One pregnant mum is continuing her pregnancy after receiving a devastating diagnosis, she is reaching out to the government to allow babies who are born before 24 weeks, birth and death certificates.
Kayleigh Parnham, 30, is a wonderful Mum-to-three. She is also 20 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, speaking how it is ‘heartbreaking’ knowing that she is continuing her pregnancy against her doctor’s advice all so she can legally register her child.
After visiting a local private baby scan clinic on the 20th January 2018, Kayleigh and partner Steve Hopper, 32, were excited to see the gender of their child. It’s a girl!
But before they could realise, their baby was diagnosed with a rare condition called ‘Bilateral Renal Agenisis’. This is a condition which affects the kidneys, meaning they haven’t developed like they had should.
Kayleigh told The Mirror: “It wasn’t until we went for a private scan to find out the baby’s gender that the abnormalities were picked up on.
“They said we didn’t have a lot of waters and we should have.
“I had that private scan on January 20 and next day, I was at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital to see a specialist.
“They weren’t 100 percent sure of the issue but could see that the baby didn’t have any waters around her. We were told it could be fatal.
“I then saw two doctors at Medway Maritime Hospital the next day and they gave us the news that we were dreading.
“There is absolutely nothing that could have been done differently to prevent it. There’s nothing that can be done to treat it.
“The diagnosis came completely out of nowhere. We’d had a miscarriage a year ago but that was very early on and since I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it’s not unheard of and that was horrible but bearable.
“But for this to come out of nowhere completely threw us.”
For a child to die suddenly before 24-weeks, this is not called a stillbirth… But a miscarriage.
In the UK, the law states that any baby born before this gestation will not be given a birth certificate if hr or she passes away.
Even though Kayleigh has experienced kicking, hiccuping and different types of movement in the womb. When her child is born, she’s has said that she has been made to feel as if ‘she’d never existed’ according to this law.
Kayleigh, from Maidstone, Kent, told The Mirror: “On January 22, we found out our baby has a very, very rare condition called bilateral renal agenisis which means both of her kidneys haven’t developed.
“It occurs when one or both parents have kidney problems in the family. Neither I nor my partner do and for this to occur in that circumstance is a one in 30,000 chance.
“The doctors offered us a termination that next day because there’s no cure for this and the baby would not survive outside of the womb if it even made it to full term.
“When we actually looked into it, if we did anything now [to terminate the pregnancy], she wouldn’t have existed [according to the law]. This is already horrific but the idea of her never existing is awful.
“Because she would have died before 24 weeks, her birth or death would not be recorded.
“If we wait until 24 weeks before terminating the pregnancy, she’ll get a birth certificate.
“We were absolutely shocked to find out this was the case. The idea that as far as the world is concerned my baby would be a miscarriage and there would be no more mention of her.
“She deserves better than that.”
Sharon Hodgson, a Labour MP, who is also fighting for parents rights to be given the option of a birth certificate for their babies before the 24-week mark. 20 years ago she suffered a loss before the ‘deadline’ and lost her daughter Lucy.
Here is what Sharon had to say about Kayleigh’s current situation: “My speech on the loss of my daughter, Lucy, was the hardest speech I have ever had to give.
“But I am pleased that it has encouraged other families, like Kayleigh, to speak about their experiences too.
“Kayleigh and her family shouldn’t have to go through this prolonged pain and heartbreak just to receive confirmation that Kayleigh’s baby officially exists.
“With my parliamentary colleagues across the House, including with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss, I will be pushing the Government to make this important change to the law so that no other families have to experience the heartbreak I, and many others have.”