Baby's Head Gouged Multiple Times by Midwife During 'Traumatic' Birth, Left in NICU


Having a child is a special time for expecting parents, where hopes — and nerves — are high and prayers are said for a safe delivery.

Some deliveries, however, come with their share of fears and mishaps — particularly when it is the fault of the midwives and doctors that are delivering the baby.

Paul and Cecily Dantam were the expectant parents of a daughter, Lorelei, when Cecily went through what she deemed was a “traumatic birth.”

“It was a nightmare,” said Cecily. “That birth was traumatizing.”

It began on Nov. 26, when Cecily was under the care of her midwife at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. The midwife, Cecily said, began carelessly using an amniotic hook to break her water — the result of which left numerous gouges on her newborn’s head.

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“She went in and she was like, ‘This is a tough water bag. Oh my god, this is so tough,’ and she was just jamming it in there,” Cecily recalled, adding that the mid-wife wailed away with reckless abandon.

Though the newborn was healthy overall, the family says caretakers rushed Lorelei off and insisted on giving her a bath. The wash ended up giving the baby hypothermia, landing her in the NICU.

“After the delivery, they mentioned to us she was having trouble breathing, and she had aspirated some of the amino fluid, and they said it was the trauma of the birth,” Cecily said, adding that the NICU said they had no idea what happened, just alluding the baby’s condition to “trauma.”

Cecily and her husband still believe it was due to the gouges the newborn endured while still in the womb.

“I asked several times if you are going to tell me that it was trauma of the labor that caused her to aspirate fluid. How many gouges on a baby’s head signifies trauma?” said Paul. Cecily added that when she saw her daughter’s head, “my heart just dropped.”

As for reporting the negligent act, the Dantams expressed their concerns to the hospital shortly after the birth, where they received a patient relations letter stating Lorelei’s condition was simply due to a low blood oxygen level. The letter failed to mention any cuts on the baby’s head.

After other failed attempts to make the facility take responsibility for their actions, the couple decided to post to social media in an attempt to warn other mothers of what may lie ahead if they chose the facility.

After contacting patient relations, they did a review of our visit, and refuse to acknowledge what happened or even reduce our bill,” said Cecily. “No apology was given, except a general, ‘we’re sorry you’re sad’ kind of deal in the form letter they sent me.”

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“I don’t want to have to pay for an injury that was done to my daughter by the hospital staff. That’s not right to me.”

The post has now been shared several thousand times, and the hospital finally responded to the couple stating that they will be reopening the case.

As for Lorelei, the 2-month-old is happy and healthy, though some scars remain on the smiling baby.

“There’s a white line, there’s a white line, and that’s it,” said Cecily. “She made a full, full recovery.”

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ASU grad who loves all things reading and writing.
Becky is an ASU grad who uses her spare time to read, write and play with her dog, Tasha. Her interests include politics, religion, and all things science. Her work has been published with ASU's Normal Noise, Phoenix Sister Cities, and "Dramatica," a university-run publication in Romania.
Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing
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Politics, Science/Tech, Faith, History, Gender Equality