top of page

"Viability' - Via-bloody-bility!

I hate that word. Via-bloody-bility!

Makes me want to scream.

That’s all we had been hoping for the past 4 weeks, to make this point.

The point where if our baby was born the hospital would actually intervene and try to save the baby. That day, that hour, when the clock strikes 12, that suspended moment when everything changes. When your baby will no longer be classed as a ‘miscarriage.’

There are cases of babies being born earlier that have lived, but in the most part this is the cut off. The legal abortion limit. That sends chills through my spine. That we were on our knees waiting for this day to come, to give our baby a chance.

At 24 weeks and 1 day, I had a scan in Liverpool. He would have liked me to have more fluid, but I didn’t and that was that.

It was decided that I would be brought into Liverpool women’s as an inpatient. He was quite realistic about the management of our expectations.

  • 24-28 weeks looked quite bleak

  • 28-32 was looking better

  • 32-34 pretty good.

  • Baby would be delivered at 34 weeks because of the high risk of infection.

But what choice did we have! We had to keep on keeping on for ourselves and the baby. And at least now we would be taken seriously and our baby is given a realistic chance!

If I was to be an inpatient in Liverpool, it meant I had to leave my home, Alfie, Day, the dog and cat, and my family and friends behind.

I would have given anything to stay home, but I knew this was in the way interests of the baby and me, so I had no choice.

Saying goodbye was the hardest thing ever. In the morning when I was due to leave, I remember sitting on the stairs with the dog. I hugged him so tight and sobbed on him for so long, that when I eventually pulled myself away his fur was soaking. All the while he sat there and let me. He knew.

A couple of nights before I was due to leave, I read Alfie his bedtime story. I had left his room and he protested about going to sleep.

I remember sitting down heavily at the top of the stairs, not having the strength or energy to battle with him, with everything else that was going on. I sat there, head in hands as sobs wracked my entire body.

Alfie came our of his room and put his arms around me and hugged me so tight as I cried. I have no idea how long we say like this. He cried too.

It’s a horrible, horrible feeling having your 5-year-old comfort you as you cry. But sometimes there is not a thing you can do about it. It also gave us the chance to talk about me going away and how much I would miss him, about how brave he was going to have to be without me here. It was then I sat back and thought what an incredible little boy we had.

What a kind, caring, considerate and amazingly brave boy we have.

Saying bye to him on the morning of leaving was horrific. I cannot put it into words. But I think it was made every so slightly easier by the conversation we had a few nights earlier.

In true Isle of Man style, leaving wasn’t easy. The flight was delayed, delayed, delayed and then cancelled. In the end we got the boat. As we sailed up the Mersey, I took in my home for the foreseeable future. We had to walk to the bus station, Day continuously asked me if I was ok on the walk up. I wasn’t really. It had been an extremely long, emotional day. I thought back to my pregnancy with Alfie, and all the stuff I did, the boxes I lugged, I climbed hills, I stood for hours, I was as active as ever.

This time I was terrified walking a few hundred metres. I felt so fragile. I just didn’t feel like me.

In the original plan, Day was going to get the plane over with me, drop me off and then go home for Alfie the same night. As it happened, he got to stay with me on my first night in the hospital.

As selfish as it was, and as much as I wanted him to be there to comfort Alfie, I will be eternally grateful (for once in my life) for that delayed flight and that I had that comfort for one extra night. I knew Alfie would be ok, he would be being spoilt extra rotten by the grandparents. We were so lucky to have that support network.

Sometimes you have to be selfish, somethings happen for a reason. Something as little as one extra night of company, comfort from someone you love when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings in the most terrifying situation means more than anything in the world.

I would have given anything to be in my own home with my family, absolutely anything.

Except for the health of my baby.

To read more about Sarah's PPROM journey please follow Sarah blog here, Sarah and Arlo

We would love to hear your experiences of viability, please send your thoughts to or contact us by our Facebook page here,

We are campaigning to gain change to improve on care of our pregnant mums dealing with a PPROM pregnancy, please if you can sign our petition

Featured Posts