The father sat in the room, relieved and overjoyed that his baby was born and was doing just fine. But later, he was told that his daughter was born lifeless.
Like any loving father would want to hear, Major Matthew Davies was told that his wife and their newborn baby were doing fine right after birth. But eventually, Major Davies found out that his baby girl, Evelyn was lifeless the entire time.
Elizabeth Davies went into labor while she was only 26 weeks into her pregnancy. After Elizabeth started complaining of stomach pain and was passing blood clots, she was taken to the hospital and admitted at the maternity unit at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, UK. At that point of time, the staff at the hospital did not tell Major Davies any worries they had about the safe delivery of their baby. Even after a CTG scan to check the baby's heartbeat, Major Davies was not told about any concerns.
Although the doctors tried their best to delay the birth, Elizabeth's contractions continued progressing and the baby had to come out. Major Davies was kept in a separate room while his wife was put through a category 2 emergency C-section under general anaesthetic, as reported by Mirror.
"I was not told about any of the risks or concerns that they had," Major Davies said in court when an inquest was later being conducted into the case, as reported by Manchester Evening News.
The wait seemed to be over when a midwife name Stephanie Bray came into his room a while later to inform him that he just became a father to a "perfect" baby.
"Midwife Bray came to tell me that baby had been delivered and that mother and baby were both fine," said Major Davies. "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 through to the ward. Then I was left."
Given the circumstances of his wife delivering early into the pregnancy, Major Davies was unsure of whether they would even walk out of the hospital with their baby in their arms but after the midwife, Stephanie told him the news, he was relieved.
"Obviously we were not expecting Evelyn to be born at that stage," the father said. "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."
A father-to-be was told his newborn baby was 'fine' - only to be told later that his daughter had been stillborn, inquest hears https://t.co/2G89e11k9J— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) September 2, 2020
However, shortly after that, a doctor, Dr Elizabeth Shackley walked into the room where Davies was sitting alone. And she had something completely different to say about his newborn daughter.
"I found that a very difficult conversation," Dr Shackley said, according to Manchester Evening News. "I was very much aware that Mrs Davies was still under general anaesthetic and I was a total stranger walking into the room and that he didn’t know that Evelyn had been born dead."
As Major Davies heard the doctor say the word "stillborn," all the relief he felt suddenly disappeared.
"I asked why she was referring to Evelyn as stillborn because I had been told Evelyn was alive and well at one point," Major Davies said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News. "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."
After the incident took place in November 2018, the inquest at Stockport Coroners' court took place to determine the exact sequence of events that led up to the death of baby Evelyn. The court heard about how there was not enough clarity on what happened in the labor room that day and heard from those involved.
When midwife Stephanie Bray spoke in court, she said that she does not clearly remember the words she used while speaking to Major Davies that day. She added that when she used the word "perfect," she meant the baby looked "beautiful."
Contrary to the conversation Major Davies said the midwife had with him, Stephanie Bray said in court that Evelyn was not breathing and was unresponsive after being delivered.
When Dr Shackley spoke in court, she said, "I wanted more than anything to hear a heartbeat... I was not expecting for Evelyn to be born dead."
The inquest into the incident still continues and Major Davies is yet to know exactly how his little girl died.