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Please tell me about medical termination

(39 Posts)
AngryBeaver Sun 08-Jul-12 09:33:15

I have a thread about our story until now. (1:5 odds of downs.)
I am having a termination this week. I will be 16+ weeks.
I have been really badly treated by all the professionals involved and have no idea what to expect.
I have one lovely mn friend who has told me bits of her experience. But I need more.
I am so absoloutely terrified,bereft,heartbroken...and don't really have anyone to talk to.
Please tell me about your experiences if it's not too painful for you.

louzie Sun 08-Jul-12 10:09:58

Hi there,
I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position. We found out at our 19 week scan that our baby had bilateral renal agenesis. Her kidneys had not developed and as a result she was unable to produce amniotic fluid meaning her lungs also could not develop. We chose to end our pregnancy at 24 weeks as her condition was incompatible with life. Having had three healthy babies, the process wasn't too dissimilar to an induction of labour.

We went to hospital around 1030 and I was given a pessary. These were given regularly throughout the day and I started to feel tightenings around 4ish. These became more intense around 530 and I was given gas and air. I'd made a birth plan and explained I'd like an epidural - the mental pain of what we were going through was enough without the physical pain too. Although this isn't usually offered, the epidural was arranged very quickly with no argument. Our beautiful baby girl was finally born at 3.25am.

The medical care we received throughout was outstanding. Caring, compassionate and loving. And my partner was with me every step of the way. From the moment of our diagnosis we really were a team, facing each challenge and each decision together - I truly couldn't have done it without him.

After she was born, we spent all day with our baby. We took photos, dressed her, family came to meet her and say goodbye. We agreed to a post mortem and I took her to the city for that, accompanied by our funeral director, and brought her back to the funeral home a few days later.

I realise our story isn't identical to yours and our baby was born a bit later. But if there's anything else you'd like to know or details you need, please ask.

This was truly the most difficult, heart wrenching time of my life. I didn't realise it at the time, but I seemed to live the next year in a fog. I was going through the motions of life but felt like I had a head full of cotton wool. Only time helped, and it different for everyone. We are now 20 months down the line and I've definitely gotten some of my sparkle back! I'm enjoying life again and we're cautiously very excited about being 12 weeks pregnant again.

Please be gentle to yourself, stay I control of as many decisions as possible and always remember you are making the right decisions for you. Much love.

AngryBeaver Sun 08-Jul-12 10:41:01

Oh god,louzie,that is just heartbreaking.
I just feel so detached.
I have known for weeks that there was probably something wrong,so I think as defence/self preservation,I stopped thinking of myself as pregnant.
I wish I didn't know it was a little girl as that makes it harder.
We also last our last baby to a mmc at 13 weeks,so we were ecstatic to fond we were pregnant again after the awful time that was last year.
To find out after the 3 rd scan that things were wrong,was just too much.
When we finally gor the diagnosis last week I was adamant that I could not and would not have a medical termination,but a surgiacal one. However,I have come to realise the damage that could be caused to my cervix,therefore jeopordising future pregnancy
I have had to agree to a medical termination.
I am just so scared.
I don't want my husband with me,l want him to drop me off,me get it over with alone and him collect me.
I just want to do this awful thing on my own,without witness.
Will I feel any pain if I am on a morphione drip?
Will I have to push?

louzie Sun 08-Jul-12 10:48:49

I understand you wanting to be alone as the thought had crossed my mind too. I had to take a tablet 2 days before going in that apparently helps to switch off your pregnancy hormones. I couldn't let dh see me do that for some reason. But when it came to the birth I'm glad he was there.

My medical care was first class and I'm sure I could have had morphine if I'd wanted. I hope other ladies post who've ended their pregnancies at a similar stage as they might know more. I had some morphine in labour previously and didn't like the way it made me feel but other women swear by it.

As for pushing, I remember one little tiny push. More of a squeeze really. I'm sure it won't take long at all.

Thinking of you. I remember how all consuming this is. And so much more heartbreaking after your mmc. Sending good positive thoughts your way xx

sleeplessinsuburbia Sun 08-Jul-12 11:04:04

Hi, I'm also about to experience this so all I can say is I know how horrible this is for you. I personally wish I could wake up with it all over. I'm 21 weeks so louzie's post really helped me too.

I have miscarried at 16 weeks and had a general. I remember wanting to be pregnant again as soon as possible.

