Views And Reviews

Peace and pain

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6949.279 (Published 23 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:279
  1. K Palmer

    It was Christmas eve 1992 when we discovered that I was pregnant. We wrote “to a prospective proud grandfather” on the gift tag of my father in law's Christmas present. Both of our families were delighted for this was to be the long awaited first grandchild.

    At ten and half weeks, the ultrasound scan showed a tiny form with arms and legs which waved. I declined blood sampling for (alpha) fetoprotein and this first decision seemed easy. An equally pregnant friend and I celebrated reaching 12 weeks by buying portable nursery monitors. One night, just past 18 weeks, away from home and unable to sleep, I felt the first “tap, tap, tap” of the life inside me. At 20 weeks exactly my husband was able to feel kicking too. The following day, the Monday before Easter, I was off work with a bad cold. Lying in bed with little to occupy my mind, I began to panic at not having felt any movements since the previous day. My midwife had said it was always better to telephone than to worry, so I telephoned and she arranged to meet us. Hearing the wooshing of our baby's heart was such a relief that we would have returned home there and then, completely reassured.

    Concern at my modest bump, however, resulted in another ultrasound scan. This time it showed profound oligohydramnios and multiple abnormalities. I remember feeling dazed and …

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