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to ttc if I think I will abort if the HG sets in again?

(507 Posts)
ICBINEG Mon 04-Feb-13 17:26:48

So DH and I have conceived immediately on two occasions, one early miscarriage and one birth. I had hideous soul destroying sickness almost all of the way through pregnancy. We are beginning to start thinking about having another child, but I feel almost certain I couldn't go through another pregnancy like the last one. My understanding of HG is that it is unlikely to strike twice (although you are slightly more likely to get it if you had it before) and that each pregnancy may be fine or not.

So is it unreasonable to ttc if I think I might abort due to HG?

If we conceive and then I get horribly sick is it unreasonable to abort and try again?

Given we would only ever have one more child and seem to be able to conceive at will this might be more a case of choosing to bring to term the baby that doesn't make me horrendously sick for 9 months rather than wasting life etc.

I'm not sure I can really buy into that argument though....

(ps. if you are of the never abort under any circumstances camp then please don't bother posting...I know that opinion exists and am not in the slightest bit swayed by it. I am interested in hearing from other with grey zone opinions on abortion as to which side of their personal line this falls).

NiceCupOfTea1 Thu 03-Dec-15 16:26:05

I need to share my experience. My first pg in 1989 was so bad that I went down to 6 stone 8 pounds. I spent most of it in hospital on a feeding drip and unable to lift my head from the pillow. I won't go in to what other things HG did but by 4 months I think I'd lost some mental awareness. I begged for a sterilisation after giving birth but was laughed at by some of the doctors who suggested I was putting my illness on. 1991 and a contraception failure saw me pregnant again. HG sufferers will know that sex is not much fun with the threat of a difficult pg a possibility but like most ladies, trying to keep a relationship going makes it a necessity. So mentally sick and tired with the aftermath of HG I couldn't recognise a bad man when I saw one even if I had been living with him for years. Within a few weeks I was ringing around for help with looking after my son. I couldn't cope with the sickness already. Ironically, my partner left and neither my son or myself have seen him since. Looking at having a baby on my own was not the problem, I felt I could have handled that, my partner had stopped caring for me and had no interest in our son as soon as I got pg the first time, but the threat that it would be HG given the statistics terrified me. I had already taken to the sofa and parents and sisters were already round helping. But, nothing is free and with their help which I couldn't do without came unwanted 'advice' . Termination was a word bandied about plenty and I'm sad to this day that I wasn't strong enough to ask myself what I actually wanted. I had to make the choice quickly, was this HG or just severe morning sickness? HG in my last pg lasted 8 months, feeling just very sick in the 9th. In all honesty, I don't think I had recovered from the first HG pg mentally or physically. Looking back I can see that I held a huge fear towards pregnancy and giving birth which I didn't recognise at the time. It got so that when somebody announced their pg my first thoughts were of total pity that they were going to be so ill. That's how I associated with pg. I couldn't see pg any other way. To this day, remember this was 1991 I regret with every fibre of my being that I went through with the termination that others thought would be best for me. I didn't have any strength or moral standpoint to argue with. My partner had left and was untraceable. He wasn't paying maintenance for his first born. None of my family understandably had a good word to say about him. I didn't have a home to call my own, and had to leave where I was living as I had lost my job as I was too sick to go in so couldn't pay rent, and was still recovering mentally and physically from my first pg. The very people pressing me to terminate were the same people I would have had to lean on if I had gone through with it. I felt then that I didn't have a chance. I was also so ill with sickness that I wasn't strong enough to look at the bigger picture. It didn't occur to me to consider how I'd feel 25 years later, just that I felt so awful now. I sleep walked into the termination on everybody else's advice and have never got over it. The termination has ruined my life and I am not exaggerating. The knowledge that the sickness would have come to a close a long time ago torments me daily and I have spent the last 24 years in a very sad depression. Back then, there wasn't the support on the web like there is now and even if I could have accessed it I wouldn't have been anywhere near able to use a pc as any movement was enough to cause another vomiting session. I could not even have focused on a written word without being ill. I am not anti abortion because everyone must tread their own path but it was not something I ever thought would be right for me. To those people shaming those of us who have gone ahead, I beg you to please think how hard this has been for us and that you maybe don't know the extent of shocking HG and if you do and have been through it then you were very lucky to have had the support you would obviously have needed. To those people considering termination, please consider as I have had to do every day of my life since, whether a termination would be easier long term? I am tormented by thoughts every day that maybe, just maybe, the sickness would have gone away and not turned in to the HG I so feared. This is a grief like no other I have ever felt.

blondecat Thu 07-Feb-13 10:18:35

Research It. Think it through. Discuss it with your DH. And a consultant.

