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Interview 25

Age at interview: 24
Brief Outline: First and most recent pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Two normal pregnancies in between, with severe sickness both times. Good support from Early Pregnancy Unit.
Background: Children' 2, aged 3' and 1 at time of interview. Occupations' Mother- health development worker, Father- self-employed. Marital status' married. Ethnic background' British, Pakistani origin.

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She gave up work in one pregnancy to reduce the risk of another miscarriage. With her second...

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She gave up work in one pregnancy to reduce the risk of another miscarriage. With her second...

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What made you decide to work in that pregnancy, whereas you'd given up your job completely with the other one?

With my first one because I'd had a miscarriage and because it had, the miscarriage was still fresh in my mind, it, I didn't want to risk anything, you know. But I'm not the kind of person that kind of can sit at home and do nothing. And so, with my first, because the miscarriage was still fresh in my mind I decided, 'No, you know, I'm going to relax, rest and do everything I can.' With my second I took time off only when I experienced problems, because I'd, it was planned and because, you know, I thought I was prepared to, you know, even - you know, because I'd experienced such severe sickness I was prepared to go through everything again to have another child, and I thought I was mentally prepared. I felt that my body had recovered after my first child, and I left it two and a half years, and I was ready to have another child. But I thought I'll carry on with work and see how it goes. And I, and I did, but once I experienced problems I took about a month off, and that month was, carried me through to the end of my third month of pregnancy and into my fourth, so I thought once that's out of the way, it shouldn't be too bad. But what I did was I changed my hours at work, so I was working late evenings instead, instead of early mornings. And you know, I kind of took measures to kind of slow things down a bit, and make it a bit easier on myself, yeah.
 
 

She would have found it easier to attend women-only antenatal classes with other women from an...

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She would have found it easier to attend women-only antenatal classes with other women from an...

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What do you think is the main difference then between the [specialist antenatal project for Asian women] classes and the routine ones?

I don't know [laughs]. I don't know, to be honest, but it's, it's a personal preference, being Asian, being pregnant as well. But it's like the [specialist antenatal project] classes, I would have felt more comfortable with people who know about the background as well - because our whole background, the way we view pregnancy, the way we cope, the family circumstances, everything with - the Asian community knows certain, the problems and everything surrounding pregnant Asian women, rather than if you go to a white class that they won't actually be able to kind of understand a certain way, you know?

 

The pregnancy books given to her by the GP provided useful information about pregnancy week by...

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The pregnancy books given to her by the GP provided useful information about pregnancy week by...

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The doctors, when I first went to them they actually give you booklets like 'Emma's Diary' and 'The Birth' One to Five, Nought to Five Years'. They have a lot of information in them and they were particularly good to read, especially 'Emma's Diary' which gives you her experience of, you know, week by week, day by day kind of, a blow-, you know, telling you what's happening in her life, the changes she's experiencing and how she's coping and so - and what to expect. [Baby crying in background] And it actually has a, like a bit about - by GPs I think. I think - no, it's got a bit in there about what you should expect at this time, what's happening inside, how far the baby's developed.

Right, so like a science bit?

Yeah, a science bit, yeah. So you know, you know that all, your baby's developed its eyes now, and eyelashes, and little things like that, you know, so.

So is Emma a pregnant woman in this?

Yeah, yeah. So

And did you find that helpful?

Yeah I did. That was pretty good because, you know, even if I didn't read it all the time, that I could go there, and it's like 'I'm seven months now' so you go to seven months and you read there, you know, how far your baby's developed and what kind of experience she went through and what she had to deal with and things like that, and how she coped as well.

Mm. Was that different from your, your oldest son, when you were pregnant with your oldest son? Did, do you feel you had more information this time around?

Oh I had it, I had it both times.

Both times?

Yeah, I had it both times. And the 'Birth to Five' as well is quite, quite a good book as well. That's more scientific. It's got everything in there.

Did they cover anything about like the threat of miscarriages or bleeding - things that you experienced?

It didn't in 'Emma's Diary', and I don't think it did in the other one either.

Right.

I don't remember reading anything about it in there, so.

So in terms of information about miscarriage...

Yeah.

Was there enough or was there nothing?

