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Irish couple who tragically lost their child at 5 weeks welcome healthy baby boy

A couple whose son passed away at just five weeks old have welcomed a baby boy. Michelle and Clive Ross met 12 years ago and have been together ever since.

Although they had both wished to start a family soon, Clive insisted they get married and get a house first. 

They spent eight years trying for a baby, and went through numerous failed IVF cycles before Michelle fell pregnant three years ago. 

However at just 24 weeks pregnant, Michelle went into labour and their son, Zach, was born prematurely.

“We just have to remain hopeful”

Clive recounted: “Came out, no sound, and they had to resuscitate him and then we heard kind of like a little bark. A little meow. And he was born”.

“Now he was translucent, he was see through. So he came for a little cuddle and then he was whisked away”.

He went on: “There was more positives than negatives at the start, he was getting bigger but when we were in there, there was other babies coming in and they were ten times as big as he was”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s documentary “The Rotunda”, filmed in the eponymous maternity hospital in Dublin, Ireland, Dr Afif El-Khuffash said: “Whenever we speak with parents about an infant born around this gestation of just under 24 weeks, we of course just have to remain hopeful”.

“However at the same time, we must also remain realistic because there can be a lot of complications that can happen throughout their stay in the Neonatal-Intensive Care Unit”.

Unfortunately, baby Zach passed away after five weeks in NICU.

Clive said: “The saving grace of it would be that we got five weeks with him. We understand a lot of people don’t get that”.

Michelle said: “Leaving the hospital with no baby and being on maternity leave and having to get through that time when all your hopes and dreams were supposed to come true is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through”.

Clive said it was “absolutely heartbreaking leaving without Zach”.

“Walking through the hospital with your son in a box is not fun for anybody but he’s always with us. Everything we do, he’s a part of it”.

“A dream come true”

The couple later fundraised over 15,000 Euros for the NICU. 

Two years later, the couple planned to try IVF again but the week they were due to begin, they discovered Michelle was pregnant.

Even though they were anxious, Michelle said she “always keeps reminding myself just to keep hoping for the best”.

However, she added that she is “terrified” to say good things are coming out loud in case she ‘jinxes it’.

Thankfully, the couple welcomed a healthy baby boy who they named Rio. Afterwards, Michelle said: “I felt like I’d taken the first breath I’d taken in a long time. I felt massive relief”.

She went on: “It was literally a dream come true. It was something I’d imagined in my head for so long. I always believed I’d get there and just being there and being in that moment was just incredible”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “Michelle and Clive deserve our praise for speaking up on such a personal and sensitive issue as their struggle with the death of their son. We wish them and their family a happy and healthy future with baby Rio”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.