My husband and I were trying awhile to have our third baby. We found out at Christmas time I was pregnant and were both thrilled as was our 8-year-old and 5-year-old boys.
At my 13-week scan, the sonographer recognised there was some fluid around the baby’s head and asked me to call my husband. This is when I knew there was something badly wrong.
My husband arrived and we were sent to see the Consultant. After an hour we went into the Consultant’s room for a more detailed scan. There we were told that the baby had a cystic hygroma and very likely to have a chromosome abnormality.
We were told that our baby would either die in the uterus or die straight after birth but more likely I would miscarry before 20 weeks. We were told that our baby would not live and that there was no hope. The Consultant was amazing, compassionate, supportive and sympathetic. I was offered a CVS procedure (which they can tell what the syndrome the baby has), which I accepted and we would have the results in three days.
I turned to the Consultant expecting her to offer us an induced miscarriage or termination and I said ‘so what now?’ Her response was to let nature do its course or you can go to Liverpool Women’s hospital to have a termination. To say we were shocked was an understatement. Firstly, to be told your baby has no chance then only to add to the pain that we would have to travel to Liverpool for help. We were devastated and so angry that we could not receive the treatment we needed here in Ireland.
We waited for the results but I knew in my heart there was no hope. We received the results and the baby had trisomy 13 (Pataus syndrome), which is a cruel horrific syndrome not deemed compatible with life. This was the most devastating news we could have received. So we made the decision to travel to Liverpool Women’s hospital. The maternity hospital gave us all the information we needed, so myself and my mother made all the arrangements which was a heartbreaking task and also having to leave our two boys behind and arrange for someone to take of them.
My parents, husband and I arrived on the Sunday evening and Monday morning I was brought in to have the termination. The staff were very kind and tried to make the procedure less traumatic for us. I was put under GA and it took 10 minutes. I left the hospital three hours later and we arrived back in Dublin heartbroken on Monday night.
I can face the fact that this baby was never going to make it, but I will never get over the fact that we had to leave the love and support of our family, friends and the staff from the maternity hospital. It was all very traumatic and extremely cruel to be sent to another country for the termination; also the fact that it all cost €2,800.
We were lucky to have access to the money as I know a lot wouldn’t. I will never forget the very much longed-for baby that we lost; we named her Skye. I plan to bury the scan photos with my granddad. But I will hold on to the anger of having to travel to another country to receive the help and treatment that we needed so badly at a horrible time in our lives. I really hope the law changes here in Ireland and no other women or couple ever has to go through what we did.