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Brody's Story

Brody My husband Scott and I had been trying to get pregnant for years, finally after going to an infertility clinic and being placed on the drug Clomid, to produce an egg, we got pregnant with our son. The pregnancy was pretty average I guess, no complications throughout. Towards the end I began to be concerned about the size of the baby, and voiced my concerns to the doctors within the OB/GYN office that treated me. I was told by one at 39 1/2 weeks that the baby felt about average and not to be concerned. The day before 41 weeks I had my last appointment, and told another doctor I was worried, she felt my stomach and stated that I was all baby, yet no Ultrasound or NST was performed. I asked about Induction and she told me not until at least 2 weeks over due.

Well, my water broke on Father's day, June 20th, at 5:00am. The doctor told me to go have it checked at the hospital since it was a trickle to make sure it was in fact my water. It was, they performed an Ultrasound to make sure the baby was head down yet knowing I was overdue by 9 days they did not try to estimate the size either. I was told to return at 5:00pm if labor hadn't started and it hadn't so we came back and were hooked up and pitocin started to induce labor by 6:00pm. By 11:00pm I wanted an Epidural and was told no because I was only 2 cms and an early Epidural can lead to a cesarean, I informed them that I wouldn't mind as I thought the baby was large and was going to request one at my next apt. had I not had the baby yet. I finally got the Epidural at 4:00am at 3 cms and was complete at 8:15am.

I pushed for nearly 2 hours before the doctor, who only saw me twice at the beginning of my pregnancy, came in. After almost another hour Brody finally started to be delivered. After his head came out, there was trouble. The doctor sent a nurse to get help in case he needed it to deliver his shoulder which was stuck. With him shaking from the effort, and pulling and pushing forcefully on Brody's head while the nurse pushed with both hands on my abdomen to dislodge Brody's Left shoulder (in the process getting the right shoulder more stuck). Brody finally became unstuck, but was not breathing on his own.

They called for pediatrics and they worked on him for a couple minutes and finally he began breathing on his own. I remember hearing comments about his arm, and they finally brought him over for me to see and explained that his shoulder was injured during delivery but his hand and fingers were working fine and that he should make a full recovery within a couple weeks. I was told that he had shoulder dystocia due to his size. Brody was born at 11:02 am on June 21, 1999.. weighed in at 9 lbs 15 oz, 21 inches long. His Apgars were 4 and 7. I found out later that the nurses all stated that they thought the baby was going to be large, and that even the doctor knew he was large by the way I was pushing, yet no one mentioned the size to me and no Cesarean was ever discussed.

The pediatrician has sent us to 2 Orthopedic specialists, and the orthopedic specialists sent us to a physical therapist. All 3 of whom told us to wait and not do anything until he is 3 months. Through research I have learned that it is best not to wait, so I am waiting to hear back about a Neurologist. I also discovered that birth related Brachial Plexus Palsy is caused by excessive force by the Obstetrician pulling the head up and down in an attempt to deliver the shoulders.

Brody is now 6 weeks old, and has regained Tricep function, most of his shoulder function, he can roll his shoulder a bit, but has absolutely no bicep function yet, so he is unable to bend or lift his arm on his own. He smiles through everything, even our clumsy attempts at ROM exercises which we found on the Internet. We think this injury makes our son even more special and it makes us cherish him even more realizing what could have happened and will make sure he understand how precious and special he is as he grows.

September 18th 1999
I'm happy to report that at 10 weeks, Brody began to use his right arm. It's amazing how far he's come in 2 short weeks from not having any use for so long. He can bring his arm out to his side about 45 degrees, and when stretching (unconscious movement) he raises it over his head. He's even found his mouth a few times with the help of his other hand. We saw a Neurologist just the other day and he was encouraged by his progress, and thinks his chances for a full recovery are above average. We still have a long way to go, but I don't think I could be any prouder of my sweet little boy then I was the moment I saw that arm come up for the first time.

Contact Kristen (Brody's Mom)here.

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