This post is best read while listening to "Downtown train" by Tom Waits.
All of you who have been through the nightmare that is a worrying prenatal diagnosis followed by a termination for medical reasons will probably understand and agree: scans are fucking scary. No, they’re utterly TERRIFYING. No, they’re totally anxiety-inducing.
They give you nightmares. They give you panic attacks. At least, this was the experience for me.
You know when you watch a film or a tv series and someone is pregnant, and they happily go for a scan and all is good and well? This is not the reality for those of us who had to deal with a prenatal diagnosis. This is something that makes me furious. And envious. And bitter. And horrified. And just very, very sad.
I counted the total number of scans we had with Luca: 14. Fourteen scans in twenty six weeks of pregnancy. Two private clinics. Three different NHS hospitals. Only the very first scan, at seven weeks, was a “happy” scan, as we got to hear his heartbeat. The other 13, they were a mess. They were a mix of tears, concerned doctors, measurements, hugs from the doctors, advice, support, genetic counselling. Each scan identified a new issue. Each scan felt like having to let go of Luca a bit more. Having to say goodbye and to accept that he was simply too poorly for this life.
Everyone - friends, family, doctors - truly needs to take into account the trauma, the shock, the confusion that scans mean and will always mean for women like us. I’ve been very “lucky” as I’ve only met extremely compassionate people on this awful journey, but I know full well that that’s not the case for many women.
To me personally, going for a scan will always be a huge trigger and bring up the memory of the dreaded “There’s a serious problem with your baby” words that crushed me so many times already.
If you feel the same - please know this is fine, this is normal, this is valid, and you’re NOT alone in feeling like this.