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Interview AN46

Brief Outline: Their daughter was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, VSD & an overiding aorta. Treatment' closed heart surgery (shunt) at 11 days old, closed heart surgery (shunt) at 11 months old. Corrective open heart surgery at 2' yrs old. Current medication' none. More of this interview can be seen on the DIPEX Congenital Heart Disease site as interview CHD30.
Background: Diagnosed at 10 days old. Parents marital status' married. Occupation' M-Full time mum (trained as GP), F-Curate. Other children' one younger child. The family lived close by to a Specialist hospital.

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She was glad she did not know about her daughter's heart problem before birth, but in her second...

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She was glad she did not know about her daughter's heart problem before birth, but in her second...

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Well as soon as I knew I was pregnant we knew that we could have ante-natal screening with [our son]. There was no way that we would have terminated a pregnancy but we knew that we could have at least the warning, which we hadn't had the first time.  

And so we went as 19/20 weeks to have the scan to see whether there was anything wrong with the baby's heart and there wasn't, which was great. A very interesting conversation with the radiologist doing the scan. She asked what had happened the first time, whether anybody had found out anything and I said 'no, it was found out at post-delivery' and she said 'well, how did you feel about that?' 

And I said I was very glad that I hadn't known because these friends of ours had known and they'd had four and a half months of worrying about what was coming and worrying about the arrangements and worrying about the operation and worrying and worrying and worrying. And we hadn't had any of that. We'd had a 48-hour period of absolute panic but we hadn't had four and a half months of worry.  

And she looked at me in the eye and said 'are you sure you want to have this scan because it's four and a half months before the baby's born' and I said 'no, it's different with the second one, anyway we'd know what was coming and I'd like to know'.  

But I was very glad that I hadn't known with [daughter] but I wanted to know with [our son], I suppose because I knew what I would be going through. So I didn't really think much about it because I thought there's nothing I can do about it, it's not going to make any difference anyway. And I'll know when the scan's done. So I thought about it occasionally but it certainly wasn't a big issue. And we had the scan and it was fine.

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