Sydney M’s Story

Still birth story of Adam McLain Mayhew

On the morning of February 14, 2021, my son Adam McLain Mayhew was born sleeping. During the peak of the north Texas winter storm, I felt my innocence disappear in an instant.

My husband and I had tried to get pregnant starting in early 2020, pre covid. In May of 2020 I found out I was pregnant after the help with clomid medication. Unfortunately, that pregnancy was not meant to be, and I shortly experienced my first miscarriage. Heartbroken but still eager to be a mother, my husband and I tried again the very next month.

On June 4th, I took a test and excitedly showed my husband who was working in the garage. Just days later my fertility doctor confirmed with an ultrasound and blood draw to make sure my HCG levels continued to climb, they did. A few weeks later my doctor released me to a referred doctor to watch over me in my pregnancy and off we went. The first half of my pregnancy seemed normal. I did the regular checkups that were never more than a few minutes long to check the heart beat and ask a few questions.

I never really ever had concerns up until 26 weeks. In November 2020, at a routine checkup my doctor asked if I had any concerns. I stated “I have lost my smell”, and when he asked if I had got a covid test, I stated I had taken 2 of them but they both were negative. Unconcerned, the doctor blew off my concern and told me “you’ve gained too much weight and are overweight, which is causing pressure on your nasal, that’s probably whats affecting it.” I trusted his judgement and moved on with no concern after. The pregnancy went on and appointments came and went. Again, no more than 5 min appointments checking the heart rate for all of 10-15 seconds.

At 39 weeks, at my now weekly appointment, my doctor asked if I had any concerns. I at this point requested to be induced due to not being able to sleep, sit, lay down, I was extremely uncomfortable. The doctor then told me “be uncomfortable is part of pregnancy and what I was experiencing was normal.” I then asked again if I could be induced, doctor then told me “we can do whatever you want but your baby would be safer inside you.” Not once did the doctor offer to take a look into any of my complaints of being uncomfortable. Me being a first time mom I felt I should trust my doctor and went home.

At 39 weeks and 6 days, I decided to go to the hospital for some contractions I was having. They weren’t painful to me but they were every 7-10 min. I asked to be induced while I was there and since I was having contractions. The nurses seemed annoyed and stated they called my doctor who told them to send me home. Their reasoning was because I was not “progressing with dilation”. Disappointed again, my husband and I went home.

The next day was my 40 week appointment, and when the doctor walked in the first thing he said to me was “well you tried to go into labor but it didn’t work did it.” I didn’t take to this well and when the nurse had me lay down to check the heart rate she checked it at “126” I was taken back by this and asked if that was ok because his heart rates had always been between 145-155 never any less. She stated “it’s normal for babies heart to drop before labor” uneasy by it I requested again for an induction.

The doctor irritated with me said “we will do the induction but we will not do it today, and will not do it tomorrow” I said that’s fine I just want it done. Later that day after both of us leaving the room frustrated because all I wanted was to feel heard and not ignored. I was done, uncomfortable and couldn’t handle it anymore. The doctor made me out to be a bad mom for even suggesting an induction. Later that day we received a call that I would be induced at 8am on February 14th, we were relieved.

On the morning of February 13th at 3am I woke up with extreme contractions and finally thought “THIS IS IT!!” I started counting and found my now painful contractions were 7 min apart again. I called the hospital to let them know and I asked to come in. They asked how far apart my contractions were, I told them, they told me to not come in until they were 5 min apart. Again disappointed, I felt pushed aside, I wasn’t important, I waited all day long until 7:15 when my husband begged me to go to the hospital anyways because I was exhausted and roads were getting bad again.

Living only 5 miles from the hospital it took almost 40 min to get to the hospital due to the roads. After finally arriving to Texas Hugely Hospital I can remember my husband walking in with me holding my hand saying “this is it, we are gonna have our baby.” Between the car and the L&D room I had 3 more contractions. I got changed and the nurse started putting on the monitors. That’s when she said “you know something might be wrong with this one let me change it”, she changed it with a new one. Then switched to a hand held Doppler. I looked at my husband and remember very vividly stating “if something happened I will never forgive myself, I am so sorry”.

Shortly a ultrasound tech came in, silence, no one at this point would talk to me. Soon a charge nurse came and brought me a nokia phone saying the doctor would like to speak with me. Confused, I took the phone, the doctor introduces himself “hello Sydney, my name is doctor Neef, I am the on call doctor but due to the storm I am not in there at the time unless needed. From what the nurses have told me, I hate to be the one to tell you this but there is no heartbeat.” I remember feeling so hot and screaming, absolutely screaming. I begged for them to get my son out and save him, I begged for a c section to try to save him. The doctor then told me for my safety because they do not know what’s wrong and I was in active labor they could not give me a c section. I was told I needed to calm down that I was making other moms scared. I didn’t care, my child was gone.

I was given some pain killers, and medication to calm me down then waited. I waited and watched the snow fall all night long. With every contraction I prayed to God to bring my baby back to me. I had one point asked a nurse coming to check on me “when I deliver, will they try to save him.” She didn’t really give me an answer, and told me I would know when I needed to push. At roughly 7:20 am the next morning I felt my body naturally want to push. The staff came in and with just a few pushes my son came into the world at 8:01am on Valentine’s Day. The same time we were supposed to be induced. I reached for him, the room was silent and wailed. I cried like I have never cried before I begged God to take me with my son. I felt a complete piece of me die in that minute. The delivering doctor Prayed over all three of us as I cried and just held my son, lifeless.

Over the next 4 hours my husband and I spent time holding our son. A perfect 7lbs 14oz. and 21 inches long baby boy. Memorizing every little feature we could. We only got 4 hours with him because the hospital at the time did not have a cuddle cot which is a bassinet built to get a babies temp so families can spend more time with their passed child. 4 hours, that’s all we got, and we left with a box but not our baby. All because a doctor wouldn’t listen to me and just take a few extra minutes to address my concerns.

We now are anxiously awaiting for the arrival of our rainbow baby. With a new set of doctors at a different hospital, the staff always makes sure to mention Adam in someway which helps me in making sure he isn’t forgotten, while finding room for hope with his sibling. Scheduled induction to be early September. 

Photos taken by Smurphree Photo.

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