A grieving mum has released this heartbreaking photograph of her premature daughter who was delivered at the 24-week abortion limit, saying ‘She’s not a foetus, she’s a fully-formed human being’
Born just 24 weeks (6 months) into her mother’s pregnancy tiny Adelaide was too small to survive. This treasured image of the tot reaching up as she let out a cry is the only picture her parents have of her alive. Continue…
Service Advisor Emily Caines, 25 from Yeovil, Somerset and husband security guard Alastair Caines, 29, released the photograph in a bid to open up the debate about abortion.
The current law allows babies to be terminated up to 24 weeks gestation, the same as Adelaide when she was born.
“Our picture shows Adelaide was not a feotus she was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated on grounds of a lifestyle choice is to me is horrifying. Medical grounds is a different matter. Our hospital was amazing and did all they could but Adelaide suffered complications which made it impossible for her to survive but many babies born at 24 weeks do live.
“That makes a mockery of the 24 week legal limit.”
Tragically Mrs Caines had already lost her first baby daughter Isabelle at 23 weeks after going into premature labour in September 2011. She died during delivery.
It was in the agonising weeks after her loss that she fell in love with close friend Alastair who helped her through her grief.
He later proposed and suggested that they marry on the first anniversary of Isabelle’s birth and death to help turn the saddest of days into a happy one.
Soon after marrying the couple began trying a baby together but after struggling to conceive doctors found scar tissue blocking Mrs Caine’s fallopian tubes.
They were told their only chance was IVF and fell pregnant after their first round.
At 20 weeks they learned they were expecting a girl and were relieved to pass the 24 week stage, when medics are legally obliged to help save the life of a premature baby.
Mrs Caines said: “Only then did I buy her a baby grow and Alistair bought her a pink cuddly bunny.”
But just three days later she started to bleed and was rushed to Southmead Hospital in Bristol which has a specialist premature baby unit.
Mrs Caines was rushed into theatre for an emergency section on December 27 2013 and her husband was at her side when their tiny daughter was lifted out by medics and let out a cry.
That’s when a doctor took the only picture of their daughter alive at the birth on the couple’s camera.
Mrs Caines said: “That cry filled us with so much hope. Her little fists were waving and I could see the doctors working on her.”
But after an hour they told the couple that it was proving impossible to get a line into their daughter’s lungs to help her breathe.
They agreed the kindest thing was to let her go.
Mrs Caines said: “Thinking of my daughters together was the only thing that got me through arranging another funeral.
“We were utterly heartbroken again.”
Five months later they started another round of IVF and Mrs Caines is now 20 weeks pregnant with what she calls her ‘rainbow baby.’
She hopes that following a stitch in her cervix the pregnancy will progress normally. Her son is due in January 2015.
She said: “The theory of the rainbow baby is that something beautiful will follow the devastation caused by the storm.I hope sharing our story gives hope to others and helps other parents who have suffered a loss.”
The couple are now keen to break down the taboos surrounding baby loss and neonatal death.