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Interview 27

Age at interview: 44
Brief Outline: Her 2nd pregnancy' she felt unwell throughout pregnancy. 12-week scan confirmed pregnancy viable. Amniocentesis identified Down's syndrome. Pregnancy ended by induction at 19 weeks. She had another baby 2 years later.
Background: Pregnancy ended in 1999. No. of children at time of interview' 2 + [1]. Ages of other children' 11, 2. Occupations' Mother - nurse, Father - policeman. Marital status' married. Ethnic background' White British.

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Describes how she heard the results of the amnio on the phone and that it was difficult to cope...

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Describes how she heard the results of the amnio on the phone and that it was difficult to cope...

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What was extremely difficult was that I started crying and [daughter] started crying because she didn't know what was wrong, and I couldn't tell her and [my husband] was at work, he's an hour and a half away in [city]. And I just didn't know what to do really so I phoned my friend across the road, she wasn't in, so her husband couldn't understand me, and he thought maybe I was having a miscarriage, but I mean he's quite sensible, he's a policeman you know quite level-headed. And he came over and took [my daughter] and took her down to my friend's and my friend came up. So he cooked tea for the children that night.

I think what I mean they, they asked me 'How can we improve what we're doing?' and I said, 'The worst bit was picking up the phone,' I said, 'It would have been.' And then when I saw my GP, although she told me actually that 'Your doctor already knows and he's really upset.' And I thought he's only up the road, why didn't he come? I'd have much rather he'd knocked at the door really, but thinking about it there is no easy way, what do you do?

Well it can be done in lots of different ways.

Yes. I don't know whether it would have been easier if he'd phoned up and said 'Would you come up to the surgery?' or, I'd have still been stuck at that particular time.
 

The photos of her baby are all she's got and even though they show some facial abnormalities she...

The photos of her baby are all she's got and even though they show some facial abnormalities she...

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At one time they would have taken the baby away and whatever, and they used to do that with stillbirths, you didn't see them and no contact. Some of the people I've met through ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices) have had their babies photos framed, and the children all know about them and they're in the group of children's photos. I don't feel, I mean I don't feel my baby's photo is particularly nice to look at, she's very red and she's a not particularly well formed the head's quite deformed still so it's not something I would want to look at daily or to display. But it's nice to have it. To me she's still beautiful but to other people it might give them a bit of a shock. 

No, I just think it's just the way they cope with it. I just find it strange. I mean to me it would be like, I mean these babies at the end of the day, you know they are dead, when they're taking these photographs, so I wouldn't take a photograph of say my father as he died and put it on the wall - its too private, too personal. But, I can also see it's the only thing they've got. Because you haven't got anything that that baby's worn, or played with, or any, any history of them, that's all you've got. So I can see why they might want to do that. 

 

She became depressed for a while after the termination and so consulted her GP.

She became depressed for a while after the termination and so consulted her GP.

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Yes the grieving process is quite, yeah I did get quite depressed and my doctor felt that, he said, 'Oh you know I think you're bordering on a bit of depression,' I wasn't sleeping very well. I had some dothiepin for about two or three months and that just took me over it was fine. 

And I found that... I mean I've got some fantastic friends, they were all absolutely brilliant, but after a while they're not wanting to come and have a coffee and sit and listen to you, so you know you've got to pull yourself through it. And that's probably the loneliest time when people are, kind of think, lets not talk about it anymore because [they] don't want to upset you. Some times you need that.

 

Describes how happy she was about her next pregnancy and how it went well from the start.

Describes how happy she was about her next pregnancy and how it went well from the start.

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I knew this was my last chance, I was 40 years old, this was my very last chance. No, I was 41 actually just turned 41 when I found out I was pregnant, and I just didn't want to risk this baby in any way and the earliest results they could give us was if they did a CVS and I felt the risks were too high. 

So we went for nuchal folds and that was absolutely fine. And I felt really confident, but as well, I knew in my mind that this baby was fine, it was totally different experience. I instinctively knew she was alright. I felt well - still sick - but I felt different, and it was just amazing, it was just an amazing feeling really. And I just felt very confident. 

So after the nuchal fold scan, had the usual scans, and then we went back at about 20 weeks I think. And we, first of all we were with a cardiologist for absolutely ages, and the heart was absolutely fine. Then they did an anomaly scan and at that stage we took my older daughter with us, because we'd told her by then we felt happy that there was no problem. And she was very excited, and they told us the sex of the baby so it was a little girl, which was wonderful, because, I don't know whether it was a replacement feeling or what but we just wanted another girl. 

And everything looked absolutely super and they did all the spine was lovely. The only thing that was a problem was that her kidneys and the, her renal pelvises were enlarged but I wasn't too concerned about that because my elder daughter had the same on her scans. 

But the thing that really shocked me was they actually reduced my odds for another Down's syndrome baby by doing that, they took that in to the equation, so the odds came down to something like 1 in 135 - but I still felt really confident. And my consultant offered me another amnio just to make sure, but I decided not to go ahead with that, and everything' I didn't feel I needed it, there was no point, everything felt different, everything felt right. 
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