Don't assume TTC will always be easy. Secondary infertility is a byatch
As are strings of unexplained MCs after 1 or 2 continuing pregnancies.

There are so many factors in play here that we on mm can't know.

AmandaPayne Thu 07-Feb-13 09:56:00

So pleased you had a positive chat. Your Dh is absolutely right. Although i would add not risking your health and happiness too.

You seem to have moved quite a long way in just this thread in terms of thinking about yourself and not what you feel you ought to do- ie somehow provide a sibling with a perfect age gap despite not being ready. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Feb-13 09:47:14

spoke to DH about it last night...he said he loves the daughter he has so much that he wouldn't want to risk her happiness by trying for another unless we were both very certain we could cope with it.

I think I may actually be starting to come to terms with only having one child. I certainly am coming to terms with the idea that having a mentally stable mum might be more important than having the 'perfect' age gap.

PessaryPam Thu 07-Feb-13 04:02:35

If I were you I would not be TTC until I was fully recovered from the PND. You still sound like you are in a state. Shame surrogacy isn't widely available.

Lyrasilvertongued Thu 07-Feb-13 01:37:09

this must be such a difficult decision to make. I only had ms, bad enough to be off work but nothing close to HG, and that combined with a pretty awful labour has made me think I might not be able to bring myself to ttc another child. This is hard as I always thought I'd like two or more dcs - but I'm not invested in this as I know others are, and I don't dream of a big family like some do. I hope you get the support you need to help make the decision, which is one for you and your dh to make really.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 07-Feb-13 01:22:38

It was dreadful, and your right the pregnancy is not a illness thing often gets twisted round, I will say tho ever since that occasion I have been treated very well by every other midwife i have had and with every other pregnancy, my last pregnancy they started treating me the day I found out, I saw my gp who sent me straight to the hospital to see something called the early pregnancy unit and I got a consultant straight away who was great HG was there area of interest and I cannot fault them, I still got it it still wasn't nice but they were on it.

None of this go away come back in a week dear its just ms that had happened before.

Its why I get so antsy about people describing it as just ms and not getting there head around the fact that its not.

AmandaPayne Wed 06-Feb-13 18:35:43

Kindle - the BBC claims so here.

DonderandBlitzen Wed 06-Feb-13 18:32:53

Not read the 20 pages of replies, but although I'm not one to condemn people for having an abortion if they dont want to have a baby, I would be concerned that you might find it hard to cope with your abortion further down the line. I used to share a house with a psychotherapist and she said some of the clients she saw were really affected by abortions they had years ago. If I were you I'd ttc and then hope that if the HG struck again, then hospitalisation if need be would make it safe and anti sickness drugs would make it bearable.

MurderOfGoths Wed 06-Feb-13 18:21:04

I haven't read all the thread as I saw some of the comments. Just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel.

I really want 2 DCs, but I spent the majority of the pregnancy in hospital due to HG and almost committed suicide over it. By the end I'd lost 2 stone, my arms were black and blue from top to bottom, even my legs had been canulated, they'd induced me a week early and I almost had to have the drip put into my neck as they couldn't get any more canulas into me. It was the most horrific experience.

So any fuckwit who wants to act like HG is no big deal and not a good reason to abort can come over here and have me kick the shit out of them.

It was beyond terrifying.

But at the same time my desire for a DC2 is massive. I don't know what to do.

KindleMum Wed 06-Feb-13 18:12:27

Sock - that's truly awful! It basically translates to you're too sick to admit, get better before we'll deal with you. Why do midwives feel that's a reasonable way to treat an ill person? After 2 pregnancies, I have to say I don't regard midwives with anywhere near the same respect I hold for nurses. Why is it that the mantra of "pregnancy is not an illness" gets turned on its head to being "you can't be ill because you're pregnant"? Standard pregnancy is not an illness but many complications can make it so. Mine were 5 and 2 years ago. In fact, pregnancy 1 is 5 years old today. In a few hours time I'll be celebrating the point I woke up from the EMCS and didn't feel sick. It was a truly wonderful moment.

Amanda, is it really stomach lining? Yeuch.

