Monday, 10 January 2011

My premature baby and how I was so let down by the medical team.

My beautiful daughter ,Maria Christine Oliveira, was born on 19-12-10 at 12.21 pm at just 22 weeks and 4 days. She was so perfect. When she arrived she was breathing, her heart was beating with strength and she was moving her little arms and legs yet doctors REFUSED to save her. She lived for about an hour and a half.If she was 3 days older (23 weeks) then they would have attempted. They claimed babies under 23 weeks are not considered viable so they will not try to save them.If they have never tried how on earth do they know they can't survive? Their actual words were they will not RESUSITATE babies under 23 weeks ... but they would not have had to resusitate her as she arrived fully alive. It really hurts when I read so many success stories about babies between 22 and 23 weeks who have survived.. I know most babies don't but those that did live were given a chance that my baby was not. She deserved a chance at life. The doctors said they were followed procedure guidelines but these guide lines are not laws !! They are suggested guidelines. The guidelines also say that babies should not be resusitated unless parents request and reiterate that request. So why were my requests and pleas denied ? I spoke to several doctors ... when speaking to one in particular (begging for intervention to be undertaken when Maria should come) I cried 'PLEASE?!' and he just stood with his arms folded and sternly said 'NO'. As the mother of Maria I had the right to decide what was best for her. Even though I am aware that some people see it cruel to try and keep a baby alive but my baby deserved the same change that a 23 week old baby would have been given.

Secondly, I went into labour 5 days before I actually gave birth.I had my mucus plug come out with my bloody show, I was having contractions which were 3 minutes apart and was leaking amniotic fluid.I went to the hospital for an emergency doctor appointment.The doctor was very belittling probably because I am young and a first time mum and she spoke to me as though I was over reacting and made me feel so stupid.At the time of the appointment I had no more bloody discharge or amniotic fluid coming out so she said 'oh well you have nothing coming out now do you!' she said nothing was wrong and told me to go home.She said I was not in labour and I took her word for it , as most first time mums would.I continued to suffer with pains and 3 days later my waters broke.2 days later I gave birth.If the doctor had recognised that I was in labour then I could have undergone preventative labour treatment which could have prolonged my labour long enough for Maria to reach 23 weeks or older.Also whilst in hospital waiting to give birth I was never offered any steroids to help mature my babies lungs to give her a better chance of survival , this is relevant as nobody knew how long after my waters breaking I would actually give birth, it couldve been 3 days later than it was in which case the doctors may have agreed to save her and the steroids couldve been the difference between life and death.

I spent about an hour with my baby before suferring a massive bleed and having to be rushed away from her to go to theatre. I wasn't with her when she died which breaks my heart but she died in her daddy's arms.

I hope people read this and learn from it. Something needs to be done .. babies ARE viable before 23 weeks and should not be left to die if the parents request against it !!


  1. babe
    this broke my heart
    i know that nothing i can say is going to change anything, but i love you, and i want you to know no matter what i am always going to be here for you
    always and always
    i promise

  2. Hi,
    I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. Where do you live.
    I recently had twin girls at 23W, they're now 12 weeks old and one should be home within 2 weeks and hopefully the other a few weeks after.
    Were in Australia and I know here they usually don't resuscitate before 24 weeks but there's been a few babies to survive without complications from as early as 22 weeks.
    You're right, it shouldn't be up to the doctors at all, yes you should know all the possible complications and outcomes but you as a parent should have the final say on whether the baby should be saved or not.
    This policy really has to change.

    My heart goes out to you.

  3. Hi, first of all I'm so sorry that you had to go through exactly what I went through, my Dr played God with my baby and for years I've been so angry about this, I was told that I didn't want a vegetable & that there would be other children, I begged for them to help me and stop my contractions.

    I had a live born baby not a stillborn, that took her last breaths in my arms and I will never forget this. I keep thinking if I was a Dr I would try until I couldn't try no more to save this precious baby even if it meant that they weren't meant to survive at least you tried.

    I have kept this silent for too long it's too upsetting, maybe one day I will be able to verbalise my thoughts and feelings.

  4. I m soo sorry to here that it's so sad when dokters dont do ther job:-(

  5. omg reading this makes me so sad. this exact thing happened to my nephew in april this year. doctors & midwives just stood there & refused to intervene because by his scan date he was only 22 weeks. this law needs to be changed & when babies are born they should by assessed & checked by a doctor who then can consult with the parents on what they shud do. my nephew weighed 1035g he was 10.5 inches long & fought to live for nearly 2 hours. his autopsy results revealed he was actually over 24 weeks & this makes me so angry & the question what if they tried to help him, he could still be here with us & not just wrote down as a miscarriage.
    my thoughts are with you xxxx