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To feel this way about my unborn baby?(61 Posts)
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I am 27 weeks pregnant and I had a scan today, they found not one but two problems with the baby one with it's liver and another with it's proportions. The consultant said my baby may also have a chromosomal/congenital condition but at this gestation they do not usually do invasive testing so the baby will be examined/tested at birth for various things. I guess the reason they don't do the testing is that by this gestation the baby is going to be born regardless as the time for termination has come and gone.
Until today I was feeling happy and excited about having this baby, my six year old was born very early and has numerous medical problems and if I am honest I was hoping for/looking forward having a normal full term baby that I could hold as soon as it was born and be it's mum without having to be a carer/advocate and in and out of hospital with all the time.
Now I feel like that's all gone, the excitement and hope has gone away. I feel like I am not even sure I want to have this baby anymore, I know that is horrible and I should love it and want to protect and care for it but right now I feel like it's too much. I was happy to sacrifice everything for my six year old because I felt overwhelming love for him from the second I saw him but I feel nothing but dread right now at the thought of having another baby with health problems. I don't want anything bad to happen to the baby but part of me wishes I never got pregnant in the first place. I am also really struggling with the thought of spending another 12 weeks gestating a baby and not knowing the whole time whether or not it has a congenital condition on top of these other issues. But what frightens me most of all is possibility that when I see this baby I won't love it and I will spend the next twenty years trying to hide that whilst raising it.
Sorry for the epic post and I am fully prepared to be flamed, I deserve it and I know that, I would hate myself if I wasn't so numb right now.
I saw your post whilst idling on Active and I couldn't bear for it to go unanswered.
I have nothing useful to add (no children, no experience of special needs), but I'm thinking of you and metaphorically holding your hand.
FWIW, there is no way anything in your post would earn you a flaming. You have received terrifying news and you need help to come to terms with it and decide what to do next. No one has the right to judge you or advise you. And you sound like a fantastic, caring and courageous mother to your 6 year old.
Totally understandable. You say they don't 'usually' do tests. Can you push for the tests given the circumstances? Dealing with a known is often easier than dealing with an unknown. And you may be able to prepare yourself and access support prior to the birth.
Don't berate yourself. You're obviously an amazing Mum dealing with very difficult circumstances.
Didn't want to read & run. I've not been in this position myself, but I'm sure someone who has will see this thread. I think it's only natural to feel worried & unsure after finding out something like this. All the more as you have been through similar with your first baby. You have no way of knowing exactly what the problems are going to be & it may (hopefully) not be as serious as you imagine it could be.
As you say - you felt overwhelming love for your first baby as soon as you saw him & I feel fairly certain this will happen again with your second.
Can you/ have you talked this through with your OH?
Sorry not to be more helpful but sending some good feelings your way
If anyone flames you then they are vile. I really feel for you - and I'm not surprised you feel numb. I hope someone can give you some good advice soon xx
Sweetheart, please please get this post moved to the antenatal results and choices section. Perhaps also contact ARC or similar to talk to someone (google it).
You are not being unreasonable, you just need time to adjust and come to terms with what you have found out. The uncertainty (I'm guessing) must be the worst part of it.
FWIW- last year I had a late term TFMR. Obviously you no longer have that option, but your thoughts do not make you a monster, and certainly don't mean that you won't love your baby any less. My thoughts are with you xx
I am 18 weeks pregnant with my first and if I received the news you have I would feel exactly the same. I have no advice but do not feel bad for the way you are feeling. You have had a terrible shock, take care of your self.
Similar experience with scan at 20 weeks for DC3 and I refused an amnio because of the risks. I know exactly how you feel about the shine and excitement going. The consultant delivered the news about the problems, and it was only when I saw a midwife at about 34 weeks and poured out all the pent up emotions, she gave me some comforting words, based on her many, many years of experience (she was nearing retirement). We can't make this any easier for you, but you know you and your family will love your baby whatever.
