This is a very difficult time for parents as they try to interpret what effects the abnormality will have on their baby.
Severity can vary greatly depending on the condition, gender and gestation of pregnancy. It is very important that parents take as much time as possible to fully understand the health and ongoing implications the abnormality will have on the baby and on their family. Caution should be taken if reading pregnancy forums because of possible audience bias from those replying. Always speak to your midwife or specialist about questions and concerns.
Everyone has different thoughts, feelings and beliefs about how to manage fetal abnormalities. You do not have to agree with others, but rather just do what feels right for you and your family.
Below are some thoughts from parents who have experienced a fetal abnormality during their pregnancy.
Parents whom have faced a similar situation have found themselves questioning whether to:
-Continue monitoring their baby during pregnancy in the hope they can birth and spend as much time with their baby as possible before their baby passes away.
– Interrupt the pregnancy to prevent any further possible health implications for the baby and to minimise emotional distress on themselves and their family.
If you are faced with the difficult decision of whether to end a pregnancy or to continue, below are some resource and website links which you might find helpful:
Book: precious-lives-painful-choices available from www.capersbookstore.com.au
Whatever decision you make is not easy so you must do what feels right for your situation.
If you feel undecided, rushed or disconnected during your decision making period it is best to not make a final decision at that time. If possible, take time away and talk it over with your specialist, partner or loved ones. Sometimes the situation means you do not have as much time as you would like, so do the best you can to insure you feel clear about your decision.
It is also important to surround yourself with a lot of support during and after your pregnancy. It will be an emotionally filled time ahead and the more helpful support the better.
Helpful options might be:
-Having family/friends stay near to assist you with tasks, child minding and emotional support
-Seek professional child loss counselling
-Seek ongoing follow ups from your Midwife or Specialist
– Seek support from fetal abnormality organisations
-Seek ongoing fetal abnormality or medical termination support groups/forums
-Seek support on memory making and remembrance events
Support is available via numerous community groups.