CTG traces fron 9pm onwards I can't see how they could. I, in my more paranoid moments, wonder if these printouts will be conveniently "lost."
I have requested a copy of my notes. I'd already read them in hospital (thankyou "Freedom of Information Act") and made copious noted. All the way through it said "continue CTG trace and review." I work(ed) in a recovery ward, it's like me watching your oxygen saturation readings (that little clip monitor on your finger) and seeing it drop, you turn blue, and instead of giving you oxygen, write "continue monitoring and review."
The "Head of Midwifery Services" is obviously nervous. She kept saying "We will be completely open and honest with you." After the stinky headlines in recent days about the NHS I'm not surprised.
We're not planning to sue. My son is dead nothing can change that and we don't want our case to be tainted with even a sniff of a "compensation chasers" perception. That said I've discussed with Mr Bubble the fact that we may need IVF or some kind of help to conceive in the future. I think "a life for a life" is the most deserving case for a payout or even "payment in kind" in the form of unlimited access to NHS IVF facilities until we provide Elijah with the sibling he should have had.
Mr Bubble says and I agree with him, that if we have no motives we can talk freely. If they are not open and honest we go to the press.

expatinscotland Thu 24-Mar-05 23:09:13

((((HUGS)))) Bubble.

Keep fighting. It'll keep you going. Your kids are so lucky to have you for a mum.

HUNKERMUNKER Thu 24-Mar-05 23:10:04

Bubble, as others have said, you are NOT to blame - you have to trust the professionals who are meant to be caring for you.

I am SO glad you have your notes - after reading on the Guardian thread of the poor woman whose hospital 'lost' hers...

Thinking of you, as ever. If there's any letter-writing/phone-calling/anything at all to be done, please let me know and I'll gladly help. Love to all the Bubble family xxxxxx

marthamoo Thu 24-Mar-05 23:55:00

Bubble, it was not your fault. If you were hearing this story from someone else you would not hold them in any way responsible for what had happened to them. You would know - as all of us here know - that they had trusted the healthcare professionals to know what they were doing, to act promptly, to make the right decisions. That didn't happen. The fact that it didn't is not down to you, or Mr Bubble. You were in labour: you were in pain and distress - I don't believe any of us would have done anything differently.

It breaks my heart that you feel somehow to blame. As Mums we do everything in our power to protect our children. That is what you did - you put your trust in the people you believed were best placed to help your babies. They let you down. Not your fault.

I'm rambling I know but a child's death is the saddest thing a parent will ever have to deal with - please don't add guilt to your already unbearably heavy burden.

milward Fri 25-Mar-05 00:01:48

Bubble99 - hold strong. You are doing everything right in this. Can you get a copy of your traces & notes? Thoughts are with you xxx

moondog Fri 25-Mar-05 00:05:24

Bubble.. I have observed this whole situation unfold and it just seems absolutely unbelievable in this day and age. Like a bad dream.
I really hope that you get the answers you need and find some sort of peace. We are all thinking of your family at this terrible time. XXXXXX

suzywong Fri 25-Mar-05 00:09:20

you are entirely admirable in your decision and ability to be clear-headed and rationale in this situation which can only work in your favour

What a nightmare.
how's little Elijah doing?

Flossam Fri 25-Mar-05 00:26:55

Bubbles, I can so sympathise with you, as everyone else. I am a nurse too, and want to say please don't blame yourself. I work in one of the best reputed hospitals in London, and because of that was able to have my baby there. However, once I went in to labour the last thing I wanted to be there was a nurse. Like you, my midwifery section was a bit of a joke, I didn't even see a baby being born. Have forgotten most of what I learnt. I had a fair idea that by making the case of being a nurse I would be treated as such when all I really wanted to be was the patient. I didn't want to hear all the jargon or be given more details than perhaps I would have been otherwise. When we are re-admitted the next weekend as DS had jaundice and we were treated badly I did not mention my job again. I wanted me and DS to be treated as anyone else would, not just because they know that I know they are being neglectful and incompetent.

What I am trying to say is in response to your original post. You are not there to look after your babies any more than you had been doing for the rest of your pregnancy. You were there as their patient, their responsibility, for not only you but your babies too. It DOES sound as though those who were caring for you were responsible. If for nothing else than for not telling the consultant that a pregnant mother of twins had been admitted. It sounds like your doctors were behaving egotistically, trying to prove their skills, as you probably have seen they can at times (some of them). They hoped they would earn brownie points for managing the safe delivery of twins without consultant input. They were wrong and IMO incompentent. Their mistakes seem to have resulted in the incredibly sad loss of you beloved Bo, and as I have said before I am so so sorry for you. It is the sadest thing I think I have read on mumsnet.

It is incredible of you that you are not tempted to sue. I can understand that you do not want to. The legal rangling may draw out and worsen your pain more than is necessary. But do not write it off for the reason tha people will think badly of you, that they will assume you are out to get what you can. They won't. What better case can there be than that of a lost new life? There was a recent case in London where the hospital was found to be at fault, the thought that they were greedy etc did not ever cross my mind, I doubt it did any others who have had or are having children.

Bubbles, please, please please, this is not your fault. I hate to hear that you think it is, although I know this is a stage of grieving that I hope you pass through and resolve so quickly. Give Elijah a big hug and kiss from me, he must be so special to you. xxx

bubble99 Fri 25-Mar-05 00:32:49

Elijah is as I speak stirring, head doing that sideways-turned rooting thing, looking for food.
He is truly a joy and a comfort. It was so sad being at Bo's funeral on Monday and seeing the date on his little casket as the same as Elijah's birthday. I know, rationally, that I'm not to blame but I keep wishing I had a time machine which could take me back in order to save Bo.

suedonim Fri 25-Mar-05 00:56:21

Oh, Bubbles. If no other good comes of this tragedy, your persistence in holding people to account may yet save other little babies waiting to be born. Thinking of you and Elijah and tiny Bo.

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