Alice’s Twin Birth Story by guest blogger Alice

I have been putting this off for 3 & ½ years. For a long time, I couldn’t even think about the birth of my twin girls without crying and I could barely talk about it. I realized at one point that unless reminded, I went through my life as if those first 5 days didn’t happen. I was pregnant and then they were here; everything in between was just a dream.

Now it has become a dull sort of pain that is just another part of my tapestry. I don’t dwell on it or even think about it much, and I often forget how open and raw the wound is until something reminds me and the tears flow like I flipped a switch. These sudden reactions always catch me by surprise.

My current pregnancy is what has driven me to expand this beyond dictating it to a dear friend over a year ago. I am due at the beginning of March 2014 and am so determined to have a natural birth, at least one vastly different from this one. Writing this out is a huge part of the healing that needs to happen, so that I can have the birth I want, and this baby can have the beginning he deserves.

Anyone who has had an experience like mine will understand, but many others don’t. They say, “You have healthy babies, just forget about it; your girls are fine, that’s all that matters.” But it isn’t all that matters, and it isn’t just forgotten, and it is far from fine. Because of their birth, I struggled to bond with them and breastfeed; I would have failed if not for my stubbornness and the support I received from a select few. Because of their birth, my relationship with my daughters is not what it could have been. I am so angry with myself; angry that I allowed so much to happen, that I trusted so much and that my little girls paid the price. I feel like a victim of my own naiveté, though I can say that this whole experience taught me to trust myself before anyone else.

 

Labor begins

 

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For the last three weeks of my pregnancy, my blood pressure was elevated and the edema swelled me up like a balloon. By the end of April 2010 (They were born May 15), it was SO hot in Toronto. I couldn’t wear shoes because of my Shrek feet, as I called them, and I was very uncomfortable. On Thursday, May 13th I went for my last OB appointment and was told that I was 3 cm dilated. She said that Baby A, who would be Ava, was jammed pretty much as far down as she could go. No wonder I could barely walk…

I had been having irregular contractions for a day or so and the OB did a stretch and sweep without warning or asking me if I wanted it. She said that if I didn’t go into full labor by Saturday morning, I should present myself at the hospital and get checked again. My husband Jason and I went for All-You-Can Eat Sushi at our favorite place on the Danforth, and visited a friend in an attempt to distract me.

When I woke up the next morning, I thought I had leaked a couple tablespoons of clear fluid, though now I suspect that I just peed myself a bit. I could have gone in then and made sure it wasn’t actually amniotic fluid but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be allowed to leave and I was so naïve, believing that I really didn’t have a choice.

I went about my day having irregular contractions, but nothing strong enough to be called full labor. My father-in-law stopped in around 9 PM, and I sent him and Jason to get me a burger from Apache, a vintage burger place frequented by NHL players.

 

Labor Day

The contractions continued to get stronger but still irregular, and it was hard to sleep. I had a hot shower around 4 AM and slept for a few hours. We were told to show up at the hospital by 9 AM when my OB would be there, but like so many other things she said, it was only half the truth. It turned out that her shift was ending at 9…I can only think that she had no interest in delivering me. I asked so many questions throughout my pregnancy and there were many things that she lied about, including hospital policies and important procedures, just telling me what I wanted to hear. The final lie was that she would be there when I arrived that morning. She was, but all she did was say hello and then she was gone. I was left in the hands of nurses, residents and an OB I had never met. I only saw her when she arrived and then again more than 12 hours later when she came to convince me to have a C-section.

The resident checked me out and couldn’t see any sign of a break in the amniotic sac, but decided to admit me anyway as a precaution. They wanted to get things moving, but I refused Pitocin and my contractions were still very irregular. I was taken to the labor room and we called my cousin Erin, who would be acting as my Doula.

I was hooked up to fetal monitors and an IV and not able to get up or even move around much. When things didn’t magically progress at the rate the resident wanted she pushed for Pitocin again, but I continued to resist, eventually agreeing to let them manually break my amniotic sac. That was around 1 PM, at which point my contractions became very intense and almost constant, without a break. Because I was carrying twins, they automatically treated me like my chances of C-section were very high and insisted I get an epidural whether I wanted one or not. I knew that was going to happen eventually, but was hoping to wait as long as possible, but once they broke my waters, the contractions became unbearable, and my blood pressure was climbing to dangerous levels. Eventually, I had no choice but to accept the epidural.

