My boyfriend and I had been trying for a baby for two years when in September we found out I was expecting our first baby. We were so happy, the only thing that worried us was that my boyfriend has muscular dystrophy and there was a chance the baby would have it, so we were referred to a consultant on the day of our first scan.

One night when I was about 11weeks gone I went to toilet and found I was bleeding a bit.

I rang the hospital and they just said watch how it goes and rest. However, the next afternoon I was just relaxing when I had a really heavy bleed so I rang the hospital and they said come straight down. That’s when I first thought I was losing my angel. We went to Accident & Emergency and from there we were sent to the early pregnancy unit for an internal exam. They said I had had a threatened miscarriage. I was relieved but still very worried because they said my pregnancy could continue and be fine or I could lose our angel. They booked me in for a scan the next day to see if they could find a reason for the bleeding but they couldn’t so we thought everything was fine.

We had our 12 week scan a week later. It was so nice to see our angel on the screen. I was so happy until they told us they had found something wrong with our baby’s wrists and legs. They carried on to say bilateral talipies and abnormalities to both wrists. We were due to see the consultant the same day regarding my boyfriend’s muscular dystrophy, but after a quick look on the internet about the condition but he was more interested in getting me referred for the abnormalities they had found on scan.

The consultant rang a fetal medicine unit in London and arranged an appointment for the next day to have a more detailed scan.

We went up there trying to stay positive but it was very hard as we were so worried, they scanned me for about 20 minutes trying to see if our baby was moving her wrists but she wasn’t. He then went to get another consultant to come in and examine the blood flow through the umbilical cord and around our baby.

Next came the news that shattered our dreams of having our angel. There wasn’t enough oxygen flowing through the umbilical cord which had damaged our baby’s brain. This lead to the other abnormalities as it wasn’t sending out signals to other parts of the body and there could be many more problems.

After they said that I switched off, I didn’t want to listen any more and just wanted to get out of the hospital and go home. We were told that if I carried on with the pregnancy there was a high chance I would lose her at a later date so they advised a medical termination, I felt as if my world had fallen to bits. 

It was another week before I went back to the hospital to take the first tablet to soften my womb, followed two days later with more tablets to make my womb contract. I was only 13 weeks +3 days and after a mini labour lasting 6 hours baby Hope was born.

Baby Hope was cremated 6 weeks later as we had a post mortem done and as I write we’re still waiting for these results

Charlotte, mummy of Hope
written January 2006