I have random moments when I am upset and others when I feel resigned to this fate. By all accounts I don't think there will be anything nice about the experience, I was til to prepare myself that this will be hard.

All the best.

Daphne78 Sun 08-Jul-12 13:42:19

I am really sorry to hear you are going this. Life can be so unfair sometimes. I went through both medical (August 11) and surgical termination (3.5 weeks ago) so hopefully can provide you some information.

My medical termination was last August after finding out that our little baby boy had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with very very little chance for survival post birth. It was our first pregnancy and we were extremely happy about it. The diagnosis at our 20 week scan was a real shock and I cried nonstop for weeks.

When we decided to terminate the pregnancy, we spoke with a consultant at our hospital's fetal medicine unit. She explained us the procedure and the next steps. I was given a pill to stop the pregnancy that day. They also did an amnio to rule out any chromosome abnormalities and they did an injection to stop the hearth beat. I remember crying throughout this process and couldn't look at the screen and tried to isolate myself from what was going on. We were then sent home and told to come back in 2 days for the delivery.

After 2 days, we were admitted to labour ward. My midwife was very very nice, she kept holding my hand while my husband hold my other hand. Like Louize, I wouldn't be able to do it without my husband on my side as having him next to me felt like I could share my pain. However, I know this is a very personal choice.

After we were admitted to the hospital, my midwife placed a pessary to start the induction. The first hour or so was painless so I just lay in the bed and chatted with my husband. After the second hour some period like pains started. I was given the instructions on how to use the morphine drip although I didn't need it to start with. 3 or 4 hours after the 1st pessary, I was given a second one. By then, the pain had become much more intense so I started using the morphine. I don't have any living children so cannot really compare but I believe this must be like labour pains. The pain became so intense that I was offered epidural however I was in so much pain that I couldn't stay stable for the period they need to do the injection so I agreed for gas and air. My advice is if they offer you epidural, try to have it as early as possible because it is really painful. About 6 hours after I was admitted, my waters broke and I had the delivery after about 10 mins of pushing. As soon as the baby was delivered the pain stopped. My husband and I had decided not to see the baby (it is a very very personal choice and I knew I would suffer more had I connected with my baby) so the midwife has taken him away. I then rested for about 30 minutes before delivering the placenta. The midwife confirmed the placenta was delivered in full so fortunately I was not taken to theatre for surgical operation.

I was extremely exhausted (both emotionally and physically) after the delivery so slept for a few hours. The midwifes and consultants were very kind, they checked on me very often. My husband then fed me my dinner which I threw up because of the impact of morphine. I was also given a tablet to stop the breast milk which I had to take again after throwing up. Make sure you take this tablet as I believe having breast milk would be very depressing. I didn't want to spend the night at the hospital as my parents had travelled from abroad to be with us and I wanted to spend the night with them rather than stay at the hospital.

I took it very easy for the first few weeks. Emotionally I was very unstable and kept crying. I also took 3 weeks off from work as I couldn't imagine being in the office. Luckily time heals every thing although I am sure this is something you cannot believe now. I just would like to tell you that nothing you have done caused this, you have done the right choice and the pain will ease with time.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. I will be thinking of you. x

frankie4 Sun 08-Jul-12 13:53:09

Sorry to hear about this - a terrible thing to have to go through. Why can't you have a surgical termination? You mention something to do with your cervix.

I can understand why you don't want your dh with you as it will make the whole thing seem more real if he is there, and maybe you think you will be able to put it out of your mind quicker if he has not witnessed it and therefore cannot talk about it with you.

However, please think about this, as you may resent him in the future for not being part of such a major thing in your life and you may regret not involving him as he will never really be able to understand what you really went through. And he WILL make it better by being there.

I speak from sort of personal experience, so don't take this the wrong way, I just want to give my advice.

sleeplessinsuburbia Sun 08-Jul-12 14:41:23

daphne thank you for sharing that, if you don't mind me asking; how long after the delivery are you mobile and able to care for yourself and children? I didn't realise I would wait that long after the injection to be induced.

OliPocket Sun 08-Jul-12 14:59:03

I'm so sorry this is happening to you too. I had a medical termination at 22 weeks with our first DS. He had multi cystic kidneys, had swallowed all of his amniotic fluid and it was trapped in his kidneys. With no fluid around him, his lungs couldn't develop and he had no chance of survival post birth.

