An East Wemyss couple are taking action against NHS Fife after their longed-for baby boy died after being starved of oxygen at birth.
Tracy (36), and Michael Bray (35), of Glebe Park, say that despite staff knowing that baby Matthew was in the breech position and there was a lack of amniotic fluid surrounding him, they left Tracy in labour and failed to carry out an emergency Caesarean section.
They also claim that a lack of experienced staff on site at the time meant she was left for too long without emergency intervention.
The couple say Tracy, who had already suffered an ectopic pregnancy and two unsuccessful courses of IVF treatment, was forced to deliver Matthew naturally and his head became stuck in the birth canal, robbing him of oxygen.
Surgical action was necessary to free him and he had to be delivered with forceps.
He survived for 16 hours in intensive care before passing away in his father’s arms.
Now the couple have begun taking action through the patient complaints system to try to get the hospital to change its procedures to ensure others don’t have to go through the nightmare they endured.
“We were absolutely delighted when we underwent a third course of treatment and discovered we were pregnant, although Michael was worried after what we had already gone through,” explained Tracy.
“My pregnancy went really smoothly - I didn’t even have any morning sickness.”
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, a 3D scan confirmed that their baby was a boy and everything was going well.
Just a few weeks later Tracy, who was 32 weeks pregnant, was woken during the night with tight cramping pains in her stomach, and a call to the hospital resulted in her going in for a check up.
She was given a scan with a portable machine which showed Matthew was lying with his feet around his head in the breach position and that fluid had been leaking out.
She was told it would “be ages” before she would give birth, but just a few hours later midwives told her she was in active labour.
The couple say that by the time the only senior consultant was called from theatre things had moved on and Matthew had to be delivered with medical intervention just ten minutes later as his head had become stuck.
He only survived for 16 hours, with the cause of death through a post mortem shown as acute asphyxiation.
“We were devastated and couldn’t believe it,” said Tracy.
Parents’ anguish over tragedy
Tracy and Michael say they want their story told so that hospital procedures are changed to help prevent further tragedies like theirs.
“We are not looking for money as that won’t give us our baby back,” said Michael. “We just want assurances that no other couple who are supposedly in the right place at the right time have to go through what we went through.”
Tracy said that despite a meeting to discuss the post mortem results her questions on why she was not given an emergency Caesarean have not been answered.
Dr Gordon Birnie, NHS Fife Medical Director for Acute Services said: “We are unable to comment on the detail of individual cases.
“I can confirm that the patient has been in contact with us and her concerns are being addressed.”