If ever there was a doubt that I was going to change OB/GYNs after this fiasco, it was completely erased today with the arrival of Alex's final autopsy report. The short version, without the Polish temper including various expletives, is that my OB/GYN LIED TO ME. That's right...liar, liar, pants on fire. Or maybe liar, liar...find me a good lawyer.
Significant findings in this autopsy include: 4+ growth of enteric bacilli on cultures, bacteria present in vessels of multiple organs and in the conducting airspaces of the lung and severe acute chorioamnionitis in the placenta. In summary, the cause of death appears to be bacteremia related to chorioamnionitis. However, examination of the brain revealed significant intracranial hemorrhage. Because of advanced autolysis, the etiology of hemorrhage could not be determined.
Now, for those of you non-medical folks like me...let’s Google bacteremia and chorioamnionitis...
Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the membranes (placental tissues) and amniotic fluid. It occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies, but is much more common in preterm births. Chorioamnionitis can cause bacteremia (blood infection) in the mother and may lead to preterm birth and serious infection in the newborn baby. Other terms for chorioamnionitis include intra-amniotic infection and amnionitis.
The organisms usually responsible for chorioamnionitis are those that are normally present in the vagina, including Escherichia coli (E. coli). Group B streptococcus may also cause the infection.
And you want to know the kicker???
Differential diagnoses for chorioamnionitis can be...drum roll please...
Bronchitis, upper respiratory infection, or viral syndrome.
Guess where I was the week before Alex died? Yes...in both my general practitioner’s office being tested for strep throat and subsequently on the telephone to my OB/GYN begging for some help with my “upper respiratory and sinus infections.” BOTH times I was told to take Tylenol and Sudafed, and drink plenty of fluids. BOTH times I was told I just had an upper respiratory and sinus infection. And NOBODY told me that my illness could possibly be a SYMPTOM of a uterine infection!
So yes, an intracranial hemorrhage most likely ultimately killed my baby. BUT...and this is a BIG BUT...there was an intrauterine infection that was most likely the cause of said hemorrhage. I WAS sick...and most likely Alex WAS sick. And NOBODY diagnosed it despite exhibiting several classic symptoms, including maternal fever, uterine tenderness (we had several conversations about how hard Alex was kicking me and how much it actually hurt), and maternal tachycardia that was brushed off as being a result of my “sinus infection” and taking Sudafed.
I am apparently a classic case with classic signs. I had a previous c-section from which I had difficulty healing (took me a year to heal completely). I had a previous prolonged labor during which I exhibited signs of illness and was told it was “normal in certain stages of labor.” (Nope...that wasn’t true either.) Looks like there is a very real possibility that I've been carrying this infection around with me for over three years.
I’m sorry...this is actually the kicker...
It’s all treatable with antibiotics.
That’s right, had it been properly diagnosed, Alex could still be alive.
Hello?!?!?! Is this thing on?!?!?! What do I have to do to get someone to listen to me?!?!?!? And why in the hell can I Google it NOW...after my baby is DEAD...and find my answers? More importantly...why did my OB/GYN tell me she didn’t have any idea what caused Alex’s intracranial hemorrhage???
It all makes sense now...Her hesitation in agreeing to send me the autopsy report...The lengthy delay in getting said report, which I can only imagine was so she had enough time to consult with her legal counsel.
Now I get to introduce a whole new set of nightmares. My baby suffering from some blood infection for God knows how long. And I thought the anger issues were resolving themselves. Watch out world...I’m on a rampage now!