Interview 13- Ending a pregnancy for fetal abnormality

Age at interview: 34
Brief Outline: Her 1st pregnancy' heavy bleeding in first trimester caused by ovarian haematoma. 20-week scan found insufficient amniotic fluid - possible premature rupture of membranes. Parents advised that baby could have lung damage/ breathing difficulties - uncertain prognosis. Pregnancy ended by induction at 23 weeks. Post mortem indicated that baby's development not affected by rupture of membranes. Twins born since termination.
Background: Pregnancy ended in 2003. No of children' [1] at time of interview, twins born since interview. Occupations' Mother - programme manager, Father - senior change manager. Marital status' married. Ethnic background' White British.

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It was difficult to decide on the best course of action because no one could be sure of the...

It was difficult to decide on the best course of action because no one could be sure of the...


 We came back, and when you're actually faced with actually having to do it, and actually think about it, it's not as clear-cut as that. 

So we discussed it for a week and I certainly wasn't sure to start with, certainly I wasn't certain about what I wanted to do because I was still very unclear about the final prognosis and, actually how likely we were to have a severely disabled child. Because they weren't able to actually say, 'We can categorically tell you that this will be the outcome of the pregnancy if you continue it - that the baby will be blind, the baby will be deaf, the baby will...'. They were unable to give any sort of idea as to the severity, which made it very difficult, actually. 
We weren't making a decision based upon anything other than, “This is what we think will happen. This is what is likely happen.” So I found that quite difficult and kept thinking, 'Well maybe it will be okay - maybe things won't be so bad'. 
We did look at a, on the internet at, for a lot of information, specifically the development of babies' lungs, and how they are affected with lack of amniotic fluid. And it did actually become quite apparent that there would be no further development of the baby's lungs, and if I went back to when I think the amniotic fluid may have leaked, the baby's lungs would have been between 19 and 20 weeks, and that's very immature lungs to expect to be able to sustain life.
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