We want to make Mason and our angel babies proud and help other families in these tragic experiences.
We were so excited to find out we were expecting our first baby, the start of our family together. At 17 weeks, we were so happy to find out we were having a baby boy. We started to plan the nursery, pram and everything we needed. Every day was so exciting knowing we were one day closer to starting our own family.
On Friday 19th August 2016, everything took a turn for the worst when we went for our 20 week scan the midwife noticed an abnormality with the heart and suggested it could be hypo plastic right ventricle and referred to us to the fetal medicine department to see a specialist.
6 days of researching, thinking, looking at our beautiful baby boys scan photos and praying on Thursday 25th August 2016 we attended the fetal medicine department where we got to see our baby again and a full diagnosis of the heart was conducted by the specialist team at the RVI who were fantastic from start to finish. Everything was a lot worse than what we had prepared ourselves for, there was more than just one problem with Mason’s heart and this was seen to be severe cardiac abnormality (hypoplastic, hypertrophied, right ventricle with impaired function. Intact ventricular septum. Pulmonary atresia. Coronary atery fistulae. Left aortic arch. Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, coronary artery fistulae, situs solitus, Levocardia. AV concordance, small tricuspid valve). The fantastic doctors and consultants at the RVI described each of these in detail and the severity of all the issues and how this would affect Mason’s life from day one being rushed immediately to Freeman Hospital and potentially living there for some time with operations and transplants ahead of him along with the impact on life expectancy, quality of life, exercise tolerance, IQ and living the first years in a hospital. Because of the medical conditions faced, there was a risk Mason may not survive at all.
At only 24 and 25 we were faced with making the hardest decision we would ever have to face, terminating the pregnancy or to continue and discuss further with consultants the implications of what this meant for us and our baby. We hadn’t took this lightly, we hadn’t thought of nothing else for days and the only thing we could think of was protecting our baby from a life of fight and pain, we wanted to be able to give our baby the best start in life and this wasn’t something we would have been able to do.
As each day went on, it was completely breaking us. On Monday 29th August 2016, Michael got to feel Mason kick/move for the first and last time which was heart breaking but we both were able to feel his last movements together, a memory which will stay with us forever.
Nothing in the world could prepare us for the days we faced from Tuesday 30th August 2016 and everyday onwards, our dreams were taken away from us. Sadly, our baby’s heart was stopped with medical procedures by the amazing staff at the RVI at 10:30am. On Thursday 1st September 2016 at 08:00hrs we arrived at the RVI Birthing Suite to give birth to Mason, at 13:10hrs our baby boy was born sleeping, weighing 1 pound the most beautiful precious baby to us. We had taken a special blanket for Mason along with a teddy from us so he was never alone. This was a day, we will never forget for the rest of our lives, our son will always be a part of us and our family and each day we will make sure his memory lives on and stays with us forever.
To help us do this, we were provided with an amazing memory box from 4Louis, capturing foot and finger prints which has allowed us to make more keepsakes, photographs, forget me not seeds to plant, a balloon and postcard to heaven and an acknowledgment of life certificate. Opening this box took some time however has now become the most valuable gift we have ever received and comforts us often. Receiving this memory box means so much and brought us light during a very dark time.
Nothing will ever take away the hurt and pain this journey has made us feel and we will always feel endless love for our angel; Mason. Known the impact this has upon people and the amazing work that 4Louis do, we are passionate to raise as much money as possible to support other families throughout these experiences.
4Louis has made us realise, we are not alone and unfortunately there are others who have to face these circumstances we want to be able to help and support every other couple who have to experience this. Further information on what 4Louis provide can be found: http://www.4louis.co.uk/
It is important to recognise and thank all the staff at the RVI who detected our baby’s severe cardiac abnormality, helping us understand the complications involved, risks associated and providing us with exceptional help, support and professionalism shown throughout. Without this support, we wouldn’t be where we are today and this is the reason we would like to raise the money to provide a cuddle cot to the RVI hospital.
On 27th October 2016, we received the post moterm results which highlighted Mason would not have made it if we had gone ahead with the pregnancy.
“Mason… We miss you, our hearts still ache with sadness and many tears still flow. What it meant to lose you, no-one will ever know. We hold you close within our hearts and there you will remain. To walk with us throughout our lives until we meet again”.
Leanne and Michael. Xx