Continuing your pregnancy after a diagnosis of fetal anomaly is not always an easy journey. You have had to adjust your expectations from the healthy baby you thought you were expecting and that can be a painful process. It can feel like everyone around you is having a 'normal' carefree pregnancy. Your situation is different, whatever the diagnosis. Some women describe being very up and down, having moments where they feel positive about the future and others where they feel very anxious about being able to cope with what might be ahead.
Here are some things we have heard from women about continuing their pregnancy after a diagnosis (all names have been changed):
'It felt really important to name him (we called him Sebastian) before he was born as we wanted to think of him as our son first and our baby with a poorly heart second. I think it helped us both bond with him.'
'Daniel lived for about two hours. You could see how poorly he was. Although it was incredibly sad it felt right that mummy and daddy met him briefly before saying goodbye.'
'I started to get really anxious just before Henry was due to be born. I worried about what he might look like and how I would feel about him. I got quite panicky too about getting to the hospital in time if I suddenly went into labour. It was my first baby so I had all the fears about that as well as about his condition.'
'I felt like screaming at people sometimes (especially my sister-in-law!) when they were constantly positive with me. She kept going on about how marvellous the surgeons were and how it would all be fine. I know she meant well but the prospect of her surgeries after birth absolutely terrified me. I didn't always feel able to admit just how scared I was'
'I found the scans so stressful. I would be steeling myself for the consultant to say that things looked worse or they'd found something else. And to think in my last pregnancy I'd loved the scans. I would call ARC the day before a scan and it was so good to hear a calming voice. What a rollercoaster ride.'
ARC is here for you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Do get in touch for support. We can help you make sure you are seeing the most appropriate specialists and help you find other organisations that provide specific information and support for families who have the same condition as your baby.
Want to talk? We’re here as often as you need us. Our helpline is answered by trained staff Monday to Friday, 10.00am-5.30pm call 0845 077 2290 or 0207 713 7486 from a mobile.