Nightmare childbirth with Dr. Mercedes Sayago

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.

Hospitalization day

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.

By Danny

Random geek living in a random city

19 replies on “Nightmare childbirth with Dr. Mercedes Sayago”

I'm so sorry that you had to go through all that.
Being in labor for so long without seeing a doctor is definitely upsetting and unheard of.

I am so so so sorry to hear this. What a horrible experience =( not sure if youre still looking for an OBGYN but i had a terrible first time prenatal visit with the first dr i saw and quickly changed to Dr. Karman Ghodsian, needless to say hes AMAZING!!! Id highly suggest him if you are looking. He has 3 offices and is reachable 24/7.

What a horrible way to experience the birth of your child. I always ask three questions before I see a new doctor, especially an ob/gyn:
1. Are they Board Certified?
2. What is their Work History?
3. What is the reputation of physician in your community and hospital

Another great way to research a doctor: You can call the registered nurses (RNs) in the hospital's specialized unit (Labor and Delivery) and for recommendations for MDs. FYI, the main number for Hoag is 949-764-HOAG (4624) then ask for Labor and Delivery. Once you get them ask for any RN on duty. I suggest you call three different times and get three recommendations. GOOD LUCK!
And to anyone yet to go to this doctor, please do your homework ahead of time.

She is the worst OBGYN. Thank you for sharing your story. I switched and after getting a new doctor I relized her level of care is unacceptable.

Thank you Dan, SO Sorry to hear this story. That is horrible. At least you will have a living baby from such chaos.
I booked on ZOC DOC with Mercedes. THen they automatically switched me to a nurse practitioner on the ZOC DOC even though I had booked with Mercedes.

THen they called me and said she wouldnt be in, shed only be in, in the morning. I said that's fine Ill come in in the morning. SO there advertising her and booking their nurse practitioner. Obviously doing unethical things.

Anyhow after reading this. I am thanking my lucky stars you saved me from a nightmare. ANd I canceled. Thank you.!!
Similar thing happen to me with a wedding venue. So I feel your pain more than you know.

Thanks a million for posting this.
Hopefully she will learn something from this or risk losing her medical license for being careless. Did you file a complaint with the board yet? If not you should. This is unaccepatable treatment and you have proof and additional doctors to back you up.
Sometimes you have to deliver the message to people who are all about the money.

Btw, I too was mislead by the reviews on Zoc Doc. I have to wonder how many of them are real. Please share your experience and post a review there (or anywhere else). I think our healthcare system would greatly benefit from more patient reviews.

Hello i live in costa mesa and i had dr deyan aswell and he left me in labor for more than 24 hours and my son was born also with a delay in milestones till this day he is delayed :/ can you please specify more of your childs condision ?? Please i really want to know

He is delayed in multiple areas, in some over 60% according to EI. Mostly communication and social skills.
Have you had your son evaluated? What were his APGAR scores? Was he taken to the NICU?
My biggest fear is that my son sustained some sort of brain damage from his traumatic birth. The only way to find out though would be to have an MRI, but we haven't done that yet. How old is your son?

Yes we evaluted him when he was 6 Months and we were told that he was very delayed and we were sent to choc for his pediatric tretment and were sent to every specialist we could so , metabolics, genetics , nuerology, cardio, ortho everything and all they say is that he has hypotonia and is delayed because of that :/ but he is 2 now and still does not talk nor walk . My childbirth experience is sort of exactly what you guys went through :/ my son had an MRI and we were told that his brains global mas was a little bit to small for a child his age so we always suspected that it happen during birth but he was not taken to the nicu they just made me stay an extra day because he had failed his hearing test and because of everything i went through having my water broke for more than 23 hours the hospital wanted to make sure i or the baby didnt get exposed to an infection

Hi Maricruz,

A couple of things:
1. You should get your child evaluated by Early Intervention (EI) so he can get therapy. It is completely free and they come to your home. If you haven't done so already definitely contact RCOC.
2. Since you have sufficient evidence at this point I would strongly consider taking legal action against the doctor and/or hospital. I am going to do the same if things don't improve by the time he's 2 or 3. You should also ask the hospital for your medical records. Do you know what his APGAR scores were?
3. Have you filed a complaint already with the California Medical Board? I know it will not help your son but it will help you feel better and they will investigate the birth on your behalf.
4. There is an excellent neurologist in Irvine that we've been seeing and I highly recommend her. Lookup Dr. Stein neurology.
5. There is a forum on baby center called Delayed Darlings that you can join, just to share your story and get moral support.
6. What areas is your son delayed in?
7. Please tell me more about the MRI results. I'm interested if we have a similar case.
8. Was Deyan your doctor or was he just the one to show up for your birth?

I honestly dont remember his Apgar scores and i have been considering legal advice because my son is 2 now and is considered a special needs child :/ and rcoc has seen us and we are getting physical therapy and OT therapy as well as speech and behavioral therapy :/ and thank you i have been looking for baby center for him and detan was my doctor refferd to me by my primary care doctor :/ my son is delayed in motor skills and social and his MRI was very odd his doctor just said that the brains global mass was just small for someone his age and ny be the cause for all of his delays

Hi There,
Can I tell you that I have nothing but horrible to say about Dr. Sayago. Three years ago, I was pregnant with a very very sick little girl. There was an issue with her kidneys not forming, and basically we were faced with a really rough decision on whether or not to let the child be born and then pass away shortly after, or terminate the pregnancy. This experience was made SO MUCH worse by Dr. Sayago Our first anatomy scan was done by a radiologist, and the problem was flagged, but it wasn't brought up at that appointment. Instead, Dr. S's office scheduled me for a follow up scan at Magella WITHOUT even telling me that there was an issue. They just told me they were missing a measurement. I got in to that appointment laughing and having fun with my husband and was gobsmacked by the news that my child wouldn't make it. Dr. Sayago knew this ahead of time and didn't have the guts to even let me know there was something wrong. Instead I got to hear it from a strange Dr. When I told her how messed up it was, she got defensive and kind of put it back on me instead of comforting us in our time of grief. Luckily, 3 years has passed and I found a much more compassionate and competent OB/GYN to monitor me and deliver my son!

Hi! I ALSO had a terrible experience with Dr. Sayago. She was the on call traveling doc in Lake Tahoe went I went into labor. I guess she travels from Newport Beach. I see now that her practice isn’t accepting any more pregnant patients so she hopefully doesn’t do OB anymore. She was at my birth and I wish she wasn’t. I came in far along, wanting a natural birth. She told me she loved doing csections. She implied that my baby was in distress and instead of giving me oxygen or trying anything else, she called for a csection at 9cm. Then she told me that I couldn’t control everything and I had to let go and let God while I begged in terror. My scar is jagged, I still have pain, and because they overdosed me on Fentanyl at 8cm, my baby was drugged and needed oxygen. She is abusive and spiteful. for full story.
I’m so sorry this happened to your family. Everyone deserves joy with the birth of their child, not incompetent attendants.

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