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

Scan photos?

(27 Posts)
Bubblegum89 Fri 03-Jun-16 23:33:11

I had an abortion last year. I didn't want one but that's another story. Anyway, I haven't coped very well since and I've been considering asking the BPAS clinic I went to if I could have a copy of my scan photos. I feel like it would help give me some closure and help me start to move on. Is this even possible? Especially after a year?

memyselfandaye Fri 03-Jun-16 23:36:04

I honestly think that sounds like the last thing that will help.

Have you spoken to a counsellor?

Bubblegum89 Sat 04-Jun-16 00:13:37

I know it sounds silly but it often feels to me like it never happened because I don't really talk about it. There's not been a time in the last year where I haven't wondered about those scan photos and what the gender might have been. For some people it would probably be a terrible idea. I've had all of these emotions brought back up due to someone I know becoming pregnant and I honestly think that just having those pictures that I can look at if I so wish would give me closure. I haven't seen a counsellor for this but I have seen one for other things in the past and I've never felt like they've helped at all

PurpleDaisies Sat 04-Jun-16 00:19:30

How far along were you when you had the abortion? It's not very likely that they'd be able to tell what gender the foetus was if you weren't very far along and it's often difficult even when they're specifically looking.

Sorry you're having a tough time. I think memyselfandaye is right-seeing a counsellor is a really good idea. If you managed to see the scan photos I doubt it would give you the closure you are looking for. Talking through your feelings with someone trained to help you come to terms with what happened is the best way forward. flowers

PurpleDaisies Sat 04-Jun-16 00:22:04

I know you say a counsellor hasn't helped in the past, but you've talked about bottling up your feelings in your post and I'm sure it would help to get them out to someone who will listen and help you understand them.

memyselfandaye Sat 04-Jun-16 00:24:41

Bubblegum I really do think you should see someone to talk through everything.

You say you didnt want to terminate so I think looking at scan pictures will send you into a downward spiral.

I don't think they would keep them anyway.

flowers

MuffinMaiden Sat 04-Jun-16 01:02:16

I was in a similar position a decade ago, and I sometimes still wonder what I would've had. I turned down counselling at the time, and no one has really talked about it since. What helped me have a sense of closure was choosing a gender neutral name to give an identity to my grief, and making a little memorial. I think scan pictures would have made it too real for me and made me feel worse personally.

Bubblegum89 Sat 04-Jun-16 10:34:11

Thanks for all your replies. They wouldn't have been able to tell the gender as I was only 14 weeks but it's just one of the what if things I think about a lot. My partner's twin brother's girlfriend is pregnant and it's brought back up a lot of emotions for me. I saw her scan photo yesterday as she is 13 weeks and seeing how human it looked made me feel terribly guilty. I do genuinely think the pictures would be comforting to me rather than make me feel worse because since I had the abortion done, I've regretted that I never got to see what it looked like. It's weird, missing a person you've never even met sad I might look into counselling but I have a job and a daughter and a partner who works nights so sleeps in the day and a family on both sides that don't know anything about my pregnancy or the abortion so I don't even know when I would be able to go plus I don't drive sad

VocationalGoat Sat 04-Jun-16 10:42:28

If you terminated for medical reasons, consider joining ARC's forum. Talking and sharing and grieving is what you need to do. You need hand holding and a bridge over your troubled waters. This can be given through empathy and understanding. Look for forums where kindred spirits can offer support. Even here on Mumsnet you'll find support. flowers

Bubblegum89 Sat 04-Jun-16 10:53:29

Thank you smile However I terminated because of my partner. He was dead against keeping it and although it was inevitably my choice, I felt like I really had no other option and having been a single mother in the past I knew I couldn't do that again. Naive of me I suppose but still

sarphatii Sat 04-Jun-16 22:09:57

OP... I have often wondered the same. I contacted the clinic in question who told me they kept all records for 10 years then archived them and they would still be available but would take longer to access.

I have thought long and hard about requesting them but I can't decide if it would make me feel worse or not. Like you I want some kind of proof my baby did exist and something to look at and grieve over. I was around the same gestation as you. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way, it's just awful.

The poster who suggested choosing a non gender specific name, that's a good idea, never occurred to me.

Bubblegum89 Sat 04-Jun-16 23:52:44

Do you think you will ever request them? Did they say scan photos are available or only medical notes. I feel guilty for what a I did but I feel more guilty that I didn't even have the guts to look at the scan picture, choosing instead to remain ignorant. I know deep down that seeing it would give me the closure I need. Kind of anyway. I think I need it to feel real, I'm finding it hard to grieve properly for something I've never even seen. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling this way too. It's really horrible and I guess it's one of those things you never fully get over but I'm just trying to find a way to make it a little easier flowers

sarphatii Sun 05-Jun-16 20:49:28

Hey, I don't know if I ever will. They didn't say specifically if they had scan photos but I'm pretty sure they will, as due to my line of work I have seen medical records including those for terminations and they seem to retain the scan photos.
I think it's actually the medical records which might upset me more as in the description of the operation while under GA.
Overall I don't think seeing the scan would really help me to
'Move on' (don't like that expression) but I also really want it to prove that the baby was real. I'm sorry you're having a hard time too. Sadly I think it's more common than people let on..

