Advanced search

Bad harmony result, devastated, and confused about termination options at 15 weeks

(42 Posts)
BigCorrieFan Tue 05-Mar-13 16:37:36

I have just had some bad news back from my harmony test and will almost certainly be opting for a termination, followng a CVS confirmation (which is pretty much a formality as false positives v rare on Harmony apparently). Am really devastated and scared.

The consultant says because I am 15 weeks I will not be able to have a surgical termination and will have to be induced and go though labour; does anyone know how long that would take, only I have a preschool DS so DH will have to look after him and not be there with me.

Also the consultant said the NHS won't do surgical termination but I could go private - anyone know why it isn't available on NHS but is privately, is it cost or are there other implications? I don't want to risk damage and jeopardise future pregnancies.

Can't stop crying and so terrified of what the next few days hold. DH is away down South at the moment with work so I have nobody to talk to.

Anyone got any experiences of either type of termination at this stage and able to help at all? If I go medical, will I have to push/see the fetus, will I feel it coming out I don't even know how big it will be, the calendar says 70g and 11cm.

This is so awful, I can't believe this is happening (but then again logically someone has to be the 1 in xxx I suppose...)


Michellephant Tue 23-Apr-13 15:30:33

I'm pregnant now smile only 5 weeks gone and quite nervous but actually calmer than I thought I might be. Paying for the Harmony test in London when I'm 10 weeks pregnant and the NHS have arranged a reassurance scan for me at 7 weeks (next friday).

I just realised I didn't read the page that talked about your actual termination >.< I'm new to mumsnet and a bit useless!

Michellephant Tue 23-Apr-13 15:28:20


I went through this in October 2012 and my termination took 5 days (very unusual) but once you have had you baby you will still feel the love and pride of any mother. Make as many memories as you can and try to not be scared. In many ways signing on the dotted line and taking those first tablets are the hard part. My baby was born asleep looking so peaceful smile

My bum was black and blue with the amount of drugs I had to have over my 5 days. Most people take from a few hours up to 2 days usually depending on whether they have had children before. I don't know why my body didn't play ball but at least I didn't have any complications afterwards.

If you have any questions then please ask x

BigCorrieFan Tue 26-Mar-13 14:59:39

Thanks, it's great to hear that you have both gone on to have healthy babies, I am really happy for you.

It's so scary thinking I may not get pregnant again (based on nothing but paranoia, DH tells me we'll be fine and hopefully we will be).

HumphreyCobbler Mon 25-Mar-13 13:32:07

Oh I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through this without pain relief, especially after you were told you would get some. I really would mention this to them, they need to sort out their procedures.

I was obsessed with conceiving again after a medical termination at 21 weeks (after the point where I would be dealt with by midwives, so I was spared the appalling care you received). You are allowed to be obsessed with whatever gets you through to be honest. I conceived 5 months later and my ds is now 6.

Best wishes

manitz Mon 25-Mar-13 13:24:52

hi i found that it was not the same but once I had my baby it was fine. Pregnancy was a bit stressful but I took it one day at a time. I also desperately wanted to be pregnant then when I succeeded I was concerned that perhaps it wasn't the right thing to have done. I found it helpful to go on the ttc after a termination support thread as a lot of those feelings were common and that reassured me. I'm glad the trauma is receding. x

BigCorrieFan Mon 25-Mar-13 13:14:14

Thanks for your lovely replies, and sorry to hear that several of you had bad experiences too. It makes a difficult situation so much harder to bear when you don't receive good enough care.

My memories of the trauma of the pain etc at the termination itself have faded luckily, all I can think of now is the feeling as the baby left my body, and also feeling such grief. Hopefully in time things will start to feel a bit better. I keep telling myself how fortunate I am to have DC1, who is wonderful.

I seem to be pretty obsessed with conceiving again though, which probably isn't that healthy but I cannot seem to help myself. Although then again I sometimes think I won't risk it again in case the same thing happens.

I don't think pregnancy will feel the same again anyway now I know how badly wrong it can go. But am still praying for an eventual happy ending. And for you all too, anyone who hasn't had theirs yet.

