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Termination following diagnosis of abnormality

(78 Posts)
Rosy Fri 23-Nov-01 16:34:10

Sorry to bring everyone down, but I will soon be going in to hospital to have my 17 week pregnancy terminated following an amnio which showed that our daughter has Downs. Obviously we're distraught about it, and the more we learn about it the worse it gets (I will have to be induced, my milk will come in after three days, there will be a funeral...) As we've found, there's not much to say about it, certainly no looking on the bright side, but I would welcome other people's experience of it, and reassurance if there is any. Thanks, Rosy.

Alibubbles Fri 23-Nov-01 17:12:48

Rosy, so sorry to hear your sad news. Words cannot express or help what you must be feeling now.
I hope everything goes okay, not that it will be pleasant for either of you. Rest assured that you have made the right decision for you and your family, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, I wish you both well.

Candy Fri 23-Nov-01 19:18:01

Oh Rosie, I really feel for you and will be thinking of you. I don't think there is a right or wrong decision in this case; just YOUR decision which everybody must respect. I have absolutely no advice for you but just wanted you to know that I'm sure everyone on here will be thinking of or praying for you. Look after yourself.

Batters Fri 23-Nov-01 23:13:51

Rosy, my heart goes out to you at this time. I can't think of anything comforting to say, but remember that people are thinking of you and wishing you all the very best.

Robinw Sat 24-Nov-01 07:02:33

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Scummymummy Sat 24-Nov-01 08:55:04

Rosy, I'm so sorry to hear this. I'll be thinking of you.

Janh Sat 24-Nov-01 12:43:29

Rosy, the only reassurance I can offer is that in your position I would do the same. I just hope the procedure doesn't take too long and that you have lots of support during and after it, and are allowed all the grieving time you need. I am so sorry.

Rhiannon Sat 24-Nov-01 20:18:46

Rosy, I too would follow you on this path if I had the choice. I hope you are feeling better soon. R.

Carriel Sat 24-Nov-01 20:33:28

I hope someone comes on soon with some reassurance/ experience that can help, if indeed anyone can. I'm sure I'm not the only one who read this and felt powerless to help. The only thing I can offer is thoughts, prayers and sympathy. As for the grieving process, I hope you have people who can help you through it. Actually the only piece of advice I would offer (feel free to ignore) is to take advantage of any counselling that's on offer, this can't be an uncommon experience (though no less painful for it) and there may be some 'coping mechanisms' a trained counsellor could suggest.Sorry to be so lame - it's just I would never had considered counselling before I had it following a death in the family and it helped in as much as it just allowed me the time/permission to grieve - doesn't take away the pain, but helps you deal with it. Please feel free to rant, moan, grieve whatever you want on mumsnet, you know we will all be thinking of you.

Suedonim Sat 24-Nov-01 22:53:13

Rosy, I'm so sorry to learn of your sad news. If it would help, there is a charity for parents who are in the same situation as yourselves. It's called ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices). They can give information and support, whatever your decision. They don't seem to have a website but are on email.

ARC
73-75 Charlotte Street
London
W1P 1LB
Tel 020 7631 0285 Helpline
Tel/Fax 020 7631 0280
e-mail: arcsatfa@aol.com

NCT (Tel 0870 444 8707) also have an Experiences Register which may be able to put you in touch with other parents who have been through the same event.

I'll be thinking of you.

Chanelno5 Sun 25-Nov-01 10:26:25

So sorry, Rosy, it is a terrible situation for you to be in. I feel that if I was in your position, I would have made the same decision as you. Thinking of you.

Bron Sun 25-Nov-01 14:23:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sis Sun 25-Nov-01 20:22:08

Rosy, Very sorry about your situation and my heart goes out to you - it cannot have been an easy decision and if anyone does make any hurtful comments, remember it is easy to tell others how to run their lives but few of us know what how we would cope in such painful circunstances until it happens to us.
Thinking of you,
sis

Lisav Sun 25-Nov-01 20:54:06

Oooh, I have very mixed feelings about this. As most of you will know, my sister Traceyv gave birth to a Downs baby just three weeks ago now. He was diagnosed Downs at 30 weeks and she was offered a termination. She didn't take it and I won't say there are not problems, there are, lots of them. But he is a lovely, sweet baby.