Like others, I had to take a tablet to shut down my pregnancy hormones. Then, 2 days later we went to the fetal medicine unit and they stopped our baby's heart and took some cord blood for testing. I took the tablet for induction at the same time and then we went to another hospital for the birth. After another tablet, the labour began and the total time from start to finish was around 13 hours. I had pethidine injections throughout and some gas and air towards the end when I pushed 2 or 3 times. When our son was born, he was taken into another room and our lovely midwife bathed him and brought him back to us in a Moses basket. We spent a couple of hours with him then as it was so late, we got a bit of sleep. My DH was allowed to sleep on a put up bed in my room.

In the morning, they brought our son back to us and we spent some hours with him and took lots of photos. Mostly of him on his own but some with both of us as well. Some people have thought that was a bit weird but it is all we have of him now...some photos and the hand and footprints that the midwife did for us. I have to say, our consultant, the fetal medicine professor and our midwife were all so lovely. We have stayed in touch with our midwife and we now have another little boy and she came to see us on the ward the day he was born.

It was the very worst time of our lives and I did consider doing it alone but I'm glad I had my DH with me. He is the only other person who knows what it was like and I think I would have really struggled to deal with it on my own.

Take all the time you need to heal when it's all over. Other people will forget quite quickly and you may be expected to be 'over it' when in reality it will be something you come to live with.

Feel free to ask any questions. It is daunting and scary but with support, you will get through it. Much love to you at this awful time x

Daphne78 Sun 08-Jul-12 16:36:27

Dear Sleepless, in my case I also developed chickenpox the day before the termination (totally irrelevant to the reason of termination but made my condition much worse) so I had high temperature for a week so I am afraid I cannot give a clear answer on this. If I didn't have the chickenpox, I could have been mobile during the two days between taking the tablets and the delivery. After the delivery, I had bed rest for 3-4 days because of the chickenpox but also I had my parents taking care of me and I don't have any children. In any case I would ask for some help for the few days following the termination. I really hope everything goes well for you and AngryBeaver. My heart is with you and I share your pain

PrettyFlyForAWifi Sun 08-Jul-12 20:07:57

Hi, I have shared some of my story already with AngryBeaver but I thought I'd share it here too, in case it might help anyone. I am so very sorry you have found yourselves here.

I had a medical termination 7 weeks ago after a diagnosis of complex congenital heart defects (similar to Daphne, actually) at 23 weeks. We were devastated, and after much discussion with specialists and soul searching between us we decided not to continue with our pregnancy.

I had the tablets to block the hormones 2 days prior to going in for induction. I had declined the injection to stop her heart, and luckily my consultant agreed to this, I knew that there was a risk that she would be born alive, and I was okay (ish) with this, just couldn't bear the idea of the injection. I found taking the tablets very hard emotionally as I could feel her kicking and I had just seen her bouncing around on the scan a day previously and been told that she was a little girl, which I'd secretly been longing for. The next two days were difficult, but went past very quickly. It was surreal packing a bag for hospital, like I had with my first daughter, but knowing I'd be coming home without a baby this time.

I was induced (pessaries) in a special private room outside delivery suite and told I could stay there as long as I wanted to but I'd have to go onto delivery suite to give birth or if I needed more painkillers than gas and air. I was really upset about this as I could hear babies crying, women labouring and didn't want to be in with them but as time went on I found it mattered less. I had the first pessary at 10am and didn't have any pains initially, and then it kicked in at about 1pm. It was much more painful than I remember my other labour was but as the midwife explained, I was subconsciously fighting it, mentally and physically. I cried from start to finish, I was totally distraught. I didn't take any painkillers until it got really bad, at about 5pm, when I had some pethidine. The midwives had been telling me for hours to take something but I wouldn't, I don't really know why but if I have any advice for you, it is to take the painkillers early. I was stupid not to. Once I had the pethidine I felt much better and the wooziness helped take the edge off, emotionally. The midwives very kindly let me stay in the private room even though I'd had pethidine and then I realised things were happening so we went into delivery suite which thankfully was almost empty by then. She was born at 7pm, 8 hours from the first pessary. She was a big girl for the dates and I had to push, which I had to really pull myself together to do. It took about 15 minutes, I think. She was moving a little when she was born but not breathing and passed very peacefully. One of the midwives then took her away and took photos, hand and footprints and put her in a little moses basket with a teddy that I'd brought with me. While they were doing that I got on with getting the placenta out which took a lot of effort but I knew that it was either get it out or go to theatre, so I did it somehow. Then they bought her back in so I could cuddle her. They described how she looked beforehand so there were no surprises when we saw her again; she was beautiful, just like her big sister but very tiny. My husband was so glad he got to meet her; it meant a lot to him that he was able to hold his daughter. So I suppose that's a positive.