I'm sorry you've had such worrying news. I think the way you are feeling is totally understandable.
Could you arrange to see the consultant again. Ask for ' further tests and scans ' or maybe go private?
It's unfair to say the baby may have problems and then leave you to worry till it's born.
Maybe if you know what exactly is happening with your baby you can research the condition ( if there is one ) and help you understand a little more.
Not knowing is very frightening for you
Anyone who flames you is a complete numptycunt and will no doubt get the full wrath of MN.
Personally, I think what you feel is perfectly normal. You are shocked, scared and have experience.
Could you ask more about testing?
You're in shock. Be kind to yourself. You may well feel a bit different tomorrow. xx
At 20 week scan I was told my dd2 was missing a hand. Obviously this isn't as big as what you are dealing with, but I went through similar emotions. It was like a time of grieving. I went from excitement, and loving the baby growing inside me. I felt I knew that baby.
When I'd been told, it was like I had a stranger inside me. I didn't have any feelings for the baby a while. I had lost the baby I knew and I grieved for it. The loss of my dreams of a "perfect baby".
After several weeks, I could face up to it in a small way. Dh spent hours on the internet looking for information about anything we could expect. I couldn't. I didn't want to see photos of others, didn't want to hear how others had succeeded. I just didn't want my baby to be one of them.
One thing I did that helped, was when we had another scan, I asked to know the gender. I hadn't wanted to know before, and usually our hospital wouldn't tell. But it was a little thing that made me able to see the baby as more of a person.
When I was about 36 weeks I bought an item of clothing for the baby. It was a very small step, but it was something I could do.
I was afraid that the baby would come out, and I wouldn't be able to face looking at her. I would feel revulsion instead of love. There was a possibility (very small) that there could be further problems associated too. All I could focus on was what i thought my baby wouldn't ever do.
That was the worst time.
When dd2 came out, I loved her immediately. I'd always imagined I would look straight for her arm. I didn't. It didn't seem to matter at all. The things I thought would be so hard beforehand, have rarely been even a minor inconvenience.
What you are going through now, was my hardest point. I can't look back at that time without crying. Still, over 10 years later, those feelings of loss are quite raw.
But I look on her birth as a time of joy. I rejoice in all she's achieved. I love her for what and who she is. I can't imagine her with two hands. Yes, there are times when it's difficult for her, but she fights to suceed, and I don't know she would be the same person if she hadn't been born like this. She has achieved all and more that I wanted for her when I was grieving.
((hugs)) Look after yourself and give yourself time.
Nothing more to add- but I love 'numptycunt'!
DeWe I was wondering whether to suggest that the op finds out the babies gender, and maybe considers a name for him/her, buying a nice little outfit etc.
Op, I have absolutely no experience of what you're going through but I can fully understand why you feel the way you do.
I hope things work out for you. x
My DS4 was diagnosed with cleft lip and palate at 20 weeks and then excess fluid a few weeks later. I already had DS2 who is disabled as well as 2 others who aren't and I know that "not this again" feeling. I would try and push for the tests and scans because not knowing is the worst thing. DS4 is 7 months now and I loved him as soon as I saw him. It has been hard and he was diagnosed with other problems after birth. He is lovely though and such a happy baby.
OP I didnt want to read and run... although I've nothing helpful to offer you, I second what PP have said. fingers crossed for you all.
I think I understand how you feel.
My DD2 was born with a genetic abnormality which we didn't know anything about until she was born. It was incredibly hard to come to terms with - she had a cleft palate, heart and arterial abnormalities, compromised immune system (missing half her infection-fighting cells) and breathing problems. She was tube fed for ages, she spent much of her first year in hospital with infections, we were told she probably had ovarian cancer at one point and when she had her palate repair she nearly died. The consultant's exact words were: "She's tachycardic, she won't last long like this." Terrifying.
