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Thread: God help me

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    Default God help me

    We received this letter from a woman who was living in Santiago, she and her husband are American. Melanie (LaTeacher) and I take turns checking the messages on the MW4DR facebook page and Melanie sent me a message as clearly this upset her.
    I checked the messages and I am going to be honest, by the 4th paragraph, I was crying. I don't know what type of education is being taught here, I don't know why doctors who blatantly cross the line into malpractice are allowed to continue. This hurts me to my core and I'm getting tired y'all. We teach and teach and teach and things like this continue to happen.
    I had dropped out of my Midwifery program in January due to lack of funds. I did not have the $5,000 needed to finish my program. After reading this letter, I am going to re-enroll for this fall if I have to f*cking work 3 jobs over the summer.
    I have never seen so many blatant contradictions to BASIC OB care and practice, with this letter I stopped counting at 22.....
    I have not taken the names out so I will post my information here so that there is no problem. The woman is not seeking revenge, she just wants her story heard so that maybe another woman doesn't have to go through what she is....
    I am furious and heartbroken both at the same time. This is the first time I have ever felt true rabia and disgust with the Dominican Republic.
    Last edited by Bronxboy; 04-26-2014 at 12:45 AM.

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    Where is the letter?

    Super Moderator DR1.com

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    Here is the story....it is long but deserves to be heard. I am at work so I will not be able to comment until I get home tonight at around 9pm, but please leave your comments. Please people....tell me what more I can do???
    SHALENA



    I called Dr. Reyes early in the morning of Saturday, June 16th to report that I was experiencing decreased fetal movement the night before and that morning and was concerned. He asked me to come into the hospital to see him. We arrived at HOMShospital in Santiago around 9:00 a.m. and waited for a while to see the doctor – it was my husband Dave and I, as well as my friend Jaci. (my friend Melissa also ended up coming in later, in the afternoon) Dr. Reyes hooked me up to the fetal monitor and said that the baby looked okay but since we were there, he wanted to induce me that day. He had asked to induce me previously when I was 39 weeks and I said no, and then wrote a prescription to have me induced Thursday, June 14th (when I was 40 weeks and 2 days) but after reading about the risks of unnecessary induction, I said I preferred not to do this. When I went to the hospital on June 16th, I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I told him that morning that I preferred not to get induced, but he was very insistent and pressured me that it was necessary. He never really explained why I needed to get induced just that there were bad signs and I should do it. (Later he told me that he always induces all of his patients, that none of them just walk in on their own ready to have babies, that that was a crazy idea) He said that he would give me a pill inserted into my vagina called Mistoprostol (aka Cytotec) that would make me start to have contractions and help me to dialate. I asked if he could give me a different type of labor inducer like Pitocin because it is less risky and I have heard bad things about Mistoprostol but he insisted that Mistoprostol is the only one I could take because I wasn’t dialated. I noticed on the prescription that he wrote it out for 50mg (he did not tell me this himself) but I knew that the proper dose was 25mg and I asked if he would give me 25mg instead. He seemed irritated by this but said he would. The problem is that the 200mg pill that he cut didn’t have any dividing marks on it and he cut it in the other room so I don’t know for sure how much he gave me. After later reading about Mistoprostol online, I found a lot of controversy about this drug as it causes uterine hyperstimulation, uterine rupture, death in the mother and baby, and several other problems. It also increases the risk of severe tearing and makes women 5 times more likely to get an emergency c-section. It is an ulcer medication, is not FDA approved, and it’s most common off-label use is for aborting babies. It is banned for the use of labor induction in almost allEuropean countries. There is a picture of a pregnant woman with an x crossed through on the package insert because it is not recommended for pregnant woman. There are also foundations and memorials online to women and their babies who have died due to the complications of taking Mistoprostol. When it is used, there is a very specific protocol to follow and women are supposed to very closely supervised and monitored, with continuous, not intermittent, fetal monitoring. If uterine hyperstimulation occurs, women are supposed to be taken in for emergency c-section. Dr. Reyes told me that this drug is 100% safe and there are no related risks or side effects to worry about. To read more about Mistoprostol, readhttp://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/cytotecwagner71.asporhttp://community.babycenter.com/post/a30667167/cytotec_aka_misoprostol-induction_warning

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    Dr. Reyes inserted the Mistoprostol tablet around 10:30a.m. I was taken to a small “pre-delivery” room that was about the size of a walk-in closet. A woman came in to shave my pubic area as the contractions were beginning. I asked if this was necessary and she said it was. She used a cheap disposable razor and no soap or water. I asked if she could please use soap and water and she said no. She shaved off patches in all different areas and just left the rest. Then she gave me a rectal enima and told me to go to the bathroom.

