Answers are being demanded after a first-time mom gave birth at a hotel instead of the hospital.
Tiny Isabella was born in a room at the Village Green Hotel Nov. 16 after Myriah Di Venre, 17, could not access a bed at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“We want answers from the hospital,” said Jennifer Myers, Di Venre’s mom.
Di Venre was eight days overdue and the Grindrod family travelled to VJH Nov. 15 so she could be induced at 9 a.m. They then waited for the process to proceed while visiting friends.
At 5:30 p.m., they returned to the hospital but she was barely dilated, so they booked a hotel room so they had somewhere to wait.
As the night progressed, contractions began and the family headed back to VJH at 3:30 a.m. Nov. 16. However, she still wasn’t admitted because she wasn’t apparently dilated enough.
“She was wheelchaired out of the hospital because she couldn’t walk but she was still sent out,” said aunt Iola Rawnsley.
Arriving at the hotel just after 4:30 a.m., the family settled in but the contractions escalated and while Di Venre was in the washroom, active labour began.
“I was really shaking and I was yelling, saying, ‘Something is wrong,’” said Di Venre.
Family members managed to carry her to a bed.
“I was frantic because this is my daughter and I was scared,” said Myers.
A call was made to 911 and paramedics were dispatched. The operator provided delivery instructions to Myers and Rawnsley because Isabella wasn’t willing to wait.
“I tied the umbilical cord off with a shoe lace,” said Myers.
Despite the circumstances, Isabella was healthy.
“She was cooing and sucking on her fists,” said Rawnsley.
Paramedics soon arrived and Di Venre and baby were taken immediately to the hospital. They were released Sunday, but the anxiety hasn’t diminished.
“We want answers. We don’t want this to happen again to someone else,” said Myers.
Rawnsley believes the situation could have turned out differently without medical personnel.
“If the cord had been wrapped around her or a foot had come out first, it could have been worse,” she said.
VJH is currently reviewing protocols.
“We are pleased mom and baby are doing well and we regret that the delivery was not what the family expected,” said Yolanda Short, manager of women’s and children’s health services.
“We are committed to improving service delivery whenever we can.”
According to Short, clinicians consider the data available to them and the urgency of a case when making decisions surrounding labour.
“Determining the exact time of birth is difficult and clinicians do their best to determine when a woman is in active labour. Active labour is when we admit to the labour, delivery, recovery and postpartum room,” she said.
“If a woman is not in active labour, they will be able to labour where they are more comfortable away from the hospital setting.”
Di Venre and Isabella are now at home with dad Rick Adair and there will be quite the story to tell her when she is older. The heroes will be grandma and auntie.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Di Venre.