As I also have a brother with learning difficulties I have to say that I am against the termination of a baby just because it is handicapped. Have you thought about adoption Rosy? There are lots of couples out there just desperate for a baby to love and care for.

One other thing about termination is that a lot of women come to regret it later on, please make sure that you receive counselling before you take this decision. I've seen women whose lives have been dramatically changed because of an abortion.

A handicapped child is difficult, hard work and exhausting, but they bring so much joy. This society is so stressed on being perfect, perfect babies, perfect mothers, etc that anything seen as different is not welcome. A handicapped child is so special. Rosy, I don't want to make you feel bad about this, obviously you have thought about it a lot, but please do be sure that you are making the right decision. As I said, I am bias as this is so very personal to me. But seeing my sister's baby makes me wonder how anyone could not want such a child, however imperfect he may be.

Joe1 Sun 25-Nov-01 21:22:40

Lisav, I am so glad you have written what you have. I have been trying to think of something to say for a couple of days now. As I am classed as a mature mum we have come to the decision that if something was picked up with our baby/ies then we would have them whatever. But I can understand Rosy making this decision as being best for her, just couldnt do it myself.
I hope all goes ok for you Rosy and I will be thinking of you through this time.

Zadie Sun 25-Nov-01 21:38:12

Rosy, I have been in a similar situation to you, my baby wasn't Downs, but had a heart abnormality which showed at the 20 week scan. We were told he wouldn't survive for more than a few days if he were to go full term so we decided to terminate to save the additional trauma of losing a full-term baby. I felt alot of guilt wondering if I'd done the right thing, and perhaps he could have been operated on etc, but in the end you have to do what feels right for you and your partner. It is so personal, nobody can advise you the 'right' thing to do, but I'm sure alot of people will try. Like you will be, I had to be induced, and go through labour to have the baby. This is not something I knew until a couple of days beforehand, I had previously thought that you could just have an operation to have a termination, but not when you are over a certain amount of weeks. I cannot prepare you for the experience, but I would just say do not rush back to work or underestimate in any way how much it will affect you. I took about a week off and thought if I keep busy I'll be ok. Not true, and I regret it still after almost 3 years, and a beautiful healthy child later. The milk coming in is upsetting, but does dry up quickly thank goodness. We also had a small funeral, but with no family present, just my and my partner. Do whatever feels ok for you as part of your grieving. If you are offered counselling take it, I should have gone and thought I could cope, but it really helps to talk to someone, and my friends were fantastic. Talk to anyone who will listen without judging you. Do ask me anything else you want to know, physical, emotional or whatever to do with the birth. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.

Janh Sun 25-Nov-01 22:07:35

Oh, Lisa, I think Rosy has already made her decision, and it's not an easy one. I had amnio for my last baby and decided beforehand that if the result showed Downs I would have a termination...

The thing is it's not just the baby you have to think about...it's the whole family and the adult child too. At the supermarket where I work there is a Downs boy - well, man, really, he is 24. The supermarket provides him with a job, it pays him a wage and gets him out of his mother's hair, but while the customers enjoy chatting to him and having the job makes him feel good, he doesn't do it very well (packing bags) and he drives the checkout people wild because they hear the same stories over and over again, not just while he is telling them to customers but because he tells THEM the same stories over and over again.

Also, although he has a child's mind he has a man's body and a man's feelings, and he suffers a man's frustrations but doesn't understand why. Living with, and being responsible for, a person like this is a lifetime thing. I have a friend in her 40s, one of 4, who has a Downs sister of around 40, and she has been a burden on the whole family.

