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Interview 58

Age at interview: 24
Brief Outline: First pregnancy, unplanned. Does not feel she has been well enough informed and supported in choosing a hospital to have her baby. More of this interview can be seen on the Healthtalkonline antenatal screening site as Interview 27.
Background: Children' first pregnancy, interviewed when 7 months pregnant. Occupations' Mother- nursery nurse, Father- classroom assistant. Marital status' single, partnered. Ethnic background' Black Caribbean.

More about me...

 

Her GP assumed she was happy to be pregnant, so it was difficult to discuss her anxieties.

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Her GP assumed she was happy to be pregnant, so it was difficult to discuss her anxieties.

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I got, because I also went to the family planning clinic as well. I found them a little bit more helpful. And I got leaflets about eating certain foods and bringing up a baby. And then when I did go back to the doctor she put me for the first scan, like I said. And then she was telling me what foods to avoid and what foods not to avoid, and she checked my health, my urine and everything was all right, and asked me how I'm doing at work, and that was about it really. She didn't ask me anything else. I didn't talk to her at all about abortion or anything like that. So maybe that was my, maybe that was my error. I think when, because when I first told my doctor I was pregnant she was under the impression that I was going to have it anyway, and I didn't tell her any different [laugh]. So maybe if I'd told her that I wasn't too sure, then things might have been different.

So it was the family planning clinic where you had the discussions about abortion?

Yeah, yeah. I talked to them more about abortion.
 
 

Her midwife posted her blood test results with no explanation. She was worried that some were...

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Her midwife posted her blood test results with no explanation. She was worried that some were...

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Yeah, so just tell me about this, the, getting the blood test results, what happened?

When my midwife did eventually get hold of them, because she didn't want to lose them - she just told me to keep them with my notes - she posted them through my door. And then I opened the letter and I was reading this, and I didn't have a clue what it meant, but on the top it says, 'This investigation shows abnormal results', and I kind of panicked when I read that, because I don't understand what any of these meant .

So, give us an example of what it says on the report.

Well, like for example, you've got WBCS and then its got value 5.5, ranges 4.5 to 11.0 and I hadn't a clue what that means [laugh]. And then it's got RBCS, which I know now is your red blood count cells, and HB, which I know now is your iron level. You've got HCT, and it says 0.322. And all three of these came up low, and I didn't know what that meant. I also had a ESR and the value was 23, the range was 1 to 17, which I don't know what that means, that came up high.

And was that the protein one, did you say?

That was my protein was too high. So this is since August that I've had this done, I've only now got my results.

And they arrived when? So you had them done in August, they arrived?

She posted this through my door... I saw her the 15th of December, so she posted it through that week, I think it was.

After she'd seen you?

Uh-huh. Because I was the one that asked for the blood. And I said, 'I never, I haven't had my blood results back', and she said that she'd been chasing them up anyway, but she hasn't got, managed to get hold of them, so she had to go down there and get these results for me, anyway.

And you don't know if the sickle cell result is on there. And did she put a note through the door with it?

No, I only got the letter with my name, and just asked to put it with the rest of my notes for anything else. That was it.

Did she ring you?

No.

Did you ring her?

No.

So when did you then next see her?

I panicked and I got, my partner calmed me down, and he was like, 'Well, when you next see her, bring this and ask her what it -' and that's exactly what I did. I took it out and I asked her, 'Well, I'm a bit worried. I saw abnormal results, and I don't understand what they mean'. And she explained, she didn't explain all the rest of the results, she only explained the ones that I was concerned about, and that's when she told me that my iron level was low and that my protein was too high, and that was it. But even with the protein, like I was mentioning before, I was a bit worried about that, she didn't go into detail about it but then she didn't seem concerned if that was a problem or not. So I'm worried about it, because the pre-eclampsia, what if I do have that? And they're not really bothered about it, to be honest, so.
 
 

She felt she was not given enough support and information in choosing which hospital to go to.

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She felt she was not given enough support and information in choosing which hospital to go to.

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She [GP] asked me what hospital I would like to go to, and it was a choice out of three. And the one I would have liked to go to they've got a very long waiting list, so I couldn't go to them, so I made a second choice. She said that you should hear, she's going to send off the form to the hospital, and you should hear from the hospital and then you will also hear from your midwife, which I did later on down the line. And that was really about it. So we didn't go much into detail or anything like that.

Would you have liked more at that stage?

Yeah, [laugh] to be honest.

What would you have found helpful?

I suppose to know what the hospitals are like. I've been to, well, especially maternity, I've never been to any of the maternities in each of these hospitals that I was given a choice of, so it would have been nice to say, for her to actually recommend one for me and tell me what each hospital was like, or

So you were just given the names and you had to choose straight away?

Yeah. And I knew the names but that was it, so. And I'm, even the one I've got now, a friend of mine had hers there and it's nice, but I prefer mine to, I would have preferred to have gone to another one. And I've seen it now, but I think it's too late to change it because I'm too late, too far gone now....

So I'm not too sure how it works. But my doctor, the way, the way she seemed to me she didn't even seem like she just tried. She just said, 'Well, there's a long waiting list, so there's no point in you trying for that. You'd better stick to the one you've got, that one's nicer'. And that was it. So even if I was determined to do that, she was like throwing me off anyway, so maybe if I'd pushed it a little bit more, then she would have tried it [laugh].

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