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Medical termination at 24 weeks due to abnormalities

(16 Posts)
bigheartlittleheart Wed 11-Mar-20 12:04:12

Hi all,

Reading peoples experiences on mumsnet has honestly helped me through the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to share my experience in the hope of helping others.

I am 27 years old and I fell pregnant with my first baby in September 2019. Me and my husband wanted a baby and thankfully we got lucky first time round. Fast forward to our 12 week scan, we got the dreaded call to say the screening test showed an increased risk for downs. We were booked in the following day for amnio with the consultant. He felt we should do the harmony test as the nuchal was extremely thin and within normal range and didn't want to risk miscarriage from amnio. We did the harmony (£350) and everything came back fine. Though very stressful, that hurdle was over. Now I could relax.

I was enjoying my pregnancy and then our 20 week scan came. Again with a consultant. Once the scanning was over, we heard the dreaded words ‘significant issues’. Not only did it appear that a part of the brain was missing but our baby was extremely small. There had been bleeding in the placenta which they assumed is what caused the growth to be affected. Her brain condition appeared to be Dandy Walker syndrome. It was heartbreaking but the consultants said we needed further tests before making any serious decisions. They wanted to monitor the growth over the next 2-4 weeks, as well as get a fetal MRI done for the brain. Fast forward to 24 weeks, the MRI results confirmed brain condition and she still didn’t grow enough. We were told even if her brain was okay, her chances of surviving were slim due to her size. It was such a difficult decision but we agreed to have a medical termination. The consultants then agreed we made the best choice.

We came in on Monday 2 March 2020 to put the baby to sleep with an injection to her heart. Also an amnio at the same time. This was so hard emotionally. My husband held my hand and reassured me and it was all over in about 20 minutes. It was a little painful but you get through it. I then took pills to stop my hormones and was booked to come back on Wednesday to be induced. Please don’t worry if you think you feel the baby move afterwards, I did but was told it’s because the baby is still in there and the waters move around.

On Wednesday we arrived at the hospital and were given the most wonderful room which was fully equipped. The service we received from the NHS was something I will never forget. I was given first pill internally like a pessary at 3.30pm. Mild period pains started. Next pills every 3 hours and pains became more painful so I started morphine. I opted for this over an epidural. It got me through. I took my third and final oral pill at 12.30am which is when contractions were severe. I finally bled a bit and just when I requested stronger pain relief, I went into labour. Our baby came out in around 5-10 minutes after a few pushes. The placenta came out seconds later. The pain immediately goes. I had so much morphine I could barely keep my eyes open. We agreed that the midwives would take our daughter away to see how she looks before we saw her. They told us her skin was dark red but otherwise she was fine. We saw her and she was beautiful. We love her so much and we will treasure that moment forever. The next morning we asked to see her again. They had put her in a white dress and we got to say goodbye. It was more emotional as the morphine had worn off but I would have regretted not seeing her. She was perfect but I know we made the right choice to save her from any suffering. They gave us footprints and we took photos of her hand. We agreed to full post mortem which will take 8-10 weeks and then she will be cremated.

After returning home on Thursday 5 March 2020, I cried uncontrollably. I’d never felt sadness like it. I thought it would never stop. It’s now Wednesday 11 March 2020 and I feel better. I’ve stopped crying and I’m much stronger. My husband has been so supportive and so have our family. Time is a healer I promise you. We will never forget our daughter and the pain is always there but you learn to live with it. Life must go on and you have to be positive. Good luck to all going through this experience. We are hoping to conceive again but we will wait until all the results are back. I hope I’ve helped somehow. Please ask if you have any questions about my experience. I would like to help anyone if I can.

Our hospital was Chelsea and Westminster. Thank you to all the staff there who looked after us. You are truly amazing.

