A fundraiser has been launched to help a Margate first-time mum-to-be and her boyfriend who have been told the devastating news that their baby will not survive.
Lily Bowditch, who is almost 20 weeks into her pregnancy, has been told she is carrying no amniotic fluid – a condition called Oligohydramnios- which means the baby cannot develop and will not survive at birth.
The hairdressing student, 18, and partner Tom Beal, 20, had been looking forward to becoming a family but are now faced with a tragic loss.
Lily’s sister Charlotte has set up the fundraiser so the young couple can pay for a plot and headstone.
The mum-of-two, from Ramsgate, said: “Lily went for a normal scan at 16 weeks and they noticed there was not a lot of fluid around the baby. She was referred to the foetal medicine department in Medway and they said there was no fluid at all around the baby.
“She has to have another scan on May 31 and from there they have to make a decision about a medical termination. The baby’s lungs aren’t developing which means if she goes full term the baby would suffocate.
“They are really struggling. They had been looking forward to becoming a family and now have had this news.”
Charlotte, 23, says she wants to raise the money so her sister and drainage firm worker Tom have a place to go to remember their baby.
She said: “You do not have to pay for a baby’s funeral but I want to raise money for the headstone and plot. Headstones are between £1,500 and £2000 and a plot is £685 so it is a lot of money.
“They really want to have somewhere they can go and they would like a headstone.
“I’m her big sister and my role has always been to help her with anything. When she was little if someone was picking on her I would fix it but this is not something I can fix. The only thing I can do is help her raise the money so there is a resting place.”
Oligohydramnios is when you have too little amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid surrounds your baby while they’re in your body before birth. Your baby needs amniotic fluid to grow. This watery fluid is inside the amniotic sac (membrane). It’s sometimes called the bag of waters.
The condition increases the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. It can also cause the baby to be born with severe abnormalities, including underdeveloped lungs. This is because amniotic fluid plays an essential role in lung development.