Compassionate Induction. Two words which my bereavement midwife gave to me. Two words which have brought me a little comfort. When my midwife says these words she means when a pregnancy is brought to end when you have no choice. The only way to save your baby is to let your baby go. We really had no choice. Our precious baby had so many things wrong with her brain. We had scans, one of which was taken externally and internally by a fetal medicine doctor who had never seen the abnormalities Poppy had, an MRI, meetings with consultants, doctors, midwives. We had a neo natal team for our case. Our baby was beyond poorly.
When you are told this is as bad as it gets and that the 24 week cut off just doesn’t count in your situation you just know that there is not a choice. We were not pressured in any way. We were told that we would be supported 100% either way. But if we did decide to continue with our pregnancy we would be closely monitored and if at any point we decided to end the pregnancy we would be allowed. This speaks volumes to the extent of Poppy’s abnormalities.
This was and always will be the toughest and hardest decision of our lives. It goes against everything I believe in. But somehow we found the strength to do what was right for Poppy. As parents you have to put aside your own feelings and needs to do what is right for your children. This is where the statement Compassionate Induction comes in. We were giving Poppy compassion and dignity. We were allowing her to slip away without any pain or suffering.
As Poppy was at a stage in my pregnancy that she could be born alive I had to have a procedure to stop her heart beating. This would allow her to just fall asleep without any pain, this would ensure that if she was born alive the midwives and doctors would not have to intervene and cause her distress. This procedure was carried out at UCH in London as only a specialist in a Fetal Medicine department can perform this. It involved Poppy’s heart being injected through my stomach to stop her heart from beating. It is something which they don’t just allow anyone to do. This day and the indescribable emotional pain will haunt me forever.
Before leaving I was given a tablet to prepare my body for labour and two days after the procedure I was admitted to my local hospital, Broomfield, to be induced. My labour was the worst out of all my pregnancies, I was hurting so much emotionally I couldn’t find that place to deal with the pain of labour.
At 7.14pm on Saturday 20th October 2018 our beautiful baby girl Poppy Rose came into the world. With her she brought so much love. The time we then spent with her was beautiful. We had her blessed, we dressed her. We had hand and foot prints done, casts made of her beautiful hands and feet. Photos taken to treasure forever. And most importantly we cuddled her. We spent the time taking in every single part of her. Her beautiful fair eye lashes, her little button nose, her long legs and big feet! These will be etched on our minds forever.
If you need additional support:
Arc – Antenatal results and choices.
Petals – The Baby Loss Counselling Charity.
Tommy’s – Baby Charity – Together, for every baby.
Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
All content is my own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experience from my own journey of baby loss. This post may contain affiliate links, please see the Copyright and Disclosures page for more information.