I still remember that day like it was yesterday and probably always will. We were on our way to our 20 Week anatomy scan. Elliott and I were so excited to get to see our baby girl again, a few days beforehand we had bought a pram for her and we had nearly finished off her nursery.
I remember laying with the cold jelly on my stomach and both of us beaming at the screen, seeing our little bean wiggling around was the best thing in the world. “I’m so sorry Amy…” said the ultrasound technician, my heart sank. “What for?” I replied but she didn’t respond, just kept moving the wand around checking my baby. She left the room to get one of her colleagues and I remember looking at Elliott and seeing the worry and pain in his face, creeping through the smile he had put on to stay strong for me.
Many meetings and scans later we were told that our daughter had hypoplastic left heart syndrome – Her heart wasn’t forming correctly and mine broke into a thousand pieces. We were both holding back tears and when the paediatrician left us alone, I fell off the sofa and broke down, I was in absolute hysterics. Elliott on the other hand was incredibly strong and held himself together for me.
The Doctor told us that any surgery she could have had once born would be palliative and her life expectancy would most likely be days. I couldn’t accept this news, I felt like it wasn’t actually happening to me and they must have got something wrong because my baby was perfectly fine and surely this was all just a big mistake… sadly I was wrong.
We decided together that the best option for us and for our baby was termination, I hate that word. We went through the awful process, I took a pill that would set things in motion and still to this day feel like I betrayed our baby, like somehow, she knew what I was doing. We arrived at Burnley General a few days later and stayed in the Butterfly Suite, we read the book of messages that people had left to their babies who sadly didn’t make it. Everything felt so surreal and confusing, I don’t think I had fully accepted what was going to happen.
She was delivered on 1st March 2020 at 12:15 am and weighed just 435 grams. We spent time with her, she was perfect, she looked at peace and free from pain, which is all a parent can ever hope for.
Maddison was a wanted baby, we planned everything down to the last detail but we had never planned for this, we miss her every single day and we always will – I can’t speak for Elliott but my heart will never be the same. We carry some of her ashes in small necklaces and we have her name tattooed on us forever.
Mummy and Daddy miss you baby girl, we love you incredibly.
- Amy Harrison & Elliott Alderman.
This is so well written to recount the painful time, decision making and feelings that we all experienced in coming to the final decision made with love for Maddison as the main compelling thought.
We so wanted another granddaughter’s love and laughter.
Grandad and Grandma Alderman xxx