RufousBartleby Tue 19-Mar-13 19:59:38

Oh Big Corrie - I'm so sorry you had such an awful time. If it is normal then it certainly shouldn't be!! It definitely doesn't sound like you had the right pain relief, I think the treatment of women miscarrying and obviously terminating also can be quite shoddy. Its absolutely not good enough that you were left unsupported and in that amount of pain at this dreadful time. (((Big hug))) and hoping you can move forward from this horrible experience in time.

goosey123 Mon 18-Mar-13 22:42:50

Hi Bigcorrie,

I'm really sorry to read what you've been through. I was in a similar horrific situation after bad news following cvs. I was preparing to have a termination around 16 weeks, and then had a spontaneous miscarriage (last october). I wanted to post, as although my experience was different, I had a very poorly managed delivery in A and E, with very little empathy and support from staff. I was transfered to maternity unit after I had delivered in A and E and the level of care and support was remarkably improved, but all a bit late in the day.

I wanted to post because the trauma of how I passed the baby and how let down I felt, haunted me for the the first days, possibly weeks. But I think very little about that bit now. I was very worried I would get stuck in my grief, but I did move forward.

At my hospital there are a couple of specialist midwifes to support bereaved parents. When they heard how crap my delivery was, they were shocked, and assured me they would be speaking to the a and e nurses. I think they want to hear feedback, and if you have the equivilant would always want to hear about your experience, and they may also offer you debiref/support. They explained to me that they have endless debates about where the best place is to look after women at our stage of gestation (NOT A and E!). It helped to know this a bit. At the time I planned to write in to the hospital about my experience, in case it changed things, but I never did.

Take care of yourself xx

manitz Mon 18-Mar-13 21:56:23

hi bigcorriefan. It's not dramatically different from my experience of delivering a 14 week fetus. I also had one which was 26 weeks and was in a delivery room which was completely different.

I think it stems from being on gynae ward with nurses instead of mwives as you suggest in your post. I guess it's not their primary job. In my case it was a far quicker birth with no problems delivering the placenta and I didn't want drugs so I didn't even ask. I was glad to be left alone tbh and was not personally bothered by the treatment I received.

I am really sorry that you had to have a termination and that it was made worse by your experience. I dont recall having a followup appointment but if it seems the right place then mention any issues with treatment. You might get more informed answers from ARC, SANDS or NCT on what procedures should be for medical terminations and whether your hospital deviated by not ensuring proper amounts of pain relief were available. If you find that out before you go, then your complaint will be more formal and be taken more seriously, plus you will feel more empowered.

FWIW I had a dreadful natural birth with my second living child and the birth haunted me and left me bitter for some time after both because of physical damage and frustration at the way I was treated. I am presuming this is your first birth so sorry if patronising you, but I think a traumatic birth is difficult and quite common, obviously there are extra issues when it is a medical termination.

btw I also found that grief came in waves. I'd be rocking along one day then hit by huge grief the next. It seems that is the way it goes. I found that as time went by I had less bad days, I hope you find the same and treat yourself well. x

BigCorrieFan Mon 18-Mar-13 15:59:46

I keep thinking I feel quite numb and then all the grief comes back.

I remember the midwife on the Fetal Medicine Unit explained I would be on the gynae ward as less than 20 weeks, and would be cared for by nurses not midwives, and she wished they could have us all on the maternity section. I think I know what she meant now as I am sure they were not as geared up towards this type of situation there than on maternity, although they told me they saw quiet a few people like me and those with MMC as well.

The midwife, and on the day the nurse who admitted me, said I could have as much pain relief as I wanted e.g. pethidine etc. The nurse said she would get the Dr to write me up some stuff just in case including a sedative in case I got really distressed and needed it.

But first they admitted me at 9am and didn't do teh pessary until 1315 so a long wait, then sometime after 1500 I was in a lot of pain, in tears and groaning with it and when I buzzed them they said there was no pain relief written up and no Dr around, and gave me paracetomol. I buzzed 30 mins later as it had made no difference and I didn't think I could cope with that level of pain any more and again no Dr, they called one and nurse came back 20 minutes later with codeine tablets and said I had to have these first and nothing stronger. Again they didn't really improve my pain levels as the tightenings were escalating, I was very distressed by this. Is it normal to have to wait and wait for any decent relief? I thought I'd be given adequate drugs to take away the physical pain.