 

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Despite what my OB had told me, I was denied food immediately once admitted. By the time I got the epidural over 4 hours later, I was very hungry, suffering low blood sugar and very nauseous. Within a few minutes, I had an allergic reaction, becoming itchy from head-to-toe and throwing up several times. The rest of the afternoon is a complete haze; I don’t remember much at all, except for being very uncomfortable and sick.

Around 8:30 PM, I was fully dilated and brought to the operating room to push. Like everything else that happened, this was not my choice, but hospital policy because I was delivering twins.

 

Fail to Deliver

Once in the operating room they made me lie flat on my back.  I kept asking to sit up more and was not allowed, so every time the resident left the room, Erin would sit the table up a bit more, hoping that no one would notice and put it back down. It still wasn’t enough and I pushed without feeling like my efforts did much.

They reduced the epidural drugs a bit so that I could actually feel the contractions and I kept pushing. I tried so hard to get Ava out and I came so close, we could see her hair. After two hours, I still hadn’t and I was physically and emotionally spent. I remember thinking that I couldn’t go on, and then the OB came in and said she could feel the cord around Ava’s neck. I now know that that was impossible; since Ava’s head was right there, she could not have felt the cord. She informed me that the best thing to do for the health of my babies was a caesarian. I was exhausted, sick, and completely defeated, so I agreed. They hadn’t tried forceps or suction, but I was done fighting and didn’t know to ask, I was just so scared.

**The midwife for my current pregnancy has acquired the records for that labor and birth. They state the reason for the Caesarian was “failure to descend.” It is so upsetting to know for certain what I long suspected; I was lied to, to get my compliance and they lied in the notes, as well.**

I lay on the table and sobbed while they sent Erin and Jason out of the room so they could prepare. I have never felt so alone as I did right then; no one was holding my hand or talking to me. The curtain was put up and the anesthesiologist came back to increase the anesthetic, but I could still feel what was happening. He increased it again, eventually saying that he would try one more time and if I could still feel the knife, they would have to put me out.

Luckily the last increase worked, Erin and Jason were allowed back in and they got started. While I couldn’t feel what they were doing, I had deferred pain through my shoulders and chest; the most agonizing pain I have ever felt in my life. I was breathless, sobbing and sometimes screaming in pain but strapped down and unable to move.

They delivered Ava Mae first at 10:51 PM, weighing 5 lbs. The notes say that she was a difficult extraction and that I had to be cut open further to get her out. Her Apgar at 1 minute was only a 4 and she needed some resuscitating. Stella Prysia was born 2 minutes later at 10:53, weighing 5 lbs., 5 oz. According to Jason, Ava peed on the doctor right before she was wrapped up and handed to him and Erin was given Stella. I wanted to see them but had started throwing up again. At that point I lost consciousness and don’t remember anything until I woke up about 30 minutes later in recovery.

 

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Recovery

 

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The first thing I saw was Stella in Jason’s arms. I looked over and saw Ava under the heat lamps, her left eye swollen and red. I was horrified and asked what was wrong but was reassured that it was just bruising from her birth. She was bruised on the entire left side of her body from head to toe. By the next day, she had a black eye and her left hand and foot were purple.

The recovery nurse told me that they had low blood sugar and had been given sugar water while I was unconscious. As soon as I was awake, Erin initiated my first attempt to breastfeed. Stella latched right away, but Ava had a lot of trouble, then I had some skin-to-skin time with both girls on my chest.

 

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My mom had been in the waiting room for most of the day and night and I begged to see her. I asked and asked, but was not allowed.

The nurse tested their blood sugar again and it was still low. She told me that if it didn’t improve, my babies would be admitted to the NICU. They were both given formula in an attempt to raise it, which did not help, and after awhile I was informed that they would be admitted to the NICU Level 1, where the sickest babies go. I truly did not understand, but it was the middle of the night and I had been fighting what felt like a losing battle all day. I asked that Ava and Stella be put in the incubator together and the nurse said, “We will see.” She went away and a man wearing a sweater vest came to inform me that it went against hospital policy to put them together. I just nodded; it was so surreal…I remember wondering where they had found a middle-aged guy wearing in the middle of the night to calmly explain why what was best for my babies was not acceptable for the administration…what sort of liability issue could this possibly have caused?

