Sunday, 27 June 2010

We chose

We have chosen to terminate the pregnancy. And this is going to be the hardest thing either of us have ever done.

The main reason for me is that giving birth to Finn and having the surgery would mean being away from my other children and especially Seamus, who is three and a half and has never had a night without his mama. He wants me and only me at night if he wakes or if he is upset. He would think that I had abandoned him and I think it might damage our relationship severely. We have told Noah who is almost six and he I think to some degree understands. Seamus' mind is full of bubba, lightsabers and apples.... He will not comprehend what is going on at all.

I feel like I am being forced to choose between my children. Between the one wiggling in my tummy and the two breathing children on the outside.

I also have to consider though what life would be like for Finn. Open heart surgery is a huge thing, to undertake and to recover from. Rather than spending his first weeks of life in my arms nursing and being cuddled, he would spend it mostly unconscious hooked up to machines. Even if he survived the surgeries, his quality of life would not be great. He would need oxygen and regular monitoring. He would tire easily - the specialist told us 10 minute bursts of exercise - whilst watching his brothers play unrestricted. And long term we do not even know if he would survive childhood.

I think that if I did not have two other children to think about or if the likely outcome was better from the surgery our decision would be different. And yet I am still wavering. I lay here feeling Finn move and kick and feel like a terrible mother for considering this. I always said that I would not have a termination unless my life was threatened, or my child had no chance of survival. But you know what? When you're in these shoes, and have to make that decision, the one I never thought I would have to make, there is so much more to consider. It is impossibly hard. And everyones personal and family circumstances are different.

Finn will always be part of our family and we will never forget him.

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Friday, 25 June 2010

Baby Finn

I wrote a big post and the BlogPress crashed. Let's see if I actually get to post it this time.

We're on the train home. I got bumped into first class but dh is still in economy. In some ways this is good as it gives me some time to think.

Baby Finn has a very serious heart condition. He has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means that the left side of his heart that usually does a lot of work in pumping blood to the body is underdeveloped. While he is in utero the system he has works okay because the fetal circulation ensures blood can get to all the body parts. There is an extra little opening that closes within the first couple of days after birth. Once this closes Finn would become very ill as his heart would no longer be pumping blood to the body. They can give medication to keep this open temporarily but he would basically need open heart surgery within days of life. This would involve a 3-4 week stay at GOSH intensive care. This is to buy time, he would then need 2 further operations one at 4 months and another at 2-3 years. If he gets through all 3 (chance of around 60%) Finn would be able to live a relatively normal childhood and be able to go to school but would tire easily. Long term prognosis is unknown past childhood/adolescence as the surgery involved (Norwood procedure) has only been around since the 1990s. It is possible at some point he may need a heart transplant.

So we have 3 options. Continue with the pregnancy and go the surgery route. (There is a chance further complications may arise later in the pregnancy making surgery non viable. But right now he appears a good candidate.) 2nd is continue with the pregnancy but let nature take it's course. Finn will not survive more than a few days this way. Or we decide this is too much strain on our family and opt to terminate the pregnancy within the next week or so. We have not decided which route we will go down for sure. I want to give Finn the best chance I can at life but I am also worried about the impact on my other children. So we have lots of soul searching to do.

We really appreciate all the love and support we have been given xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone