Jump to content


Prayers for my baby sister... and also a hospital/doctor JAWM


Recommended Posts

Some back story. 

My youngest sister went into heart failure after the birth of her first son, 6 years ago. Prior to that, she had no history of cardiac problems, BUT had been complaining for months (end of pregnancy) of cardiac symptoms. The midwife assigned to her refused to transfer her to the OBGYN above her (clinic setting), citing her symptoms as normal pregnancy issues.

She was hospitalized for weeks after the heart failure, just trying to get (and keep) her stable, medicated, etc.


She was told not to have any more children for at least 10 years. They advised an IUD.


Fast forward to 9 months ago. Sister started experiencing morning sickness. Didn't think much of it at first - after all, she has an IUD. 

When it didn't go away, she took a pregnancy test. Positive. Her OGBYN immediately had her come in and searched (ultrasound) for the IUD after confirming the pregnancy. They can't find the IUD anywhere. 


They decide that under the watchful eye of a fetal specialist, high risk OBGYN, and cardiologist, she could continue the pregnancy. 




Except that the right hand in that freakin' hospital doesn't know what the left is doing. Heck, the right hand doesn't even know which hemisphere the left is IN. 


She goes to the only clinic in her area of GA that accepts pregnancy medicaid. She doesn't get a choice, so it isn't like she can transfer out. 


She has seen a different OBGYN almost every time she's gone in - she only sees the high risk OBGYN occasionally. So essentially, almost every check up she is with an OGBYN who is seeing her chart for the first time.

She has heard, "You need to have a c-section," "No you do not need to have a c-section," "No pitocin," "No going past your due date (risk of stress to the heart)," "Pitocin is fine but you shouldn't go past your due date," "Going a week past your due date is fine," "I want you in cardiac ICU after the birth," and some times she hears dead air. 


A couple weeks ago she went in to the hospital with contractions. They pushed pitocin ALL day - then sent her home with no monitoring because it was prior to her due date and she wasn't progressing past a cent dialated. Her cardiologist, who is in the same hospital blew a gasket because he wasn't even informed that she was THERE. 


NOW she's in the hospital, 4 days past her due date, because her water was leaking. They checked the baby, baby's fluids are low (5 or 6 out of 10?), so they decide to insert a balloon (?) to progress labor. Cardiologist was notified and he told the staff that he wanted the baby out that day (from what I hear, via my mother).That worked - temporarily. When they took the balloon out, labor regressed. So they started pitocin. No baby, not progressing. New cardiologist (I assume the one on rotation or on call) came in, asked her if she was having contractions (yes, she was), smiled and asked if the babe was to be a boy or a girl, glanced around... and left. 


My sister is terrified and is relying on the people with a medical background (like the DOCTORS) to know which end is up and what should happen. But nothing is happening except labor is continuing, she is upset and stressed out, and nothing seems to be progressing. At this point, throughout her pregnancy, she's heard every different game plan under the sun from her doctors - but nothing was set in stone, I guess?


It is entirely possible that I'm just worked up and worried about my sister. It's also possible that the hospital is incompetent. I don't really care which it is - I just want her to be okay. Her husband is as terrified and confused as she is (and there's a language barrier there with the husband, which makes it more difficult for him to communicate with the doctors, I would assume). 

Edited by AimeeM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She definitely needs a patient advocate. Can you instruct her husband to forcibly ask for one? Can you fly out to help or someone else in your family make an emergency trip?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do they have a friend or family member who can come in and forcefully advocate for your sister ? Even in decent hospitals, it's the person with a persistent advocate who tends to do better.


It sounds very worrisome. I hope it all works out OK.

So far the one time that her cardio was contacted, it appears that it happened because my sister's FIL called a friend (who is another cardiologist in the building) and made something happen.

But her FIL is ill and can't be at the hospital. My middle sister is there now and she was trying to track somebody down. She just flew in a little bit ago. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, Aimee. ((Hugs)). I'm sorry she's going through this. You must be so worried.


If you can be with her to advocate, wonderful. If not, definitely call about a patient advocate.


Thinking of you.

