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Interview 02

Age at interview: 39
Brief Outline: Normal first pregnancy. Additional scanning and care in specialist unit because of previous splenectomy. Mother has higher susceptibility to illness and infection.
Background: Occupations' Mother- senior receptionist, Father- IT manager. Marital status' lives with partner. Ethnic background' White British.

More about me...

 

She really enjoys being pregnant and seeing her body change shape.

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Did it change your sense of your own appearance, of your own attractiveness when, when your shape started to change? Did that worry you at all?

It worried me because I'd always been reasonably slim and looked after my appearance. And I think the, at the beginning, you know, sort of you get to 3 to 4 months and you don't, you don't feel pregnant, well, I didn't feel pregnant at all. And I just felt that I looked like I'd put on loads of weight, you know, there wasn't a specific tummy shape or anything like that and nobody really knew I was pregnant. And I think that hit home a little bit. And I was finding it really hard to do my jeans up and I was like, 'Oh, no' which sounds silly but, you know, it was just, but the more I've progressed and the, you know, obviously the, the more shapely I've got as far as my bump is concerned, I've just loved it, absolutely loved it. And now I just, I just love being in maternity clothes and I, I just really enjoy being pregnant. So, yes, so it hasn't really bothered me at all.

 

Evening antenatal classes would be tiring for her and difficult for her partner. They will go to...

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Antenatal classes, we've opted to do the parentcraft day, my partner and myself, mainly because that, if you do it over the six to eight weeks it's only one evening a week, and he is very irregular on times coming home from work, and to be honest in the evening I'm quite tired now. So we've opted to go for the parentcraft day, which is a whole day on a weekend from I think it's 9.30 till about 4, where you go through the whole, whole shaboom, you know, and go through it all. It's a bit like being back at school, I would imagine, [laugh] with plastic dolls and, you know, practising bathing and stuff I think. But my friend went on it and she, she said it was absolutely brilliant. So that's what we've, we've gone for. So, yes, but that won't be till December because you, I think you have to be between 32 and 37 weeks. And I've also enrolled in some relaxation and breathing classes for the end of December as well, so, yes, so, which will hopefully prepare me [laugh].

 

She read lots of books at first but it made her anxious about what could go wrong. Talking to...

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I think, when I found out I was pregnant I was like, 'Oh, this was just the best thing ever'. You know, I just wanted to read up on, I mean like, everyone knows the basics, I think everyone knows the basics, but then I wanted to know more and so I went out and bought, you know, Parent magazine and this magazine and I got some textbooks off the internet and, you know, sat down and, and merrily read them. And it was fine while you were reading all the good bits. But when it came to, you know, the not so good bits it was, 'Oh, God, I didn't know about that' or, 'Oh, yes, that could happen'. And it sort of brought, brought everything to the front of your mind really, and I think that's made me worry a lot more than if I'd have maybe not read all that stuff. Now I don't, I don't read hardly anything at all, I just, you know, let it go day by day and take it from there, really. But I think I, my advice to anyone that would be, you know, is planning a pregnancy and, is not to go out and buy loads of books and, you know, loads of magazines, because they do home in on lots of problems as well as, you know, as well as the nice things. And I think if you're a person that worries generally, which, I, I do worry quite a lot about things, you can just tie yourself up in knots worrying and thinking, 'Oh, my God, this is going to happen' or, you know, you convince yourself almost that, that nasty things are going to happen, which is not what you want. I think you, you definitely want a positive mental attitude when you're pregnant, for both of you. So, [laugh] yes, so I found, I'd put on that, you know, put a stop to that completely, and I just . . .

What about talking to other people? Do, do you talk to other women about their pregnancies?

Yes, I mean before I got pregnant I used to find people talking about pregnancy really boring and think, 'Oh, God, not again' [laugh]. But now I just want to yak, yak, yak about my pregnancy [laugh]. Luckily I've got a couple of friends who are actually pregnant at the moment as well, and one who's just had a baby, so it's been really nice to, to have them around. So, you know, obviously the, the girl who's had the baby is, she's been through it all and so we're all asking her the questions. And, but it's just nice because we're friends and we can just sit round and talk about it. But, yes, we certainly, we certainly do sit and chat about it [laugh].

Do you think there's a similar danger with talking to other people as there is with reading too many magazines, that you'll hear too many, I don't know, wild stories about things, and that might not be helpful in the end?

I think there's a little difference, as far as when you're talking to people you can see that they've come through this, and you can see that everything's fine, they're fine, the baby's fine, and they actually put it into a bit more perspective than reading a textbook. A textbook's just black and white, and I think you sometimes make your own ending up almost. And I think that's, that's the difference.

 

She had some bleeding at 3 months. She was very anxious waiting for a scan, but the baby was fine.

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Tell me about these little episodes of bleeding. What happened?