    Within two hours of inserting the Mistoprostol, I began to have very intense contractions that were a minute and a half apart. I was hooked up to the fetal monitor, where I was told the red side on the left measured the baby’s heart rate and the green numbers on the right measured my contractions. By 1:00 my contractions were 1 minute apart and were bottoming around 70 and topping over 130 on the fetal monitor. But I was still only dialated 1 centimeter. I asked the doctor if this was normal and he said yes but turned off the fetal monitor. My husband turned it back on, but then the doctor came in, disconnected the fetal monitor and removed it from the room and never hooked me back up to it again. He didn’t give me a reason for this, other than “I didn’t need to look at it”. What happened after that is difficult to remember because I was in so much intense pain I felt like I was in a cloud. It was hard to see or hear what was happening around me. At one point my IV ripped out of my arm and blood splattered everywhere but I didn’t notice or feel it because I was in so much intense pain. It is difficult for me to assess what are normal contractions because this was my first birth experience but I have taken another labor inducing drug in the past that caused contractions when I miscarried before which was painful but it was nothing at all like this. I believe that I was experiencing uterine hyperstimulation based on the intensity, frequency, and duration of the contractions but it is difficult to know because I do not have much to compare it to. They may have been normal contractions but I don’t think they werebecause they seemed to come so fast and so intense, just one right on top of the other. I wonder if this is why they took me off the fetal monitor because they did not want me to know that my uterus was hyperstimulating or that something was wrong. From what I remember by 2:00 my contractions were around 30 seconds apart and were long and intense. They continued to come faster and harder. Everything inside of me wanted to begthem to give me a c-section and put me out of my misery but instead I begged them for an epidural (even though I wrote in my birth plan I would not have one). They said this wasn’t possible because I was not dialated enough. The doctor did not check in often, maybe every few hours, he was usually gone or out in the reception area reading a book or talking to the staff. I do not feel he communicated with me about what was going on at all. Nurses came in and out a few times during this time and laughed about my breathing and how I responded to the pain among each other but never talked directly to me or offered any kind of help or support. By around 5:20 the doctor said that I was dialated enough to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist put in the epidural and I don’t even remember feeling it at all compared to the other pain I was in. After he inserted the epidural, the pain from the contractions oddly shifted to an intense pain in my right hip (no idea why?) but this eventually went away. Then I got completely numb from the waist down and couldn’t move any of my body below my waist. So I don’t know if what they gave me was really an epidural or a spinal. They didn’t tell me anything about this. During all of this time, the fetal monitor was never hooked back up or turned on and the doctor rarely checked in. Around 6:00, the doctor came in and put his fingers in me to assess my dialation. He said “wow, you have a very, very narrow pelvis but I think we are around 10 centimeters, let’s go”. (not sure why he never mentioned this during my pre-natal pelvic exams). He was supposed to do a scheduled c-section around this same time for someone else and it seemed he was debating over which case to do first but chose me, but I am not sure, this is what my friends said he was talking about.

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    At that point, they moved me onto a wheeled bed and took me into the delivery room with the pediatrician and several nurses. They seemed to be in a huge hurry about this but did not say why. I don’t know if it was because the doctor was late for his c-section or because there was possibly something wrong and they needed to get the baby out quick, but they did not want me to know this because they wouldn’t turn on the fetal monitor. The doctor did not communicate with me about any of this. They still did not bring or hook me up to a fetal monitor and I had not been hooked up to a fetal monitor since 1:00 when they removed it from the pre-delivery room. Dr. Reyes said he was going to give me an episiotomy and held up something that looked you would use for gardening or cutting grass. I said I preferred not to have one, as I had stated in my birth plan. He did the episiotomy anyways, and later imitated me in a high-pitched voice saying “I don’t want an episiotomy, I don’t want one” and laughing. Then they told me to push when I felt a contraction coming. But by this time, the epidural had fully kicked in and I didn’t feel any contractions at all and was totally numb. I was laying flat on my back and the doctors didn’t give me any help or strategies on what to do, just said to push. I tried to push but afterward the doctor shook his head and sighed. He told me again more firmly to push when I felt a contraction but I didn’t feel any contractions, so I just pushed really hard for as long as I could but he got irritated when the baby didn’t crown again. He had given me 2-3 minutes to try pushing (just 2 times) when a large nurse said to him “this girl doesn’t know how, she doesn’t know how” rolling her eyes and laughing (the staff talked to each other about me in front of me as if I didn’t know Spanish or understand them). Another nurse was playing on his blackberry during this time. I don’t know why they didn’t hook up the fetal monitor so I could try to watch my contractions and push (if this could have been a possibility?) I don’t remember hearing an order from Dr. Reyes but the large nurse and another huge man working as an orderly then both came and pushed and laid as hard as they could on my stomach, shoving it down with full force. There was no technique to this, they just pushed as hard as they could until the baby came shooting out fast at 6:25p.m. They never communicated with me that they were going to do this or why they were doing this. I didn’t realize at the time, but later was told by other doctors and read in a midwifery medical journal that doing this (fundal pressure) is a malpractice that is very dangerous and causes placental abruption and can kill both the mother and baby, andcan also cause other complications such as uterine rupture, anal sphincter damage, and perineal trauma to the mother, and fractures, nerve damage, and brain damage to the baby. It can also break up the placenta into pieces leaving part of it inside, which can cause infections and other problems. It also highly increases chances of 3rd and 4th degree tears. In cases of women having both episiotomy and fundal pressure, it increases likelihood of anal sphincter tear (4th degree) from less than 1% to 65%.

    I had only been in the delivery room for about 15 minutes totalbefore the baby was born. I didn’t hear her crying at first and I asked why isn’t she crying a few times in a panic and they all laughed and then she started crying about 10 seconds later. I felt like the whole time they were talking about me but not to me. They cleaned Kenya up and put her on my chest as I requested, and then put her in the incubator and wheeled her out of the room. During that time, some of the nurses and orderlies went to the end of the table and made faces looking at my vagina as if they were horrified by it. I asked how many stitches I would need, and the larger nurse who had pushed on my stomach laughed and said “50”. When I got upset about this, the doctor said she was just kidding and it wouldn’t be that many. They proceeded to stitch me up for the next 50 minutes approximately. Many times the doctor looked confused moving things around and looked like he didn’t know how to proceed. He did this alone and never consulted anyone to help him with this, other than the nurse who handed him instruments. One of my friends who was in the delivery room and saw the tear came to tell me that it was very severe, unlike one she had ever seen before with other births she had helped with. I didn’t really let it affect me because I was very excited about my baby. When the afterbirth came out, two male nurses laughed while looking at it and made jokes calling it “cerdo” and “chuleta” (different cuts of meat) and joking about who would eat it. They dropped it down on top of my gown, and I didn’t see anyone evaluate, measure, or do anything to assess the placenta.

    After sewing me up, they wheeled my bed to a waiting room with several other women where I waited by myself for a while (I don’t remember how long). Then the pediatrician, Dr. Maria Pacheco, brought Kenya to me so I could breastfeed her. Luckily she latched right on and ate well for the next hour and a half non-stop. (I had begun producing milk in April, 2 months before the birth so this was great). We were taken to our hospital room for the night, and they wanted to take Kenya to the nursery but I requested that she stay with us so they brought her in to stay with us. Around midnight, she ate again for another 45 minutes straight then slept through most of the night. Around 2 a.m. my epidural was starting to wear off and I started feeling intense pain. Around 3a.m., my husband went out into the hallway to ask a nurse if I could have something for the pain. All of the nurses were asleep behind the reception desk and seemed irritated to be woken up. They said that I was not allowed to take anything (not even a Tylenol) without a prescription from the doctor. By 4 a.m. the pain was totally unbearable and my husband went again and asked for a pain reliever and was told no. I never went to sleep because I was in so much pain, mostly inside my rectal area which I was not expecting. I called Dr. Reyes in the morning and he came in to check things out. He examined me sticking his fingers up inside both areas which was extremely painful, and finally said “this is nothing, just a couple of hemorrhoids”. He said there was one that was internal and one that was external and they were about the size of peas. I asked him if there was tearing or stitches in my anus or rectal area, and he said no that they were only in my vagina (which I later found out was a lie). He said he would give me a hemorrhoid cream and also something for the pain, but I found out later this was just a mild over the counter anti-inflammatory (I don’t remember the name). He asked me if I would like to have the hemmorhoids surgically removed but I had no idea how to answer because I’d never had them before and didn’t know. He said we’d try the cream and if it didn’t work, he’d send me to the surgeon to have them removed.