Around 2 AM, they told me that it was time to go to my room and for my girls to go to the NICU. It was so hard to let them go. I saw my mom for a few seconds as we passed in the hall, and I asked if she could come upstairs with us, but was told no as it was outside of visiting hours.

We got a semi-private room, but the bed next to us was empty. Despite this, Jason was given a thin rubber mat and told he had to sleep on the floor if he wanted to stay with me. I was exhausted and passed out.

 

Sunday

The next morning, as soon as I could, I went to see my girls. They had been given pacifiers, and I attempted to breastfeed them again. They both latched, and it was actually a successful feed, though my milk had not come in.

By mid-afternoon of that first day, both girls were declared stable and transferred to NICU Level 2, which was a few minutes walk down the hall from my room.

When I returned to my room that evening I began feeling really sick. I had not been allowed to eat, so it had been more than 36 hours since my last bite of food. I was in a lot of pain, still on IV, and reacting to the epidural, so I was itchy all over. By the time I was supposed to feed my babies again, I was too sick to go; the room was spinning and I couldn’t even sit up. At that point, I was finally allowed to eat, but threw up as soon as I did. My nurse gave me some Gravol and a painkiller in my IV, and I passed out. When I woke up, I was alone. Dinner had come and my food was cold. I ate what I could and went to see my babies.

The nurse on duty was wonderful. When I walked in, she was sitting in the darkened room holding one of the tiny preemies. In the five days we were there, this was the only time I ever saw a nurse holding a baby outside of feeding time. In fact, usually babies were fed while still in their beds, and I only ever saw one other mother in my entire stay.

She told me my babies were beautiful and helped me get set up to nurse them. She watched me, then turned to the other nurse on duty and said, “What are we doing?? Seriously, WHAT are we doing?” because she couldn’t understand why my healthy babies were even there. She was so supportive and kind, but was leaving for vacation after her shift ended that day. I remember my sense of dread when I heard that; she was the first person I met who actually seemed to care and wanted to help me, and she wasn’t going to be there.

She told me that the nurses were only there to look after the baby’s medical needs and that I was expected and encouraged to look after my babies in every other way, including feeding them and changing their diapers. I was happy to hear that, but as it turned out, no other nurse felt the same.

 

Monday

After that first nurse left, the next one turned out to be nice as well. She was supportive of my desire to feed on demand and would call my room if one of them woke up, though I stuck to the three-hour schedule during the night so that I could rest.

On Monday afternoon, less than 48 hours after their birth, I was told that since my milk had not come in, I would need to supplement with formula. They said Ava was jaundiced and would need to be put under bili lights. They also told me that although they were twins, born at 36 weeks, 5 days, they were small for gestational age (I know that this was not true). They said that if I really wanted to take my babies home, this was what needed to happen. I felt very pressured and my fear got the best of me. It felt like they were saying, “If you don’t do this, you don’t love your babies.” I sat there surrounded by incubators with the head nurse and several others staring at me and just nodded, unable to speak. Then I put my face in my hands and cried.

I asked to see the Lactation Consultant, and met her that day as well. Dorothy Dougherty, RN, IBLCL was my savior. Because of my ongoing efforts and determination to breastfeed, she insisted that my babies not be bottle-fed and the nurses were told to cup-feed them instead. She also booked me into a parent room for the rest of the week, knowing that I would most likely be released from the hospital before the girls.

 

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The day nurse showed me how she was doing the cup feeding; she explained how the baby was completely sitting up on her knee, and she would put the cup to her mouth and let her lap it up, very much like a cat, “So you are never dumping it in her mouth,” she said. She was very, very specific and intent on making sure I knew that, so much so that it seemed a bit weird at the time, but it proved to be very important.

At some point while the nurse was occupied, Ava started to cry, but because she was under lights, had a bandana over her eyes, and was still attached to the IV, I needed help getting her out of the incubator. I asked one of the other nurses for help getting Ava out, and she seemed very irritated that I was asking for anything. She walked over, looked at Ava wailing in her bed, and said, “Your babies are going to cry, you may as well get used it”, then walked away, refusing to help me. All I could do was put my hand in and try to comfort her while I waited for someone else.