We're going down Saturday. Unfortunately, when she was last admitted a couple weeks ago, we went to be with her and I rescheduled important appointments - that I can't reschedule again. My middle sister flew in today, though, and she sent my mother home with my nephew (who as at the hospital watching all of this go down), and she (middle sister) is trying to track somebody down to yell at do something.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hospitals have patient advocates for situations like this. It is their job to solve problems, get answers and communicate with all parties involved. first, she or a family member needs to talk to her nurse and ask what the care plan is for your sister and what the care plan is for your baby should she not be able to take care of him immediately after birth, find out if she goes to the cardiac care unit, will the baby go with her & who will babies nurse be. If your nurse doesn't know the plan, then express that concern and ask to get one underway so the new mommy knows what will happen. This will relieve some stress after all. If you don't get an articulated plan of care where every medical professional knows where they need to be and when is a relatively short time, call the hospital's main number and ask for a patient advocate. Hospitals are required to have patient advocates by their accrediting agencies.


There is probably a white board in the room - have them write this info on it

Today is Thursday February 4.

Nurse: Sarah, RN

Aide: Mike

OB on duty: Dr. Feels Nopain

Cardiologist on duty: Dr. Pumps Blood

Anesthesiologist on duty: Dr. Sleeps A. Lott

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I'm so sorry.... I could give a bunch of advice for what should have happened before now and throughout the pregnancy, but, at this point she's labouring and it's too late for all that. 


She needs a strong advocate who will keep hounding people and stay on top of co-ordination, a solid plan from here to be worked out that she agrees to now (preferably with her high risk OB) and lots of prayer. You'll be in my thoughts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prayers for her. If I had heart issues with my last pregnancy, I'd demand a csection.

I went through things with my last pregnancy and a Dr that swore he'd do my csection before he went out of town (I was due at Christmas, of course). Well, of course when the time came he went out of town and I basically had an on call Dr do my high risk csection at a hospital I was sure I'd never deliver at.

Her situation seems more serious. I hope the drs/hospital gets their act together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the hugs and prayers everyone.

My sister delivered the baby (vaginally) around 3:30 this morning. I'm still worried about the amount of time, with no sleep, that she spent laboring.

I've been trying to get my mom or middle sister on the phone, but haven't been able to (I assume they're sleeping since they have been up for 24 hours or so). 

As far as I know, everything is okay. Hopefully they will keep her for a few days to monitor (she went into heart failure at home after the birth of her first child, as she had been discharged despite complaints). 

I'm going to call her husband next, to advise him to ask for a patient advocate. 

Edited by AimeeM
  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Um, you forgot to tell us if you have a new niece or nephew!

Ha...I read the update twice looking for that information.


Anyway, I am glad that baby is here and mom and baby are doing well. 


I will continue to pray for them (and you as you travel to meet baby).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops! Sorry, lol.

Another nephew! Jonah.



Another update and a request for you all to extend your prayers and good thoughts a little longer. Something may be wrong with Baby Jonah's heart. The pediatrician and ped's cardio are keeping him for a few more days, it seems; that and his blood sugar is low. The heart issue... something about the pediatrician hearing "two heartbeats"? Like an echo? He didn't make it sound too serious, but wanted to call in the ped's cardiologist. 


My mother did tell me about the birth. Apparently at some point the baby's oxygen and heart rate dipped, then they had her stop pushing so the doctor could unwrap a double-wrapped cord from the baby's neck. My sister was a trooper, though, and when she got the okay to push, it was over in minutes, lol.

Edited by AimeeM
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally got to talk to my sister :)

It appears that my mother was blowing things out of proportion, regarding the babe.

How unlike her (said no daughter of hers, ever).

Regardless, there were concerns but they were very swiftly resolved.


My brother-in-law was a hoot when I talked to Sis. Somebody told him that my father preferred to go by "Dick" (my dad's name is Richard) so when my father called the hospital, BIL kept referring to him as Mr. Dick and couldn't understand why everyone was laughing (language barrier, if you recall from my initial post). My sister was in stitches laughing in the background as I tried to explain to the poor guy that somebody was pulling one over on him, and that my father definitely didn't prefer being called "Mr. Dick." 

Good thing my BIL has a sense of humor and took it in stride.

Everybody is going home tomorrow, as forecasted. I'm praying for the best considering we were all hoping they'd keep my sister for a bit longer to monitor her heart. 

I'll see her on Saturday and I'm crazy excited to see my new nephew!

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...