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    The nurse who was supposed to administer the cream came in to do this. It was in a tube with a long (probably 3-4 inch) plastic cap with holes that was to be inserted into the rectal area to squeeze in the cream. The nurse said she wasn’t sure where to put it and inserted it forcefully and deeply and withdrew it in and out seven times before finally squeezing the cream in. It was so painful that we told her that my husband would do it from then on. She seemed happy to hear this. I was bleeding a lot and asked the nurse to change my pad and bedpad (because there was no way I could do it myself). A different nurse had changed one the night before then never came back again, but this nurse just said to tell my husband to do it. So he changed all my pads and bedpads for the rest of my time in the hospitalbecause the nurse refused to. I had to be carried out of bed and helped to walk to the bathroom but I was not able to make it on time and had urinary accidents. When this happened we asked the nurse to clean up the blood and urine on the floor but she never did. She also did not want to help with any toileting for me and told me to have my husband do this as well. I asked if she could help me take a shower and she again told me to have my husband do it. So I asked if she could watch the baby while my husband gave me a shower and she said to wheel the baby in the bathroom with us. She was very rude and unhelpful and had an attitude about anything we asked of her. When I was trying to breastfeed that morning, it was very difficult because I couldn’t sit and couldn’t find a position because of all the pain. She came in and saw this and snapped at me that the baby was very uncomfortable and wasn’t getting any milk. Instead of trying to help she said that I was allowing my baby to starve and that she was going to take the baby to the nursery to give her formula. This was only around 16 hours after the birth. I argued with her that I wasn’t starving my baby and that I would get the hang of it and my baby was okay. She got upset and left. Later the nurse came back to take the baby out to give her a bath. They called the room later and my husband answered the phone and didn’t understand what the nurse was talking about. He passed the phone to me and the nurse was asking about which kind of earrings for the baby. I had put in my birth plan that I didn’t want her ears pierced and they were trying to do it anyways, because they think it is mandatory for all baby girls. I told them I didn’t want it done so they didn’t do it and brought her back to the room. The pediatrician came around that afternoon and said she would give Kenya her Hepatitus B vaccine since they forgot to do it after the birth. She said they would do it that afternoon but they never did.

    That afternoon (Sunday, less than 24 hours after the birth), the doctor called again and said they were getting ready to discharge me. I told him I was not ready to be discharged because I could not sit up, had to be carried out of bed, couldn’t walk, and was still incontinent, as well as in very severe pain (the medicine they prescribed wasn’t working). He said that if I was still in pain then I should have the hemorrhoids surgically removed. I said I didn’t want to and he got annoyed and said I had two choices – go home or stay and see the GI surgeon in the morning. I knew there was no way I could go home yet because I couldn’t even get out of bed or walk to the bathroom so I said I would stay another night and see the surgeon in the morning. That night I never was able to go to sleep again because I was in such severe pain. My husband went and asked the nurses again about more pain medication because I hadn’t received any in several hours and couldn’t find any nurses anywhere on the floor. He found all four of the night nurses hidden behind the reception desk sleeping. When he woke one of them up she got angry and said “What?” in an upset tone. She said she would bring the pain medication “ahorita” (in a little bit) and never did and waited for the shift to change so the next nurse would be responsible. That next nurse also said “ahorita” and this went until morning and I never received any pain medication.

    The next morning (Monday) I met with the GI surgeon who examined me. I touched the ball inside my rectum that was hurting so bad and she told me that it was not a hemorrhoid, it was balled up skin (scar tissue) from where I was stitched together poorly. (this was inside my rectum where the doctor had told me there were no stitches) She said I also had hemorrhoids but these did not need to be removed surgically. She said to continue using the cream for the hemorrhoids but the real pain was coming from that big ball of skin sticking out from the stitches. We called Dr. Pacheco, the pediatrician, to ask again about Kenya’s Hepatitus B vaccine since she never got it. She said she would come by and give it to her that afternoon. She never came. The doctor said that afternoon, that it was time to discharge me as soon as all of our bills were paid. He gave me the hemorrhoid cream to continue and a boric acid powder to put in my vagina and the anti-inflammatory for the pain. I asked if there was anything stronger he could give me for the pain and he said no, not if I wanted to breastfeed. There was no written follow-up plan beyond this. I asked him how to clean myself and the stitched area and he said just do everything as you normally do. He didn’t give me any guidelines on anything else, including diet for breastfeeding following birth. I told him that I didn’t feel ready to be discharged because I couldn’t sit up or walk and I was still incontinent and he said all of this was normal, that I was fine and I would be myself again within a week. He told me to come back in a week for a follow-up appointment, as well as a follow-up appointment with his wife, Dr. Pacheco. We did not receive any paperwork or medical records from the hospital. I was not able to sit down still so one of my friends brought me an inflatable pool tube for me to put in the wheelchair to sit on. The ride back up the mountain was excruciatingly painful but we made it back to our house okay.

    That week things got a whole lot harder at home. Since our bed is not adjustable it was very difficult having my husband lift me in and out of bed and I couldn’t do this on my own. When I stood up, it felt like all of my insides were falling out of my body and I felt like my bowels were sinking out. So every time I stood up my husband would hurry me to the bathroom where I would sit on the toilet waiting because I felt like there were bowels coming out but they never did. I did this dozens of times for the first 6 days until my first real bowel movement came. I had no warning about what it would be like passing this through all of the stitches and hemorrhoids and must have scared all of the neighbors with all of my screaming. It was huge and hard and probably the size around as a soda can. The next one was just as bad. I stopped eating for fear of having another bowel movement. I lost 28 pounds within the first two weeks after the birth. The only thing I ate for the first two weeks were small amounts of fruits, vegetables and lots of water and I was still extremely constipated and had terribly painful bowel movements. I tried using the boric acid on my vagina and it burned like crazy. Afterward I found out that two of my friends use this to kill insects and that it is extremely toxic to infants (which the doctor didn’t tell me and I had it sitting right next to Kenya’s crib). When it came time to go to my one week check-up for me and the baby, I still was not able to sit or walk well on my own (I could cross the room on my own, but I was bent at almost a 90 degree angle and had to scale the wall or furniture using my hands). There was no way we could take a bumpy jeep ride back down the mountain. I called the doctor to tell him that I still couldn’t sit or walk and was in extreme pain and he said “Okay, just come in another week” and hung up. He didn’t say anything else or ask about how I was doing.

    We asked a Christian gynecologist, Dr. Fernando, who works for a mission base in town if he could see me and he offered to come to the house and see me for free. He had a medical team visiting which included an OB-GYN from the states so she came along as well. As soon as I spread my legs open, I could see her face drop at what she saw. They told me that I had fourth degree tearing, and that Dr. Reyes had lied about the severity and location of the tearing and stitches. Fourth degree tearing means that the tearing went through my inner and outer vagina, my anus, and my sphincter. The doctors were very kind and stayed for over an hour counseling me through things and offering me other ideas of what to do. They said I would have a much longer recovery process than I had anticipated. They gave me ideas on how to clean the area properly and said I would need to do kegel exercises to rebuild my muscles so I could regain control of those muscles and have full urinary/fecal continence again. They also said that the pain medication they gave me wouldn’t do anything to help the pain (I could already tell this) and told me I would be better off to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen which I started doing.

    The next week continued to be very difficult but I made small amounts of progress. I was able to walk again with less assistance but I still had the feeling everything was sinking and would fall out any time that I stood up. Dr. Reyes called me that week because I did not go in for the 2 week check-up. I hung up the phone because I wasn’t ready to talk to him and didn’t know what to say to him because I was upset he had lied to me.

