Home > Help for Families > Decisions During Pregnancy > Termination > Family stories > William by Heather

William by Heather

Daisy and William

On Christmas Eve 2013 we told our daughter that she is finally going to be a big sister. She was so excited!

From early on I had a niggling feeling that something was wrong. We’d only just gotten over an ectopic pregnancy, so it was natural for me to be worried, right? I told everyone not to buy any baby things until we had the all clear.

At 9 week the morning sickness started and I felt down, depressed almost. I had wished I wasn’t pregnant, I’d wished it was over. How stupid of me.

During our first scan my daughter & husband watched the screen in awe. Amazing to watch a baby like that when you are 5 years old! The sonographer couldn’t get the measurements saying the baby was too young.

2 weeks later, a different room, more people, a much darker room. The sonographer was teaching some students, “Would I mind a student doing the scan?” - “No, of course not its fine!” It starts again; unable to get the measurement, they try over & over. Eventually the sonographer jumps in and does what she needs.

They send us on our way and advise that we will get our results in a few weeks.

The phone rings after a few days…

“Some news about the scan” “test results” “abnormal” “Downs Syndrome”… 

“Downs Syndrome?”…

We go to see the consultant, our daughter comes with us, she plays on the table whilst the consultant talks through what they have found. I remember the consultant saying 1 in 67 chance of Downs syndrome.

They briefly mention Edwards’ and Patau’s Syndromes, these aren’t common, 1 in 4000 perhaps. As with most people I had never heard of them.

They suggest an amniocentesis. We go home armed with leaflets and, as ever, try to remain positive.

The big day arrives, March the 5th. My mum travels 2 hours to be with me for the Amnio, I prepare myself for a pretty huge needle and a pretty wretched wait. Would this cause a miscarriage? Would the results be okay? Would our little guy have Downs? I didn’t want to think about the other outcomes…

I stayed at home on the couch resting and asking our daughter not to jump on mummy’s tummy!

My husband stays with me, we don’t leave each other’s side for 3 days, until he has to drop our daughter at his mum’s house.

He is away for 10 minutes and the phone rings…

“I have some bad news I’m afraid” said the voice.

But I’m thinking, Downs Syndrome isn’t bad news, we can cope, we will love the little guy no matter what…

“The results show your baby has Trisomy 18, Edwards’ Syndrome.”

I hold it together on the phone, I don’t cry and try to understand what she is saying…

I call my husband, I can’t say a word but break down in tears, he understands, and speeds home.

I cry more than I ever have, I sob, I weep, it’s loud, snotty, damp, horrid, painful, I’m on my own, why am I on my own?

All I can think is that my baby can hear me crying, he can hear and feel me crying. I don’t want his last moments to be so negative and so sad.

We wait in a bright, empty, sparse, void of a room for the consultant. We’re in the same area of the hospital as the maternity unit. At that very moment babies are being born, healthy happy babies. But not us, we aren’t here for happy news or a joyous event. We are here to discuss the hardest moment and most painful decision of my life.

They talk about a medical termination, they explain the process, I’d take some tablets and then I’ll have to give birth to this thing inside me.

“This thing”.

I couldn’t bear to think about it as a baby. That would make it feel real. I’d only just started to feel it move.

I don’t want to look at it, when it comes out I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

How would we tell Daisy? What would she say? She’d lost her Grandad the year before, and this felt all too much for a small person to bear.

We explained things as simply as we could, and she understood, she cried, my heart ached, she mourned the loss of her title “big sister”. We hugged her, we cried, we told her she hadn’t done anything wrong and she’d always be this little guy’s big sister. She could name it. If she wanted, she could choose a boy’s and a girl’s name, what ever she’d like.

So, on the 10th March 2014, William was born, he was so small, so precious and so loved.

He was just 16 weeks.

I was so scared to look at him, so scared to see something I wouldn’t love, something that would haunt me.

The nurses were all so amazing, so supportive, so wonderful and understanding. They have a little Moses basket, a blanket, a tiny knitted hat.

I look at him, I was enthralled, I love him in an instant.

We sit and watch him for hours, we remember every centimetre, every millimetre of his tiny self. The shape of his lips, his beautiful strong body, his legs and arms, his perfect hands, even his smell. He is perfect. He is our perfect little son.

I touch his tiny fingers, I hold his tiny hand. This will be the only chance I get.

We had a little funeral, our closest friends and family are there. Helping us mourn someone they would never meet and would never know.

We put our scan photos, some drawings and his tiny hand & foot print inside a memory box the hospital gave us.

It has a teddy bear in it already, we gave the teddy to Daisy.

She calls the tiny teddy bear William and she loves him. 

Exactly the way a big sister should.


July 2015

  • Currently 0 out of 5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 0/5 (0 votes cast) disabled.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Log in or create a user account to rate this page.