Anyway, my feelings towards her were primarily that I didn't want 'this' baby, like it wasn't the one I'd 'ordered' and I know how dreadful that sounds, I really do. I was terrified of her having the facial features of the syndrome that she has, I was certain I couldn't love her if she did. And she looked v odd at birth. I really struggled to bond with her - and every so often I would experience this deep, raw grief that it had to be my child who was "wrong". All in all I didn't deal with it very well! I would have protected her with my life, but I'm not sure I loved her. (Please bear with me). Every day I would wish I could insert the missing DNA so she would be 'normal'. But to my surprise it really didn't take very long at all before I decided that actually, I wouldn't change her for the world. I still struggled, but I wouldn't have altered her.
Anyway, I put a brave face on it all until other things happened (separation, divorce) and in August last year I was diagnosed with post-natal depression as a result of all this. DD2 will be seven next month. Since my treatment started (anti-d and counselling) I have fallen completely and utterly in love with her. But I have to be honest and say that there was a barrier between us for all those years. Now I feel huge guilt about it and resentment for missing out on her precious early years. I wish I could turn back the clock.
Sorry, this all sounds like a rambling post about me, but my point is that no - you are not unreasonable. Definitely not. Don't ignore how you feel, accept it and talk about it - the alternative could be awful.
I know a few people who had babies born with genetic problems and therefore health conditions - some dealt with it better than others, some cracked up completely - but every single one fell in love with their individual child. It really doesn't take long before you realise that you wouldn't change them for the world. Don't make the mistake I did and miss out on so much. It might be worth pushing for testing, even if there's no medical reason, it would be good to know before he/she is born.
Please don't berate yourself or feel guilty for feeling as you do, it's completely normal and there's a lot of support out there. Xxxxxxx
Definitely agree with finding out the gender. And you say this scan was today! I'm not surprised all these thoughts are going through your head. I had a (different) shock with my scan, and my feelings changed 180Â° in 24 hours in a good way I couldn't have predicted. I agree with another poster who says buying an item of clothing for the baby helped me feel I "knew" him. It wasn't until then that I felt I loved him. However you feel in the end, it's not something you can control though, so don't feel bad about real feelings. I'm very sorry you've had such a shock.
Don't have anything useful to add, just want to show my support. Don't beat yourself up, there is nothing in your post which is worthy of flaming, you're not uncaring, bad, etc.... You're in shock, which is normal.
Look after yourself.
Just wanted to send hugs, please be kind to yourself xxxx
DH was with me at the scan, he knows I am worried/upset (he is worried too) but I haven't told him that how I am feeling about the baby/pregnancy. I am too ashamed of myself for feeling the way I do to tell anyone IRL. I would never have thought I would feel this way, I would thought I would be feeling very loving and protective towards the baby...
With DS I have always been such a fierce defender of him and if anyone has stared at him or been negative about him/his issues I get very protective of him, he knows that he is just as valuable as anyone else and so loved.
That's what this baby deserves from it's mother, not a numb, sad shocked woman who doesn't feel love for it right and can't handle the thought of another child with SN.
Thank you for all your kind responses so far, I don't deserve your kindness but I do appreciate it.
You actually can have an abortion until term if there is substantial risk that if the child were born, s/he would have physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. Not saying you want one, or should have one, but if the problems they have now seen satisfy that test, that option is theoretically there.
Can you get a scan with a private fetal medicine consultant? There are some very good ones tht I know of in Oxford, Birmingham and London. When a possible problem was flagged up with my baby and I was given the 'wait and see' line I just couldn't cope. I had numerous scans with a private specialist and the level of detail of the scan was amazing compared to the one they did on the NHS. They were able to rule out lots of the more scary possibilities and the lesser ones I can cope with. It's well worth getting a second (private) opinion.
And, for what it's worth, it took me more than a month to bond with my 1st baby and, at 37 weeks pregnant, I feel very detached from this one so it will probably be the same again. You are doing very well x
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