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    That Saturday night, when Kenya was two weeks old, we noticed some seizure like behavior happening. We had seen a little bit of this before, but were not sure if it was just “normal baby behavior”. We looked up some information online and videos on youtube and her behaviors looked similar to all the videos we watched of babies having seizures. Around 3a.m. we packed up and headed to the emergency room back at HOMS hospital in Santiago where I had given birth. We arrived to the hospital around 4a.m. and were admitted into the emergency room. A male nurse who spoke fluent English admitted us and was very nice and helpful to us, but then he left. A doctor came to take our information. She asked who our pediatrician was at the hospital so they could call her. I told her I preferred to have a new pediatrician. She was very persistent on asking why we wanted a new pediatrician and not Dr. Pacheco and argued about what a great Dr. Pacheco is. I finally explained that her husband was my gynecologist and I was unhappy with how he handled our birth and didn’t go to my follow-up appt. with him so it would be awkward having his wife as our doctor for the day and it could take the focus off of Kenya and her issues. This didn’t satisfy her and she asked why we were upset with Dr. Reyes so we explained about him pushing on my stomach and explained that I thought it could have done damage to me and/or Kenya. She argued that pushing on the stomach during birth is normal, they always do this, and it couldn’t have done any damage to either of us. We said that we understood but we still would like another pediatrician. She was upset by this but said she would call someone. We waited for around 4 hours and finally Dr. Pacheco (not a different pediatrician) showed up to see us. It was obvious right away that she was very angry. She said the other woman had called her and told me everything that I said about her and her husband. She brought 4 other doctors with her who stood next to her and she said she would only speak to me in Spanish even though she is fluent in English because she wanted the other doctors who were there to understand. She proceeded to tell me off about things with the birth regarding the episiotomy, epidurals, and other things. Later I realized that she had me mixed up with another American woman who gave birth four days before me because nothing she said pertained to me, other than the pushing on my stomach which she insisted they do with every vaginal birth. (which there are not many of because the hospital has over a 90% c-section rate) I didn’t catch much more of what she said because Kenya was screaming and all five doctors watched as I struggled to breastfeed her in the middle of the ER without helping while Dr. Pacheco never stopped talking in Spanish, arguing about how wrong I was in everything I said. Some of the smirked and one doctor laughed at some of the things she said as she was scolding me about everything. Then Dr. Pacheco said she would not be our doctor anymore but would “leave us in good hands”. You could tell by the look on her face when she said this that was not her plan at all. A doctor named Dr. Josefina talked to us for a few minutes about Kenya’s seizures but never examined her. She said she would call a neurologist to come in to see and then she left. Then we waited for several hours for the pediatric neurologist and he never came. The doctor who was smirking and laughing while Dr. Pachecho chewed us out was named Dr. Ana Cabrera and was determined to make our stay a hell while we were there. I caught her glaring at me from across the room several times throughout the day and when I tried to smile or look away, she never broke her gaze and just continuing to glare at me. She also spent a lot of time sitting behind the reception desk playing on her cell phone and I rarely saw her interact with any patients. When I tried to go talk to her or ask her a question, she deliberately walked in the other direction and pretended that she didn’t hear me. Finally when Kenya was having a seizure, I went to her in tears and tried to show her what Kenya was doing, she didn’t even look in my direction but rolled her eyes and laughed and said “you must be a first time parent, because that’s not a seizure” and walked away from us. When we asked her about when the neurologist was coming she either pretended not to hear us or said “ahorita”, but the neurologist never came. She tried at one point to put Kenya in the NICU while we were waiting for the neurologist but I refused to because I was worried that if the staff there with this angry with me and were treating me this badly, I didn’t know how they would treat Kenya. We took Kenya during this time to get a cranial ultrasound and they said that it looked okay and Kenya did not have a brain bleed. We came back from the ultrasound and the neurologist still wasn’t there. When it was close to 3:00p.m., we asked again when the neurologist was coming and Dr. Ana Cabrera said “The neurologist is not coming today, he’s coming tomorrow, I never said that he was coming today” and smirked at us. She thought it was a funny game to mess with us like this. She said we would have to leave Kenya overnight in the NICU and come back tomorrow to see the neurologist. We said no and went back to our waiting area. She brought us a paper to sign saying that we refused to put Kenya in the NICU and refused treatment, but we didn’t sign it and just marched out of HOMS hospital and left.

    We called our family members in Santo Domingo for help and they got in touch with medical contacts there for us. We left Santiago and made the three hour drive to Santo Domingo. We slept in Santo Domingo that night and they made appointments for Kenya for the next day. Monday morning we went and saw a pediatrician first. He did an exam on Kenya and watched the videos we had taken of her seizures. He asked me a lot of questions about the birth, and was upset about them pushing on my stomach to get Kenya out. He said this was most likely the cause of my severe tearing and Kenya’s seizures. He wrote up a report saying that Kenya had epilepsy which was most likely the result of birth trauma, trying to rush Kenya out too fast. He said he wanted us to get in touch with HOMS hospital and get records from the birth and try to find out why they tried to get Kenya out so fast. He also wrote a referral to a pediatric neurologist for us to see.

    We went to see the pediatric neurologist that afternoon. She examined Kenya and also watched the videos of her seizures. She said that they were seizures that Kenya was having in the video and she ordered an EEG and CT scan of Kenya’s brain. She asked us to stay up through the night and time and record all of Kenya’s seizures. She gave us her personal cell phone number and said to call her whenever we needed.

