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This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

trying again after termination due to antenatal depression

(22 Posts)
judyisapunk Mon 02-Feb-15 11:52:00

Hi everyone,
After reading lots of posts & seeing how wonderful, empathetic & supportive you all are, I've finally plucked up the courage to.post my experience, in the hope that it may help someone else feel less alone, or that I can receive some words of wisdom or encouragement....

I terminated a planned pregnancy last year due to severe antenatal depression & anxiety. I have never experienced mental illness before & it hit me out of the blue. I felt like I was losing my mind & was having suicidal thoughts, it was the most traumatic experience of my life. I wasn't coping at all & already have 2 children young to care for, so my partner & I made the decision to terminate. I have really struggled to come to terms with this. I've been getting amazing counselling, which has helped immensely. I am trying hard to accept that I remain a good & moral person despite having had a termination. I've always been very pro choice but just never imagined myself in this ,position, especially since I planned my pregnancy. It seems so crazy for me to have done what I did. My heart goes out to you all, it's a hard place to be.

I'm now 40 & can't accept that I will never have another child, so am considering trying again. I'm terrified of it happening again, & also feel like I don't deserve another chance after my termination. My counselor had been wonderful, reinforcing that I am a fantastic mum who absolutely deserves another chance, & reminds me that I was unwell & not emotionally or mentally myself during my last pregnancy.

Just looking for support from others who have tried again after termination, or who have experienced antenatal depression, or who can just tell me I remain a good person despite of this.

Thanks for reading, & hugs to all going through a difficult time xxx

purplefeathers Tue 03-Feb-15 09:20:26

Hi Judy

I'm sorry to hear about everything you've been through. It must have been a terrible time.

I can relate to you regarding ttc after a termination and all the emotions surrounding that. I terminated an unplanned pg and it wasn't until after the procedure, once all the hormones and panic had subsided, that dh and i realised that we would like another child and that all the 'problems' we'd foreseen could be overcome.

I felt terribly guilty even considering ttc again and didn't feel i'd be lucky enough to conceive (wrong side of 35).

However, I fell pg again very quickly. The pregnancy was tinged with sadness about the abortion. But it got easier the further on i got.

In terms of antenatal depression, have you looked into medication that you can take while pregnant? I'm sure there must be some that are safe to take whilst pregnant. Just in case those feelings return.

Good luck. You absolutely do deserve to have another baby. I hope it works out for you thanks

judyisapunk Tue 03-Feb-15 20:53:48

Thanks for your lovely message purplefeathers, it really helped me today. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I'm so pleased to hear you managed to have a third child. I hope you don't mind me asking, but did you wait a while before ttc? It's been 6 months since my termination & I wonder if I should wait longer, but I'm anxious about my age....

It's a tough thing to go through, but I'm trying to learn from it. It's certainly made me more compassionate & less likely to judge others, & it has put my relationship to the test. Luckily this has strengthened my husband & I's love for each other, which seems strange but it really has.
Thanks again for replying smile

Floggingmolly Tue 03-Feb-15 20:57:28

6 months? What makes you feel it'll be any different this time? Antenatal depression isn't fun (I've had it myself), but actually terminating a wanted pregnancy for this reason is extreme.

VixxFace Tue 03-Feb-15 21:15:18

I think you should be happy with the children you have. It wouldn't be fair on anyone if the same situation occurred and you had another termination.
Especially as you know what happened last time.

LovestFromest Tue 03-Feb-15 21:24:23

I have fortunately never been in your position, but it sounds absolutely awful. I really feel for you.

In response to a PP, yes there are pregnancy-safe medications (have taken one myself). But the OP would need to discuss things carefully with her HCP before proceeding.

OP, I really do suggest that you discuss it with your health care provider & counsellor and see what the options are and what the various courses of action would be in case it recurred. Depression can be a life-threatening illness so don't be hard on yourself. When you feel OK it's almost impossible to remember how awful it was.

