The pregnancy

Amber and Daniel Hughes were excited to welcome their fourth child into the world. After three normal births, the Hughes family had no concerns about the pregnancy and birth of their fourth. Unfortunately, this pregnancy didn’t progress quite as smoothly as the others. Amber lost her mucus plug at 24 weeks and her water broke at 28 weeks. So, the couple wasn’t surprised when Amber went into labor two weeks and two days later.

The surgery

After 36 hours of labor, doctors determined that Amber needed to have an emergency c-section. She was only 3 centimeters dilated and the baby had an infection. Like most c-sections, Amber was numbed, but awake. The doctors cut her open and everyone was stunned. Her baby wasn’t there. While being prepared for surgery, Amber had given birth and no one realized it. Her baby was laying on the sheets between her legs when doctors found him. He was found because he began crying after about two minutes.

The response

Amber and her husband were understandably upset about the situation. Amber had undergone an unnecessary surgery and her baby was “misplaced” by doctors for several minutes. Amber maintains she was never given an apology, only a minimal explanation for the situation could have occurred. She and her son spent five weeks in the hospital, due to his premature condition. Afterwards, she planned to file a complaint against the hospital. She says, “I’m thankful my baby is okay, but we’ll never be able to forget the day the doctors lost our baby.”The hospital released a statement saying, “We were really very worried about Amber and her baby as there were signs of infection and her waters had broken quite some time ago, yet the delivery didn’t appear to be progressing. The decision to carry out an emergency caesarean is never taken lightly but we thought it was for the best in this case. Clearly, between the decision to operate being taken and Amber’s arrival in [the operating room], mother nature had once again taken over. We’re looking at the chain of events in detail and will share our findings with the parents. We’re sorry that this happened but glad that mum and baby are doing well.”