The Telegraph article spread. It was tweeted and copied and commented on. I saw it translated into Hindi and Turkish on different websites.
I received some more information about the drug and other tragedies from American midwives who’d tweeted ‘Not another one’. The first of these was a paper outlining 16 US cases where misoprostol was used for induction. As I read down the list summarising each case, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (what’s written on Sofia’s death certificate – brain damage due to asphyxia) was repeated and repeated and repeated. Some babies died while others lived with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. I felt twinges of guilt reading a baby survived because I feel relief that Sofia didn’t. Relief that my baby didn’t have to live a life trapped inside a poorly functioning body.
Reading the cases my focus, as usual for me, was on the babies and what happened to them. But information about the mothers was slowing trickling into my brain. ‘Uterine rupture,’ ‘hyperstimulation followed by uterine rupture,’ ‘massive blood transfusion’…
Then my breathe faltered. Case 7 – ‘mother died just after giving birth.’ I reread it just to be sure. I went on to the next one, trying to ignore what I’d just read. But there were more:
Case 9 – ‘mother died just after giving birth’
Case 10 – ‘mother died shortly after giving birth’
Case 14 – ‘mother died during childbirth’
I cried. I cried for me.