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Young mum discovered she was pregnant despite having abortion

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 31, 2013

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A young mum who was grieving for her aborted baby was astonished when she found out she was five months pregnant.

Shannon Skinner, 19, went for a medical abortion when she was eight weeks pregnant when she decided it was too soon to have a second child.

But in a rare occurrence, the procedure failed and she continued having morning sickness and feeling movements in her womb.

Doctors told her they were side effects of the apparent abortion but after three months Shannon and partner Anthony Hunt, 24, convinced medics to take them seriously.

Tests revealed mum-of-one Shannon was pregnant - and her baby daughter had miraculously survived the induced miscarriage.

Scans have shown that her little fighter looks physically fine and she is now due to be born on May 7.

Shannon, who has a nine-month-old daughter Lacie with Anthony, said: "We thought she had gone.

"I had grieved for that baby and we'd just managed to get our heads around it.

"Anthony and I felt like we'd made the right decision because we were having problems and we didn't think it was right to bring a baby into that.

"I'd always been one of those people that was against abortions and hated them but I was suffering with post-natal depression.

"Lacie was just four months old at the time, so I had to do what I thought was best.

"But it was not an easy decision and I regretted it straight away after it and even at the time didn't know if I was doing the right thing."

Shannon, from Bristol, went for a medical abortion - which involves taking a series of tablets - at the Marie Stopes health clinic in Stoke Gifford on September 20.

But she returned to her GP after weeks of feeling poorly where she was given a pregnancy test to do at home which was positive.

When she returned to her doctor another test was negative and she remained unaware she was carrying a baby until December 20 when a third test revealed she was pregnant.

She was told she must have become pregnant again after the abortion, even though she had had a contraceptive implant fitted.

But further tests revealed her baby - now 22 weeks old - had survived the abortion.

Shannon and Anthony, a head chef at a restaurant, have been told that survival after a medical abortion occurs in just four per cent of cases.

They are still inside the legal 24-week termination limit but the couple say their baby girl is now too old and has been put through too much.

Shannon, a stay-at-home mum, said: "We've now decided to keep the baby, as we don't feel it's right to have an abortion at this stage.

"She's obviously a little fighter, and we don't want to cause it any more harm.

"When I had the abortion it didn't feel the same as it does now - we have seen her and she has a heartbeat now."

Shannon had her latest scan last week where midwives confirmed her baby daughter looked physically fine - but could not rule out future complications.

She said: "Everything is OK at the moment, everything is the way it should be.

"But the consultant couldn't promise it will stay like that when she is older, with her functioning skills.

"There is nothing to say everything will be hunky-dory, there's no guarantee how it's going to go."

A midwife at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol, where Shannon is receiving check-ups is investigating what happened, and the couple have complained to Marie Stopes International.

A spokesperson for the family planning organisation said: "Very occasionally, the medical abortion pill can fail.

"We discuss this with any woman considering the treatment and advise on the necessary follow-up to monitor for a failure, so further treatment may be sought if needed.

"Cases like this are few and far between but of course that does not make the situation any the less upsetting."

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