I have congenital hypothyroidism, and so an endocrinologist came to see me, listened to my heart, and then left without saying much beyond telling me I should be seeing her regularly to monitor my “condition.” It has been under control for years and I have not even had to change my dose, so I thanked her but said I was fine.

I had been walking down to see them several times a day, and almost every time I returned to my room, I would discover that my meal had come while I was gone and had gone cold. I don’t think I had one hot meal during my stay.

I was exhausted and recovering, and at some point I asked for a wheelchair in case I needed it to see Ava and Stella. After walking down many times during the day and night, my nurse saw me using the wheelchair at 2 AM on Tuesday morning and shook her finger at me, “You should be walking,” she said with a shame-on-you tone. “I have been,” I said, “I’m exhausted.” “You should be walking,” she said again, and then watched as I struggled to get through the door. Empathy? Compassion? Support? These things were seriously lacking in the post-natal ward of Sunnybrook/Woman’s College Hospital.

 

Tuesday

The next day my babies had the same nurse, and Ava and Stella continued to be cup-fed formula after each breastfeed. The nurse would phone my room to let me know if one of them woke up, and I would go to breastfeed her right away. I was spending as much time as possible with my babies during the day and going every three hours at night.

That afternoon, I was in the NICU when they got a call from the nurse’s station to say I had an appointment to get an ultrasound done on my heart. Apparently, the endocrinologist had thought I had an irregular heartbeat and booked the appointment without telling me or even mentioning her concern, so when I didn’t show up, cardio called, demanding that I go right away. I was in the middle of breastfeeding, but they called several times with no consideration or care for what I was doing. I went for the ultrasound and there were no problems, so I returned to my babies.

I collected my things from my room that day, and moved to the parent room. It was a huge, brightly lit room with a large bed, small fridge, sofa and a television, located right outside the NICU. I am very fortunate to have had that available; I cannot imagine having to go home without my babies like so many others do.

At some point that day, the IV fell out of Ava’s hand, and two nurses tried multiple times to re-establish the line in both of her hands and feet without success. After poking her multiple times, they declared that it was “no longer needed,” leaving me to wonder why they had bothered trying so hard.

 

The Last Straw

That evening, I witnessed the transfer of nurses from day to night shift, and listened as they explained what was happening and the standard of care for each baby; I knew that the night nurse was told that I was feeding on demand.

When I went for the first feeding that night and met her, she was immediately unfriendly. She was angry that she needed to cup-feed my babies, and informed me that there was no such thing as nipple confusion; that bottles wouldn’t damage our breastfeeding relationship. Later another nurse told me, “It’s not like you’re going to be able to breastfeed twins, so why even bother?”

At this point both babies were sleeping, so I said I was going to get Ava. I was told, “absolutely not”, and that I had to wait until the nurse was ready so she could check her out first.

When she finally came over, I watched while she roughly flipped Ava over and changed her diaper, then noticed that Ava’s heart monitor pads were not on properly. Rather than hold the skin and carefully pull, the nurse ripped them off, making no effort to be careful or reduce the obvious pain this would cause her. Ava immediately started screaming, but the nurse continued as if she were a lifeless doll. Again, I felt helpless; this was the person responsible for caring for my children for the next 10 hours, and I needed to sleep. She was already resentful of my presence and I was afraid to irritate her further; all I could do was watch, tears streaming down my face. She finally finished and I was able to pick up my baby, whose entire chest was now covered in bright red welts. I attempted to breastfeed her, but she wouldn’t latch. After trying for a while, the nurse informed me that my time was up and took Ava from me to cup-feed her.

 

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Latching was becoming increasingly difficult with each feeding, but this time I got Stella latched and I was able to breastfeed her successfully. She finished nursing and turned, resting her face on my chest, her arms draped over me, eyes closed. It was the first time since their birth that either of them had seemed content; I was looking down at her, and it was this perfect, long overdue moment. Unfortunately, it was literally just a moment, because the nurse came over and demanded that I put her back in the incubator immediately. I said that I wanted to hold her for a while, but she reached down, removing her from my arms, and informed me that she was going to get too cold and NEEDED to go back in the incubator, as apparently being skin to skin with mommy was not healthy

I gave up and tried to sleep. When I returned three hours later, Stella was awake and crying, but Ava was still sleeping. I reminded the nurse that I had been feeding on demand, and that I would like to feed Stella first because she was awake. The nurse stood between Stella’s incubator and me and pointed at Ava, saying, “The schedule is for her to be fed first and that is what you are going to do.” I had to take Ava out and try to wake her up to feed her while I listened to Stella cry. No one offered to comfort her while she waited; they didn’t seem to care or even notice the crying baby.

