By Kern County resident Ashley Fogle
[On March 16, 2013,] I had a life changing experience that will haunt me for the rest of my life – not only me, but my husband and children as well. I went into labor and had to call 911 to get to the [Antelope Valley] hospital. I arrived at the hospital at 5 p.m., I was greeted by nurses asking how far along I was.
Unfortunately, at that time I had insurance out of Orange County, so I wasn’t able to see a doctor in the Antelope Valley (because no one would accept my insurance), so I didn’t know how far along I was exactly.
I told [the AVH nurses] the situation and notified them that I had went to Palmdale Regional 10 days prior to this visit, so maybe [Palmdale Regional] had the information that was needed. Shortly after that, a nurse came back in the room where I was and started to feel my stomach for a heartbeat, never hooking me up to a fetal monitor. She decided to tell me she didn’t feel a heartbeat, so she called another nurse to assist her doing the same thing. Fortunately, the second nurse was able to get a heartbeat.
Two hours and 30 minutes into the visit, which is 7:30 p.m., I’m finally admitted into the hospital. Soon after, I was picked up by ultrasound. I asked the ultrasound tech if there was a heartbeat, and if I could see it. He showed me there was and it was strong. I then asked him if he thought my son had a chance to survive. He then told me ‘yes,’ but also told me he wasn’t supposed to give me his opinion. In just that moment, he made me feel secure. After the ultrasound, the tech took me back to my room.
Moments later, the doctor arrived and asked me what I thought was going to happen and what did the ultrasound tech tell me. I then told him that I thought that there was a chance to save [my baby]. The doctor then told me and my husband that whatever we thought was going to happen wasn’t; the doctor continued to tell us that not only was [our baby] going to be dead, he was also going to come out breached. As soon as he said that, my husband and I started to cry. That was the most heartbreaking experience I have ever had, and all I could think about was “why” for the entire time I was waiting to fully dilate.
At 10:22 p.m., my son was born. The doctor that I thought was going to deliver my son was nowhere to be seen. A nurse delivered [my son], and everything the doctor told me was a LIE. Not only was my son born head first, but he was ALIVE. I then asked the nurse if there was anything that they could do. They couldn’t answer my question. They then asked me and my husband if we wanted to hold him, and we did. It had reached 12 [a.m.], and they still didn’t treat my son. I finally decided to tell the nurse to take him to the NICU, hoping they would do something for him. I didn’t want my extremely premature infant to be cold in a janitor’s rag.
After that nurse left the room with my son, I never saw him again. The next time I would see my son was 31 days later in a urn.
I’m sure you’re thinking: “Thirty-one days later? WHAT?”
Yes, 31 days later… I had problems getting my son’s remains because the hospital tried to pass my son off as a still birth, when he was born ALIVE. So after that didn’t work for the mortuary or the health department, I discovered there was another problem. The doctor that was supposed to deliver [my son] was refusing to sign his death certificate. I called the hospital to tell them the situation, and one of the nurses got irate with me and I didn’t understand why. I was trying to explain to her that the information that she was giving them was incorrect. Since my son was born ALIVE, they would need a real reason for his death, like a heart attack or kidney failure.
Finally, a couple of days later, I get my son and his death certificate. Not only did they lie about the time he passed, they also lied about what caused his death. It was not a heart attack, it was a lack of oxygen to the brain which caused a heart attack.
I’m going to end with this: I WILL NEVER KNOW WHEN MY SON REALLY PASSED AWAY AND I WILL NEVER KNOW IF HE COULD HAVE SURVIVED BECAUSE THEY NEVER TRIED TO SAVE HIM.
The nurse’s reason for not trying to save him was: “I’ve never seen a baby that small survive more than two hours…” The reason for not bringing my son to me after he passed was: “We are re-training staff on bringing babies back to the mothers after they pass away…”
As a mother or father, would that be enough for you? Nobody deserves to be treated this way! No one should ever have to experience this pain that will never go away. When my son died, a part of me did too and I will never have it back.
This incident took place March 16, 2013. I am 26 years old, and when this incident took place I was an Orange County resident. I filed a complaint, and I do plan on making it a legal matter due to the Infant Born Alive Protection Act.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a story to Your Issues | Your News.