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Finley’s story

Finley and Mel ScottMel Scott shares her son Finley’s story, in support of the Each Baby Counts project.

My first pregnancy ended with a missed miscarriage after just a few days. In time we fell pregnant again. After a nervous 12 weeks, we settled into a beautiful, problem free pregnancy. It didn't occur to either of us that something else would happen.

As I passed my due date I was uncomfortable but not worried. At 41+4 I thought my waters had broken. We went to hospital and when we arrived the midwife told me there was meconium in my waters and I was offered monitoring on the very busy labour ward.

The first CTG trace that was completed was thought to be normal, so I was admitted to the antenatal ward and my partner sent home. After a couple of hours I asked to go back on the monitor.

This time the numbers were dropping. I called the midwife back, each time she reassured me that I'd had a contraction, moved or the machine had lost contact. She then observed his heart rate drop and contacted the doctor, who was already busy on a full labour ward. After a short delay the doctor arrived and my baby's heart beat dropped again. An emergency cesarean was performed. My last memory is of a mask on my face and a tear rolling down my cheek.

On August 2nd 2009 Finley John Scott was born. Sadly he didn't wake up.

My husband arrived at the hospital to discover that I'd had surgery, we had a son and that he hadn't been able to be resuscitated. He spent time with the midwife, bathing and dressing Finley, all of which was captured on video. We were fortunate to be able to stay for 3 days in the bereavement suite and supported to make treasured memories with our son. We have hand and footprints, he was blessed, casts were made, we gave him gifts as well as had friends and family visited.

We later discovered that key opportunities to save Finley were missed. The first CTG was in fact suspicious. It was also recognised that the opportunity to have a difficult conversation with me about the need for induction, and the risks of not accepting it were missed. There were delays in a doctor seeing me due to the busy labour ward and queries over whether a different outcome may have occurred had I had 1:1 care on the labour ward.

Each Baby Counts is so important. Whilst no one can say that Finley would have survived, having doubts about the path that my labour took is distressing to me. I wish everything that could have been done was done.

Mel Scott is an Occupational Therapist and teacher who provides baby loss training, resources and information through Finley's Footprints. She also runs the charity Towards Tomorrow Together, providing a range of local services. You can read more about Mel's experiences in her book After Finley.