Colm at 29 weeks gestation

There is so much I have in my heart to say about our little baby, Colm, but it is difficult to put into words.  Colm was our 5th pregnancy, and I was 39 years old.  We had two miscarriages between Colm and our daughter.  We prayed that this pregnancy would carry to term.  Not just for us, but more for our other children.  They wanted a new baby to join our family so much.  We rejoiced at my 7-week ultrasound when we saw his little body and heard his heartbeat, and after my 12-week checkup, we both breathed a sigh of relief.  It seemed as if our prayers for this little baby were answered!  We shared the news with family and friends over the holidays and began to relax and truly enjoy this pregnancy.  As I had with my other children, I went through all of the routine tests and procedures that accompany a pregnancy.  It hit a snag when the triple screen test at 15 weeks came back with a 1:10 ratio for Trisomy 18.  I had never heard of this condition, but soon learned what it would mean for my unborn son and the rest of our family.  We were devastated.   We decided to have a Level II ultrasound, and when several markers for Trisomy 18 were indeed found during ultrasound, we opted for an amniocentesis at 17 weeks. The results confirmed that our precious son Colm had Trisomy 18.  We honestly did not think that this would happen to us again, but it looked as if it had.  We faced this trial the best way we knew how, and vowed to do what we could for him, and the rest would be up to him, and to God. 

In preparing for his birth, we consulted many birth stories, and developed our own birth plan that would have given Colm comfort care. It was important to us that we were able to bring him home and be a family at home.  We knew that he would not live long, that he would only be with us for a little while before we had to say goodbye.   Colm was stillborn at 7 months, and was born on March 16, 2004.  Our only regret is that he is not with us here on earth. We were very blessed with friends who sustained us in our darkest, saddest moments, and who continue to. We feel that God has truly blessed us with this experience, as strange as that may sound.  I have learned to cherish how precious his pregnancy was, and to recognize just how precious and valuable each life is, at every stage.  This has made us appreciate even more the miracles of our other children, and what gifts they are.

Colm’s unborn life touched so many people, and I pray that he knows just how much he is loved and admired for his life.  We didn’t envision or desire this outcome, but it has taught us so much.  It reinforced for us just how little we are in control of our lives, and how much God is.  My goal now is to share with other parents of babies with an adverse condition just how beautiful the experience can be. For others getting started in this journey, I would advise not making any rash decisions for a while; give yourself time to accept the news, read all that you can about it.  Despite the tragic ending, I am very thankful for this experience. I do not for one moment regret my pregnancy or any decisions we made for Colm.

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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.