ICBINEG, I think you do have to accept that at some point you probably have to decide whether or not you can face the risk of HG again. I knew I could do a second pregnancy and left the third as a "to be decided later". I only got to 14 weeks in the second one before I agreed sterilisation with the doc, who was more than happy to agree it was to be done during the CS. I had hoped I could have three, but I knew 100% that 2 was the most I could manage. I was OK with that because I knew that it was the best and only decision for me and mine. There was also no way DH would have agreed to a third. He'd originally wanted three also, but pregnancy 1 horrified him and he took longer to come to terms with the idea of trying again than I did. He only agreed because the stats said it probably wouldn't be like the first.

Did you hide the worst of the pregnancy from your OH? I'm interested that you seem to be saying that he's ok with you doing it again - has he thought it through and come to that conclusion or is he unaware of how rough this has been for you? In terms of coping with the change of your pictured future - I have twinges of regret sometimes for the third child I can't have but they're tolerable and not too frequent because I know it just wasn't to be. During the second preg, I entirely knew that I couldn't do it a third time even if that pregnancy went wrong and I ended up with just one child. That stressed me out quite a lot at the time as I was more scared than average of a miscarriage because I knew it had to be my last pregnancy. On the other hand, maybe knowing that I would not be doing it again helped me cope second time around, who knows? If you conclude you can't do it again, I think you'd come to terms with it because you know your reasons. Equally, if you do it again, you may well find it easier than last time because you know what you're getting into rather than being side-swiped by it. I'd share my fears with my husband if I was you though. Assuming you have a good relationship, he would want to know these things and he needs to understand that if you get HG a second time, there would not be a third. If he's talking about more kids, he should know about your (perfectly valid) concerns about a second pregnancy.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 06-Feb-13 17:19:41

HG sounds horrific. I am amazed that anyone has the gumption/ drive/ whatever to go through that again. I don't think I could.

I for one don't need convincing of the seriousness of it.

AmandaPayne Wed 06-Feb-13 15:05:27

You know the answer to that don't you ICBINEG? The 'diced carrots' miraculous present in vomit are often stomach lining. <boak> No idea how there was 500mls though!

ICBINEG Wed 06-Feb-13 14:58:28

I blame the adrenaline....

ICBINEG Wed 06-Feb-13 14:57:57

Oh god sock that sounds terrifying!

My finest moment was the much less dramatic discovery that even if you have given up eating weeks ago and drunk nothing for 36 hours and even when the puking has long since been reduced to dry heaves, you can still miraculous produce 500 mls with carrots when someone botches putting the cannula in, giving you a half arm sized bruise.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Feb-13 13:55:56


I remember being led on the floor of a loo in the hospital with foam and blood coming out of my nose retching and unable to stop with a midwife stood over me saying " if you carry on like this I won't be able to admit you,so stop it"

Less than 2 hours later I was in a coma.

I had hoped things had got better in most hospitals because that happened a long time ago, was yours recent?

AmandaPayne Wed 06-Feb-13 13:38:25

Can I just chip in here to remind people that you can personalise your MN to highlight posts by the OP in a nice bright colour? You don't actually have to read all the posts on a thread like this to keep up to date with what the OP is saying. You can also set it to display as a single screen, and just scroll down until you spot your chosen colour (I have the OP in green).

ICBINEG - I think what you describe is very common. So many of us have a picture growing up of what our family will be. It can be very difficult to make peace with something else. You see it in everything from gender disappointment, to secondary infertility, to my own situation (where I have two lovely kids and just am not sure if I can cope with and give enough time and attention to more, even though I always pictured three), to medical complications with having more. They are very different situations, but they share a need to move on from a long held picture of our lives.

You may decide to go ahead with the risk of HG, you may decide to go ahead but sure you will terminate if HG sets in, or you may reconcile yourself to a different family from the one you pictured. All of those are legitimate decisions and ones which carry their own issues and emotions. Wishing you all the best in making the decision, and I hope you do get some help doing it.

pigletmania Wed 06-Feb-13 12:44:41

Sorry ice just read the initial op and did not hav time to go through 19 pages of posts whilst trying to get ds 1 year not to pull down my table cloth. It's up to you of course

ICBINEG Wed 06-Feb-13 11:38:40

Kindle OMG! I knew I was doing something wrong! I should have been trying NOT to be sick, not trying TO be sick <face palm>

It is strange really that doctors have moved their position from one in which they posed as godlike repositories of all knowledge to one where they are happy to google during a consultation. I very strongly feel that midwives should have the same imperative to keep up to date with current best practise that doctors do.

I have caught myself thinking that it would be great to have this hanging decision over having more kids removed. Like getting in an accident such that I can't or moving to a country with a 1 child policy.

