International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day – Emily’s Story
Written by Emily Enticknap.
Please note that this is a heartbreaking story with personal photographs of Emily’s beautiful angel.
After suffering a miscarriage at 12 weeks in 2015, then having a healthy baby girl in 2016. We thought we would be safe from more heartache. When our daughter, Grace turned 10 months, me and my fiance, Damon, decided to try for another baby. I was terrified my whole pregnancy with Grace, because of our first miscarriage. But this time, I was fine, and so so excited. We had already had a healthy pregnancy now, what were the chances of lightning striking twice?
The date of our first scan arrived, the 1st of March 2017. Eager and excited, we headed into the scan room. I laid down and as soon as our baby popped up on the screen and the sonographer’s face dropped, I knew something was wrong. She called a doctor in who told us our baby was very poorly.
It had a cystic hygroma with hydrops. A cystic hygroma is a ball of fluid attached to the babies neck, and hydrops is when this fluid leaks elsewhere into the babies body. They couldn’t tell us any more, so they sent us away and booked us in to see a consultant the next day.
When we arrived to see the consultant, she took bloods and scanned me again. She gave our baby a 10-15% chance of survival.
Still we remained positive. A 10-15% chance was better than no chance. The blood results came back, our baby had a 1/5 chance of Downs syndrome, and a 1/12 chance of either Edwards or Pataus syndrome. Both of which would mean our baby had little to no chance of surviving even to birth. We decided to have an amniocentisis, booked in at 15 weeks. If the results came back as downs syndrome, we would continue with the pregnancy. But if it were Edwards or Pataus syndrome, we would terminate.
I never imagined that I would ever consider ending my own child’s life; but I couldn’t introduce Grace to her baby brother or sister, just for them to be taken away.
The day of the amnio came, I decided only to do it if the scan showed clear signs of Edwards or Pataus syndrome. I couldn’t put my child at risk without significant proof that they wouldn’t survive anyway. I laid down on the scan table, we could clearly see that the hygroma had grown, and the consultant looked frantically for a heartbeat, but everyone in the room knew that our baby had gone. My whole world shattered hearing the words “I’m sorry, but your baby has died.” I was given a pill, and told to return in 3 days to deliver our baby.
The 30th March 2017, we arrived to the hospital. I took a pill orally, and several vaginally. These would induce labour. A few hours later, after only light menstrual like pains, my waters broke. I stood up to go to the toilet and I felt my baby come out. I went light headed, fainted from the shock and fell into a chair; but even when I was light headed and couldn’t even see let alone think, I grabbed my baby so it didn’t get squashed. I made it over to the bed, still holding my tiny baby in my hand. After laying for a moment my spinning head levelled out and I looked at my beautiful baby. We had a baby boy! We named him Tobias Francis Eggleton.
He was so perfect and small. He fitted perfectly in the palm of my hand. Nothing could have prepared me for all of the emotions I felt to hold him. I was happy, in love and in complete and utter agony, all at the same time. We spent 2 perfect hours with him. Cuddling him, taking photos and just staring at him, knowing that we would never get this moment again. The worst pain I could ever imagine, was when they took our son away. It felt like my heart bad been ripped out and placed in the morgue with him. We went home and just cried and cried, longing for our baby.
We had Tobias cremated. We didn’t have a funeral, we just sat with each each other while the funeral director read out a poem, it was beautiful. We said goodbye to his tiny coffin, and went home with empty arms again.
They tested the placenta, and we waited months for the results to come. We met with the consultant, where we were told our baby had Mosaic Turners Syndrome. Confused we asked, but our baby was boy?
The consultant continued to explain that if Toby would have survived, he would of appeared as a girl, even though he was meant to be a boy. Turners syndrome is when the baby doesn’t have xx (female) chromosomes, neither do they have xy (male) chromosomes. They just have a single x. Mosaic Turners Syndrome, is when they have some chromosomes with just x, but also some with either xx or xy. Tobias had some xy, meaning if all of his chromosomes would have developed properly, he would have been a male. But as some were just x, he would have appeared as a female. It is likely that he died because of a heart defect caused by the Turners Syndrome. We’re just so relieved that it was nothing genetic.
His due date has been and gone, and now we’re just left here to grieve. We let off balloons for him on his special day. The pain doesn’t get easier, you just learn to cope with it. Every day I miss him more. I miss his toes, and his tiny fingers. I miss the way he had one eye open as if he was peeping out at his mummy and daddy. I miss his smell and the way his skin felt in my hand.
I would give so much to be able to hold him again.