While sitting there, I listened to the nurses’ talk about another baby who had been very premature. They referred to her as “alien baby”, and said resentfully, “Alien baby keeps waking up before it’s time to feed her”.

Another nurse on duty offered to cup-feed Stella so that our nurse didn’t need to do both and I handed her over after breastfeeding her. I stayed to watch, as always, and am glad that I did. Unlike the other nurses, this one held Stella tipped back on a 45-degree angle and began pouring the formula into her mouth. I looked at the nurse and noticed that she was not looking at Stella’s face to gauge whether or not she was swallowing it. I saw immediately that it was going in faster than she was able to, so I said, “You’re giving it to her too fast”. The nurse completely ignored me, continuing to pour it in the same way. Stella’s eyes were starting to bug out, so I said it again. This time the nurse looked up at me and said, “Why don’t you go back to your room,” and I said, “No, I think I’ll stay here until you are done.” She continued while Stella’s eyes bugged out more and more, until I reached out and took her hand to stop her, saying, “You’re giving it to her too fast.” At that, she became very angry and yelled (as loud as a person could in that environment), “No I wasn’t, but let’s see if you can do it any better,” then roughly shoved her into my arms. She then stood beside me with her face inches from mine, and said angrily, “Let’s see you do it better, I want to see if you can do it better, then.” I was crying and shaking, and tried to give her some but she didn’t want anymore. As I realized this, the nurse continued angrily, “She doesn’t want anymore, can’t you see that she doesn’t want anymore?” As I put the cup down, the nurse went into the adjacent room and loudly told another nurse, “She thinks I am going to drown her baby.” I found that strange since I had never actually used that word—although I was thinking it—and yet she did. The other nurse came to the doorway and said, “Maybe she should just go home. It would be better if she just WENT HOME,” obviously talking about me. I held Stella as long as I could, then another nurse came and kindly helped me put her back to bed. I went back to my room and cried and cried. It was after 1 AM, but I called Erin anyway and she tried to calm me down.

I was running out of the painkillers the hospital had provided and I was very stressed, so was in a lot of pain by the next feeding. I decided it would be better if I cup-fed them myself; knowing that any mistakes I made would be better than what had just happened. As it was my first time, I asked the nurse in charge for some guidance, and she snapped at me and refused to answer my questions. I was beyond caring by that time, and looked right at her, saying, “I am three days post-partum, and it’s two in the morning; are you really going to punish me for protecting my baby?” “She wouldn’t have hurt your baby”, she said. “You were not there,” I answered. “She wouldn’t have hurt your baby,” she repeated. “You were not there,” I said again, “Are you going to help me?” I watched as her body language completely changed and she was very helpful after that.

By the next feeding, I was in way too much pain to sit or do anything at all. I told the nurse and she was kind enough to get me some more from the nurse’s station. I was finally able to sleep, and woke up for the next feeding at 8:30 AM.

 

Wednesday

When I arrived to see Ava and Stella, the day nurses had come in. I discovered that a separate nurse had been assigned to each baby; I guess they must have been too much to handle or maybe I was. One of them was preparing to bathe them and told me they needed a bath “because they are gross.”

Dorothy arrived during the bath, and asked me how the night had gone. I was still too upset and didn’t feel comfortable talking about it in front of the nurse, so I just shook my head. She informed Dorothy that there had been a problem with the cup feeding, but nothing more was said. Stella had her bath and was wide awake and content the whole time.

Afterwards, as I was breastfeeding her, Dorothy asked me what had happened. I explained, and she actually started to cry and of course, so did I. She told me that she would make a complaint on my behalf to the person who managed the nurses.

That day Ava and Stella were moved from the NICU into my parent room. Dorothy visited us there and helped me with the latching issues I continued to have. She also taught me how to use a SNS system, which involved taping a little tube to my nipple so that the baby could breastfeed, while sucking up the formula through the tube.