Bubblegum89 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:33:41

Yeah I guess the phrase "moving on" is the wrong thing to say. I know that I'll never move on. It will be something I think about every day. If I ever have any other children, it'll be bittersweet I think because I'll always wonder about what the other baby would be like now and would they have looked like my other kids. I have a feeling it was a boy. I don't know why, I just always did. I don't want the medical notes as such, I don't feel like I need to read what they did to me for the procedure etc. It's just the scan photo I want. Like you I just want to prove to myself it was real. I'm just finding it difficult to grieve properly having never even seen what I'm supposed to be grieving about. If that makes any sense

KittyandTeal Mon 06-Jun-16 16:29:10

Tbh I would treat this as a grieving process.

I have had a termination for medical reasons, it was a termination that I didn't want obviously. I know they are different, I'm guessing you had one because you felt pressured. However, I would take time to grieve the baby.

I'm not sure they would keep scan photos as standard tbh but it's worth asking.

I don't know if this helps at all, possibly not, but I lost our ds (I know he was a boy because we had harmony testing) at 14 weeks. The scans do look very 'human'. I chose to see and spend time with him after I'd given birth, like we did with dd2. He did not look very human, he looked like a foetus rather than a tiny baby (which is what dd2 looked like at 22 weeks).

I'm so sorry you are in this situation.

sarphatii Tue 07-Jun-16 08:53:35

It makes complete sense to me op. For me though, it didn't really hit me until a few years later, and I have grieved since without having seen anything.. It's been over 10 years now. I was a teenager at the time and also pressured into it as you were. I wonder if we don't allow ourselves to grieve because we feel that it was our 'choice'?

sarphatii Tue 07-Jun-16 08:54:48

Sorry for all you've been through kittyandteal.

KittyandTeal Tue 07-Jun-16 09:18:18

Thank you.

I think you are right about the 'choice' element. I found the grieving process much harder for dd2 as our tfmr was a 'choice'. Logically I know it wasn't, all I was choosing was when she was going to die iyswim.

I think counselling would be a good idea and try dealing with them as 2 seperate things; grieve for your baby as a 'lost' baby and then also deal with the pressure or lack of choice you had in the situation. Both are huge things to deal with so maybe they need seperating if that makes sense.

Bubblegum89 Tue 07-Jun-16 11:24:36

Big hugs to all of you going through this, it's so hard sometimes sad

I emailed someone at BPAS head office regarding records and scan photos and they said that they usually keep scan photos amongst the records, sometimes they don't and for her to access them I needed to send a request for the medical records and a copy of my ID and she can check them all and send them out to me. So it's a possibility I might be able to get a copy of my scan picture.

sarphatii Tue 07-Jun-16 22:33:11

That must have been incredibly hard kittyandteal. Thank you for sharing this. While the circumstances are very different obviously it is helpful to hear how the two situations were different in your experience.

I have tried counselling a few times, it hasn't really helped as I think the truth is I don't feel that I deserve to feel better about it.

Do you think you will write to them Op? What does your partner think? Does he know how you feel?

Bubblegum89 Wed 08-Jun-16 17:52:00

I haven't told him about requesting my records and the scan photo. I have the letter written out ready to post. I think if they do send the scan photos out to me I will probably keep them sealed until I feel ready to look at them but knowing it's there to look at I think will be of a help on its own. My partner knows how I feel about the whole thing and I do believe he is genuinely sorry that he made me do it. He wants to have kids and to be honest the whole experience put me off and he had accepted that he maybe had missed his chance. I've come round more to the idea in the future now so I feel like I need to get these pictures and see them and grieve properly before I could ever begin to think of having another baby

KittyandTeal Wed 08-Jun-16 18:01:23

Bubblegum you've been very brave.

Bubblegum89 Wed 08-Jun-16 19:36:23

Thank you. Not as brave as you though KittyandTeal flowers

sarphatii Wed 08-Jun-16 20:48:41

I know what you mean that just to have the 'proof' somewhere you could look at it when you feel able to would help.

If you are considering having children with your partner then it's definitely a good idea to try to work through the grieving process before then. It's so hard because you can't talk to anyone about it, well I can't anyway. I just carry this secret pain with me which can be triggered by so many things.

Bubblegum89 Thu 09-Jun-16 09:16:00

Big hugs sarphatti flowers it's hard not having anyone to talk to about it. Well, I've got plenty of people but I can't talk to any of them. I'm glad forums like this exist so that I can talk about it here with people I know won't judge me or have been through similar.

I am going to send off my request tomorrow and send a copy of my ID to the lady I've been emailing. I'm hoping they've kept the scan photos but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. I just don't think I could ever have another baby without first grieving properly for this one sad

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