Lauren’s story

We decided to start trying for a baby last summer thinking it would probably take a few months (if we were lucky) to conceive. But it happened very quickly. Within a matter of weeks, after making the decision, we found out we were expecting. 

My partner was so excited whereas I was terrified. Our first 12 weeks were quite stressful, our pregnancy was considered high risk and we ended up having an amniocentesis at 15 weeks. The results came back a few days after the procedure and we were told all was fine so we stupidly relaxed.  

We had 5 wonderful weeks of looking at cots, prams, car seats, talking names and just being happy. 

Our 20-week scan came along and we went in really excited to see our little one. After about 30 minutes, we were sent off for a walk and some sugar because baby wasn’t playing ball. When we went back, one of the fetal medicine nurses was just leaving the room. That should have been our indicator that something was wrong. We went back in to be told that our little one’s brain was filled with fluid – a lot more than it should have and they were struggling to find one of the ventricles in the heart so the fetal nurse was going to take us to a side room for a conversation. A side room – that’s when you know.  

Our lovely fetal medicine nurse told us that we needed to be referred to a specialist in London to double check the findings from the anomaly scan. A week later we went to an appointment kind of expecting the worst and that’s exactly what we got.  

We were asked to come back the following week to have an MRI and to start the process of ending our much-wanted pregnancy.  

When people say you have a decision to make, it’s not true. When words like severe and catastrophic are thrown in with the words brain and heart, how is there possibly a decision?  

The specialist team were unbelievable, in fact, everyone that cared for and supported us were unbelievable. I’ve never felt so grateful to a group of people than I do the amazing professionals we had looking after us. 

Our girl Poppy had AVSD and severe bilateral ventriculomegaly and was born at 22 weeks. We spent a wonderful 26 hours with her and we are so lucky to have had that time. We know she looks like Ian, we know she has long fingers like me, we got to kiss her, cuddle her, read to her. So many people don’t get that opportunity. 

The worst day of our lives was also the greatest and although I’d change what happened to our Pops in a heartbeat and we’d give anything for her to be living a happy healthy life with us, I’ll be forever grateful to her for the way she has brought Ian and I closer.  

We miss her every day and hope that wherever she is, she is happy and knows how loved she is.