Support in Scotland
Hi my name is Liz and I have been a member of SOFT since 1995. My first baby, Kieran was born in 1995 with T18 (Edwards' Syndrome). Kieran lived for 8 days. I had contact while still in the hospital when I needed it most and it was amazing to speak to someone who knew exactly how I was feeling.
Although a very short time we have many precious photos, videos and memories that will stay with us forever. I had always had a ‘feeling’ that there was something wrong with my baby, but because it was my first baby doctors felt I was being over anxious.
I had excess fluid and Kieran had a slower heartbeat than normal, I never felt the kind of movements other mums would talk about and I was small looking. I had a detailed scan at 37 weeks and still nothing was detected. I was told my baby was around 7.5 pounds and everything looked normal. Kieran was born weighing 4lb 5 oz and had everything wrong with him. I am glad that I did not know about T18 during my pregnancy, it wouldn’t have changed my decision, I would still have continued with my pregnancy, Kieran would still have been born but it would have been even more worrying.
The support I received from SOFT when Kieran was born invaluable. I became the Scottish Rep in 2000 because I wanted to be there to help give information and support when it is needed most.
Having made the decision to carry on with one pregnancy, and terminate a pregnancy with severe abnormalities I felt that I could understand how difficult it was to come to each decision. I now help SOFT UK and ARC when parents want to talk to someone after a prenatal diagnosis.
In 2006 we were told that our unborn baby was showing signs of trisomy 18. After testing, trisomy 18 was confirmed in the 24th week of my pregnancy. My husband and I chose to carry on the pregnancy and on 26th November our daughter Charlotte was born.
Charlotte was with us for a wonderful 6 months and 3 days before she passed away on 29th May 2007. Later that year we decided to try for another baby and sadly our little girl Jackie had severe brain abnormalities. Again we were in a position where we had to make a choice whether to carry on the pregnancy or terminate. We decided that we would terminate.
After returning to study and being comfortable with my grief, I decided that my experiences of carrying on and terminating a pregnancy could be of use to other parents who are struggling to make a decision. I talked to SOFT UK and with their help I completed a distance learning pack, and passed the final practical assessment with ARC.
Best wishes Laura