Sarah was 20 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with PH. She made a joint decision with her partner to have a termination and they are now exploring surrogacy.

“From the beginning of the process of being diagnosed we both agreed that my health was the priority. There was a fairly high chance that Kyle could have left the hospital with no wife or baby if we hadn’t made that decision to have a termination, and to us, that thought was not bearable.

I remember trying to remain level-headed and thinking ‘I’m only young and we conceived easily’ and ‘perhaps this pregnancy was just not meant to be’.  In my mind, my focus was to get through the procedure in a safe and stable manner. I think for Kyle and my parents (who attended all initial appointments with us), they were seeing the bigger picture, and realising that this may have been our only ‘chance’ of having a baby – but I couldn’t look that far ahead. 

The thought of losing my own life, aged 27, was not something I could even comprehend.  The statistics that the team gave us, in regard to mortality rates were too steep for me to even consider any other option but to terminate. 

We realised that due to the gestation of my pregnancy, at 20 weeks, our baby would not be viable for life. We were talked through many different options, including monitoring me until around weeks 24-26 of pregnancy and then delivering the baby with the hope it may survive. However, risking those extra few weeks wasn’t something we were willing to consider and so we went ahead with the termination.

We had lots of support from my specialist centre, who dealt with our case with such compassion, empathy and professionalism. They made us feel as comfortable as possible during the most difficult of times and treated our family in the same manner.

We developed a good relationship with the bereavement services at the hospital, who were brilliant. You don’t even know these people exist until you’re unfortunate enough to have to go through something like this! Nothing was too much trouble whilst I was still in hospital or at home. They guided us through funeral arrangements for our baby, and again, were so professional and compassionate in every way.

About a year after my diagnosis I attended a clinic appointment and felt mentally and emotionally ready to have a conversation about what my future held in terms of family planning. I was advised that surrogacy or adoption would be our safest adoptions and so we decided to explore surrogacy.

We were referred for discussions about IVF for surrogacy and we liked the idea of potentially having a child that was ‘ours’. We started an IVF cycle at the same time as becoming members of Surrogacy UK as ‘intended parents.’

We now have embryos in the freezer ready and waiting and things are going well with Surrogacy UK. If things don’t work out, we may consider option, but not at this time. 

As a couple, we are stronger than ever. We made a point of talking about our situation right from the start – we have accepted that this is our reality. There is nothing to be ashamed of and unfortunately life isn’t always kind. People often ask how we ‘cope’ and remain strong, but we didn’t see there was a choice. We have seen our lives turned upside down and this has given us a new perspective.”