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Not a false alarm after all: Baby enters life in the slow lane of I-295

"It was a miracle the way everything played out," Washington said.

But Washington and Clemons are angry at Washington Hospital Center, frustrated that they were sent away.

"If I had the opportunity to do it again, I wouldn't have left the hospital," Washington said. "I would have stayed there, right there, walked around the block if I had to."

Taveah is Washington's second child but the first that caused her spontaneous labor. She was induced several weeks before her due date for her son, who is 5.

So when she woke up Monday and realized that she was bleeding and having contractions, she and Clemons went straight to Washington Hospital Center, where she had gone for all of her regular prenatal visits.

They arrived about 10 a.m., and she was examined and given an ultrasound. Her contractions were coming about every 10 minutes but were irregular, according to a fetal monitor. After several hours, the staff sent them home. Washington told them that her contractions were happening faster, every five minutes now.

Still, the staff said go home. She was told the contractions were coming so rapidly because of the doctor's examination, she said.

They sent her home with information about how to determine when she was in active labor.

When Washington got home about 3:15 p.m., the contractions were still coming every five minutes.

She said that she called about 4:30 p.m. to report her condition and that the staff told her to call back in an hour.

Hospital officials said they do not have a record of her call, adding that if a woman called reporting such a situation, their policy is to tell her to come in to get checked.

At 5:30, Washington's water broke, and the contractions were two minutes apart. She was in extreme pain. Clemons insisted that they get in the car and go to the hospital. But Washington was in agony, he said, so it took him a while to help her get dressed and into the car.


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