Well, I actually, the first one, I'd actually just got to three months so, you know, that's quite a milestone really in any pregnancy. You get to three months, you think, 'Oh, the chance of miscarriage now is, you know, sort of almost out the window'. And I was due to have my nuchal scan actually on, on the Tuesday, and on the Monday evening I started bleeding quite heavily. And obviously completely distraught and didn't know what to do. Rang, rang the midwife and she just said, 'Well, you know, there's not really a lot you can do at this early stage. You've just got to sort of see it through and just put your feet up and sit down and try and keep calm sort of thing'. Which is a bit difficult [laugh]. Anyway it, it continued, but it did, during the night it did ease off. But we had to wait the whole of the next day until 4.30 to have our scan. So that day was a very long day, not knowing whether or not I'd lost the baby the night before. So that was quite an emotional, emotional roller coaster that day. It started off very traumatic but, yes, at the end of the day it was all good because it was all good news, the baby was still there and the risk factor for myself was very low. So that was, that was good.

So did it happen more than once, the bleeding?

It did, yes it happened again. Again, I think it was about four weeks, four or five weeks after. But that was very slight, very slight indeed. But I, you know, I still called the midwife, and they referred me to the unit, where they, they did a quick scan just to make sure everything was fine, and it was. And it stopped that evening, so, and since then, touch wood, I, you know, I haven't had any other bleeding at all. And they just said it was, you know, some women do bleed early in pregnancy. So I was obviously just one of those women. So, but it is, it was very frightening.

No particular explanation?

No, they couldn't find anything that was, you know, that was wrong at all. So, you know, despite the scans, every - and everything looked fine. And, as I say, I haven't had any problems since in that department, so [laugh] hopefully I won't now.

 

Shared care between her midwife and a specialist unit for complex pregnancies has been excellent....

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I've actually really liked being looked after by another unit as well. I've felt a lot more secure about the pregnancy because you get a lot of extra care and a lot of extra attention. And I think it, as long as it turns out that, you know, I don't have any problems, then I think it would have probably been the, one of the best pregnancies [laugh]. Because I've just had that, that, such extra care and, and people have just, you know, taken a lot more interest I think because of, because of it. And so I, I've seen the unit, my midwife and my GP a lot more often than I would have in a normal pregnancy. And I've had four scans up till now, not just to do with that, but two of them were certainly to do with that. So, yes, so you get to see your baby a bit more, which is always, you know, really comforting. So, yes, I think, it's been nice in a way having that extra, and they are very, very nice people up there, they're very helpful and they certainly know what they're doing up there.

Do, how well coordinated are the different lots of care that you're receiving? You've got a midwife, and you see a midwife and you see a GP and you see the people at the special unit. Is it quite joined up or is it not very joined up or..? How, how much coordination is there between them?

The coordination I think, I've opted out of seeing my GP now, because you can either see your, your midwife then your GP alternately throughout your pregnancy, but I was just feeling that there were too many people involved and I just wanted to get to know my midwife. So I've said that, you know, from early on in my pregnancy that I was, I just wanted to see her. They have been brilliant, they've coordinated with the unit, the special unit very well. 

 

Ideally she wants to be able to move around during labour, but her birth plan is only a guide....

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My ideal birth plan would be to move around as much as possible right up to the last minute. I did think about the birth pool, but I think I've gone off that idea. 

What are the pros and cons in your mind of that?

Well, I think you, you're going to be in one place. Obviously you can't move around if you're sat in a, in a pool, you can't move around as much as if you were up and walking around. And I think one of the main things I, after reading a lot in my textbooks, I think - I think I've read a little bit too much this pregnancy actually [laugh] - but I think reading the textbooks I think I've decided that moving around, you know, as much as you possibly can is meant to be a good thing. Pain relief, I've got a TENS unit that I've borrowed from a friend, which I will try, but that works for some ladies and not for others, so just have to wait and see I guess. And I think I will have to say that I will have an epidural on standby, just in case. I'm not going to be that brave, I don't think, if it comes to it. [laugh] So, yes, so, you know, the plan is to be as natural as possible. But I'm sure most women when they go into labour think that, and different things take over and, and happen. And it doesn't always, you know, they say your birth plan is only there as a guide, don't they? So that's what it'll be, but that's the plan.

I mean, no doubt you're aware that you can make a plan and then things don't turn out as you planned they will. Will you be very disappointed if you can't have the birth that you imagine?

No, I don't think so. I think as long as the baby's healthy and, you know, is delivered fine, I think, you know, any plan that I've made, if it goes out the window then as long as the baby's fine then I won't really care, I don't think [laugh]. It's just something to think about, you know, and if it, if it all does go to plan and the baby's healthy and it all works out, then that's, that's great. But, you know, certainly if, you know, if things don't go as we wanted it and something else happens, then that's fine.

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