We went back to the private room and had the tea and toast that is obligatory in the NHS labour wards! I was strangely euphoric which I guess is hormonal/adrenaline. The midwives came in to say goodbye, their shift had ended ages ago but they'd stayed on for me which was so kind, they truly were amazing and were both in tears when she was born. One of them had actually delivered my first daughter so it was very special that she'd been there for both of our girls. Then, after doing some paperwork, we went home at about 10pm. I went straight to bed but didn't sleep. My mum was staying to help with my daughter but I was okay to look after her after the first day or so.

My milk came in, despite the medication, and that was very, very hard. All I could do was wear a tight bra but it was traumatic and I was desperate for it to go away. Otherwise, physically I recovered quite quickly.'s a work in progress. Everyone has been so kind but I am grieving still and I think I will be for a long time yet. But I'm still here, still going and just putting one foot in front of the other until it gets better. Sending lots of love and strength to all of you x x x

LittlePoot Sun 08-Jul-12 20:14:04

Oh goodness, I'm so sorry your about to go through all this. It's just such a shock and such a terrible decision to be faced with-no right answers at all. I was like you ab, and completely detached from my pregnancy once I realised what was wrong and we had a medical termination at about 14 weeks. I also wanted my husband there. I understand what you're saying about wanting to just get it over with on your own but it's such a long day, I would take someone with you if you can bear it. I had the pessaries about 8am, period type pain started about 11 then got severe pretty quickly do make sure you have whatever pain relief you opt for in place from the start. I had a morphine drip and gas and air and the morphine kind of takes you away from the pain-you can still feel it but it's somehow detached from you. Hard to describe, but I wouldn't have wanted to be without it. All over by about 5 pm-no pushing at all but the contractions suddenly started overlapping and squeezing and then suddenly stopped and that was that. Unlike these ladies, I didn't want to see the baby, didn't want to think of it as a baby so the midwife just cleared everything up and took it away (I think for cremation, but I didn't want to be involved). I just couldn't bear to see it and make it real. Just my way of dealing with it. The midwives will follow your lead and do whatever you ask. And you won't be on the normal delivery unit with other pregnant people-they normally have a separate room for these kinds of deliveries. I'm so sorry-I can't say anything to make you feel better right now, but I promise you will get through this in time. x

manitz Sun 08-Jul-12 21:40:52

Hi angrybeaver and sleeplessinsuburbia.
I am really sorry you are both going through this. I don't know if it's any help as there is already good information on this thread but here are a few snippets from my experience.
I have also had two medical terminations. The first was at 26 weeks for hypoplastic right heart the second at 14 weeks for down syndrome. Both were similar to others descriptions above. I had the injection for the first one and gave birth on a labour ward but at our hospital up to 21 weeks you give birth on a gynae ward so only with nurses.

I can't add much to other people's descriptions except that dh came to the first and didn't come to the second so i was alone. We bonded a lot the first time round and I have felt no resentment of him whatsoever. I already know we are a team. I guess you know how you feel about these things.

The first termination took 10 hours from the pessaries and the second took 2. I had morphine the first time round when I became really upset and it was extremely calming. I was physically recovered immediately after giving birth and was walking around between the injection/tablets but not emotionally great. The birth was a relief but I was floored the day after for about 24 hours. That devastation returned but over time the bad days were less frequent. I had maternity leave the first time as you are entitled to after 24 weeks. the second time i had two weeks off work but was in tears when I returned which was not good. I think four weeks would have been better.

I can't think of much else that you have not already been told. EAch time it was really important to me to see and hold/touch the baby. I also have photos and have a memory box where i keep all the medical reports and photos/certificates. The first time I had to keep referring to the reports as I would keep doubting the diagnosis, also i needed the photos to help me cry and grieve. The first time I also bought identical teddies and left one in the hospital with the baby. I bought my daughters necklaces 'from' their sister and I have a ring with her birthday engraved in it. I treated myself gently following the termination. I felt like I was broken apart and needed to put myself back together. I had two older children and i just didn't have energy for anyone except my immediate family so i prioritised what was important.

