Ignored and Dismissed

May 21, 2024 By Faith Ervin

Ignored and Dismissed

During the last three weeks of my pregnancy, my blood pressure was high, both of my legs, arms and hands were swollen. Looking Back now, I was showing multiple symptoms for having preeclampsia but was told that it was "normal" even though I repeatedly told my doctor this was not normal for me. He didn't take me seriously nor did he listen to me.

During my delivery, I remember feeling and being extremely weak. It was hard to breathe and for whatever reason, my chest started hurting. I remember telling my doctor that it felt like there was an elephant on my chest. There was so much pressure. I couldn't catch my breath in between pushes. While I was pushing, I felt like I was going to pass out. Vertigo hit with full force. The dizziness made me nauseous. My vision was blurry and everything around me was fading to black.

In between pushing brakes I remember hearing my doctor say; get the vacuum ready. That's when my world stopped. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him no. I didn't want forceps or a vacuum to be used. That's when my doctor told me, my blood pressure was to high (181/100) and my son's heartbeat had dropped. Again I told my doctor, no. He told me that he would only use the vacuum for two pushes. He also told me that both of our lives were in danger. That's when I knew I needed to deliver my baby quickly and as safe as possible. Before I started pushing, I told my doctor I wanted to delay cord clamping for as long as possible. That did not happen.

When my son was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his arm. My son was not breathing. He was purple and lifeless. As soon as my son was placed on my chest, I started rubbing his back, calling his name and telling him, I need him to breathe. I only got to hold him for a minute before he was taken from me. Again, something that I wanted to avoid but because he wasn't breathing, I knew they needed to give him oxygen. About 45 minutes after my son was born I finally was able to hold him. Chest to chest, skin to skin.

The morning after my son was born, I repeatedly told my labor and delivery nurse, something wasn't right. My BP was still high. I had a migraine. My whole body was swollen. I was seeing spots. Again I was ignored. Two days after giving birth to my son, I was discharged from the hospital even though my BP was still dangerously high. I almost fainted when I stood up. Even though I repeatedly expressed my concerns that something wasn't right. I was once again told that everything that I was feeling and experiencing was "normal".

Four days after my son was born I went to the ER because I knew something was still not right. That is when I was diagnosed with Postpartum Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. The ER Doctor who treated me told me that this should have been. It could have been caught and prevented before my son was born. It's sad and very scary when doctors do not take our concerns seriously. A mother's intuition is always correct.