A baby girl born at just 24 weeks is now home after her mother refused an abortion.
Lily at first weighed just 1lb 8oz and still requires oxygen canisters to breathe. However, her mother Jodie was not even sure “she was going to make it through the first day”.
Jodie was preparing herself for her child’s funeral, but Lily battled on.
“I nearly lost her a number of times, but she’s fought very, very hard for her little precious life. It was a really bad start in life and I am just so proud of her”, Jodie said.
When medics offered an abortion at 20 weeks she refused because she wanted to give her baby the opportunity of life.
She went into labour at the end of July last year and was rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Lily was taken away and placed in an incubator in intensive care, leaving Jodie unable to see her for around four hours.
“I was asking every minute whether she was still alive. It felt like days”, she said.
Jodie explained: “I had to look at her through the glass and I couldn’t touch her.
“She was just so tiny. I had never seen a baby this wee in my whole life. Then she just stopped breathing and I had to stand and watch her be brought back.”
Doctors then said they would have to turn off Lily’s life support machine in the next 12 hours if her condition did not improve.
“They were going to place her in my arms so she could take her last breath but I said I wanted to give her the best chance to fight longer. And she did.”
Although Lily has had many difficulties so far, Jodie is delighted with her progress – “she is doing great now and we take each day as it comes”.
In England, Scotland and Wales, abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy on certain grounds, including risk to the mental health of the mother. However, abortions can be carried out up to full term if the baby is found to have a disability.
In Northern Ireland, abortion is only permitted if the mother’s life is in danger.