A mother whose baby died two minutes after she was born, says choosing not to abort was the right decision.
Erin O’Hara and Jamie McCormick received significant media attention last October when they revealed they would carry baby Freya to full term, despite doctors advising an abortion.
Though Freya’s life was short, the young mum from Northern Ireland said she would ‘hold her memory forever’.
When the 20-week scan revealed that baby Freya had anencephaly – a condition where there is very limited brain and sometimes skull development – doctors advised Erin to fly to England for an abortion.
Erin and Jamie rejected the advice, saying, “we will love this wee baby, no matter what”.
Freya Anne O’Hara-McCormick lived for two minutes outside the womb after being born eight weeks premature on 7 December 2018.
Mum, Erin said she was “just 2lbs 4oz of pure joy”, adding, “In her last moments, with one eye open, she stared right up into mine, holding her daddy’s finger, and listening to the sound she knew best, my heartbeat.
“I will hold that memory of her with me forever.”
Studies show that the vast majority of women do not regret carrying a baby with a life-limiting condition full-term. Erin confirmed this, taking to Facebook to say that completing the pregnancy was the best decision she’d ever made.
The couple have been supported by Every Life Counts, a Dublin-based charity that helps parents of children who have been diagnosed with terminal conditions.
Erin said: “When we were given our diagnosis we were told on at least four occasions that we could have a termination – but there was a lot less information about the perinatal care that was available to us.”