I hope that is some help to you. thinking of you both in the days to come x

AngryBeaver Sun 08-Jul-12 22:32:39

Thank you all so much.
It seems so surreal and sad, reading your stories and pitying you...and then realising this is going to be me soon sad I just want to wake up and it all be over,llike the time before

AngryBeaver Mon 09-Jul-12 03:32:46

They have just told me I cannot be admitted for an entire week. It seems so cruel to leave me for this long. I am so angry and exhausted and desperate

manitz Mon 09-Jul-12 14:29:52

that is awful. I seem to remember you are not in the uk. Is it possible to go for another hospital? what possible reason can they ahve to delay?

Daphne78 Mon 09-Jul-12 19:34:24

AngryBeaver, that is so unfair. I really hope they can manage to admit you earlier. If not, try (just try) to focus on other things for this week such as reading a book or spending time with the loved ones. I know it is not easy but thinking about this the whole time and googling will drain you emotionally. It will be over soon, everything will be better and, although you will feel the pain at various levels, my two experiences tell me that time DOES help.
All the best

AngryBeaver Mon 09-Jul-12 22:13:55

I am in NZ so I suppose the problem is that it is a smaller population? And there are not as many facilities. Only 2 hospitals will do it,one is 2 hours away and will only do it on friday. So I amy as well just wait the extra few days rather that have to drove back all that way afterwards.
They told me that it was my fault for refusing the medical termination at first. They said now I am at the back of the list and not only have they got to find me a bed,they have got to find people who will ethically "look after someone lke me" sad

ghislaine Mon 09-Jul-12 23:26:28

AB, that is shocking and totally lacking in empathy. I am really sorry that that was said to you. Please, if you feel able, make a complaint to the hospital CEO and to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

MsBump Tue 10-Jul-12 09:23:51

Poor you AB. Are you going to be on your own? I hope you have someone with you. Sometimes staff can be very cruel and I think is disgraceful that they are talking to you that way. I agree with ghislaine and when you feel up to it you should make a complaint. In the meantime just remember that so many people that are close to you, and the mumsnetters, will be thinking of you at this sad time. I'm off for my Amnio tomorrow and don't feel positive about it. It's all a bit rubbish really! I hope you get some sense out of the hospital soon.

AngryBeaver Tue 10-Jul-12 11:01:17

I will be on my own so I hope they are not horrid to me.The lady today was very kind and concerned.
No one is close to me.Well,not geographically anyway,but I know they'll be thinking of .
Fingers crossed for your amnio tomorrow, best of luck xxx

manitz Tue 10-Jul-12 19:59:26

hi AB. I am shocked that you were spoken to like that. I had a little feeling of being judged by one hospital i dealt with first time round. Certainly the doctor really wanted me to keep the baby but partly I felt this was because she wanted a project to operate on as the heart abnormalities were complex and interesting to a surgeon.

Apart from that every midwife and nurse I came across during the birth and afterwards was fantastic and I had masses of sympathy. A friend who is a midwife said she thinks it is the thing her profession do particularly well - dealing with these sensitive situations I mean. I hope it is the same in NZ, I think you may find the midwives are better than the doctors in this regard. I get the impression that a lot of doctors are extremely bright but not necessarily as good at dealing with the emotion and the human element.
There is a lot of waiting around. If you are on your own, take something superficial to keep you occupied. wishing you strength. x

EmsieRo Tue 10-Jul-12 20:11:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AngryBeaver Tue 10-Jul-12 22:55:30

I will go out today and get some crappy magazines or something.
The nurse said as I have already been through 3 births she is hoping that things will move quite quickly and maybe we'll be done by the 2nd or 3rd dose o pessary. God,I hope so. They also said I could take her home to say goodbye,but I couldn't face that.

sleeplessinsuburbia Wed 11-Jul-12 00:53:23

Hi angry, I'm just filing in my morning, I'm off to the hospital at 2, they will begin inducing tomorrow.

Everyone has been so lovely to me, I was also told they had to ensure there was enough staff able to look after me. This actually didn't bother me, I understand how passionately people feel about this issue. The nurse explained to us that she's not talking about "idiots who think we are doing the wrong thing" but also women who do this emotionally charged part of delivery on a regular basis and need a break to regain their strength.

I know exactly how you feel, it's a painfully slow process, I am also desperate to speed every aspect up but as I sit here today the nerves are quite overwhelming.

I'll check back to see how you are going in a few days when I'm out. All the best for this horrible time and thanks to everyone.

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