Mom to Samuel

Stillborn February 16, 2012

Berkshire, United Kingdom

When we got pregnant we had tried to conceive for a few years and had also added two cycles of IVF to the mix of building our family. To finally be pregnant was a victory and we couldn’t wait to meet our baby. A true miracle it was.

My pregnancy was pretty uneventful, I had just a little nausea, heartburn and general tiredness but otherwise I was feeling good and healthy. From week twelve I started more and more to believe this was real and my fears of something going wrong decreased significantly.

But I never in a million years thought it would come to what we discovered at the anatomy scan at 19 weeks. It was found that our baby boy suffered from a congenital heart defect which is incompatible with life: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

We were going from the joy of finding out the gender to a deep emotional crisis in the matter of hours. It shook our world. After a lengthy appointment with experts we had the full diagnosis clear and learned just how severe this heart defect is.

We didn’t say much on the way home but looking back I can see that we knew deep inside early on what we needed to do.

Another week went by and we had a follow up appointment with our doctor. After a lot of thought, research, many tears, soul-searching and talks at length with doctors, friends and family, we decided to let him go.

We learned the hard way just how powerful Love can be; we strongly believe that it was our way of showing our baby boy the ultimate Love and protection. It was the most heart-wrenching and difficult decision to make but when it was taken there was a shift in me. The acute stress and anxiety was gone, the grieving had begun and I cried more peaceful tears.

Samuel was born still on the 16th of February 2012. Three weeks later his memorial service was held. We found it very comforting and helpful to be able to let go of his physical body and acknowledge his short life with us.

Maria blogs at

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  1. Maria,

    Like your family, I was also rocked by HLHS and forced to make a decision no parent should ever be faced with. Like you, I chose to let my son go at 21 weeks and 3 days… it was excruciating, but it was the right decision for him. My heart will never be the same, but it has been 2 1/2 years now and I feel that I am beginning to heal. I did not feel like it would, but my heart continued to beat and I do my best to keep him alive in my thoughts and in everything that I do.

    Sending you strength and love from Canada.

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