A-Z

Interview 18

Age at interview: 38
Brief Outline: Her 1st pregnancy (through IVF). 6-week scan at fertility clinic. Had nuchal scan done privately at 12 weeks. Baby found to have anencephaly. Pregnancy ended surgically at 12 weeks. She has had another baby since termination.
Background: Pregnancy ended in 2003. No of children at time of interview' [1] + 1. Age of other child' 1. Occupations' Mother - nurse, Father - nurse. Marital status' married. Ethnic background' White British.

More about me...

 

Explains how she and her partner saw every stage of their assisted pregnancy as another 'hurdle' ...

Explains how she and her partner saw every stage of their assisted pregnancy as another 'hurdle' ...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I'd always imagined we would have children. I never imagined it would be easy, because I had friends that had gone through IVF and I just thought, 'Bet that will happen to us'. I don't know why, just it was, I don't know, just, just assuming the worst [laughs]. Perhaps I'm a fatalist, I don't know.

And then kind of as things didn't happen, you just think, 'Oh well, here we go'. And that was the case. I mean it wasn't so much my fault, it was more my partner's problems, but we just assumed things like that happened to us. And we decided sort of from the onset that if we were going to go for IVF, we'd only do it three times, because statistically we'd worked out our chances that if you weren't going to get pregnant in three times, then that was about your best chance. So, and we got, I got pregnant on my second go.

I'm sure, I don't think we did tell many people, because people just have an assumption that IVF works. I think that is a huge, especially sort of the way the media portrays it, that it'll just work and that's, it's all going to be fine and dandy and lovely. Yet we'd seen people go through it, so I'm, I'm not sure we did tell many people. And I think we were very cautious when I did become pregnant to tell people, because it's not just - pregnant is the first hurdle - then you've got to make sure that you don't miscarry. So you're thinking, 'Oh, we've made it to 12 weeks - oh, another hurdle'. And that's how we just viewed every little thing as a hurdle. 
 

Being told that her baby's condition was 'incompatible with life' made the decision easier to...

Being told that her baby's condition was 'incompatible with life' made the decision easier to...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I think, the way it had been explained to us, we felt we had no choice but to terminate, because baby - I think the phrase that is used, and it comes up in medical dictionaries - is 'incompatible with life'. And that phrase certainly came up that evening. And I think it was used again the next morning when I went to the early pregnancy clinic. 

I was there very early in the morning - well I was waiting for it to open. And at that point I think it was just, we felt there was no other option. There was no point in continuing with the pregnancy because if the baby died at that point then, what I see as a small blessing was I was still in 12 weeks, time slot for a termination rather than have to go through labour. 

 

Though she had a surgical termination she was cared for in a maternity ward where she felt able...

Though she had a surgical termination she was cared for in a maternity ward where she felt able...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
We were, yes, we were in hospital, so we were transferred up to the, say, one of the maternity wards, although we were given our own room so we didn't have to be, see lots of other pregnant women. And the hospital staff were very sensitive. And I asked to speak to the chaplain, who came along, because the list I was on wasn't until sort of the afternoon list. So I was trying to gather as much information as I could, and I think the more I spent gathering information in the morning, the more I felt, 'Well, this is the only thing to do'.  

And they were debating whether I would have to go through labour or whether I would have to, whether I could have an ordinary termination, because of the timing. So I think it was kind of now or never.  

And having spoken to the chaplain who'd seen this before, kind of helped me sort of come to terms with it. I was sort of worried about, 'Would it hurt the baby? How much will the baby know? What happens to the baby afterwards?' And those were the things we did manage to find out. 

Can you tell me the answers to those questions?

Well, they said that, I mean I was really concerned that obviously I'm going under, but what happens to the baby? And they, the anaesthetist was explaining that probably that would just put the baby to sleep. If I'm going to sleep the baby's gone to sleep. And if we wanted a funeral we could have one.  
 
 

She and her partner found the support of friends and family and several visits from a chaplain...

She and her partner found the support of friends and family and several visits from a chaplain...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And I think we, you know, we received lots of cards and letters. And that was, that was, I found that very healing. That every day, you know, for about six weeks after, or four weeks, there'd always be something in the post to show that someone was thinking of us. And whatever, however few their words were, I found that really, really supportive. And I could just go back and read them and read them. You know, if I felt like I wanted to cry, I could read them and I'd cry. 

And then I think we just sat in bed and cried every day for however many weeks. And it was just good to cry, to feel the pain, and to know that the pain doesn't go away but you deal with it and you learn from it and you cope with it, and it sort of just becomes smaller or you don't think about it every day. 

I think I spoke to ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices) once or twice, it wasn't much. And they sort of listened, and, and I think, I think I spoke to ARC once and I spoke to someone else that had had a, a child with anencephaly once as well. I think [husband] and I, we used each other a lot, I mean we're both psychiatric nurses. He's not afraid to talk about his emotions. And we also, the chaplain came and visited us two or three times. And I think the funeral as well was very cathartic. That, that was quite important to us even though it was just the two of us there. It was... just very helpful in the, in the healing process. It doesn't mean that by the time the funeral has come and gone you're better but, so I mean I, we didn't get stuck into counselling but we did use the support we had around us, but perhaps not as much as, you know, we're all different.
 
Previous Page
Next Page