Choosing life: ‘I wanted to spend as much time with my baby as possible’

A mother whose daughter died just a few months after she was born has opened up about why she is so glad she chose not to have an abortion.

In 2004, Sharon Gorvett was 20 weeks pregnant with her third child when a doctor told her that her unborn daughter was “incompatible with life”. She was automatically scheduled for an abortion without even being asked.

The medics believed her baby had the severely life-limiting chromosomal condition Edwards’ syndrome.


Babies with Edwards’ syndrome usually die before or shortly after birth, and fewer than ten per cent make it to their first birthday.

But Sharon surprised the doctors by saying she did not want the abortion. “They explained what was involved and I said: ‘No, it’s not something I want to do’.”

The consultant asked her: “Are you telling me that this pregnancy is very precious to you?”. She replied: “Of course it’s very precious, she’s still my child, my baby, and I want to spend as much time with her as possible.”

And when told that most parents do not ask doctors to intervene to help the baby if there are complications, Sharon responded: “Well, I’m not most parents.”

Special days

Sophie was born early at 5lb 12oz. Sharon said she was “a little fighter” and “so pretty”.

The safe arrival was so unexpected that the family hadn’t even bought a bed for their daughter to sleep in, but the baby girl was still alive three months later.

Sharon said the family made the most of the short time they had with her: “We took her to see the cows and we picked a bluebell for her. She felt the sun on her face and we showed her the moon.

“We took her out, like you would any other baby, visited family and friends, took lots of photos and just made every day special.”

‘Always my daughter’

At thirteen weeks, baby Sophie became weaker and it was clear she would not survive much longer.

“We were out walking by the side of the Brecon canal. She took about three breaths and she was gone. She didn’t struggle, it was very peaceful. We’ve since planted a pink Hawthorn tree there and put a plaque where she passed away.”

“Our family was complete when she was there, and now she’s not there, it’ll never be complete, but she’s still very much with us, I’ve told my grandchildren all about their aunty Sophie, and we still mark her birthday every year.

“She was my daughter from the moment I found out I was pregnant, and she will always be my daughter.”

Also see:

Baby hand

Mum shocked by friends’ judgemental Down’s syndrome comments

Parents who turned down abortion 5 times celebrate son’s first day at school

‘Baby Surgeons’: TV series shines light on life-saving ops

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