Taking the trip to Liverpool today are a couple dealing with grief, and the extra trauma of having to fly to the UK for treatment, following the diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.
The couple, who also have a disabled child, are documenting their trip on Twitter and Snapchat.
Writes the couple’s husband:
This Thursday, the 10th of November, we will travel to the UK from Ireland to have a termination. This is not by choice. Three months ago, after many attempts, we were overjoyed at the discovery we were successful.
Our first child was born with a genetic condition that meant we spent many months in hospital and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Although there is a risk any future children may carry the same condition we decided it was a risk worth taking.
At our first pre-natal appointment, we were offered a genetic screening test. Although it does not screen for the condition that affects our first child, it will for others that may inhibit the baby’s chance of survival. Of course we agreed to a simple blood test, after all the heartbeat now visible was strong and all markers pointed to a healthy pregnancy. Then we got the call that nothing can prepare you for.
A fatal foetal abnormality was discovered. We had never heard of Edwards’ syndrome before but we were told that even if carried to full term the period of life would be counted in the minutes and hours after birth. It is a crushing sentence for any person to hear, let alone for my wife who has had to give up her career to become a full-time carer for our little boy.
We went back for more tests and got confirmation. We should be telling our friends and relatives about our joyous news at just over 12 weeks; instead we are now past the point of being able to go to a hospital in the UK so we had to make arrangements to visit a clinic.
Traumatic in its own right, we also have to get someone to mind our child who requires constant monitoring throughout the day or his condition can cause him to slip into a coma and his brain can basically shut down. A lot of responsibility for us, even more putting it on someone else’s shoulders.
(Despite) what should be a simple procedure that could be carried out 20 minutes from home, in a risk-free environment, we are being forced to travel to the UK, leaving our child behind and the risks that involves to do the most humane thing possible to a baby that will never survive. That’s why we are going to document our experience from start to finish on Thursday.
We hope that this may enlighten those who do not want to listen or even allow the people of this country to decide for themselves. Our Government has continually kicked the can down the road and we, the people, must decide if we can allow this to happen. We hope that by documenting our experience it may help those that may have been through something similar or may be unfortunate enough to do so in the future.
Please share and check back on Thursday morning for updates throughout the day.
Twitter – @itstimetorepeal
Snapchat – itstimetorepeal