On the day his daughter was born, the father experienced a wide range of emotions. However, what was supposed to be the happiest day of his life turned into the most heartbreaking one in a matter of minutes.
Matthew was so overjoyed when his beautiful baby girl was born, but a few minutes later, doctors broke the terrible news to him that his daughter was no longer alive.
Matthew’s wife, Elizabeth, was just 26 weeks into her pregnancy when she went into labor. She was admitted to the maternity unit at a hospital after she complained of stomach aches. The medical staff did the necessary tests, and Matthew was relieved that the hospital didn’t tell him anything was wrong.
Meanwhile, the doctors had done everything they could to try and delay Elizabeth’s pregnancy. But with her contractions progressing, they were forced to conduct an emergency c-section under general anesthesia. The worried father was made to wait in a different room while his wife underwent the crucial surgery.
“I was not told about any of the risks or concerns that they had,” said Matthew. He nervously waited outside, hoping to hear some good news. At last, a midwife named Stephanie came to let the dad know his daughter was “perfect.”
Recounting the events, Matthew said, “Midwife Stephanie came to tell me that the baby had been delivered and that mother and baby were both fine. She said the baby was perfect. I was told that they were just helping the baby breathe and that I would probably see her when she was taken to the ward.”
He added, “Obviously, we were not expecting Evelyn to be born at that stage. I had been sitting in the room thinking [we had] a new baby. I was sitting there taking stock of that, and I was waiting to see my daughter.”
Soon after receiving the good news, Matthew was forced to hear something he was not expecting. Dr. Elizabeth walked over to the thrilled father to tell him that his newborn was dead.
The doctor recalled the conversation that she had with Matthew, who thought the weight was lifted off his shoulders after getting positive news from the midwife. “I found that a very difficult conversation. I was very much aware that Mrs. Elizabeth was still under general anesthesia and that I was a total stranger walking into the room and that he didn’t know that Evelyn had been born dead,” said Dr. Elizabeth.
The news broke Matthew’s heart. He was confused. “I asked why she was referring to Evelyn as stillborn because I had been told Evelyn was alive and well at one point. She said, “No, Evelyn was never alive.” I just assumed it was a communication issue. How could it be so fundamentally wrong? I’ll be honest; I am still trying to get to the bottom of that,” said Matthew.
Soon after the heartbreaking incident, an inquest took place at court to understand the sequence of events. The court clarified the events that took place with the help of the people present at the scene of the delivery.
Midwife Stephanie told the court that the baby was not breathing after being delivered. She added that by using the word “perfect,” she meant the newborn looked “beautiful.”
“I wanted more than anything to hear a heartbeat… I was not expecting for Evelyn to be born dead,” said Dr. Elizabeth in court. The inquest is still ongoing, and Matthew hopes to know how he lost his baby girl.
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