I’m not so much of a young mummy these days but when I had my first two children, I was only 20 and it never crossed my mind that I could have a miscarriage or suffer infant loss being young and healthy why should I? But many years later now being 36 and falling pregnant all of sudden your told your a high risk and there could be lots of problems, but regardless I had two healthy girls why should this be any different!
Just like anyone else you’re over the moon and beyond excited for that first scan and I literally couldn’t wait. So the day arrived I went for my scan, sat in the waiting room desperate to be called in, I’m called in and the scan starts, the baby was moving about. That moment I had been waiting for was here, she showed us arms, legs, heartbeat then she went quiet as she focused in on the head, she could see me getting worried so told me I could go to the toilet and have a small wee as there was to much water in my bladder to see clearly, so I did this and went back. She focused in on the head again with some great detail, she then looked at me with sad eyes, I knew there was something wrong, I was then told my babies brain had not fused together but she wasn’t sure so could I come back tomorrow to see the consultant to double check. I was given an appointment and told if was a “Googler” then not to google this! It goes without saying I had a very sleepless night!
Was it my fault? Was it something I had done? Could I have done anything differently?
The next day I returned, was taken back into the room. The room was filled with consultants and doctors, they re scanned and then I heard those words “I’m really sorry to tell you that your baby has patau syndrome I can honestly say I felt my heart break at that moment, the next bit is a bit of blur it seemed like lots of long words and being asked if I understood what was going on (no not really!)
Patau Syndrome or Trysomy 13 as it’s known, is a genetic, chromosomal disorder. In most cases you have a spontaneous miscarriage. However some cases, the baby is born but would never make it passed ten days because of the severe problems, body deformities, mental retardation, cardiac failure, clef pallet, organ failure the list goes on.
I was then ushered into a private room a sobbing mess and given the facts straight and then 2 choices. The first, to carry on with the pregnancy and wait for a miscarriage which wouldn’t be nice as I could make me ill or secondly, be booked in for a therapeutic termination. I was given leaflets and told to go home and have a think. I went home, climbed into bed and cried for what seemed like days, how do you make a decision like that?
Was it my fault? Was it something I had done? Could I have done anything differently? A thousand questions went through my mind! But still a decision had to be made so what do you do? Well I tried my best to pull myself together, look at all the information even tho some of it I found so hard to read and often put the leaflets down and had a little cry, but an informed and realistic decision is better and the reality was either way this baby wasn’t going to survive, I looked at my other two children, could I put them through this?
To hold their sibling knowing he would never be with us for long or even at all. Was it fair to bring a baby into this world that would never get to see it or just be kept comfortable until that moment? So I made my decision, one I never thought I would have to make nor wanted to make, did I make the right decision? I’m sure some will agree and others won’t but it is a decision I live with daily but I believe I stopped that baby from any suffering in the long run, should the baby survive.
I was given leaflets for counselling and there was a service at the local crematorium for all the babies lost that month, although my baby’s was some months later as an autopsy had to be done. I was seen by the consultant after and had tests to see if it would happen again, I got the all clear and tried to move on the best you can. I’m not one to need “to talk to someone” but there is lots of help if you do want to talk to someone that is offered and on hand, I don’t think it’s ever something you get over, you just learn to get through it.