Kim’s Story – in loving memory of James

16 Mar 2022

Ending a long wished for pregnancy is devastating.

Kim – James’s Mum

At our twelve week scan, my little James was found to be at high risk of a chromosomal abnormality.  After completing amniocentesis, he was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.

We could choose to continue the pregnancy knowing our baby would be unlikely to make it to term and if he did, he would die soon after birth or to undergo a termination for medical reasons. 

To try and protect our baby from unnecessary suffering we opted for the latter.

Choosing to undergo a TFMR is an extremely lonely thing. It was the hardest and most agonising decision of my life. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone as I feared their judgement. I also didn’t know anyone else who had gone through this and had no one to talk to who could truly empathise. Finding support via Red Nose including Sands was invaluable in helping me to feel less alone.

If you haven’t experienced it yourself it’s hard to realise the emotional and physical toll of losing a baby in the second trimester. I had just gone through growing a baby, making an impossible choice and giving birth. At the hospital I was given a certificate for a few days off work.  It felt insignificant compared to what I needed.  

I felt like society expected me to be back at work and back to “normal” and to act as if my life hadn’t just been completely turned upside down. I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me because I needed more time. After a while, I learnt that you absolutely need to give yourself grace and the time to properly heal.

I want other families in a similar situation to know you are not alone. One of the reasons I want to share my story is because I felt intense loneliness after learning my baby’s life-limiting diagnosis.

It was so hard making such a decision like that. 

As absolutely gut-wrenching, and painful as it is though, things DO get better with time. The grief does not go away but it does gradually become less sharp and all-consuming.

One thing I’ve learnt about healing is that it’s not linear. Sometimes you feel like you take one step forward only to then take ten backwards. You feel the weight of grief lifting and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it grips you so tight you can’t breathe.

Saying James’s name is important. His life was short, but his impact on us was enormous. He will live on in our memory and forever in our hearts.   

Say Their Name Day is on March 25 – a special day to remember all of the little lives we have loved and lost, and support bereaved families.