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How do you cope following a termination for abnormalities?

(78 Posts)
majormoo Tue 23-Aug-05 13:29:42

Last week I went for my 12 week scan, and we were told the baby, which we later learned was a girl, had severe abnormalities (trisomy 13) and was incompatible with life. I had a termination on friday.

Life has obviously been horrendous since then.The first couple of days were shocking, terrifying and we just kept collapsing into tears. The weekend was very sad and exhausting. The last couple of days have been a bit easier, but it so hard to accept what has happened. I wondered if anyone had any advice on how to accept something like this? Our friends are disappeared off the face of the earth, other than my oldest friend, no one has called me since we told them. We do have great family support though and a lovely 2 year old daughter.

We have been told it is just very bad luck and is very unlikely to recur, but I will be terrified if I ever decide to try again. Physically the hospital said, just wait for 1 period and then, if we want, we can try again. God knows if this will be too soon.

A counsellor from Kings College Hospital will call us in a couple of weeks, as in Brighton, where we live, there is a 2 month waiting list for counselling.

inglis Thu 22-Sep-05 14:25:11

I remember feeling exactly the same, majormoo - that I might never have another child. Also I feared that I might be a genetic carrier for Edwards/something else. I think this fear was compounded by the fact I'd had the miscarriage as well. Like you I was just so grateful for my lovely little girl.

Really, really, really I feel so certain that you'll go on to have more children. What you've been through is just one of those horrible things that life throws at us ... God Bless. All the best xxx

grazia11 Fri 23-Sep-05 20:39:14

I was so sorry to read your story, majormoo. I was moved to join this thread because the very same thing happened to me last year at 12 weeks. I was 40 years old and it was my first (much longed for) pregnancy.

I was told then that there was no reason why I couldn't go on to have a healthy pregnancy. And, the thing I would say to you, majormoo, is that, however miserable I felt, and however awful i felt about the decision we felt we had to make at the time, I have never regretted the decision or thought I could have done anything different: the foetus (a little girl) was terribly ill and was not likely to survive much more of the pregnancy.

No other pregnancy happened for a while and then I had a laparoscopy in July to remove some ossified tissue in my uterus (they only knew it was that when they opened me up). And then, joy of joys!, I fell pregnant (we thought on our wedding anniversary in August).

However, I have just had an eight week scan (yesterday) which has revealed an anembryonic sac. I have to go back in a week to have a d&c as I show no sign of miscarrying the placenta etc. This time there is no foetus, though, which means that i don't have the same awful feelings of guilt as last time.

But I am feeling very angry at the moment - mostly at myself for being so old and generally "at risk" (how i wish i'd met the man i wanted to spend my life with in my 20s - i was 36 when we met). I had months of therapy following the termination last year, just to come to terms with the fact that I'm really not that special and frankly i am NOT being singled out for some malign fate: these things just happen (especially if you are an older mother - however fit and healthy you are in every other aspect, gynaecologically, you're ancient). I even told my therapist recently that, this time, I felt I would be ready if something bad were to happen again and not take it so, well, so damn' personally. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Especially when i am so sad and angry now. Have been accused by my beloved of being negative and wallowing in this - is there anyone else out there who has experienced this reaction?

Am sorry if this counts as hijacking a conversation thread - I feel I ought to be offering words of comfort rather than more tales of woe but I feel so alone at the moment. I hope to buck up in a few days (maybe after the op) but right now am just feeling tired and miserable and fed up.

frogs Fri 23-Sep-05 20:48:48

Majormoo, a few years ago my sister had a baby with Edwards syndrome, who lived for a brief 6 weeks.

She has since gone on to have two completely healthy babies. I wish you all the best, and hope that things get better for you.

majormoo Sun 25-Sep-05 17:10:23

grazia11 I am really sorry to hear what has happened. Life can feel so unfair sometimes.

Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and of course feel free to use this thread as much as you want.

I think it has really helped me.

Jennyd1982 Sun 13-Aug-06 12:12:05

Im 24 and in March this year had to make the hardest decision of my life.