That was the first time that we had had the girls with us, so of course Jason came to stay in the room. We got very little sleep, but got through the night just fine. The first thing he did when they brought them in to us was take Stella and put her in the bed next to Ava, who just stared at her as if she was thinking, “There you are!”

 

Thursday: Finally Home

The next day I was told we were going to be taking them both home and I discovered that they had thought I was only 21 or 22 years old the entire time, though I was actually going to be 28 the next day. We were released on Thursday, May 20th, and I was told to come back to the Lactation Clinic on Saturday the 22nd to have their bilirubin levels and weight checked. If they were still jaundiced, they would be re-admitted to the NICU. The thought terrified me.

Dorothy reassured me that my milk would likely come in once I got home and wasn’t under so much stress. I said that was all I wanted for my birthday. My mom helped us get everything together and came home with us to stay for a few days.

 

The Best Birthday Present

It was literally 10 minutes after midnight on May 21st, and out of nowhere I felt like my boobs were going to explode. Boobs full of milk; I got my wish!

I continued trying the SNS system without much luck, and supplementing with a cup after each feeding. They were not latching well and I was so terrified of them being re-admitted. We put them in the sun for a while in their diapers and gave our cat, Kato, a chance to really check them out.

 

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My Aunt Karen and cousin Erin came to visit for my Birthday, and Erin helped me latch them on. It was still a struggle, but we were doing it and I continued to supplement. I don’t know how anyone could think that formula feeding is easier; I don’t think I slept at all those two nights. By the time I had finished one feeding, I only had about an hour to sleep before I had to get everything ready for the next one. I cannot imagine doing that for six months to a year.

 

Back to the Hospital We Go

On Saturday, I brought them back to the hospital’s lactation clinic. Stepping through the hospital doors made me physically sick; I just wanted to turn around and go home and wondered silently what would happen if I refused to allow them to be readmitted.

I held my breath as they were checked and to my relief, was told that their bilirubin levels were acceptable and they would not need to be admitted. They were weighed and had gained an acceptable amount of weight as well.

I wasn’t having much luck with the electric pump, but the Lactation Consultant on duty told me to keep trying, and to keep supplementing with formula, even though I was able to demonstrate their improved latch and good feedings.

I told her that I had an appointment at the Jack Newman Breastfeeding Clinic a few days later, expecting her to be happy that I was doing everything I could to breastfeed successfully. Instead she lectured me about not taking them out more than was needed and said that I should not take them to see Dr. Newman, as it “would not be good continuity of care.” After emphasizing the importance of not taking them anywhere unnecessarily, she then insisted on booking us an appointment to come back there the next Tuesday.

 

Following My Instincts

I ran out of there as fast as I could and made the decision to stop supplementing. I knew how critical these first days and weeks were to establish my supply and that my best chance to exclusively breastfeed my babies was to just do it.

I went home, dropped any kind of schedule and breastfed them as often as they needed to, which was constantly at first. If they were awake, they were eating, but I didn’t mind; I think all three of us were making up for lost time.

 

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Dorothy called on Monday morning to see how I was doing. I told her that I was breastfeeding successfully and admitted that I had gone against the advice of the other LC who told me to keep supplementing. She congratulated me and agreed with my choice. I am so grateful to her for everything and I truly don’t know if I would have been successful without her support during that awful week.

 

Meeting Dr. Jack Newman and My Happy Ending

I took them to the Jack Newman Clinic on Monday afternoon, where they were weighed again and checked for tongue-ties, which they both had. The Certified Lactation Consultants were overflowing with enthusiastic support and so impressed with Ava and Stella’s weight gain despite our obstacles. Their tongue-ties were clipped and their latches improved immediately. Someone showed me how to wrap the Moby wrap, and how to breastfeed while lying down. Everyone’s attitude was so incredibly different than what I had experienced up to that point. They were encouraging and empowering and my determination was appreciated rather than criticized; they were everything the hospital wasn’t (with the exception of Dorothy, of course). Dr. Newman reminded me of a friendly grandpa; kind, calm, and wise.

After getting home that day, I called the lactation clinic at the hospital and cancelled my appointment for Tuesday; I had no plans to set foot back in that building.

