It’s been 2 months since the incident and I guess I’m somewhat ok to talk about what happened. It’s going to be a length post so bear with me. This summary had been sitting in the draft folder since September. We have since lodged a complain to KKH with a polished summary of what happened, similar to this post but minus the emotions; anger, sadness, etc. They were supposed to revert back to us within 2 weeks but while we were in KL, they sent an email stating that they required more time and the matter is still under investigation.
Dr. Suzanna has been great in assisting me to write a letter to my company to grant me maternity leave but because it’s under 24 weeks, they will still count it as miscarriage instead of a premature delivery. I’m covered under hospitalization leave for now till I start back work next week. We’ll see what HR says by then.
9 September 2014 (Tuesday)
It was a normal day at work but I had to finish up some work stuffs and finished slightly later than normal. Packed up and then made my way to the car at abt 5.55pm. I had the car parked in front of the Uni’s lobby so made my way out to the lift at level 4. There was a ramp. Somehow I was trying to take out my car keys. I missed somehow sprained my ankle, missed a step, fell on my right knee first and flat on my bum. Immediately msged the husband and told him to picked me up and then called mum and dad who happened so to be over at NUH. There was no immediate bleeding. Mum and dad came first and waited for Nan who came in a cab to the school. We then proceeded to KKH’s O & G and made our registration by 7.29pm. While waiting for our turn, I went in to the ladies to urinate as well as check if there was any bleeding. While cleaning myself up, I noticed that there was tinge of blood spotting. We went in shortly after into Room 5. I told the doctor what happened and the doctor instructed me to pull down my pants and lay down. She used a speculum to check if there was any bleeding (which there wasn’t any). I told her that when I was in the ladies, I noticed that there was some spotting and she asked the nurse why I was not told to take any urine sample initially. She then used a fetal heart rate monitor to detect the babies’ heartbeats. She was not able to differentiate the two heartbeats therefore she asked me to dress up and we proceeded to room 4 for an ultrasound. Both of us could see both the babies moving and that she checked that both the babies’ heartbeats were normal. We went back to Room 5 and she told that I have a vaginal infection and prescribed me with a cream for that and a lotion for my swelling ankle, which a nurse assisted to tape an ice pack to my left ankle. She also mentioned to me to just monitor if there are any bleedings. If there are, I should come back immediately.
So while waiting to make the payment, I had some mild cramping, which came on & off. My husband went back to Room 5 and told the nurse what happened but the nurse told him that they can’t do anything unless there is bleeding and that I may be experiencing mild contractions. So she just instructed me to not walk about and rest a while. After making the payment at about 8.16pm, we proceeded to make our way to collect our medication. Along the way, the cramps/ contraction came about 5 – 10 mins apart, we turned back to the O&G and again my husband went to inform the same nurse from room 6 but by then, there was already a crowd forming and I assumed that the nurse was busy for not reverting back. I requested from a nurse for a wheel chair and seeing that there was no immediate attention from anyone, I just tried to just sit still while we made our way to collect my medication from the children’s wing. The contractions were still on-going. I made an attempt to check if there was any bleeding at the ladies toilet nearby and there was already some blood.
My husband pushed me back to the O&G and called out to the same nurse in Room 5. She mentioned that the doctor was away to the ladies for a while and would be back. She asked me to lay down in the observation room first. While lying down, the contractions came again. When the doctor finally came, they wheeled me to room 5, then proceeded to check me again and told me that I was already about 2 to 3 cm dilated that I would have to be warded for observation. They then wheeled me back to the observation room to wait for the paper works and to check if the ward was available. I waited for a good 20 mins or so there and in that 20 mins, I felt a gush of fluid coming out from my vagina. Pressed the button to call the nurse and again it took about 10 mins before a nurse came and checked that blood was coming out. They proceeded to remove my pants and underwear and changed me to a hospital sarong. Again I waited for probably about 15 mins. I heard the nurses saying that there was no response from the ward. I was then wheeled to Ward 71 and shortly after, a male medical officer came and he explained that he wanted to put a drip on me and also draw some blood for blood tests. I was dreading this process coz the last time was admitted with OHSS, the MO wasnt successful to draw blood. Again, same thing happened. Right hand once, went in but not all the way, mentioned i had a valve, he looked at my left hand and found tat my artery on my wrist was good but I didn’t want to and told him that it was painful the last time round. He mentioned he could do it at 1 go. Braced myself and it went in but again mentioned I had a valve. He tried to move it around. Told him to take it out if he can’t. He went for another try at the upper arm and again wasn’t successful. Told him to let someone else do it if he can’t. He just proceeded to draw some blood on my upper arm. Another doctor came by later and managed to place a drip on my left hand.