I attended what i thought would be my 12 week scan (later learned i was 15 weeks) to be told that my baby was suffering from Hydrops. I underwent numerous tests to help eliminate what the possible cause could be. At the time of my scan i was struck down by a virus which my consultant told me could be the cause of the Hydrops (the baby could have contracted the virus from me) although there were lots of other possible reasons for the fluid being there too ie Chromosome disorders... My blood tests shown that i had a 1 in 1536 chance of the baby suffering from any chromosome disorder so i had to stay positive and hope that my baby was only suffering as a result of my Virus and that the baby would get better (tests shown that the baby wasnt suffering from any serious virus). I was scanned each week and each week the hydrops appeared to be getting worse (fluid in the babies neck, chest wall and in the babies head)at 17 weeks my consultant detected another abnormality with the babies brain (it wasnt developing as it should) this is when i decided to have the Amnio. My fears were confirmed two days later... My baby was suffering from Downs Syndrome. I had to make a decision that i know will affect me for the rest of my life. I chose to have a termination. Not only beacuse the baby was suffering from Downs but because i knew if the baby had survived (which was very highly unlikely with the problems that the baby had) that she would have been suffering at the highest end of the scale.

I know in my heart that i made the right decision not for myself but for my baby girl. Its such a cruel world out there. She would have had no proper form of life.

Life seems so difficult for me right now because i feel that everywhere I turn there are people pushing prams or showing off their Bumps.

Ive been through every emotion you can imagine but i know that the only way im going to get through this is with time. Im seeking help with support groups at present and hope that one day soon im going to wake up and all this anger and bitterness will disappear! Just writing this note today has helped me get a little out of system.......


FrannyandZooey Sun 13-Aug-06 12:17:53

Jenny I am very sorry to hear what you have been through. Would it help you to start a new thread to discuss it? This thread is pretty ancient and you will probably get more responses if you started your own thread about your own situation. You could cut and paste what you have written here, maybe?

I wish I could offer you some comfort right now. You sound as if you feel very alone.

fussymummy Mon 14-Aug-06 00:42:23

Hello Jenny, I know how awful you feel.
6 years ago i too lost a baby.
I gave birth at 23 weeks.
I still remember it all as if it was yesterday.
The pain has become more bearable now but i still find it hard to come some days.
When it happened i already had one child and people used to say at least you have him.
I tried to explain that my first child wasn't a consolation prize, but a much wanted child, as was the baby i lost.
The hardest part was having to bury my baby.
I visit the grave as often as i can and take my other children with me.
I have since had two more children.

I found that by keeping a journal and writing down all the thoughts that i had, it got them out of my head for a while.
I also had some counselling from the *Child Bereavement Trust* based in High Wycombe Bucks, they do have a website.
They don't only help people from that area, but from all over.
They were really kind and caring, which is just what you need right now.
Take your time to get through this and talk about your lost baby as much as you want to.
Cry when you need to and don't feel you need to be strong when you don't feel it.
Take care and keep in touch. xxx

majormoo Mon 14-Aug-06 16:52:49

goodness Jenny I couldn't believe it when I saw this thread appear, as I started it last year. It is a year on Saturday since my termination and I have been thinking a lot about the baby today. I just wanted to say that I know how tough it is. I think it is good that you are using support groups-as you say things get easier with time. When I think back to how terrible I felt this time last year, it felt like I would never look forward to anything again. But I do. Counselling has helped me deal with the situation, so wondered if you had tried this?

I know how you feel about dealing with seeing other people's bumps. It is hard when your own loss is so raw-I remember going to a child's birthday party that was full of babies and pregnant women a few months after our loss, and I felt I would explode with grief, it was so hard.

I am 31 weeks pregnant at the moment and I still feel a bit odd when people announce their pregnancies to me. Everything seems to be Ok with this pregnancy, but I think it is true to say that I think about the baby we lost every day. I am on an antenatal thread at the moment and earlier today was updating my stats on there. I felt sad putting that this is my second baby, because actually it is my third. I didn't want to bring what is a happy thread down, by talking about the upcoming anniversary. So time does make things easier, but of course the pain is still there and always will be. But it does get easier.
Anyway do take care and give yourself all the time/space you need

fussymummy Mon 14-Aug-06 23:45:12

Hello majormoo. I don't know you and have only just joined mumsnet.
I was reading all your thread from last year with great sadness.
I was wondering how you were coping with everything a year on?
Great that counselling has helped.
Fantastic news that you're pregnant again.
You won't ever forget the baby that you lost, but please be prepared for the memories to come flooding back when you give birth to your precious child in a few weeks.

If you read my previous message you'll see that i gave birth at 23 weeks.

When i had my next child 13 months later, i was besotted with her, but i also felt guilty for all that i missed out on with my little boy.

A huge part of me had been too scared to get too involved in the pragnancy in case i lost this baby too.

When she finally arrived i couldn't believe it.
I was so protective as well.

Please don't feel that i'm trying to put a dampner on things for you, as i would never do that to anyone.

