When parents are met with an antenatal diagnosis that is deemed ‘incompatible with life’ by medical professionals, they then are met with a series of decisions. The decision may not change the outcome of loss and grief, yet it is important that families are given the support and space to make a decision for how this loss plays out. For Temperance’s family, that was about continuing with her pregnancy until she decided to be born.
Please welcome Alex and Temperance to the Diversity in Loss series…
Temperance: Always Ours.
It’s four years since we were given the devastating news that our precious baby was incompatible with life.
Firstly I hate that term. It’s clinical and hopeless.
Where as our pregnancy and journey with our angel Temperance was everything but hopeless.
Matt and I met at secondary school. We had healthy children born in 2010 and 2013 – life was going well. We had set our wedding date for 2015. And then life stopped going right. We found out we were unexpectedly pregnant, due at the same time as our wedding, but just as we were accepting the news I miscarried. On Christmas Eve. I grieved deeply while trying to plan our wedding. Then we decided to try again. We had an amazing day, – 11th July 2015 at 2pm – surrounded by our dearest family and friends. Two weeks later, the pregnancy tests were positive again, I was happy but so scared, what if I miscarried this baby too? We got through to our first scan. Eleven weeks and four days – all I wanted to know about was the heartbeat and I was so overjoyed when the sonographer found it straight away.
Then there was silence and she left the room to get another sonographer. Matt and I started feeling nervous but nothing could prepare us for the shock to come.
Our baby had anencephaly.
She wasn’t expected to survive to term or the birth, let alone live outside the womb.
We were told our best option was to terminate. I don’t really remember the next few weeks. I know at one point I had agreed to terminate.
But by 15 weeks I knew I had to carry our baby to term.
We started telling family, friends and our children. We had a few negative comments but for the most part people were supportive and encouraging. Our children, well they accepted their new sibling with so much love, making memories constantly with Temperance in mind.
The pregnancy, although mentally hard, was physically good. Temperance kept on going, kept kicking. We decided to be induced a little early at 38 weeks due to it being the Easter holidays so easier for children not being at school. Temperance had other ideas and despite one week of repeated inductions refused to leave her comfy home. We decided to go home for a week to rest. The next weekend, after a mass at the church where we wed, my waters natural started leaking. So back to hospital we went.
Temperance was born 11th April 2016, 1.50am. I know she was waiting. Nine months to the day from our wedding. 12 hours exactly before I arrived at the church.
She was born silently, already in God’s arms. But she was born.
She was ours. She is ours.
She is missed so much.
She is loved beyond measure.
I have never regretted carrying Temperance to ‘term’, till she was ready to arrive.
I am honoured to be her mummy, we grieve always, in a changing wave. Grief only hurts because we love deeply.
We love Temperance oh so deeply.
Always our Stormy Rainbow.
Always our Temperance.
Love her mama,
Endnote: we have since had two more miscarriages but have been blessed with our rainbow gold baby, born Jan 2019. She is constantly being taught about her precious big sister in heaven.
For more information and support groups related to anencephaly, visit Shine Charity, here.