Thankfully I guess, the miscarriage happened less than an hour later (bit hazy on the details) so I did manage with no further pain relief, but this added extra distress to the day for me. I hadn't imagined I'd have quite such unmanaged pain. I am wondering whether to mention it in my follow-up appointment in case they can improve things for other women in future.

I didn't pass the placenta and they had to remove it manually which was excruciating, mainly because I was in a state and couldn't cope with the vaginal exam, but they did give me gas and air for that which helped.

It was very surreal as sometime shortly after the fetus passed, a rugby match started so I had a soundtrack of that loudly in the background, and various patients and staff shouting loudly back and forth about the score etc.

Placenta all done by 1815 but they almost wouldn't let me home, when I made enough fuss about 9pm they did find a Dr who reluctantly let me go home at 2200 as long as I promised to return at 10am the following day.

At 10am I had to discuss and complete a fetal remains form in the not very private outpatient waiting room, and then wait an extra hour for an anit-D jab.

I am quite sure that I would be feeling just as upset and grief-stricken no matter what had happened on the day but I cannot help feeling distressed at some insensitive aspects of the care I received.

I am thankful it is all over now and am going to take some time to try and recover before thinking about whether to try again or not.

Sorry for rambling on - feels better to write it all down. I would love to hear others' comments on how my care compared with theirs, perhaps my experience is fairly normal (but I hope not!)

Pizdets Sun 17-Mar-13 16:45:52

Good to hear the physical side wasn't too bad, bigcorriefan. The first few weeks are awful, but it will get easier with time. Please take it easy on yourself and don't put yourself under pressure to follow any timescales. Thinking of you.


BigCorrieFan Sun 17-Mar-13 11:43:28

I mean that the physical process was straightforward. Emotional trauma was extreme.

BigCorrieFan Sun 17-Mar-13 11:41:59

Thanks both, all over now thank goodness. Was in some ways easier than I thought partly due to all the information I got from this board. I just feel so bereft.

ghislaine Sat 16-Mar-13 20:55:30

BCF, my thoughts were with you today. Please, if you need to, come back and ask any questions you like or use this space to talk about things. There are lots of us who have sadly been there before and are here to help and listen.

FattyMcChubster Fri 15-Mar-13 19:40:35

Big I just wanted to say i'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

BigCorrieFan Thu 14-Mar-13 23:16:51

Thanks for your reply FMcC, everyone here has been so kind and I honestly don't know how I would have got through without the fab support here.

FattyMcChubster Thu 14-Mar-13 23:03:00

Take all the pain relief you want.
Dont forget there's alway someone on here if you need to talk.

BigCorrieFan Thu 14-Mar-13 22:01:47

Well I have taken the first pill this morning sad Had to wait an hour and a half too as consultant was busy. The staff on the fetal medicine ward were really kind and understanding. Just need to try and keep busy now until Saturday. When I will be accepting all the drugs they offer me!

FattyMcChubster Wed 13-Mar-13 19:37:10

Big I just wanted to say I hope it goes smoothly for you over the next few days.
My thoughts are with you.

LittlePoot Wed 13-Mar-13 19:23:05

Oh sweetie-I know. And there's nothing I can say that can make the next few days and weeks any easier for you. But you will get through the other side-I promise. The pills for me were also a trauma then a really uncomfortable wait for the inevitable. Saturday, my advice is to get straight on the pain relief and take whatever you need to get through. Then be gentle with yourself-don't expect anything. You'll have good days and bad, ups and downs-just take it slowly and allow yourself to grieve. It is desperately sad, and there's no eat way through but there are many here who've been exactly where you are and can offer some helping hands. x

BigCorrieFan Wed 13-Mar-13 17:54:22

Thanks very much for the advice. I have been on the phone to the local hospital and finally spoke to the right person, she was very lovely and understanding and I am booked in for a medical termination starting tomorrow with the tablet, and then Saturday for the pessaries etc. Feel so relieved to be booked in, but a new sense of dread at what I am now facing. I hate anything medical, blood, examinations, hospitals, pain, so no idea how I will cope. Just so sad that things have turned out like this. Just had my 20 week scan appointment through too which hasn't helped.

