Childbirth. One of the most wonderful moments of life. For most people, it’s a day they’ll remember for rest of their lives. Unfortunately for us, it was a nightmare that we try every day to forget.
It all started roughly 11 months ago. We went to see Dr. Mercedes Sayago (OBGYN) in Newport Beach, CA after reading some positive reviews on Yelp (her practice is called Newport Beach Women’s Wellness Center). She was nice and seemed caring. She explained to us how she tries so hard not to miss any of her patients deliveries. We were sold. Unfortunately, after that appointment my wife has barely seen Dr. Sayago or any other doctor for that matter. Most of the time it was just a random nurse practitioner. She hadn’t even discussed a birth plan with us. While we thought this was odd, we figured she must be at the hospital caring for her patients.
After suffering from painful contractions, we decided it was time to visit the hospital. One of the first things we asked when we approached the staff at the triage department was to notify our doctor that we’ve arrived. My wife’s water broke roughly an hour later, and shortly after we were transferred to a delivery room. One of the nurses said we would give birth within several hours.
I decide to call Dr. Sayago’s office myself and let her staff know that we’re in labor at the hospital, just in case she wasn’t made aware of it yet. Night shift turns to day shift. Unfortunately, hours go by and no baby. “Where is Dr. Sayago?” we ask one of the nurses. We were told she’s on the phone with them, driving in her car. “Is she going to arrive?” The nurse responded vaguely that she was not sure. Several more hours go by, still not a single doctor in sight. Meanwhile, baby monitor shows some sign of distress, nurses come rushing in to administer an oxygen mask to my wife.
Day shift turns to night shift. We finally started coming to the realization that Dr. Sayago isn’t going to show up. After all, the writing was on the wall this whole time, we were just too naive not to see it. If she hadn’t shown up for most of our appointments, why would she show up at our birth? Not only did she not show up, she hadn’t even bothered to call us or send any member of her staff over, even though her office is almost across the street from the hospital and was open that day and we had an appointment scheduled (we obviously couldn’t show up).
Where is Dr. Mercedes Sayago?
More time goes by, my wife now has a fever and is given antibiotics. She is now 20+ hours into labor without seeing a single OBGYN. I keep asking the nurses where the doctor is and I get keep getting vague responses. Finally, we’re told it’s time to start pushing. She calls Dr. Deyan who must have been the on-call doctor for Sayago. He says something about being only 7 minutes away from the hospital and that we should start pushing first. I guess he must have thought it was too soon for him to be bothered after 20 hours in labor.
An hour into pushing the nurse tells us the baby isn’t coming out right. She calls the charge nurse, they decide we should push for another hour. Finally, Dr. Deyan shows up, 22 hours into labor. He tells us it’s not looking good, and that we need to either vacuum or c-section. The nurse asks him whether she should prepare an OR, and he responds “there’s no time”. If we ran out of time, why didn’t he show up sooner?
We opt to go for the vacuum, and luckily the baby comes out but he’s all pale. His cord is wrapped tightly around his neck. He is not crying. He is not given to Mom but taken away to receive resuscitation. Meanwhile, Dr. Deyan is stitching up my wife who had a tear.
Possibly due to his birth trauma and the use of the vacuum, my son is terribly jaundiced and we can’t breastfeed him as a result. We are forced to give him bottles to get rid of the jaundice. He is also late on some of his milestones. I pray for him every day that he has not sustained any brain damage as a result of everything that’s happened at his birth.
2 Months later
My wife, still suffering from pain in her vaginal area, decides to go see Dr. Deyan for a follow up. After all, he’s the guy who delivered the baby. She drives to his office in Newport Beach, waits to see him, and when he comes in he says “why did you come to see me?”. She responds “because you delivered my baby”. He says “that’s not how it works, you need to go see Sayago”. He says “how do you feel in general?” and she responds “I’m still in pain”. He says “it’s normal” then closes the door and leaves. Needless to say, my wife was in shock and embarrased.
Finally, we booked an appointment for another OB to see her. He tells my wife the last thing we wanted to hear – her stitches were put in too tight, and she’s not healing well. She may need surgery under general anesthesia to repair it with another 6 week recovery period. A second opinion with another doctor confirmed this finding. Needless to say, we can’t even resume intimate relationship, and who knows when, if ever, we’ll be able to.
9 Months later
My son is delayed in multiple areas and is in Early Intervention. We are starting therapy soon.
A doctor who leaves you in the hospital for 22 hours in labor without seeing you, calling you or sending anyone else to see you. Another doctor whose stitching results in a need for reconstruction surgery. You might think this is unheard of, but not with Dr. Mercedes Sayago and Dr. Alex Deyan. To add insult to injury, Dr Sayago’s name is on my son’s birth certificate even though she wasn’t there for a second.
Moral of the story – if you care about yourself and more importantly your future offspring, chose your OBGYN and hospital very very carefully. You don’t want to end up in the same unfortunate situation as we did.