Millie Smith and Lewis Cann were not surprised they were expecting twins, they run in Smith's family. Two weeks after learning the happy news though, the couple received a blow when they were informed one of the babies had anencephaly. This is a neural tube defect where the brain does not form correctly.
"During the scan, the doctor didn't say anything. I was very excited and loved seeing the little babies, but she was silent. Both Lewis and I immediately knew there must be a problem," Smith says. The prognosis was that the baby named Skye would live within seconds, minutes at most, after birth.
"Skye was somewhere we knew she would always be, that we could look up at the sky and remember our baby," Smith explains. Although, they had months in advanced knowing what would happen, nothing could prepare them for the heartbreak.
Smith went into labour on April 30, 2016. She was 30 weeks pregnant.
She had a C-section at the Kingston Hospital in the United Kingdom with a bereavement midwife in the room.
"When the girls were born, they both cried. This was a huge moment, as we were told that Skye would not make a noise or move," Smith recalls.
Skye defied the odds as she lived for three hours. “We were cuddling Skye when she passed away. This was the worst moment in our lives” Smith says. “I have never ever felt heartbreak like that before. But I am proud that she fought for so long to spend time with us.”
After Skye's passing, the couple could not take her twin sister Callie home.
The nurses were understanding and aware of the family’s loss but within four weeks no one mentioned Skye.
In the meantime, three other sets of twins were born in the hospital.
The new parents were unaware of Smith’s loss.