My wife and I were expecting our fourth child. Of course, we were happy and looking forward to Levi coming. Below is a list of what took place. What I would like is your guys (and girls) opinions on how things were handled (both from the hospital's standpoint and the doctor's). Thanks in advance.
1) Saturday, September 8 - My wife had not felt the baby move in quite a while and had already been experiencing some contractions. We immediately came to the hospital, at which time they took her to a family suite where she and the baby could be monitored. Baby was fine, the NST showed a few contractions, but not enough to keep her.
2) Sunday, September 9 - At about 2:00 AM, my wife started experiencing much stronger contractions to the point she could not walk through them. We called the doctor who said to go to the hospital. We went, and again, she was taken to a family suite (a room in which she would labor, deliver, and stay). The doctor ordered Nubain and said to watch her for a while. After about two hours, the contractions had pretty much stopped, and we were once again sent home.
3) Monday, September 10 - At about 2:00 AM, my wife started the contraction once again, this time the contractions apart about 3 minutes. When we got to the hospital after having the doctor telling us to do so, my wife was taken to a triage room much smaller and not nearly as nice as one of the 16 family suites (many of which were vacant). The nurse checked my wife and noted she was about 3 centimeters and 60% effaced, and that the cervix still had quite a ways to go. The doctor wanted to give Nubain again, but we declined. Instead, we walked the halls of the labor area, which seemed to increase the severity of the contractions. The nurse checked my wife again at 4:45 AM and noted she was about 3.5 centimeters, 90% effaced and that the cervix had made quite a movement. She called the doctor who said to continue to monitor her, and that he was not sure she was really in true labor yet.
At this point, the contractions began to really pick up in intensity, were closer together (1-1.5 minutes, +125 on NST monitor). My wife at this time was begging for relief to me (as there were never any nurses in the room except at my request). We finally got the nurse into the triage room (where we remained still) and we requested that she be checked again (this was about 5:30 AM). The nurse refused and said that she could not check her again, and left the room for us to be alone. My wife finally got to the point where she was screaming at the top of her lungs, yet no nurse came into the room (although the nurses station was right next to this triage room). I had to leave her alone to go and plead with a nurse to come and help. This particular nurse said that my wife was not her patient, but that she would get our nurse.
Five minutes passed, no nurse came in and my wife was begging for help and saying that our son was coming, that she wanted to push. Still no nurse came in. I left her alone again to tell the nurses at the station I had a lot more respect for my wife than I did for them, as they were not listening to a woman who had three children already.
Finally, "our" nurse came in and did not seem in any way to sympathize with my wife regarding the pain she was in, but finally and reluctantly agreed to check my wife. My wife at this point was on an old hospital bed that was much narrower than a regular labor bed, sitting. The nurse instructed her to lay down, which at this point was excruciating to my wife. However, my wife knew this was the only way she was going to be checked. As she was starting to lay down, the nurse made a movement to start checking my wife, at which time my wife's water broke. The nurse was completely startled and saw our son's head. She proceeds to run out of the room for help (leaving us alone once again).
The nurse who told us we were not her patient then comes in the room. My wife is begging to push and began to open her legs to do so. This nurse proceeds to grab her legs and clamp them together and gets in my wife's face and says that we cannot do that yet. My wife tried to be understanding, but kept telling this nurse that he (our son) was here, that she needed to push, but the nurse continued to clamp her legs and tell us to wait for the doctor (who was still about 45 minutes away). Finally, after several seconds of begging, the nurse finally releases my wife's legs, at which time (literally about 5-10 seconds) our son's head comes out quickly.
When this took place, I looked at the nurses who were in the room, and I saw panic. The nurse who saw the head come out, held it for a few seconds, but left his head dangling there for 15-30 seconds while she frantically called for the tools necessary to deliver our son. Two nurses came to take care of the umbilical cord. One nurse said to the other "No, you cannot cut the cord until you clamp the cord." With one quick push, our son, Levi, was born at 6:10 AM. At this point, and thanks only to God, our son and my wife seem to be doing well. About 45 minutes later, the doctor arrived to deliver the afterbirth, and to give my wife one stitch. This was his only part of our son being born.
Here are the things we had to see, hear and experience.
1) My wife delivered in a triage room meant only for early labor observation. She was told if she progressed enough, she would be allowed to go to a family suite to receive pain medication and to deliver in a better environment.
2) My wife delivered without a doctor being present. To our knowledge, no other doctor was called within the hospital to come and assist.
3) My wife was admitted to the hospital as a patient and asked to sign the consent forms hours after she had already delivered.
4) My wife's vital signs (temperature, blood pressure) were checked only once the whole time from 2:30 - 6:10 AM. This is with a woman who had told she was on the doorstep of pre-eclampsia.
5) When it became apparent she was in true labor, I had to be the one time and again to go and ask for the assistance of the nurses. Not even when she was screaming in pain did they come to check or help.
6) My wife was denied the chance to be checked for further dilation and effacement. If she were, the nurses would have been better prepared.
7) I, thankfully, was the only one to see the panicked looks on the faces of the nurses in the room as my son's head was delivered.
8) My wife and myself had to watch 5-10 nurses run around looking for all the necessary tools in order for a baby to be delivered (as they were not in the triage room).
9) Tearfully, I write that our three other children, and my wife's mother and father had to hear my wife screaming in pain (as the triage room was very near the waiting room). Had she been in a family suite, they would not have been subjected to hearing that.
10) My wife, who had planned on receiving some type of pain measures, received none due to the seeming lack of concern on the nurses part.
11) After having delivered, my wife started normal, but violent shaking and shivering. At this very time, a nurse asked her to try and keep her arm still so that she could insert an IV.
I have spoken with the head nurse of the labor and delivery area (who was not there at the time of labor or delivery). I have spoken with the president of the hospital. At this time, while both of them seem to understand our issues, they do not seem to be in a hurry to take responsibility for what was done.
I would like to see if any of you have had an experience similar to ours, and whether or not the hospital's or doctor's actions rise to the level of medical negligence or malpractice.
I routinely am not one who even think of such matters, nor am I one who let's an event like this fester too long. It has been little over 50 hours now since our son was born, and with each passing hour, I find myself growing more agitated with what took place.
If you do not mind, would you please share your thoughts. Thanks.