I was 20 weeks and went for my scan. I was so excited just like any mum when I was told that there didn’t appear to be much fluid around my baby and that I needed to have checks to see if my waters had broken. They hadn’t and I was told I would need to come back for another scan as they thought my baby didn’t have any kidneys. I spent the next 2 days googling EVERYTHING and then the scan confirmed that it was bilateral renal agenesis (BRA). I felt so numb and angry, scared, upset and confused.
I was given 2 lovely midwives to look after me and my little one, they talked me through all my options and listened to all my questions and fears. I had my own health issues that were causing complications and I never said what I had decided I just carried on, so in a way, I guess that was my decision. I managed to get to 33+4 before I had to have a c-section, Wednesday 26th February 2020. Due to the lack of fluid, I was never able to find out the gender or if my baby would be formed enough to be able to tell. The first thing I asked for was to know the gender and as the midwife passed the baby over she said “congratulations you have a beautiful baby girl.” She was born at 4.44 pm. I was a mix of all emotions at that point, I already have 2 boys so it was nice to finally have my little girl. Nobody could say how long we would have with her but she managed just over an hour. She met her brothers and extended family and had plenty of hugs and photos. It was so perfect and she passed peacefully in my arms at 6.08 pm.
I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for a moment like that no matter how long you have. In the next few days, we took photos together, I chatted to her and prepared her to go on her next journey to the funeral parlour. I was really poorly after having her but I still carried on for her and tried to arrange a perfect day for her. I remained in hospital for a week (in the Serenity suite) and had great support from the whole midwifery team and also managed to get some wonderful memories and keepsakes. I have continued to get support from many different charities. With their help, the boys and I have been able to come to terms with what has happened and honour her in many ways. Harper-Rose Alice Smith will forever be in our hearts and we love her dearly.