Tommy’s Story, by his mum, Amanda
My eldest son, Charlie, desperately wanted a brother, not a sister, a brother. He wanted to be a big brother just like his nursery friends and wanted someone to play with at home. But it wasn’t going well, I had suffered two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy which had left us broken hearted wondering whether Charlie would ever have a sibling.
I was struggling with the ttc so we decided to have a break. But then just like magic, completely unplanned, I was pregnant! We made it through those early scans; at 6 weeks baby was growing in the right place, at 8 weeks there was a heart beat and at the 12 week scan everything measured and looked okay. We couldn’t believe our luck! Charlie was ecstatic he was going to be a big brother.
Two days later, our world came tumbling down. I received a phone call from the screening midwife that our baby had screened high chance of Down syndrome, 1 in 30 chance. We were informed about further testing and informed we had “options”. I was stunned, I couldn’t believe this was happening to us! Hadn’t we been through enough? We opted for a NIPT, and after an excruciating week wait the phone rang and I heard, “I’m sorry, it’s positive”, what are you going to do?” I ignored her comment and asked to know the sex of my baby. She replied, “It was a boy”! Those words still sting today, how dare she refer to my baby in the past tense!
The days that past are a blur of emotions! I cried most days. I grieved the baby I thought we’d have. I was angry about how how consultants seemed to be focusing on health complications and repeatedly offering an amniocentesis. There seemed to be an expectation that we would choose to terminate.
On 19th February 2019, Tommy was born by C-section at 38wks 5 days. A healthy baby boy was placed in my arms. I could see he had Down syndrome immediately but no tears fell. There was just love and acceptance.
The prenatal diagnosis may have ruined my pregnancy but it had offered me this beautiful moment as I realised I had fully come to terms with his diagnosis. This was my baby and I’m his mummy.
Life with our rainbow baby is wonderful. Our home is filled with smiles and giggles everyday. He has no major health issues and is very much like a typical toddler. We have more appointments and therapy to manage but it’s no big deal, and his big brother? Well, he’s besotted with him.
Despite the 4 year age gap, they really do play together, they adore each other and both make me so proud to be their mummy.