"The 8th Amendment compounds the grief and the trauma... I never felt so trapped and alone"

Amy Walsh and Yousef Hazimee describe their experiences after they were told their unborn child was not going to survive

Amy Walsh and Yousef Hazimee spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime today to share their story of a journey the hoped they would never have to take.

Amy and Yousef had been married for around two years when they found out Amy was pregnant in late 2014. "I was quite anxious about this, because I didn't want to think I was pregnant and then find out I wasn't," Amy explained.

They arranged an early scan at eight weeks, and found out that the "pregnancy was good, there was a heartbeat, and we were told our chance of a miscarriage now was negligible".

However everything changed when they went for their 12 week scan. The midwife told them that she was really unhappy that the baby had lost a week's growth - especially since the baby had measured correctly during the first scan a few weeks earlier.

They were told that they had "a one in 47 chance" of having a child, and were later definitively told the baby had a rare chromosomal condition called Triploidy. "It was shattering," Yousef recalls. "All our fears were coming true".

At 16 weeks, the couple were told that the medical staff would be very surprised if the baby was alive at 20 weeks. At 20 weeks, they were told it would be unlikely for the child to reach 24 weeks.

"All this time we were working on the basis that inevitably it would happen," Yousef said. "It would happen in Ireland, it would happen around our friends and family, and they would be there to support us".

They ultimately made the decision to travel to Liverpool, with Amy explaining their decision was influenced by the 'prolonged' nature of the situation.

"Mentally you’re pregnant, you want your baby to be okay," she explained. "We were going into hospital going ‘hopefully there’ll be no heartbeat this week'. Then you get so upset for thinking that - that you wanted your pregnancy to end. It was complete torture".

"The last thing I wanted in the whole world"

Amy says "the last thing I wanted in the whole world" was to have to choose to continue with the pregnancy or to end it. 

However at 24 weeks she says how she saw "people leaving their hospital with their babies in their car seats... and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I knew she was going to leave hospital in a coffin, not a car seat".

Speaking about their experience in Liverpool - where Amy had labour induced - Yousef says "it was surreal". He said the staff at the clinic were "so nice" and understanding, but confessed the procedure and watching his daughter's heartbeat stop was one of the most "soul-destroying things I've ever had to sit through... I wouldn't wish it upon any parent".

The day Amy was in labour was the day the Dáil voted on Clare Daly's bill allowing for terminations in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities. The bill was defeated.

"I felt broken," Amy recalled. "I felt like not only did Ireland not care about me or Yousef, but it didn’t care about our daughter either. As parents we felt we were making the best decision for our family and our daughter".

Amy and Yousef's daughter - who they named Rose - was cremated in Liverpool, and her ashes sent back to Ireland after they decided they could not bring themselves to bring Rose's body home in a coffin in their car.

"The 8th Amendment compounds the grief and the trauma," Amy told Jonathan. "I never felt so trapped and alone. I think it’s a really inhumane way to treat women and families, and the babies they’re carrying".

A year later, Amy is currently 29 weeks pregnant with a child, who is due in February.

You can listen back to the full interview below: