Very sad

Today is going to be one of the saddest days of my life.

On Monday, my brother and his girlfriend went for the 20 week scan for their baby. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the baby had very severe spina bifida - the most severe that the counsellor had seen in 8 years doing the job. The baby (a boy, to be called Jack) would have been disabled from the torso down, incontinent, and almost certainly have suffered neurological impairment. He would have also needed a shunt to drain fluid from the brain. From birth he would have required operation after operation and would have endured a great deal of suffering.

After seeing a consultant at Kings and seeing a counsellor they have decided not to continue with the pregnancy. The baby's heart was stopped on Wednesday, and today I'm going to take them to the hospital for my brother's girlfriend to be induced.

I feel terrible, but my sadness must be miniscule compared to what my brother and his girlfriend are going through. To actually have to go through labour knowing that you won't hear a baby crying at the end must rank as one of the most terrible experiences anyone has to go through. I wish I could do something to help but all I can do is be there. I feel so lucky now to have two healthy children. My brother seems to be coping remarkably well, although he has said that he has to be strong for now to support his girlfriend.

Tomorrow is my brother's birthday. It's likely he's now going to share it with Jack.

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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