I wish you all the best OP. Yes you certainly can remain a good person despite having had a termination for ANY reason. Having a life-threatening illness during pregnancy is included on that list.

flowers

judyisapunk Tue 03-Feb-15 22:29:43

Thank you lovest for your kind reply, much appreciated.
This is a terrible, gut wrenching thing to have to live with. My behavior & ultimately my decision to terminate is wholly out of character for me, which indicates how mentally unwell I was at that time. I have never experienced depression or mental ill health before, so I have no idea why this happened to me, it has been devastating.
I am happy with my children, I love them fiercely, but I do desperately want another child.
I may be too frightened to try again, but was just looking for support or experiences of others in a similar position. I appreciate it may be hard to understand my decision to terminate, but it was made out of desperation xxx

purplefeathers Wed 04-Feb-15 08:33:23

You don't need to justify your decision to terminate, Judy.

judyisapunk Wed 04-Feb-15 15:19:37

Thank you again purplefeathers, I kinda felt like I did....
I appreciate your post, it was kind, thank you xx

306235388 Wed 04-Feb-15 15:26:57

OP can I ask how far gone you were? Am just wondering if you could think it's just a short term thing if you suffered again and it was early on?

I suffered horrifically from AND and anxiety but the anxiety was about something being wrong with the baby as I had hyperemesis so I was in a different situation to you.

I did go on to have another child and didn't suffer so badly this time but did get awful, awful, PND.

It breaks my heart but I won't have any more children because I just can't risk putting my family through that again or putting myself through it again.

I can't tell you what to do but IMO you'd be better trying to come to terms with the 2 kids you have and being happy with that . I don't think it's worth the risk to have another but that's only my personal opinion.

purplefeathers Fri 06-Feb-15 09:58:04

I've sent you a pm Judy.

AlpacaMyBags Fri 06-Feb-15 10:02:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Zachmeister Mon 16-Feb-15 12:59:49

I had a termination 3 years ago, a decision I took which I thought was the right thing to do for my dh and two children. My dh suffers from depression and he really didn't think he could cope mentally with another child. I have regretted that decision every day since. I have had counselling and although outwardly I appeared a happy person it really did break my heart and like you made me question my whole being. I had become to come to terms with it and was almost ready for my dh to have the snip when our contraceptive failed. My dh knew I could never go through another termination and we both realise the enormity of the impact the termination has had on us both. This pregnancy feels like atonement for me and has made both me and my husband stronger, I feel it is truly meant to be. I am now 20 weeks pregnant. my dh is facing his depression and started counselling etc. The sadness in my heart has lifted and I feel I can genuinely look to the future much more positively. Nobody has the right to judge you or question how you choose to continue with your life. I think with the right support you and your husband will go on to have that other baby and it will help heal what was a very difficult and emotional experience. flowers

caliopexx2015 Mon 16-Feb-15 14:20:29

ante natal and post natal depression are such cruel illness to suffer from, it takes one if the happiest times of your life and turns it into a living nightmare. I completely empathise with you because although I did not have a termination I suffered horribly from anxiety and depression 8 years ago while pregnant with my ds. now, 8 years later we want another baby and I am petrified sad whatever your choice is all I can say is make sure you have a strong support network around you, such a tough decision, I hope everything works out well for u. xx

Albri Thu 05-May-16 08:45:47

Hi Judy,

I have just gone through the same thing you went through last year.

We were trying for a third child last year and were unsuccessful. We then fell pregnant this April (age 40) but as soon as I found out, the negativity set in. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and could not think straight. Then the nausea and tiredness set in and I felt crippled. All I wanted to do was sleep and stay in bed. I didn't want to see anyone or do anything.

I set the termination ball rolling which was really drawn out as I was so unsure. We constantly swayed from termination to keeping the baby. I missed one termination appointment and then walked out of another.

In the end, I was swayed by my partner who was slightly in favour of termination (he thought 4 weeks of being in limbo was not healthy and that it would never be resolved) and I went through with it. It's the worst day of my life and as soon as I took the tablet, I knew it was a mistake.

I am devastated. I knew I had antenatal depression but I unfortunately didn't seek help in time.

Although the anxieties I had were genuine, they were magnified and I felt I couldn't cope, let alone make a rational decision.

I just wondered how you're feeling now and how you're getting on?