Being in this situation is a no-win. You just have to do what you feel is best for you, your family and the child. Rosy has decided what she must do and we should respect that.

Jbr Sun 25-Nov-01 22:58:17

Yep everyone has to be perfect!

And Lisa it's disabled not "handicapped" even though you are right in what you say. Didn't Nazis kill people who weren't deemed to be "right" and that included disabled people.

Zadie that is awful, truly a case of "now or later". Knowing the baby definitely wouldn't have survived must have been truly awful.

Keaton Sun 25-Nov-01 23:01:43

Rosy, I'm so sorry that you find yourself faced with this awful predicament. Whatever you decide, there is heartache and sadness ahead of you. But I have to be honest and say that I do think there is a right and wrong decision here. Surely, whatever else your baby is -- big, small, black, white, Downs, not-Downs -- it is, first and foremost, a beautiful, brand new life. I know it's so easy for me to sit at my pc and pontificate about other peoples' lives, and of course I don't know what your particular situation is. But I do speak with some experience of being faced with a similar situation and I just can't think of any set of circumstances where termination seems appropriate or right. I'm not judging you. I tremble even to think of the anguish you are experiencing now. But I have to speak up ... You and all your family remain in my thoughts.

Jasper Sun 25-Nov-01 23:30:39

Handicapped/ disabled/imperfect...I think this is possibly the LEAST appropriate time to go correcting people on their vocabulary.

Lisav probably knows more about this subject than the rest of us put together. It is a little insensitive to argue over the words she CHOOSES to use. She conveyed her thoughts beautifully and with great sensitivity.


Rosy, I have no personal experience of this and cannot imagine how you must be feeling.I do not know what I would do if faced with your situation.I would trully be at loss as to whether to decide to keep the baby or not.
Rosy if you have made your mind up and it seems you have then I am sure that is a big part of coming to terms with this news.
I hope these messages help in some minute way. We may all be expressing differing views but It does seem most/ all are being offered in a spirit of sympathy and support.
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Mooma Mon 26-Nov-01 07:13:13

Rosy, in your posting you seem already to have decided on your course of action, and I expect you've thought through all the issues people have raised in reply. All I would urge is that you read through this thread carefully and be sure you have taken all these issues into account, as they relate to you and your partner. I know you are between a rock and a hard place, it's a case of deciding on the solution that will work better for you.
I will be thinking of you.

Robinw Mon 26-Nov-01 07:20:47

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Alibubbles Mon 26-Nov-01 08:46:30

Jbr, the correct term is "people with disabilities" - (having just done a special needs and equal opportunities training course), they are people first, with a disability or learning difficulty.

Mima Mon 26-Nov-01 09:44:57

Rosy, I think you are exceeding brave to go through with this. My AFP test at 20 weeks came back saying I had a high risk of having a Downs baby and I refused an amnio. The last 16 weeks of my pregnancy have been really horrendous, every day I think about it. I only have four weeks to go now until my due date. I lost a baby at the beginning of the year and could not bear to have gotten rid of another one, also to have miscarried a perfectly healthy baby after an amnio was too big a risk for me, emotionally I could not have coped. The hospital told me what I would have to go through if the amnio result showed a Downs baby, ie injection to kill it, labour induced, birth certificate and funeral and I decided against it. I believe I miscarried because it wasn't right and this child is still alive inside and has not choosen to leave me then it deserves a chance.

I spent weeks crying after the AFP result and I can only imagine what you are going through. Good Luck, I hope it all works out for you.

Marina Mon 26-Nov-01 10:05:32

Rosy, what a heart-breaking situation for you. Thinking of you all. I have never been in such a situation, and like some of the other mature mums here, am not sure whether I could take the decision that you have made.
I don't know whether this helps at all, but a colleague who opted for termination after a positive amnio had the most caring support from hospital staff and went on to have a lovely little girl eighteen months later.
The hospital will presumably have put in you touch with ARC, Antenatal Results and Choices (formerly known as SATFA), who helped this colleague a lot too.

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