Iona McDonald, blog, Sands
Iona McDonald, Teenage Mother | 20 June 2017

During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series.

My name is Iona McDonald and I fell pregnant with my first baby at 16 years old.

Even though I was young I knew I had the support of my partner and family. But at my 20 week scan I was told that my baby boy had a Dandy Walker cyst on his brain and a severe heart abnormality, which meant that even if he survived the duration of the pregnancy, he most certainly wouldn't have survived his birth.

I was faced with the worst decision I have ever had to make in my life.

I went into hospital with my partner and my mum to be induced, and after just a few hours at 20 December 1997 at 23.52 Trevor Junior was born silently, weighing just 300 grams and measured 23 centimeters long!

TJ was the tiniest, most perfect baby I had ever seen. I was scared to hold him because he looked so fragile. The midwife took him away and dressed him in a tiny white gown and bonnet which had been taken from a tiny christening doll that my mum had bought from Argos. There were no baby clothes small enough to fit him in those days

TJ was buried in a communal grave with other babies, I didn’t want him to be on his own.

I have a few photos of TJ and his hand and foot prints which I will treasure forever

In 1999 I went on to have another baby, another son who is now 18 years old.

He knows all about his older brother who he never got to meet.

TJ will always be a part of our family and live on in our hearts forever.

15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.