There wasn't, not in, not in those particular books. I think they're more for, you know, to kind of keep you going while you're pregnant, rather than to kind of scare you with saying that if you've, if you experience bleeding then you've probably miscarried and stuff like that.

Do you think it would have been helpful to have some information on bleeding?

I think I would have liked it separate to that book, [pause] and only if I was having problems. Otherwise I don't really think I would been interested in reading about miscarriage while I'm carrying a child. Yeah.
 
 

She never felt professionals really understood how bad the vomiting was, even when she asked for...

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She never felt professionals really understood how bad the vomiting was, even when she asked for...

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Do you think that people were taking you seriously enough when you were saying that you were in a lot of pain or?

I think, I think not, actually, because the kind of vomiting I experienced while I was pregnant was, it was severe, and I can't stress how bad it was. It was, I couldn't eat anything, and at one point, you know, I went to the doctor's and she said, 'Look, you know, if you carry on vomiting we'll have to send you to the hospital to have a drip' and she says, 'You're going to' - she gave me sachets which are absolutely nasty to take and I couldn't, I couldn't even take them. Each time, you know, I tried to take a sip I'd just start vomiting continuous and there was, I felt there was nothing I could do to stop them. It was just, you know, and I don't think I was, it, anyone could understand how bad it was for me.

Were those sachets the dehydration?

Yeah, yeah. Rehydra, I think they were called - something like that, yeah.

Do you think it was anything to do with how you were, how you were telling? I mean did you, did you really sort of, were you... 

Yeah.

Very assertive in telling or were you a bit sort of restrained about it?

I went to the doctor's a few times, you know, and even through my antenatal appointments I did tell her and I said, 'Look, is there nothing you can do? Because I am absolutely dying, I don't know how long I can cope with this for. It's just killing me.' And she said, you know, 'No there isn't. You know, it's just one of those things', and that's it, kind of shrugged it off, really. And I, I've just become resigned to it, thinking that, you know, this is how it's going to be.

Did you look for any other, like I said, another opinion or any other..

No.

Source of information?

No, I'm not that kind of person, no.
 
 

After one miscarriage, she was worried by a heavy bleed in her second pregnancy, but the baby was...

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After one miscarriage, she was worried by a heavy bleed in her second pregnancy, but the baby was...

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I had an incidence when I went shopping - and I was wearing dark clothes thankfully - and I thought I was, you know when you lose control of your bladder sometimes while you're pregnant later on? So I've had one child and I thought, I thought it was that. But I was only about three months. And I thought, I felt, I felt wetness, and I thought, I tried to, I clenched myself and tried to stop it, making my way to the toilets, and I just kept leaking. I went to the toilet - I thought it was water - I went to the toilet and it was blood. And I was really devastated, so I was on the phone to my husband, went to the hospital and it was a weekend, and they don't actually do scans on a weekend. So a doctor came, did an internal, and what he said was that the womb, the uterus was closed so he couldn't tell whether I'd lost the baby or not, but I had to wait till Monday for a scan, and this was Saturday. So on Monday - and I was convinced that I - I actually saw a lump fall into the loo - and I was convinced that I'd lost the baby, there was no other explanation for losing so much blood. I had lost quite a lot. 

And on Monday morning I went in there and I was absolutely convinced I'd lost the baby, and they said there was a heartbeat there. And it just shows you, you know, if it's going to - you know, there's, there's nothing that can be done - but if it's going to survive it will survive.
 
 

When her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the staff at the Early Pregnancy Unit were very...

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When her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the staff at the Early Pregnancy Unit were very...

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My first pregnancy was actually a miscarriage, I only carried for three months and - I had, I experienced bleeding so I visited the Early Pregnancy Unit, who were, who were absolutely amazing people. All I had to do was just ring them up in the morning before nine o'clock and they'll arrange a scan for me before twelve. So during one of the scans they actually told me that there wasn't actually a heartbeat. It had stopped about a week earlier. I hadn't realised at the time, and so what they did was they took care of everything. They told me that, you know, you can come back tomorrow if you decide to. You know, the, they went through the options of what, what I could do, and I chose to actually have a D&C, an evacuation, so they booked, they booked the next day, they booked me in the next day.
 
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