    After that, we went to another neurologist who was a friend of my sister-in-law to get a second opinion. He watched the videos of Kenya and said that she was having seizures. He said he believed these were myoclonic seizures.

    Since my sister-in-law’s gynecologist worked in the same building, we stopped in to see him. He said that I had torn some of my stitches open and now it was all open and exposed. He also said I was starting to get an infection. He said the tearing was very severe. He had a video camera that he put on my vagina which put an image up on a big screen. I had never seen anything like this before, but was very upset to see how much was torn again and how in one area you could see way up inside. He wanted to give me an anti-biotic but I thought this was a bad idea because I was breast feeding and it could also interfere with the tests they would do for Kenya’s seizures. So he gave me an anti-biotic cream instead and told me to heat the area with a hair dryer everyday (we didn’t do this because I don’t own a hair dryer and neither does my sister-in-law)

    That night my husband and I took turns staying up to observe, time, and record Kenya’s seizures. They seemed to get longer and longer with time. We did not always know what were true seizures but we did our best. Around 2:30 a.m., we timed seizures that lasted over 20 minutes. We called the pediatricneurologist and she said this was a medical emergency and to take Kenya to Plaza de Salud hospital and go to the ER.

    We went to the ER and they took Kenya’s blood and then took her up to the NICU around 4:00a.m. that Tuesday morning. This was the most awful part because they wouldn’t let me in with her. When we got there, the night nurse was in a different room than the NICU sleeping. There was one other nurse in an office area. There were no staff in any of the rooms with the babies (and there were no types of monitors for most of the babies, or video monitors for any of the babies). They put Kenya on an IV (not a monitor) and told me that I didn’t need to feed her because that would be enough and they were going to be doing tests that morning and she couldn’t eat first. I wasn’t allowed to go into the NICU with her. By 11:00 that morning I was very engorged so I tried to buy a pump in a local pharmacy but all they had were $3 pumps that looked like bicycle horns and didn’t work, so I tried to manually express milk so I wasn’t so engorged. The NICU staff let me go with Kenya to have her CT scan and EEG. Kenya was screaming and screaming to eat and my breasts were squirting out milk but the staff kept saying that I wasn’t allowed to feed her until all of the tests were done. They wanted to sedate her for the CT scan, but I argued with them about this and they said if I could hold her and keep her asleep they wouldn’t sedate her but they were very argumentative with me about this. For the EEG they were pushing these nodules into her head forcefully and then putting scrap pieces of paper over them. I warned the nurse about her soft spots because she was only 2 weeks old but she said not to worry about this. The nodules kept falling off and she ended up having to put all of them on 2-3 times during the 30 minute EEG.

    Later that afternoon I called the ped. neurologist and begged her permission to breastfeed Kenya since I didn’t have a pump and didn’t want them giving her formula. She said she would call the nurses in the NICU to give me special permission. That afternoon I was allowed to finally feed Kenya for the first time around 3:00p.m. I hadn’t been allowed to feed her since before we checked her in at 4:00a.m. that morning. The nurses in the NICU were very upset that I had permission to come into the NICU to feed Kenya and some of them tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to come in. Going into the NICU was like going into a hellhole that I can’t even put into words. Babies were screaming everywhere and none of them were supervised. I watched babies vomit all over themselves and then lay in their vomit for up to 45 minutes before someone came in to check them. Some of the babies were hooked up to monitors, but many of them, like Kenya, were not in any way monitored.