I just wanted to fore warn you.
Good luck and i hope all goes well for you. xx

chezzasaville Thu 31-Aug-06 10:12:56

hi i've just joined mumsnet so its all a bit new to me. 2 weeks ago i had to terminate my pregnany due to my baby having Patau's Syndrome.It was the hardest thing that me and my husband has ever had to go through, but we know it was the right decision. Reading your messages has been a great help for me.Congratultions on being pregnant again

majormoo Thu 31-Aug-06 19:19:57

thank you chezzasaville. I am sorry you have had to go through this as it is so bloody awful. Cliche I know but it does get easier with time. I would really recommend using ARC (antenatal results and choices) as the support group there has really helped me. Take care

majormoo Thu 31-Aug-06 20:01:46

fussymummy-thanks for the tips too. Pregnancy has been loaded to say the least, so am sure you are right that the birth and beyond will bring back difficult feelings

chezzasaville Sat 16-Sep-06 17:22:37

Just wanted to thankyou for recommending ARC to me and saying how they really helped you.
I rang and spoke to a really nice lady called Sally and she sent me information pack and put me on the website.
It has been such a help to actually be in touch with people that have gone through the same experience of losing a baby due to Pataus.
Everyday is still tough but i know its still very early days.
It'll be 5 weeks tomorrow.
I'm going back to work on wed and fri of next wk, so i'm hoping thats going to bring a little bit of normality back into my life.
I hope you are well
Thanks again
love cheryl

majormoo Thu 21-Sep-06 18:29:23

glad to hear you found ARC useful. Will probably talk to you on the email group!

Hope work went OK.

nicgeodav Sun 23-Sep-07 21:26:53

chezzasaville - my baby too had pataus syndrome. only july this yr. i went for a 12 wk scan all happy to see my baby and take my scan photo to show my son.
that day has chnged my life completely.
everything happened so quickly and everything is so much of a blur.
when it was happening to me i tried to be so strong and was thinking about everyone elses feeling.everytime i put on the tv or read the paper there was something to do with babies or death of babys.

nicgeodav Sun 23-Sep-07 21:30:09

sorry so crap at this kind of thing.
this is the only posative place i have found re termination due to fetal abnormalities.

majormoo Mon 24-Sep-07 20:22:47

Hi nicgeodav. Sorry to hear about your baby. I started this thread originally a couple of years ago now. We also found out at a 12 scan that our baby has Patau's so I know what you are going through. chezzasaville posted her message a year ago so may not check the thread. I would recommend ARC-it is really helpful. There is a fantastic email support group. The web address is

nicgeodav Mon 24-Sep-07 20:45:04


UCM Mon 24-Sep-07 20:50:31

Majormoo, I am sorry that you feel like this. I didn't terminate after going to Kings as I was 37, but I know I would have if faced with the chance of abnormalities like the one you were diagnosed with.

I think you have got to focus on what happens next. It's happened. You can't change it. You must look to the future for your DD. Other than that I don't know what to say but sorry and keep talking.

PondusLector Mon 24-Sep-07 21:46:02

So sorry to hear of your loss.
I had a baby with Patau's, diagnosed at the 20wk scan. It happened in 2005 and I went on to conceive again five months later. I now have a ds aged 9 months.
Be kind to yourself, people don't really know how to react in this situation. I found myself really withdrawing for a while.
I hope tomorrow is a better day.
My sympathy goes out to all those on this thread who have suffered the same loss.

majormoo Tue 25-Sep-07 18:29:14

nicgeodav, like Pondus, I conceived about 5 months after my termination. My son is one in a couple of weeks. We waited a few months before TTC although this was only because I was waiting for the results of a smear test-otherwise we would have tried straight away. So there is hope after such a dreadful experience.

I think people who have never suffered a bereavement can find it hard to know what to say/how to act. Not that it is much consolation now, but in future you will probably be able to support other people in their grief after this experience.

TOPFAResearch Thu 15-Aug-13 21:26:20

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TOPFAResearch Thu 15-Aug-13 21:26:40

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HotAngryTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 09:10:44

Hi TOPFAResearch - if you want more responses to your research survey you're best putting a new thread in the antenatal tests/choices section where most people looking for support before/during/after TOPFA will go. HTH

Moltobene Fri 13-Dec-13 03:10:00

OP, how awful, I am so sorry.

Just so you know SATFA is now ARC- Antenatal results and choices. They are really good and have a support phoneline and forum. Helpline: 0845 077 2290 or 0207 713 7486 from a mobile phone.

Agree with JaninLondon they are fabulous people.

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