All this while I was having my contractions on and off.
When the doc finally came, she explained that Dr. Suzanna was on leave and they had a pool of docs under her to assist me accordingly. She went on to explain that due to my fall, I was 2 to 3 cm dilated and that since I’m in my 21st week, nothing can be done to save the babies. If the babies were in their 24th week, they could try to place them in an incubator. For now at each contraction, I will have to try not to push but hold everything together and hope that the babies stay in long enough in order to last till the 24th week and hopefully something could be done by then.
The husband seeked permission to get my mum to stay by my side today. All the while contractions after contractions I fought to hold it all together and not push at all. Throughout this 1st night, they changed my pads which keep on being soaked with blood and i was given painkiller jabs and pills to just ease the pain.
10 September 2014 (Wednesday)
I recalled 3 doctors came to see me and explained my situation. In the morning, they let me hear my babies heartbeats and they were beating. There were 2 sets of heartbeats.
They explained again that nothing could be done for now but try to keep my stay comfortable. I was placed on bed rest. Restricted movements. They told me that they needed to check my urine for infection and that after that I had to be placed on antibiotics. I wasn’t able to pass any urine so they had to use a cathether to extract my urine. I did tell them that I did not want to have it stuck on me coz I did not have a good experience the last time round. So this time it was just in and out. Slight and uncomfortable. My mum was beside me while they did all that.
The husband came and around 10+ in the morning and told mum to go home and get some rest.
There were times that my contractions were 5 mins apart, at times were 10 to 15 mins apart coz I was checking with the husband occasionally.
I was told that they wanted to send me for a scan to check my babies but the scan never came coz they mentioned that my contractions were too often. I checked with them by 2pm as initially mentioned but they said they will try to get a slot before closing time at 5.30pm. I never heard back from them again about this.
We had family & friends come and go today. At night, again the husb seeked permission for someone to stay with me but was turned down by a female Indian nurse. I was alone that night. Contractions after contraction, jabs, peeing on a bed-pan. I remembered the Indian nurse not cleaning and wiping my behind and after a few pees, I suffered some rashes on my bum.
11 September 2014 (Thursday)
The doctors made they rounds again, checked the heartbeats and checked me and mentioned to me that I was already fully dilated, 10cm and it could be anytime that the babies might come out. I recalled them mentioning about they could hv sewn my soft tissue at my vagina but I was already fully dilated and it wasn’t an option. Question is why couldn’t it be done initially? Why raise it up now when it can’t be done?
Again, I was battling the contractions and this time round it was quite often about 5 to 10 mins part. And the pain was excruciating. Again, I had to try to keep it all in and not try to push.
By the evening, it was time for my parents and husband to leave coz visiting hours were over. I was left alone at the hospital bed. The same Indian night nurse was on duty. All I could do was hope and pray that the babies are well. On the bright side and being thankful, I was still able to feel ’em moving. 🙂
12 September 2014 (Friday)
After my family members left, I was asking the nurse if I could have another round of the jabs coz the pain was so unbearable. I received one slightly after the request. It didn’t help like how it did when I took received it the other times. I was wide awake and feeling every bits of contractions. I recalled it was about 2+ in the morning, I felt a sudden gush of warm fluid coming out from underneath me. I pressed the button to call the nurse. 2 Filipino nurses came by and I specifically asked them to check if that was my water bag that had burst. They asked me to turn to one side and check the pool of wet fluid on the bed and they assured me that it was just blood. I kept asking if they were sure but again they assured me otherwise. No checks were done. They proceeded to change the bed sheets, my panties, pads and my outfit. I lay down there again withstanding the constant contractions and trying my best not to push.
About close to 3 am, I felt an excruciating pain. As if something was moving down from inside me. I pushed the button to call the nurse and the Indian nurse came and I told her to check my cervix and see if anything is there. I was literally crying and asking her to please call the MO or any doctors in charge because I think I was about to deliver. No words were exchanged and all I could recall was her removing my panties and placing a blue mat under me. I was already at the verge of shouting as her when I kept asking where any of the doctors were. Another nurse kept on saying that someone was on the way. It felt like forever. I took my own fingers to feel my vagina and I felt a smooth tissue, which felt like a baby’s skin. I realized I was crowning. I told the nurse that I am not waiting anymore and started to push. I pushed a few time and I gave birth to my 1st. I saw the baby lying on the bed and was not held/supported by anyone. The nurse then instructed me to push again and after a few pushes, an amniotic sac came out of me and again no one supported the sac as it lay on the mat. The Indian nurse asked me to keep on pushing as the umbilical cord was still inside, she mentioned. I kept pushing till I felt the mentioned umbilical cord coming out of me.
