Couple Aborted Pregnancy at 22 Weeks Due to a Rare Birth Defect

Couple Aborted Pregnancy at 22 Weeks Due to a Rare Birth Defect

"It was a very difficult decision that we had to face and at every point, we always considered what would have been best for our daughter," the mother says.

Jade and Mark Dodson from Wakefield, West Yorkshire came up about why they made the choice to terminate their daughter's pregnancy 22 weeks into it in 2019, per Mirror. They had been looking forward to her 20-week pregnancy ultrasound to see how their baby, Amalie, was progressing. However, when they did, they were informed that something was not quite right. They were pleased to learn that they were expecting a baby girl. The happy news came after two and a half years of attempting several rounds of reproductive treatment. With Jade's due date set for April 27 in 2019, the couple was looking forward to seeing their little angel and finally having the family they'd always wanted. 




They eventually found that their child had a serious birth abnormality that would cause brain damage and may be paralysis and gastrointestinal dysfunction. Their daughter whom they named Amalie had Spina Bifida and they were told that she can learn to live with this condition but her whole life will be filled with extreme difficulties. Amalie had the most severe type of neural tube abnormality, which affects around one in every 1,000 births. The couple took the difficult choice of terminating the pregnancy as they did not want their child to suffer throughout her life. They wanted to, "free Amalie of the inevitable pain and suffering she would have endured throughout her life."




Jade spoke to Mirror, "It was a very difficult decision that we had to face and at every point, we always considered what would have been best for our daughter. We know how amazing life can be and knowing that Amalie’s life would have been so limited was truly devastating to imagine." She said she loved her daughter way too much and has nothing but hope and support for her. However, she adds that the fear, pain, and challenges due to her condition would have outweigh any happy moments in her life. She explains the abortion procedure recommended for her, "We were told I could have a procedure with a local anesthetic to stop Amalie’s heartbeat before giving birth and this is what we decided to do at 22 weeks. We felt this was the best thing ethically for Amalie. Our decision was made entirely for her." 




The year ended on a tragic note for the couple as she gave birth to her on December 22. A few days later she developed an infection and was rushed to the emergency room. However, she recovered from the side-effects and the family arranged a funeral for their daughter on January 4 to say a proper goodbye. Jade recalls the moment, "We put on a brave face and smiled for the family over Christmas as we have a lot of young nieces and nephews. It all seemed like a blur as I was in and out of hospital whilst arranging Amalie’s funeral. Which we wanted to be perfect for her, and it was." Even after suffering such a devastating loss, the couple is still hopeful about having children in the future. 


Mark Dodson at the Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge on Amalie's expected due date. Source: Just Giving


"Amalie was born on the 22nd Dec, but her due date should have been the 27th April 2019. This is when we will complete the hike, taking a moment at the top of each peak to remember Amalie," said the fundraising page the couple started for Action Medical Research, the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases for babies and children. Jade and Mark set out to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge on what would have been Amalie's exact due date in order to commemorate her late daughter's memory.





Cover Image Source: Just Giving | The Amalie Maya 3 Peaks Challenge