LittlePoot Tue 12-Mar-13 19:29:07

Absolutely recommend contacting your NHS fetal med clinic and sorting this through the NHS, where they will treat you with the respect and sensitivity you deserve. Pain relief wise, on NHS I was offered anything I wanted from paracetamol, morphine drip all the way up to epidural. 15 weeks is only late compared to termination of unwanted pregnancies, which would normally be before the 12 week scan. For abnormalities, that's pretty standard and sadly, many people don't find out until much later when the whole thing takes on an extra layer of trauma. Good luck getting something sorted soon. x

Pizdets Tue 12-Mar-13 18:33:00

BigCorrieFan, I'm sure the NHS should offer you help with this, please don't worry, you'll get this sorted. Can you contact your midwife/fetal medicine unit is the consultant doesn't get back to you in time? I also recommend contacting ARC about the practicalities, they will be able to advise and hopefully help you to feel calmer about it all.

I'm so sorry you're having a hard time and it's the last thing you need. Fingers crossed you get things sorted soon.


ghislaine Tue 12-Mar-13 17:11:08

BigCorrieFan I am so sorry to hear about this. I am racing out the door but I wanted to ask if it's not possible to have a medical termination on the NHS? Unfortunately lots of the women on the two termination threads (I will link later but they are easy to find in this section) have done so and could help answer your questions. I don't know of anyone who has had to have a late medical termination privately.

BigCorrieFan Tue 12-Mar-13 16:54:15

I have had a horrible few days. We have made the decision to terminate but are struggling to find anyone who can help in this regard. Unfortunately my BMI is over 35, and I went to BPAS today and was advised that I could not have a surgical termination due to this, fair enough. But they could only offer me a medical termination in 2 weeks time and over 200 miles away from where I live! I tried Marie Stopes and they have the 35 BMI limit and only do medicals up to 9 weeks. Spires only do them up to 12 weeks. So I am not really sure where to turn. I have been in touch with ARC about the whole situation but didn't think to ask about practicalities, I wonder if they can help in this regard.

BPAS today was horrible, I would strongly advise anyone in this awful situation to advise at all costs. The staff were cold and indifferent, they had no empathy whatsoever and furthermore were unhelpful to boot - I feel quite shocked and upset after the consultation (and pissed off at the waste of £65 and an afternoon off work!) They were also over-keen to offer contraceptive advice even when I explained that the baby was planned/wanted. I guess they are just not set up at all for this type of situation.

I have contacted the consultant who did the amnio for me and am hoping he can help me or I really won't know where to turn. The impossible logistics are making an unbearable situation even more difficult.

I just hope I can sort something out and somehow get through the next couple of weeks, it feels nigh on impossible at the moment but I will have to somehow.

Husband is home and being very supportive thank goodness.

I really found all your replies so helpful, I will be re-reading about your experiences with medical termination now in order to prepare myself for what lies ahead. It was also great to hear happy endings and good pregnancies after sad outcomes which gives me some hope for the future.

I really hope it happens quickly, medics have been quite vague and sometimes seem to suggest it could take over a day. I am quite scared of the physical pain, I have a lot of trouble with VEs so not sure how the pessary insertion is going to go - had to have gas and air for these when induced with DC1.

Please could anyone who had a medical termination reassure me regarding pain relief? Bpas was quite vague about it and muttered something about pethidine, I was hoping for a morphine drip if needed (or is that the same thing? - I didn't think so) and gas and air. Bpas were very non-committal and didn't seem very clued up on the answers to our questions.

Oh one other thing that has really upset me, when I spoke to the Spires she said what I was looking for was a late termination - is it really classed as late at 15 weeks? Shocked/upset me somehow to hear it termed that.

I suppose the one plus side of not being able to have a surgical is that I don't have to choose as the decision is made for me. I just hope I can access a medical termination somewhere nearbyish and soonish and get it out of the way. Starting to feel desperate and panicked about this.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now