A while later, a lady doctor came and started to clean me up, pushing her 2 fingers into my vagina and pressing on my stomach. She mentioned about making sure that there were no umbilical cord left in me and that she have to make sure that I was not bleeding excessively.
I only realized that the MO, Dr. Firdaus, just came after everything was over, and he had to ask me how I was. I looked at him and blasted at him saying how do you think I feel! They were discussing among themselves who’s to call my husband. I told them off that it’s ok and that I shall call him on my own. After the call at about 3.41am to my husband, I called my mum by 3.45am to inform them about what happened. They then told me they would carry away the babies. I did not recall seeing them doing any checks if they were still alive and next thing I knew, I saw 2 plastic bags being taken away by the Indian nurse. How compassionate of KKH was that to take away my babies in plastic bags!!!
A while later, a lady doctor came and started to clean me up, pushing her 2 fingers into my vagina and pressing on my stomach. She mentioned about making sure that there were no umbilical cord left in me and that to make sure that I was not bleeding excessively.
There I lay down crying about the whole ordeal and waiting for my family to arrive… 🙁
Till today, I am thankful that I have had families & friends coming by to check on how both my husband and I were. I feel that by relating my ordeal, some of them gave valuable queries and points as to why KKH did not do this or that. All of which for me and my husband, as 1st time parents, would never know of such procedures and realizing that most of them were never done by KKH, the nurses or the MOs.
Above is just a summary of what I went through and here are my questions towards KKH & the ward.
- Before I was admitted into a ward, why did the doctor at the O&G treat this case as something to be looked into? I had a friend who had a fall while pregnant, and she was admitted into a ward for observation. We had to come back and forth to her before I was asked to rest and being observed. If I had went off and the blood just gushed out while on the way home or even at home, will the hospital want to be liable for misdiagnosis?
- If I was fully dilated, why didn’t they monitor my babies’ heartbeats by putting the heart rate monitor belt on me? How are they to monitor if the babies are still alive through out the day/night when the checks were done only in the mornings? Is it because they are only in their 21st weeks that they are already given a “death sentence” to just let them be? I have had other friends in similar situations in other hospitals, but they are treated the same like any normal mothers who are going through delivery. What if I ran into complications and/or had severe blood loss?
- Why wasn’t I treated as a serious case if this was considered as a precious pregnancy and because I was fully dilated, why weren’t my family or even my husband told to stay behind or allowed to stay to be around me knowing that I may give birth any time?
- Why didn’t the 2 Filipino nurses do anything to check if my water bag broke? They being the experts and I as the 1st time parent, should have done some checks to confirm if it was my water bag that broke and I could have called a family member or my husband to come down fast as I may deliver anytime. And if they had done a check, the MO could have been called earlier knowing that I could have delivered anytime?
- What were the checks done to determine that the babies were dead upon delivery as they were still moving before my water bag burst. What about the baby girl in the amniotic sac, how do they know that the baby is alive or dead?
- Why were my babies carried away in plastic bags? Have they no compassion at all. Couldn’t they have used some type of cloth instead? Why wasn’t I allowed or asked to hold them?
From the time I went to O&G, my water bag burst, the response time from one incident to another could have been better and the nurses in the ward could have been more attentive and compassionate at handling each situation. With everything that has happened and especially for the last question mentioned above, it has traumatized me emotionally and mentally at how a childbirth and how a reputable hospital handles a patient and especially a 1st time parent-to-be.
I have had excellent experiences with both Dr. Sadhana and Dr. Suzanna when I went through IVF and when I was going through my check-ups. They have been nothing but all positives to help both of us go through IVF and our 1st pregnancy.
However, the services that we being given in the ward is a vast comparison to them. If what I have went through is being swept under the rug, would it still happen to another mother-to-be?
I’m not saying that if KKH has done all of the above, my babies would have survived. I understand that the chances of survival are slim to none at 21 weeks coz their internal organs may not have fully developed and if it was their time to go, I would accept the fact, but KKH could have acted with a little bit more compassion and humanity throughout the whole ordeal. I would have accepted the fact and it could be closure for me and my husband.