Yesterday. I've just received news from my friend on the update of her SIL (sister-in-law). Her SIL is currently under confinement after being induced last Monday.
This is not an ordinary pregnancy, nor an ordinary delivery.
Earlier this month, my friend's SIL (let's just call her Mrs A) who was then 5 months pregnant with her first baby, was asked to go for a termination (I would prefer not to use the word abortion here). Mrs A's amniotic fluid level was very low and her doctors (experts & GH) diagnosed that the baby's kidney isn't growing propotionally with the baby's size. They indicated that should the baby be born alive, she might not be able to survive.
There were lots of debates going on among some of us mothers on the termination issue then, esp. when 5 months into the pregnancy is considered to be a late stage for termination. Many felt that the baby should be given the chance to fight out on its life, while some looked at the difficulties and problems which will happened later.
One mummy puts it as this : "I would prefer to let baby decides its own destiny... before that I would communicate with baby & let baby knows whatever happens, baby is still precious, much awaited, never forgotten. Could be therapeutic for the mum... to bond with a soul... "
Another mentioned this : "If it doesn't cause any danger to the mother's health, I would choose for baby to go in a natural way too. I personally feel that it's more painful to abort the baby - as we know they'll sometimes they tear apart the baby alive. Even though baby might have only short time to live, but it'll get mummy's and daddy's kisses, hugs and being cradle in the arms before leaving - whatever comfort we can provide. Though it's painful especially for mummy (& daddy), but with good emotional support & understanding, i think mummy also would like her baby to have the best we can give. "
One parent puts it as this : "Let's try and look at this from another perspective. Should the baby make it to full term, but with certain obvious defects/handicap, it will take a lot of effort, time, money, patience and sacrifices from the family members especially the parents, in order to help him/her in life. We have read about kids with illnesses that require special attention and long term medication and in such cases, one parent will have to quit his/her job to ferry the child to and fro. Some even exhaust all their savings and sell their property just so they can afford the high expenses involved in giving the child the best help they can find."
From the prospective of one father who wrote this : "...but wouldn't it be even more disheartening to see the baby born only to see her fails to survive due to the known outcome? Can you, as a mum, carry on with a frightening life for the next few months just to bet with the fact that she will not be able to survive soon after birth? I would go for 2nd, 3rd or even 4th opinions and if all conclude the same, I would rather seek to end it sooner... "
It was later made known that Mrs A's baby was was diagnosed as having the Potter's Syndrome.
Potter's Syndrome is one of several serious or fatal kidney abnormalities. In Potter's (or Potter) syndrome the baby's kidneys do not develop in the first few weeks of life in the womb. The baby's kidneys are essential for the production of amniotic fluid in the womb. If there are no kidneys, there is little or no amniotic fluid (this is known as oligohydramnios) to expand the womb around the baby and to allow the baby to grow and move. The womb remains small and in its confined space the baby's lungs cannot develop properly. Many babies with Potter's Syndrome are stillborn. In those who are born alive, the immediate cause of death is failure to breathe (respiratory failure) due to underdeveloped (hypoplastic) lungs, usually one or two days after delivery. Even if this problem is treated the baby cannot survive without kidneys.
Anyway, Mrs A was admitted to the hospital last Monday after admission in the hospital for two days. The doctors had decided to terminate the pregnancy the baby. The induction started at noon. The baby was still kicking actively then and there was still a heart beat despite not having any amniotic fluid left in the womb.
Sadly, the parents don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl as they didn't have the heart to look at their baby.