The big problem is having spent so very much time with a picture of the future that now seems incompatible with reality. I do spend a huge amount of time in thought loops concerning how the hell I can have my 2.4 children when I can't do this all again.... When does your brain wake up and acknowledge that you don't have to have 2.4 kids even if you always thought you would?

And what of my DH who went from 'I never what kids' to 'we have to have at least 3 so they each have someone else to play with if they fall out with another one' over night....gah.

Ig no is always worth bearing in mind that things other than the thing your are mostly worried about may also go wrong.

KindleMum Wed 06-Feb-13 11:20:53

There are a lot of midwives that really should know better! I had one who said at every single appointment ( and I was on weekly appointments all through, though I didn't get her every single week, thank goodness) " oh, you'll have finished morning sickness now, I'll cross that off" Er no , still on the drugs, still being sick 20-60+ times a day, 23 hours a day, still losing weight. " but you're 20/24/27/31 etc weeks, you can't still be sick (glaring at me as if I'm doing it deliberately!).

Given how much you can learn about HG on the internet in 10 minutes, I find it disturbing that you can deal with supposed pregnancy specialists who don't seem to have heard of it.

I was told I needed a blood transfusion at about 30 weeks I think , probably due to the amount of blood vomited over a period of weeks, I was very anaemic and my clotting factors had gone through the floor. When the doc told the midwife this, the stupid fool told me that I should really try harder not to be sick as nowadays they try to avoid transfusions for anaemia in pregnancy and it wasn't good for me or the baby. I didn't even have the strength to tell her what I thought of her! Thank heaven that my doc was so supportive.

13Iggis Wed 06-Feb-13 10:58:17

Hi ICBINEG - wasn't implying you should worry about mc by the way, just saying that they changed my perspective entirely on what I could cope with in a pregnancy.

KindleMum Wed 06-Feb-13 10:25:03

I'm wondering whether fear of the next pregnancy is the reason you can't shift the depression? Maybe you will only feel better once you can say to yourself that you are definitely not doing it again? Maybe it's less the past that's bothering you, than the horror of doing it again and feeling that you might be pushed to by OH/family/etc. Your fears and concerns do sound broader than the HG? How much does your OH want a second child?

I wanted 3 kids but there was no way I could do HG a third time. I got sterilised because I also got pregnant first month ttc both times and I didn't want to risk a third. It's not that uncommon to change your expectations when you turn out to do pregnancy harder than you thought you would. It's not wussy to decide you can't or won't do it. And you sound like you're beating yourself up a bit over finding HG harder than you think other people did. Who cares? You're not at fault here, it's not a test. We all react differently to things and to pain etc. Maybe it's just the way we're made, maybe it's a learned response from our life experiences, maybe it's down to the way we're treated. Whatever it is, you haven't "failed" and sometimes you sound like you think you have.

ICBINEG Wed 06-Feb-13 10:24:29

13Ig yes...I must remember that I will be older next time and may not conceive so easily and may miscarry more often too.

Maybe I would even feel better able to cope than last time if it happened again...but I feel I need to plan for and acknowledge the possibility that I will react worse.

ICBINEG Wed 06-Feb-13 10:21:20

kindle That sounds more like it! I guess it is true that you must get the support you need in place sooner rather than later. I have a dull and boring heart condition that meant I always felt at least some of the doctors were there for me and not just for the baby. But the midwives attitudes were indeed pretty wft you are just pregnant. Except for the midwife that had had HG. She was fecking awesome...and I would happily have taken her home with me from hospital. Full of actually useful advice (when I had reached the 'mention ginger and die' point) and genuine sympathy. She also warned me that there will be smells that continue to affect me..and it's true. Every so often I walk past someone in the street and start retching. Their crime is to use the specific wrong brand of soap....

13Iggis Wed 06-Feb-13 10:11:28

I am not comparing my situation to yours, OP, but just sharing an experience of ttc afterr a difficult pregnancy. Had a crap pg with ds1, ms (just the regular variety) until 30 weeks, constant fatigue, thyroid problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and just very depressed. I didn't want to try for another child unless this was somehow "sorted", and sought treatment for thyroid etc. But there were no guarantees that next time would be different. When I had ds2 I felt much the same unfortunately, with the addition of PGP, but I had a much more pragmatic attitude to it and knew the minute I delivered I'd start to feel better. What made the difference were the multiple mcs I had in between. My desperation for another child overcame my fear and anxiety about the physical symptoms I was having. Now I have ds2 I know it was all worth it - but still glad I left a few years before ttc, and definitely stopping at 2!

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