A mother has challenged Britain’s abortion laws after her premature daughter was born at the 24-week termination limit. Emily Caines says she wants to raise awareness of premature birth after losing daughter Adelaide when she was just hours old.
Although she was too small to survive, Emily and husband Alastair maintain that Adelaide was a “fully-formed human being” who even managed to cry when she was born.
Mrs Caines told the Daily Mail: “Adelaide was not a foetus, she was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated is to me horrifying.
“Our hospital was amazing and did all they could but Adelaide suffered complications which made it impossible for her to survive but many babies born at 24 weeks do live.
“That makes a mockery of the 24 week legal limit.”
She added that although her daughter’s life was short, she still celebrates her as a full member of the family, eventhough that may make some people feel uncomfortable:
“Our daughter may not have lived long but she was still our daughter and we love to talk about her and celebrate her life.
“Sadly in this day and age some people still find that offensive or uncomfortable.
“I find it particularly hurtful when people use the term late miscarriage to describe our daughter because she was born so early into my pregnancy.”
“Adelaide lived for more than an hour and will always be very much part of our lives,” she added.
Mrs Caines told how she also lost her first daughter, Isabelle, who died during delivery when she was born prematurely at 23 weeks.
She said: “One of the hardest thing has been feeling I shouldn’t talk about our baby because she is no longer here.
“I think there is still a big taboo around premature baby loss because people don’t understand it. It’s easier to brush the issue under the carpet by using the term late miscarriage.
“My first daughter was born at 23 weeks and classed as a late miscarriage, Adelaide was born at 24 weeks and classed as neonatal death but they looked exactly the same.
“Neither were a miscarriage but I think it’s easier for people to use that term.
“But that doesn’t acknowledge the fact that a mother has been through labour, delivery and seen and held their baby.”
She and her husband have now raised more than £4,000 for charity Sands, which specialises in stillbirth and neonatal death, and she hopes that speaking up will raise awareness of premature births.
The couple are now expecting their third child, who they are calling their “rainbow baby”.
“The theory of the rainbow baby is that something beautiful will follow the devastation caused by the storm. I hope sharing our story gives hope to others and helps other parents who have suffered a loss,” Emily said.