OP’s posts: |
BellatrixLestat Wed 11-Mar-20 12:15:09

I am so sorry you had to go through this? thanks

Does your little girl have a name?

xxx

Magissa Wed 11-Mar-20 12:18:38

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I read your moving post and know that your words will be a comfort to other families. May you continue to heal your heartache with the love and support of your family.

bigheartlittleheart Wed 11-Mar-20 12:26:50

@BellatrixLestat

Thank you so much. It has been difficult. We never prepared for a name so early and it was so hard to think of one during this time. She was put to sleep at 23+5 and delivered at 24+1 day so she didn't have to be officially registered but on the birth certificate from the hospital we just wrote her name down as baby followed by our surname.

OP’s posts: |
bigheartlittleheart Wed 11-Mar-20 12:28:21

@Magissa

Thank you so much for your kind words.

OP’s posts: |
Sooverthemill Wed 11-Mar-20 12:30:12

I'm so sorry for your loss, I'm pleased you had such excellent treatment. We had a funeral in similar circumstances for our baby. Although I wasn't sure I Wanted to go, I did and it brought me enormous comfort. Best wishes to you all

Sooverthemill Wed 11-Mar-20 12:30:44

We did name our baby btw and I always use his name when we talk about him

apples24 Wed 11-Mar-20 12:32:43

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

DocMarteens Wed 11-Mar-20 12:35:46

flowers OP, it's an experience you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Take each day as it comes. My kids still ask me about their older brother and how it felt. I've not forgotten that feeling that other people went home with their baby, I went home with a box.

It is a terrible sadness.

bigheartlittleheart Wed 11-Mar-20 12:43:39

@Sooverthemill

I'm so sorry for your loss too. I'm glad the funeral brought you comfort. We will attend the cremation and I hope it will too bring us comfort. I believe it will. We want to scatter her ashes somewhere special and plant something in her memory so we can always go back there. It's lovely to hear you named your son. Best wishes to you too.

OP’s posts: |
bigheartlittleheart Thu 12-Mar-20 10:27:19

@DocMarteens

It really is such a difficult experience to go through. I'm so sorry you had to face a loss like this as well. It's lovely that you can talk to your kids about their brother. I hope I can do the same one day. It is a sadness like no other but thankfully with each day it gets easier to live with somehow.

I thought it would be nice to share with you all that when we left the hospital, they gave us our daughters footprints and a heart keychain and a piece inside the heart is cutout. My daughter has this part and it brings me warmth. I tried to share a photo of it but as a new user I can't.

Best wishes to you.

OP’s posts: |
kiki275 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:17:44

Thank you for this post. I'm currently undergoing the same procedure having taken the first pill at 6pm last night. My twins are asleep after injections yesterday morning. We're allowed to stay in the hospital in a special room for grieving parents which is comforting. The lockdown isn't helping though and I wish I could give my 18m DS a massive hug xx

MarchMare Wed 18-Mar-20 11:11:12

That must have been so difficult to write. Thank you for sharing this.

A close friend lost her much wanted baby in similar circumstances and I wish I'd had this insight so I could have supported her better. It is so cruel.

flowers to all who have suffered this

bigheartlittleheart Wed 18-Mar-20 22:06:09

@kiki275

I hope my post helped you somewhat. I'm so so sorry you are going through this. I know your pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since I gave birth to my daughter. Honestly those first few days after I never thought I would stop crying but I promise you it gets easier with each day. Good luck and stay strong. Sending you lots of love.

OP’s posts: |
Kiki275 Tue 24-Mar-20 18:32:27

@bigheartlittleheart Thank you for your kind words. We'd spent so much time in hospital, it was a huge help just being able to go home. The change in weather, being able to go out in the sunshine and daffodils has dried up many of the tears as has my little boy.
It couldn't have happened at a worse time with this lockdown though. I crave hugs and social contact and can't even go to a support group. The funeral is going to be minimal and whilst I never wanted a big do, I would have wished many a close friend to join us.

I hope you heal well and wish you many happy moments in the future, including your much loved and wanted bundle of joy xx

Buggedandconfused Tue 24-Mar-20 18:37:39

Bless you 💐

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