Jefferson County — The Baby Olivia Coats case is expected to enter its third week of trial with closing arguments Monday.
Olivia's mother, Rachel Melancon, and the family of her late father, Allen Coats, are suing the doctor who delivered Olivia, George Backardjiev, M.D. and the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.
They claim that the use of forceps during Olivia's delivery contributed to her death. They also allege that by not discontinuing the drug Pitocin during Melancon's labor, created an increased heart rate for the baby.
But expert witnesses for both Olivia's family and for the Medical Center of Southeast Texas have testified that the head trauma to Olivia was likely caused by the forceps.
That's what pediatric neurosurgeon Timothy Bohan testified to Thursday morning.
Backardjiev has said that the natural force of labor caused the two fractures to Olivia's skull. But Bohan disagreed saying the head injuries were not caused by anything the mother did.
Thursday afternoon, Melancon tearfully described to jurors the heartbreaking final hours of her newborn daughter. She told them, "I'm here for justice, closure and so that this doesn't happen to anybody else."
She shared with jurors what she wrote in her diary when she learned she was pregnant, "I just found out that you are swimming in my tummy. I have waited for you for so long. "
Melancon says she and Coats had wanted a baby so much that they had a baby room before she even found out about her pregnancy.
Just weeks before her birth, Melancon wrote in the diary, "Me and your daddy are making memories and can't wait for you to get here"
Four days after Olivia's birth, which happened December 28, 2013, Melancon and Coats had to decide to take the girl off life support. Melancon testified that Coats held their daughter as she was being removed from life support, and Melancon sang "You Are My Sunshine".
Melancon says she still feels guilty because she could not bear to hold her baby because she didn't want to remember her that way.
Melancon says adding to the family's grief was that they were not able to donate the baby's tissues, so she felt everything was for nothing.
Melancon testified that she told Backardjiev that she wanted a C-section.
Nurse Diane Bray, who was in the delivery room at the time of Olivia's birth, testified that she had never seen the type of pulling effort the doctor used with the forceps on Olivia, and that she has also never seen a doctor put his foot on the bed to pull.
Bray testified that two times the forceps slipped and she and Nurse Haley Cupit advised Backardjiev to do a C-section, but he refused.
She says it wasn't until the third time the forceps slipped that the doctor agreed to a C-section.
Another expert witness for the Medical Center, Nurse JoEllen Klohn from Kerrville testified, the hospital's nurses did nothing wrong and performed well during Olivia's birth.
The attorney for Baby Olivia's family, Malachi Daws, has implied the nurses should have gone up higher in the chain of command when Backardjiev was ignoring their recommendations.
On the stand, Melancon admitted to sending Backardjiev a letter saying she didn't want to sue him. However, Melancon explained she has mixed feelings towards Backardjiev. She says at times she sympathizes with him, because of threats he's faced, but at other times she's angry at him.
Daws rested his case Thursday afternoon, the defendants' lawyers will begin there's Friday morning at 9.