Alex

Galacticos Fri 03-Jun-16 08:04:01

Hello Juddy and Albri,
I sympathise entirely with your experiences. I am 38 with 3 kids, and we were hoping to get another child at some point. I fell pregnant and it was like a surprise, event though we were thinking of it.
I was happy at the beginning but slowly I started feeling overwhelmed with negativity and couldn't function. I just could not come to terms with going through a full pregnancy. I was convince that the baby coming will be disabled and will be the end of our happy family life. I really believed that there was something wrong with the baby… I had this dreadful feeling of impending doom, and could not see through the clouds…
I went to the abortion clinic 4 times. My husband was so supportive. However he got himself pulled on with my negativity.
I had the termination at the 4th visit to the clinic. I just wanted t to stop the
stress I was under, and termination was the only way at that time.
I did not realised I could have been suffering from pre-natal depression.
I had never heard of it.
I had never been depressed before.
After termination I felt relieved, for two days.
Then feelings came crashing on my, and suffered sever anxiety, could not sleep for days, didn't eat, and had sakes and shivers constantly through my body. I lost happiness of living.
I am trying hard to overcome this situation.
I can't change what I did, but can change the future.
I am going to see a psychologist next week and need to take care of my mental health. I already feel better about it, 8 days after procedure. I see the light.
I am also going to se a gynaecologist and make sure I am ok phisically after the termination.
We are going to start trying after my cycle comes back. I really want another baby, and hope that this time I don't get PND. And if I do, I will be able to recognise it and deal with it with professional help.

I hope it also works out for you Albri. It will be great if we could stay in touch, and we can share feelings. I can't talk to anybody apart of my husband, it is difficult to go through it by yourself. I don't think anyone will understand unless you have been in this situation.
I also worry about being able to conceive in the future, about my age…
life is hard!
But we also have other children that keep us going and we need to be happy for them.
let me know how you are doing

Galacticos Fri 17-Jun-16 07:20:32

Hi, I'm just reading your story and it just feels like it is me. I had a termination just 3 weeks ago, and feeling soooo bad. I am a mother of 3 and now would like to concave again. I think I was hit by prenatal depression and strong anxiety and had to terminate as I could not cope.
I don't understand myself now, that I feel much better… But have an urgency to fall pregnant again.
I am also 39 so need to start soon.
Just need to talk to someone that has gone through this like me, but I haven't found anyone, and it is difficult to talk, as I am not expecting people to understand…
Would you be able to talk to me? How are you now? have you gone on to have another pregnancy? How are you coping? How are you feeling? Does acceptance come?
I will really appreciate your words…
please PM me

[Message from MNHQ - Galacticos, we've removed the email address you posted as it's not really safe to share such info on a public forum - you can share emails via our PM system instead]

uggmum Fri 17-Jun-16 07:37:05

I suffered with this during my second pregnancy. I did continue with the pregnancy but at times I really comptempated ending it. I developed anti natal depression at around 18 weeks and it was relentless. Very dark days. I found that people didn't understand the condition at all and I only told about 5 people. I did have a supportive medical team and medication.

Towards 37 weeks my symptoms did improve and disappeared completely at the birth. It was like a huge relief. I was induced at 38 weeks due to the condition. I bonded with my son immediately.

This was my second pregnancy. My first was fine with no signs of depression.

I did attempt another pregnancy 5 years later but suffered secondary infertility and 2 loses. After 7 years of trying I have now given up but this mainly due to age.

If you do try again I would suggest a referral to a midwife or consultant that specialises in anti natal depression and discuss possible medication/treatment programmes that will help you. Earlier treatment might really help.

Galacticos Fri 17-Jun-16 09:16:25

Thank you uggmum,
i think you took the correct option, and carried on with pregnancy. It must have been really hard to go through all 9 months, and you did great! I don't think pre-natal depression is well documented and not even doctors are aware. I was obviously crying for help while pregnant, not wanting to end it but not being able to carry on… so much panic. But nobody understood and I was alone in my dark cloud…
I am glad you had two amazing kids, and that is the joy of your family.
I wish I can go through this and try again..
tanks for your kind word!

FluffyPersian Mon 27-Jun-16 16:10:35

Having never had any mental health issues before, last year (when I was 33) I planned to have a child with my long term partner. I took folic acid, tracked my cycle – we tried once and hey presto… I was pregnant.

I felt so low and upset it was just horrible. There was literally no happiness, no joy and no excitement at all. I felt like a freak as I thought expectant Mothers were supposed to be happy and excited, not wanting to kill themselves to end how they felt? I read books, looked online, tried to find people who felt the same – However the more I read, the worse I felt as everything was so… ‘twee’…and talking about the ‘exciting time your body is going through’ – antenatal depression was maybe, 2-3 lines in a book, or half a paragraph on a page.

Added to that, my utter fear or giving birth naturally after witnessing my sisters (botched) vaginal birth and having a massive phobia of medical professionals in general, my mood plummeted further. On the one hand, I desperately wanted to be a Mother – on the other, the desire to kill myself to stop feeling as bad as I felt and my daily panic that the Drs would force me to give birth naturally was all consuming.

