Thursday 29 September 2016

Irish couple on the difficult decision they faced after finding out their baby had a fatal foetal abnormality – ‘There is no right or wrong thing to do’

Published 27/02/2016 | 14:29

Michelle and Vin pictured with their son Jamie
Michelle and Vin pictured with their son Jamie

An Irish couple has opened up about the difficult decision they faced after it was discovered that their baby had a fatal foetal abnormality during a routine scan at 20 weeks.

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Michelle and Vin Manley from Drogheda decided to continue their pregnancy after doctors in Dublin’s Rotunda Maternity Hospital told them their son would not live past birth due to an anomaly of abnormalities in the womb.

Speaking on Friday’s Late Late Show the couple revealed that there is no right or wrong decision that parents placed in that situation can make.

“When it comes to a situation like this I think really the most important thing is that there is no right or wrong thing to do from that moment to on,” said Michelle.

Michelle and Vin pictured with their son Jamie
Michelle and Vin pictured with their son Jamie

“The right thing to do is what is right for you and your unborn baby.”

The nurse revealed that after the team in the Rotunda told them that their child would not survive, they spent a few days considering their options.

“A member of his team took us into a room and told us basically that there’s too many things wrong... and with these anomalies is it certain that your baby is not going to live past birth if you get to term. He won’t live past birth.

 “There is only two choices. You can stay and continue your pregnancy or you can travel to Liverpool or England for a medical termination.

 “We sat down and we said ‘What are we going to do’ and ‘How are we going to do this’? We were lucky enough to be in a position where we could continue [the pregnancy]. We just decided that this baby was going to decide what happened. We handed over power. He was a jelly bean at the time. We didn’t know he was Jamie. We just said ‘You know what Jamie? You decide when you come, how you com’ and we’re okay with that.”

“We felt he knew what he was doing. It worked for us to keep going. We really firmly believe that Jamie was brought us into our lives to make us happy, not to make us sad,” said Michelle speaking to Ryan Tubridy.

The nurse revealed that her decision to continue her pregnancy gave her valuable time to spend with her child.

“I was lucky enough to be in a position to take off work. Every couple of weeks we had scans. That time was so precious. It sounds so bizarre. We looked forward to it.

“We got to see him move, hear his heartbeat. That was the time we needed to enjoy. It was our time with our baby. We had to take it minute by minute and day by day. We felt that we owed it to our child to do the best for him. Any parent just wants what’s best for their child. That was our time being his parents.

The couple welcomed their son on January 9, 2015 and revealed they feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend three hours with their son while he was alive.

“The hours went by so quickly. It felt like only a matter of minutes. Just watching the sensation of watching him breathing. It was amazing.

“We told him how happy we were to meet him, how courageous he is. He lived for three hours. We were never meant to get that time if you went by the statistics and the facts. We’re so lucky,” she said.

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