By Jane Feinmann
Last updated at 11:51 PM on 22nd February 2010
With her long eyelashes and black hair, Alexandra was, says her mother Beatrix, ‘the most beautiful thing I could imagine’. The newborn, who weighed 9lb 4oz, had been conceived through IVF after five years of trying (which had involved both parents undergoing surgery) and was a much longed-for child.
So her arrival last June should have heralded a time of joy. Yet her parents are grieving for their daughter, who died when she was just three days old.
‘The saddest moment of my life was when I took Alexandra’s blanket from Beatrix’s hospital bag, knowing there was no longer any need for it,’ says her father, Dr Craig Campbell, a university psychologist.
Grieving: Beatrix and husband Dr Craig Campbell whose baby Alexandra died just three days after a forceps delivery
Her voice breaking with emotion, Beatrix says: ‘To walk out of a hospital that had destroyed my strong, healthy child was just devastating.’
For Alexandra died as a result of severe injury to her spinal cord inflicted during a forceps delivery that went wrong - ten hours after her parents had repeatedly begged the obstetric team to deliver the baby by Caesarean.
The couple were later told by their doctors at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh’s Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health that Alexandra had been ‘unlucky, very unlucky’.
However, they believe she was the victim of medical arrogance and a determination to reduce the rising Caesarean rate.
As a result, thousands of babies every year are being delivered using forceps - yet this instrument is deemed so risky many obstetricians no longer use it. Unfortunately, few women are told of the potential dangers…