A YOUNG Scots mother has given birth to a beautiful baby boy despite her attempts to have him aborted during pregnancy.

Vicky Harper, who had two children already, made the heartbreaking decision to terminate her unborn son because she feared she could not cope with an addition to her brood.

But the hospital procedure did not go to plan, and to her shock and delight she has given birth to the boy, Jack, who is already proving to be a great source of joy.

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Ms Harper, 24, from Caithness in the Highlands, was already a mother of a son and daughter, Ross, two, and Leyla, five, when she accidentally conceived last June after failing to take the Pill.

She feared she would not be able to cope with three children under five and agonised over what to do.

"It wasn't an easy decision. I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I just didn't have the strength for another," she said.

Although her partner Keenan McIvor, 19, a joiner, promised to support her, she told her doctor she wanted an abortion.

She opted for a surgical termination, rather than a medical termination, which involves taking a series of tablets.

This surgical procedure involved vacuum aspiration or gentle suction to remove the foetus from the womb. It usually takes five to 10 minutes and can be carried out under a local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic.

She told the Mirror: "Keenan came with me and held my hand. I had a little cry before I was put to sleep, but we knew it was for the best."

But after leaving the hospital, Vicky soon realised something was wrong.

"I was tired and dizzy all of the time. I was off my food. As I already had two children, I knew what pregnancy felt like."

Ms Harper used a home pregnancy test which came which back positive, so she immediately phoned her doctor.

"He reassured me there was probably just some pregnancy hormones left in my body."

But after 15 home tests showed the same positive result, Vicky tried to persuade the surgery to scan her again, initially without success.

But nine weeks after her termination, a midwife finally agreed to give her a scan, which confirmed she was still pregnant.

"Deep down I'd always known. But seeing my baby on the screen sent me into tears. Keenan tried to comfort me, but I just felt lost. When the doctor went over my options with me, everything was a blur."

Ms Harper said Raigmore Hospital in Inverness told her the termination was carried out by a doctor still training to carry out the procedure, under supervision by a senior colleague.

By now, she was 16 weeks pregnant and says she was offered a medical termination, despite the increased risks of the procedure after 12 weeks.

"I didn't want to risk a medical abortion in case it didn't work because I was so far on. But neither could I face the thought of giving birth."

She was told a second surgical termination could fail like the first and may damage her womb. "I asked them if it could kill me.They told me although the risk was very low, it could.

Ms Harper said she felt she had no option but to have my baby

“Although I was terrified the first abortion could have affected him.”

But earlier this month, Jack was born at 6lb 15oz, and healthy.

The moment she saw him, she said she knew she couldn't regret her decision for a moment.

"I wouldn't change it for the world. He's special and he'll always know just how much he's loved."

She says she will tell Jack as soon as he is old enough to understand.

"I want him to hear it from me, as opposed to anyone else. But how does a mum find the words to tell her child she never wanted him? All I can tell him is that he's a survivor and that I love him more than I ever thought possible."

A spokeswoman for NHS Highland said "We are aware of the situation and circumstances surrounding this case.

"We don’t normally discuss individual cases, but what we can say in this instance, is that the consultant concerned with this case has already had discussions with the patient and apologised for the fact that the termination was unsuccessful.

"We would add that the consultant also encouraged the patient, should she so wish, to lodge a formal complaint with us."