Her baby was carrying the life limiting condition Trisomy 18

pro-life

As I stood, in the near empty streets of Kildare on a desolate corner by a bookies, I approached a woman to ask her if she could spare just a small part of her day chatting with the Love Both team about our pro-life message. Hesitantly, she agreed at first with an aura of uncertainty. We informed her that we were here to talk about the abortion issue here in Ireland. She seemed cagey at first, perhaps not knowing if we were people that shared common ground.

Then she began to tell us of her amazing story. When she was pregnant almost 5 years ago, she received news from the doctor that her baby was carrying the life limiting condition Trisomy 18. This is a genetic disorder where a baby is born with an extra 18th chromosome. She was immediately informed that her baby would likely not make it to term and that it would probably only be a few weeks until the baby’s heart stopped beating and that she should weigh up her options.

Brought in to the world

The woman however decided to bring her baby to term. Knowing the risks, she thought it was better to give this baby the opportunity to come in to the world. Several weeks passed in her pregnancy and she delivered the baby, who had defied the medical professionals and made it to term. Most children with Trisomy 18 die after a few days, but it was a miracle to this woman that her baby could be brought in to the world.

Against all odds, her child is still alive to this day. She’s a four-year-old girl, who gives and receives an immense amount of love to and from her family. Her mother told us that just like all families, they have their good days and bad days like everyone else. Her little girl is progressing slowly, but progressing nonetheless. And her mother told us that she is immensely grateful for the opportunity to raise her child today in Ireland.

What would I like to say to that woman? Thank you for sharing your pro-life story. We were deeply touched by your courage and honesty. We wish the best of luck and love to both you and your little girl for the future.

By Neil Shevlin