Welcome to birth trauma stories Podcast

Part 2: Triggers: A 3 Part Series


Our girls asked for s’mores. It was a Friday evening so we said yes. Friday nights we tend to let our girls stay up a little late. We typically don’t have plans early on Saturdays. It’s usually the only day we can “sleep in”. I use quotes because our five year old is a morning person and is usually up by 7. We pull out the all the supplies. Marshmallows. Graham crackers. And of course chocolate. We start a fire. Our house backs up to a nature preserve so we have an endless supply of kindling and when it overgrows, wood too. We also save old bills for paper to use in the fire. I mindlessly grab some paper, ball it up, and throw it in the fire. The next time I do, I see Women’s Care Florida. 

My heart sinks. 

This was the first Ob I used when I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. I had already called the OB I used with my first because I loved them! However at that time, they didn’t have the ability to do a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC). At that point in my pregnancy, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a repeat cesarean or a VBAC but decided to keep my options open. I don’t quite remember the phone call setting up the appointment but what I do remember is the phone call that would make this seemingly unsubstantial piece of paper a trigger. 

It was Jan. 2019. I was in Georgia supporting my sister after an extremely traumatic delivery with my niece. (to read more about this click here) We were at her daughter’s newborn exam. I vividly remember sitting in the waiting room and answering the phone. It was the OB’s office calling to say they thought there was an issue with my pregnancy. 

Words no a mother ever wants to hear!

We go for the follow up appointment. The OB explains what she is seeing and how she wants us to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Doctor. We leave that appointment quite disheveled. Well, at least me. My husband is a “let’s not freak out until we have all the answers” kind of guy. We call the MFM, make an appointment, and wait. 

It seemed as though those weeks drug on!

We arrive at the appointment, get ready for the ultrasound, and wait for the results. Next, the MFM comes into the room. I am holding my breath. He says to us I don’t think you have a short cervix. I finally take a breath. Next he explains that typically a short cervix is not diagnosed until after 14 weeks. At this point in my pregnancy I was around 8 weeks. I can’t remember the details of why they wait, but I do remember getting really angry. 

Did that doctor really misdiagnose me???

He explains that since I so early in my pregnancy that he wants to see me back in a couple of weeks to check on my cervix again. My husband and I drive home very confused, but thankful nothing is seriously wrong. A couple of weeks later we go to the next appointment with the MFM. We do the ultrasound again and he confirms. I do not have a short cervix. The details here are a bit fuzzy but I think we went back a third time, just to make sure. But regardless, the first OB was wrong. 

I was misdiagnosed with a short cervix.

I do remember asking the MFM his opinion about a VBAC. I explained to him what happened with my first delivery and in his opinion I should try for a VBAC. At this point, we decide to find another new OB. We find a new OB who does VBACs and make the appointment. At this point, we also decide to hire a doula because we feel like we need extra support. I go to my appointment at the new OB’s office and everything is great!

they agree!  I am a canidate for Trial of Labor after Cesarean (TOLAC).

I can’t remember when but at some point during my pregnancy, we receive a bill in mail from the OB's office. So not only did the OB at their doctor misdiagnose me, but now they wanted to charge for not 1 but both appointments. Including the “extra” one where the OB said I had a short cervix, but I actually did not. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t just pay bills and calls them. I remember him arguing with the office manager for hours over the course of weeks to settle the bill. 

It still blows my mind their office wanted us to pay a bill where the doctor misdiagnosed me. 

Little did I know, what God was up too. The new OB I chose only delivered at the main hospital in downtown. At the time of my AFE, the main hospital was the only hospital in Orlando that did EMCO (a heart and lung machine) for adults. My husband was also told I would not have survive a life flight across town to get to the main hospital. 

I wholeheartedly believe God was leading us down a path, at the time that we did not understand.