‘What Went Wrong?’: Grandmother Left To Raise 12 Grandchildren After Daughter Dies During Childbirth

‘What Went Wrong?’: Grandmother Left To Raise 12 Grandchildren After Daughter Dies During Childbirth

Nikita Washington died one day after giving birth to her son, Nathaniel, at Harper University Hospital in Detroit. ABC 57 reports that her mother, Patricia Pouncey, is left with questions and responsibility for her 12 grandchildren.

Pouncey said her daughter went to the hospital in December 2022 alone to give birth via cesarean section since her husband is incarcerated, and she had to stay home with the other 11 kids. However, her absence has left her with many unanswered questions. “I just have a lot of questions right now,” Pouncey said. “I ask myself all the time, ‘What went wrong?’”

Washington received treatment for high blood pressure at the hospital and underwent a C-section. After hours went by with no updates, her sister went to the hospital to check on her. The excited family was told the baby was born healthy the next day, but the mother was still being treated for loose stitching and excessive bleeding. She then died. “I haven’t talked to anyone from the hospital. I have not received anything from them,” the grieving mother said. “All I have is the death certificate.”

The death certificate from the Wayne County Clerk claims that the 35-year-old died from “postpartum hemorrhage” and “complications from multiple cesarean sections.”

Childbirth complications for Black women happen more than most, hence the reason for Black Maternal Health Week. The awareness campaign starts on Apr. 11. The annual campaign was founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to bring awareness to the rise of maternal mortality in the U.S. According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

Pouncey says she regrets not going with her daughter to the hospital that day. “I’m worried about every mother,” she told CNN. “Don’t ever, ever make the mistake that I made, letting your child go to the hospital alone. We need to give more attention to what’s going on.” A spokesperson from the Detroit Medical Center, operator of Harper University Hospital, released a statement regarding the incident but did not comment on Washington’s death due to privacy laws. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family for the loss of their loved one.”