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Interview 37

Age at interview: 41
Brief Outline: Father of 2 children (1st and 3rd pregnancies, see also EAP36). 2nd pregnancy' 20-week scan detected anomalies. Sent for specialist scan, baby diagnosed with holoprosencephaly. Amniocentesis. Pregnancy ended by induction at 21 weeks. Genetic counselling. 4th pregnancy' 12-week scan anomalies detected - baby diagnosed with anencephaly. Pregnancy ended surgically at 13 weeks, his wife had gynaecological complications after the termination. Expecting another baby at time of interview.
Background: Interview with father. Pregnancies ended in 2000 & 2004. No. of children at time of interview' 2 + [2]. Ages of other children' 5, 2. Occupations' Father - software engineer, Mother - mother, formerly technical trainer. Marital status' married. Ethnic bac

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He worried that his wife was using the internet to search for positive stories.

He worried that his wife was using the internet to search for positive stories.

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When my wife came back and started looking on the internet, looking up all the words, I didn't really like that. She always does that when there's a new problem or something, but this went on for a long period of time, looking up things and finding all these horror stories. And for me, I was, in a.. I was, my attitude really was, 'Ignorance is bliss'. And I didn't want to know any more than I had to know. And looking at, hearing all these stories - especially stories about how people with this problem had gone on and had, and the baby had been born and lasted a few days, a few weeks or something - that, it was, I wanted it to be no chance of going full-term. 

And when the doctor initially told us and was describing the problem and what was happening, and he would say something like, 'Yeah, there's no chance of it going full term'. And I thought, 'Okay, you've said enough. That's right, I want to go now. I just know that there's no chance, and this is what we're going to do'. I didn't want [my wife] to keep pushing and saying, 'Well, is there any chance of it being okay? I mean there must be some chance?' And I didn't want there to be any chance at all. I was much more comfortable with it being cut and dried, because it was easier. 
 

Feels he hadn't fully understood the baby's diagnosis at the time because he was in an emotional...

Feels he hadn't fully understood the baby's diagnosis at the time because he was in an emotional...

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There was one thing I was just about to mention was that, we got a lot of explanations about what had happened, what had gone wrong and things. And it would have been... I was always a bit miffed that I don't know now to this day I don't know what the problem was really. I mean I'm perfectly capable of understanding it, if somebody explained it to me now, but because it was explained to me when I was in a emotional state, I haven't got a clue what was, what it was all about really - and that does irritate me. But like the genetic counselling, although it was some time later, I still can't remember what the problem was. So that grieves me a bit, that it would have been more useful to have had something written down about the problem that you could, well, I don't know, maybe I've blocked it out on purpose or something I don't know.
 

Thinks that it has helped his wife that he was there to listen and talk to her.

Thinks that it has helped his wife that he was there to listen and talk to her.

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Yeah, that was the first traumatic thing that had happened to us since we'd been together. And I mean, we didn't grow apart or anything - I mean we were very close before - and we were close through it all, through the whole thing. Yeah I mean we were solid all through and afterwards. I never felt that we were becoming more distant or anything, even when she was depressed, and I couldn't really help her, I didn't feel like that was going to be a problem for us. I just thought it was something that she had to deal with because I couldn't help her. I mean I try and talk things through but it doesn't really help always, does it?

So what's your strong point for her do you think?

Yeah my presence and, and talking things through. We do talk about things, probably not as much as she'd like. But, [laughs] yeah, being there through everything, always, certainly that's the most important thing, to be there. And to talk about it I guess yes, that's important.
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