Pregnancy

After My VBAC, My Uterus Did Rupture — And I Lost My Baby

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“Something just did not feel right to me, so I went back to the hospital,” she recalls. “It was there that the fetal monitor and sonogram showed that my baby had no heartbeat.”

Georgia was later informed that the original pain that she thought was labor was actually her uterus separating. The burning feeling was most likely the uterus rupturing.

After her baby had been pronounced dead at 7 a.m., her doctors told her that since “the baby’s health was no longer an issue,” they would induce labor for a vaginal delivery. Had she not progressed by 7 a.m. the following morning, they would go for a c-section. Georgia demanded a c-section at nearly 1 a.m. that morning, but nurses hesitated to wake the surgeon. Her then-husband pushed even more and the nurses “reluctantly” agreed to call the surgeon.

A different OBGYN who performed Georgia’s followup care informed her that when the surgeon opened up her abdomen, the damage to her body was quite severe. Her uterus had fully ruptured and the baby was in her abdominal cavity. Although her uterus had healed from her first c-section, the incision had fused against her bladder, which also ruptured. Georgia had to have an additional “clean up” surgery which revealed damage to her cervix as well. Several experts who reviewed her medical records told the mother that by all accounts, she should not have survived the ordeal.

Georgia has since been told by a new set of doctors that had a c-section been performed prior to her due date, her daughter would have survived. The baby’s death certificate reads “fetal demise,” but her OBGYN maintains that the baby’s death was due to the rupture.

The mother did look into a possible lawsuit but found that her legal rights were “diminished” because she had consented to the VBAC — and therefore all the risks and complications. Her new set of doctors commented that her care was very poor, but that she is not legally entitled to any compensation. Two different lawyers who reviewed her case were respectively horrified by what she endured, but concluded that she had no case.

To women who are considering a VBAC, Georgia recommends that expecting ladies always seek out a high-risk obstetrician familiar with the risks, as well as the following bit of parting wisdom:

“Women should remember that a birth is about bringing a baby into the world, and they should not be made to feel like they are doing something wrong if they opt for a repeat c-section.”

(photo: Jiri Hera/Shutterstock)

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