IN MEMORY OF
DONOVAN PATRICK DOYLE
by Tammy and Jack Doyle:
Jack and I found out I was pregnant in March of 2015. We were thrilled as we had been trying for over a year, a year in which I had a blighted ovum and a false (chemical) pregnancy, both very disappointing for us. In May, we went to our OB-GYN for a routine ultrasound in which the OB reported our little one had an increased heartrate, in the 200s, which she was concerned about and referred us to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist. On May 6, 2015, Jack’s birthday, we went to the MFM specialist who performed an ultrasound. He told us that our baby had several characteristics that were consistent with a chromosome abnormality. He wasn’t 100% sure, as the baby was only 10 weeks old at this point but mentioned it could be Trisomy 13, Patau Syndrome, or Trisomy 18, Edward’s Syndrome. Regardless, he said our baby wouldn’t make it more than 2 weeks with the heartrate being in the 200s. Jack and I were devastated, thinking I would likely miscarry within the next 2 weeks, we mourned. However, 2 weeks passed, in which we saw our primary OB each week for a heartbeat check. Each time the heartrate would decline until eventually it normalized. Our next step was to get a second opinion. We were referred to Ruby Memorial Hospital where we met with a genetic counselor and another MFM specialist. Again, an ultrasound was performed and this doctor reported the same information, our baby likely has a chromosome abnormality consistent with Trisomy 13 or 18, but more likely 13. He could see more defects on this ultrasound, as I was further along, reporting physical impairments and a brain impairment. At this point, we were told we have the option to terminate and were given the poor prognosis associated with this diagnosis. We were given information such as most children with this do not make it full-term; and even if they survived to birth, they reportedly had a 5-10% chance of making it past their first birthday. Jack and I thought and prayed about this decision for several days and ultimately decided termination was not an option for us. We had seen and heard our baby’s heartbeat, saw his precious body move on the ultrasound, and soon I would begin to feel him move. Termination wasn’t something we felt we could do; we wanted to give our baby a chance. Somewhere around 17-18 weeks, we had an amniocentesis completed to confirm the diagnosis of Trisomy 13. However, weeks and months went by and our little one continued to fight and grow a little bit at a time. Somewhere along the way, we found out our sweet baby was a boy and we named him Donovan Patrick. Donovan means “strong fighter” in Celtic, which was a perfect way to describe our son who was given only 2 weeks many weeks ago.
Jack and I tried to celebrate our sweet Donovan while I carried him. We felt him kick and move, saw him jump on the ultrasound with hiccups, and heard his heart beating more times than most couples expecting a baby. We also had maternity pictures taken to remember Donovan by, a recommendation from two very supportive family members.
At 37 weeks and 2 days I went into labor. On November 5th 2015 at 1:57 am our son Donovan Patrick Doyle was born an angel. He was perfect to us. We never heard him cry or saw him open his eyes but we held him and we loved him. We helped bathe him, dress him and held him for a long time. Simply stated, we loved him. His grandparents, uncle and cousins held him and loved him.
Donovan was not born alive into this world, but he taught and gave us so much. He taught us patience, gratitude and tolerance. He made Jack and my bond even stronger. He taught us to appreciate each moment in life and reminded us not to take life for granted. Most of all, Donovan taught us unconditional love. We loved him before he was born, we loved him as he fought to be born, and we will always love him.