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    When I saw Kenya in the NICU that late afternoon she was like a completely different baby. At first I could not even tell if she was even alive, and even though I realized she was breathing she appeared to be comatose. She had no muscle tone at all and was like a rag doll and no matter how much I touched her and talked to her and no matter what I did, she would not wake up or open her eyes. I started crying and asked the nurses what was wrong with her and they got defensive and said this was normal. Later that night I saw Kenya’s chart sitting on a table in the NICU room. I took it to look at the medications and treatment for Kenya. My husband and I were shocked to see what was on there. She was on a very long list of medications in very high doses. We were never informed about any of this, were just told she was kept in there for observation and would be kept on an IV. When the nurses saw us looking at her chart they got upset and tried to take it away, but we argued that we were her parents and it was our right to look at the chart and we would not give it back. We copied down everything that was on the chart (we don’t have it now because we gave it to the hospital in Michigan who said she never should have been on all of the medications she was). Kenya was on a long list of medications, including 2 different antibiotics, an anti-seizure med. (Keppra), a gastrointestinal medication, a “brain oxygen” medication (they couldn’t explain what this was), a laxative, a vitamin, and supplemental formula. The chart also said she was supposed to be on a monitor and have vigilant supervision (neither of which she had, even though we paid big money for this later). We asked the nurse to stop giving Kenya all of this medication and that it was too much as she appeared completely lifeless but the nurse said she wasn’t allowed to do this. We wanted to take Kenya out of the NICU at that point but there were no doctors and they said we had to keep her there until morning. It was totally tearing me apart. I would stay in the NICU trying to make her feedings as long as possible before the nurses kicked me out. Some let me stay longer than others, but the longest I was allowed to stay was 45 minutes. It was hard to get Kenya to eat because she was so sedated. She would eat but wouldn’t open her eyes, and constantly fall asleep during a feeding. When one of the new night nurses arrived, she was very angry about the idea of me coming into feed and said I wasn’t allowed to as it was unfair to the other babies. She said she didn’t care about the neurologist giving me permission, that I wasn’t allowed to come in and she would give Kenya formula instead. I argued with her about this and with the other nurses and refused to leave, tried to sweet talk her, tried everything… finally she agreed to let me come in but not every 2 hours as I had been because she said no baby needs to eat that much and that she would let me in when it was time. Many times I could hear Kenya inside the NICU screaming but she wouldn’t let me in. She let me in every 4 - 5 hours instead of every 2 hours like Kenya was used to eating, and was quick to yell at me to get out after about 20 minutes of feeding. I laid on the dirty tile floor outside of the NICU area so I didn’t miss any chance to hear or feed Kenya. (there were plastic chairs in this area but I couldn’t sit in them because of the severe tearing and pain that I had). Finally that morning the ped. neurologist came and we sat down to meet with her. She said that the CT scan showed that Kenyaexperienced hypoxia to the brain during birth, mostly likely a result of the induction meds and/or the trauma of her being pushed out so forcefully during birth (though I’m not sure exactly how they determined this from the CT scan). She said that the EEG indicated that she had epilepsy, with generalized secondary seizures in the front left lobe of her brain. They prescribed her Keppra (50mg twice daily for a total of 100mg a day) and said to take Keppra for the next 5 years. She said there was possibility of developmental delays and mental retardation but they wouldn’t know that until later. They discharged Kenya from the hospital and my husband went to pay our bills. We had already maxed out all of Kenya’s health insurance and needed to get on a new plan.

    We went home that afternoon (Wednesday) and continuing monitoring Kenya’s seizures with the use of the Keppra. She continued to have seizures so we called the pediatric neurologist and she increased Kenya’s dose of the Keppra to 100mg twice a day, for a total of 200mg of Keppra daily starting Wednesday. She still continued to have seizures with this amount all day Thursday. We decided at this point to get Kenya to the states and were able to declare a medical emergency for Kenya and get an expedited passport for her. We got on a plane Friday afternoon without even stopping home to pack a bag. We left everything we owned behind, some of which has already been stolen.

    In the meantime, my infection continued to get worse and I continued to tear more since I did not have time to take baths, do bedrest, or mess around with the cream that I was given.

    When we got to the states, Kenya got much better and got the treatment that she needed. I was told that my tears were very severe, more than I thought, and that I should expect a 6 month recovery before being able to sit or walk normally. I also got on an anti-biotic, Keflex, which caused severe diarrhea up to 40 times a day for 9 days straight so I got very dehydrated and they are doing stool tests to see what caused this. I will start physical therapy soon to repair my vaginal and rectal muscles. At this time (6 weeks post-partum) I am on full bedrest and not to be on my feet more than 20 minutes per day. I have experienced fecal continence due to the diarrhea. I still have a sinking feeling in my vagina and rectum when I stand up and walk and feel as though my bowels are falling out, though I am able to be on my feet for longer than I was during that first week.

    Throughout this process, we have contacted Dr. Reyes by phone and email and informed him about what was happening with both me and Kenya, and requesting our medical records. He has never gotten back in touch with us.

    So far we have around $16,000 USD in medical bills and they continue to come, and we were turned down for financial assistance. We have no plans to return to the Dominican Republic at this time.

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    Didn't realize there were several posts..........
    Deleted my comment.....

    B in Santiago

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    Unfortunately there is no such thing as ethical doctors in this country they are like the majority of people here looking to make a quick buck

    Sad but true

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