Despite going to the Drs and being prescribed 50mg of Setraline (which admittedly did mute the desire to throw myself in front of a train) and the Midwife trying to get me an appointment to discuss having an ELCS at 15 weeks, I read online about my local hospital being ‘proud of the low C-section rate’ and something snapped and I phoned BPAS.

I terminated my pregnancy at exactly 12 weeks last October and it was far more mentally traumatic than I thought it would be. Physically, it was fine… mentally – I still have a lot of guilt and feel like I failed – I failed doing something ‘natural’ that millions and millions of women were able to do. I feel guilty that I planned having a baby and rather than being happy and excited at having my first scan like the other Mothers, I was sat in a corner of the hospital, trying not to hysterically cry, feeling sick with terror.

I’m now 34, engaged to my amazing partner, am financially independent in a very solid job – I’m not even close to thinking I’d be able to try again any time soon as the thought of feeling like I did again is too much to bear. I’m talking to a counsellor, have amazing friends and family, but honestly… it was the worst time of my life.

I don’t know if my post will help anyone – But if I felt like I did in October 2015, I guess I’d like to try and get across to people that:

1. It’s OK to not feel happy
2. It’s OK to not feel excited
3. It’s a complete myth that every pregnant woman feels OK about the pregnancy
4. You are not a freak – other people have felt that bad (I remember having my scan, hoping there was no heartbeat so I didn’t have to make a painful decision).
5. You aren’t alone

anna8315 Fri 09-Sep-16 11:18:40

Hi dear guys. It is been sooo amazing that you all open up so much and telling your stories here in the forum. When I read it I knew there are sooo many woman outside gone trough the same thing maybe with different circumstances around but I see we all terminated pregnancy in kind of a situation where we have not been ourself anymore due to hormones and our partners who did not knew how to handle these situation right.

I am originally from Germany and believe me or not,.you rarely find people talking about depression and anxiety in their pregnancy. Last month i terminated my much wanted pregnancy in week 14. Yes it is horrible, i was depressed since week 5 and my relationship was constantly on up and down due to my depression. It is sooo tragic for me, went to so many doctors where I wanyed to make the abortion and amost had a break down when i had to make the choice. I always postponed the surgery. Nobody of the doctors had seen I was suffering from depression. Maybe i should have tell them my whole story so tjey would have been aware. I can remember a doctor who said in the end pregnancy usually is exciting so maybe you really are not ready! She was an abortion doctor. Since the day I had terminated I feel the worst in my life. I am 32 and wanted a baby so bad. I felt pregnant after one month trying and maybe i was just not ready to have a baby. I always though pregnancy is a time where you feel great but I had nausea and overwhelming tiredness and in the end claustrophobic in my own body. I feel like I have done an selfish act of terminating my so much wanted baby. I miss it every day and I wish I could fall pregnant again but now i am seeing a therapist and taking medicine to get over this sooo traumatic experience nobody should experience in life. Please woman if you read this, if you wanted a baby and suddenly your brain is telling yiu different then consider psychological help immediately. Try to find help but not in abortion clinics to terminate. After the termination i went in a psychologist hospital for helping me as I had suicide thoughts and they helped me immediately. They even said I can go for a couple of days in hospital to get a treatment. He also said they have plenty of pregnant woman there who stay in hospital during their hard depression times. If i would have went there before my baby would have been saved but all the doctors I have seen before nobody realised i suffered from panic attacks. I thought I can not love the baby and was scared it will be sick but it was a perfect healthy baby inside me. It breaks my heart, my sould and has been a nightmare since termination. Please woman don't terminate ever a wanted pregnancy (apart from when the baby is not healthy) it is just not right!!! Your hormones make you a different person and the fear of having a child. Please go for a therapist and if they don't listen to you tell them you want to die then they will eventually have attention and will refer you immediately to a therapist!!! I know that sound harsh but nobody of my doctors have been listening when I told them I want to.terminate as I am so depressed. And after 5 appointment and a week full of stress I eventually tool the tablet to kill my baby and afterwards they made the small surgery whicu lasted only around 10-15 Minutes. 15 Minutes to take out the life inside me! Hope it will help you all and if you have questions please contact me!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 11:27:27

Hi OP, I had such severe PND I chose not to have another child. In your situation there's no way I'd try again so soon tbh, if you'd had it ten years ago I would say try again but a year ago is no time at all. You have 2 children, I would concentrate on enjoying them and continuing with counseling. One of the reasons we didn't go ahead with another child is that it wouldn't have been fair on the child I already had to have his mum in hospital again and ill. We felt it would've been a selfish choice.

flowers

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