Little Beth caused a major storm even before she was born
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16 January 2013
It came as a big shock to Vicky to find herself pregnant in her late 40s. But the joy at the prospect of having the baby she had always longed for turned to turmoil when she discovered the child would have Down's syndrome.
Already concerned by the prospect of becoming a father again in his 60s, Mike seriously doubted that they should bring a child into the world that he might not be around to care for later in life.
The dilemma came close to splitting up the couple. But Mike eventually realised that Vicky would go ahead with or without him - and he certainly didn't want to lose the woman who had brought him such happiness. To Vicky's enormous relief, he committed himself to her and their child.
One unexpected benefit was that Brenda warmed to her stepmother and proved a great support during the pregnancy. She was even in the hospital for the labour.
When Bethany Claire was born, at 6lbs 5oz, the family's delight was tempered with the knowledge that they had a long and hard road ahead of them. But they would face it together.