Freya McCormick

Our daughter, Freya

Twenty weeks pregnant and sat on a bus on my way to have my anomaly scan, I had no idea that the events which would unfold in the next sixty minutes would change my life forever. My baby kicked playfully in my womb yet I could not kick the feeling that deep down, something felt a little off. I was told not to worry, everything would be fine, so I brushed it down to nerves and on we went.
The time in which we spent in the waiting area at the hospital was like any other. I was sat there with my boys and my big, beautiful bump, and each of us was as excited as one another to see the new baby. “Erin O’Hara!” shouted a lovely, little midwife, who then showed us to the room which sealed our untimely fate.

My tiny little feet...

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The Devastating News

We met the sonographer, a gentle woman with bright eyes and a warm smile which soon faded as she broke the devastating news. “There’s a problem. Your baby has anencephaly.” She continued to explain that our baby had no skull and was incompatible with life. “Are there any survival rates at all?” I quivered. To which she answered, shaking her head, “I am so sorry.”
Our world came crashing down in seconds. My body felt as though it was floating around the room, my heart beating faster than my babies. Jamie gripped my hand as tight as he could and together we choked back a thousand silent, salty tears. We asked the her the gender. A baby girl she told us. It hurt a little harder.
When we got home that night, Jamie and I decided that we would call her Freya, and although everything seems a bit blurry when I look back, there is one thing that we will never forget, we promised Freya that we would love her no matter what.

My party... thank you mam and dad!

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"I wanted to be able to give Freya the world. I wanted her to have everything every other child had."


Support at our darkest time

Over the coming days and weeks I began researching anencephaly and the support networks that would help us through this next chapter in our lives. That’s when we found Every Life Counts who helped us to see the little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, during what was our deepest, darkest journey.
I wanted to be able to give Freya the world. I wanted her to have everything that every other child had. I also wanted her to have a baby shower. Instead of boxes laden with gifts for my sweet daughter and I, our friends and family got together for a party, a wonderful, happy celebration of Freya’s short life, and raised vital funds for other parents who would soon have to walk in our shoes.

Meeting you, Freya

It wasn’t long after that, that our baby girl decided she couldn’t wait any longer, that it was time for her to meet her mummy and daddy, and made an early appearance into our world. At 32 weeks, Freya was born weighing 2lb 4ounces, living for an incredible two minutes. In that time, she looked up into my eyes, holding her daddies finger, laying on my chest listening to the one sound she knew best, my heartbeat. And then she slipped away, so silently and so peacefully, leaving us with her precious memories which we will hold in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Meeting you mam...



Facebook Post from the Belfast Telegraph

Article in the Daily Mail

Facebook post on Every Life Counts

My mam's Facebook Post

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ANENCEPHALY is a neural tube defect which means that the baby's skull and brain do not develop correctly in the womb. A recent study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that 72% of babies with anencephaly lived for a short time after birth. Of those children, 25% lived up to 5 days, while up to 7% lived up to 28 days after birth.

Jacquier M, Klein A, Boltshauser E. 'Spontaneous pregnancy outcome after prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly.' British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2006; 113:951–953