I went on to exclusively breastfeed Ava and Stella for the next 6 months, and am still going 3.5 years later. While I owe many tears and stress to the people who seemed to forget what their job should be (caring for mothers and babies vs. hospital liability and convenience), I also know that without the support that I did receive from my family and friends, the staff at the Jack Newman Clinic, Dr. Jack Newman himself, and Dorothy Dougherty, RN, IBLCL, of Sunnybrook/Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, I could not have succeeded as I did. Thank you thank you thank you, everyone.

 

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Alice

 

 

Comments

  1. Meghan Misenti says:

    What an amazing story! You are an inspiration!

  2. Oh. My. Word…. Reading through this…. I’m like… speechless. With the exception of some things I’d like to say to those awful nurses and other staff that treated you so horribly. I am literally horrified by the way they treated you and your sweet baby girls. They’re all full of it. I am overwhelmed with indignation and I don’t understand how people can be like that. I’m so sorry. No one should ever go through that. The birth of your children is supposed to be a good experience but those people totally killed it for you…. (sigh). The ignorance of some “professionals” …. it’s infuriating!!!

    Anywho, I pray the birth of your next baby is everything it ought to be! Blessings to you!

  3. Adelita Roa says:

    I am just horrified at what you went through. If I was in your shoes, I don’t think I would have been successful with breastfeeding. I am very halt that my labor experience at the Northridge Hospital was great and their breastfeeding support was also amazing. They never tried to push anything on me and they actually encouraged me to do my own research on things beforehand. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope that your road to healing becomes much easier. By the way, did you make any complaints against the hospital or a law suit?

  4. First I want to say I’m so sorry that this was your experience. I am appalled at the level of care you received. As a pediatric nurse myself I cannot fathom myself or any other nurse that I work with treating a parent this way. We would actually be fired. Please know that there are excellent and caring nurses out there that are educated. I myself had a traumatic first birth so I can relate tremendously with your experience. I also just had a successful healing vbac 4 weeks ago. Please know that re-writing a new story is possible for your next birth.

  5. Your story was absolutely gut wrenching and made me so angry on your behalf!! I think you are one extraordinary person to have made it through all that and still be feeding successfully! I wish you every success in your vbac and I hope you can heal from this traumatic experience. xx

  6. My experience wasn’t great in the NICU in London, but nothing compared to yours. I was lucky enough to have a relative who was a nurse who informed me that I could request a particular nurse not be assigned to us. I also found the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic to be a godsend. I sincerely hope you lodged a complaint with the hospital – that type of care is horrendous!!! And our tax dollars at work. So sad you had to experience that 🙁

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Your story brought tears to my eyes and made me remember things from my birth that I hadn’t wanted to remember but needed to in order to heal. Your girls are adorable. Wishing you much luck for your upcoming delivery! Congratulations!

  8. Wow I felt saddened to the point of tears reading about the nurses and the level of care you and your babies received! How can these people be the carers of little babies when they don’t obviously don’t care about their well being! Good on you for persisting with breast feeding, it was inspiring to read about your journey to exclusively breast feed and well done for keeping at it!

  9. Wow you have overcome the unimaginable! Your are an inspiration. I wish you, your babies, your family, your next birth experience and your future all the love, luck and happiness you deserve xxx

  10. I cried reading some of this, gasped at some parts and genuinely felt such sadness for your story. I also had a bad experience of hospital with lies and a lot of rubbish, yet nothing to your story. You are inspirational. May your dreams come true with your upcoming birth.
    I would appreciate any information bout VBAC and homebirth myself for the future. Xxxx

  11. Ah, it makes ME sick to my stomach what they can do to you in the hospitals! It is actually tragic how they handled you and your girls…. There is not set time it takes for you or your girls to heal from a birth trauma like that, and you’re absolutely entitled to feel the way you did. Be sure to have lots of support during your upcoming delivery. Sometimes, we need our ‘backup’ people to be the ones making decisions for us and sticking up for us, as when you’re in labor, you’re mind is not really there. All the best to you and your beautiful family 🙂

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about how awfully you and your girls were treated! Please remember all nurses are not like those you experienced. Nurses like that give us all a bad reputation. They should not be healthcare providers with that attitude. I am so glad to read your happy ending though.

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