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Posted by on in Problems In Pregnancy
I Just Needed To See My Baby

Our baby girl was conceived summer of 2013.  Our 2nd baby.  We thought, wow.  Our first baby – a boy. Second baby – a girl.  I made it a point to keep myself active by keeping up with our 20-month old’s playgroups, etc. regardless of how heavily pregnant I got.  It was the only way I could get exercise and I promised that this pregnancy won’t compromise our toddler’s activities.  

But then, on my 6th month of pregnancy, anxiety slowly crept in.  Countless questions started to drown me.  A baby girl?  How do you take care of a baby girl?  I seem to have been able to manage with a boy, but that’s just one child - but with 2 children?  And a girl?  How?  I tried to draw in childhood memories but none of them consoled me: authoritarian parents, physical work, smacking, not enough cuddles/kisses, siblings I barely knew because we were torn apart, my eldest sister having an unplanned pregnancy and eloping with boyfriend, etc.

My toddler’s Health Visitor seemed to know our family quite well. And so, at one of his appointments, she asked me, “How are you mum?” And I thought, “I have no one to talk to.  I have to tell her.  Now.  I broke down.  I told her that I wasn’t very happy.  That, I was burdened with worries.  That, I didn’t know how to take care of a baby girl.  She was genuinely sympathetic and tried to raise my self-esteem.  At the same time, she tried to dig a little into my story.  She said that she can refer me for mental health support – but she kindly asked me if I would like her to handle my case and conduct the first assessment.  I agreed.

After a week, she popped by our flat and we had a little chat about my family history, my childhood, my husband, and how I was managing with a toddler whilst heavily pregnant.  Going through the details with her was impossible without crying.  She was with us for an hour and perfectly understood why I felt that way and quickly decided to refer me to a clinical psychologist (CP).

Probably on the same week, at our toddler’s bi-weekly playgroup, one of the children’s centre staff approached me and asked me how I am and the baby.  I related to her what I’ve been going through and the home visit that we have just had.  She quickly told me that she can get help for me and asked me to stay for a bit after the playgroup so she can fill-out a referral form for me.  I received a call from Compass Wellbeing UK after about a week or so.  I was told that I would be seen by a CP.  I went through an assessment with the CP and she scheduled me for weekly counselling (about an hour each) until I felt that I no longer needed it.  

Early February 2014, I called my CP and told her that I won’t be able to attend the sessions anymore as I was already having difficulty moving around.  She was very supportive and said to call her back whenever I felt the need to see her.  The sessions with the CP were difficult as I had to unload my feelings every time.  But each session taught me how to handle my emotions, gave more clarity to who I am, and the future of our new baby.  

Here are some of the very important pointers that I got from her:

1. As a new parent / every pregnancy can bring back childhood memories. Both the good and the bad.

2. Do not put undue pressure on yourself and expect to bond with your baby after birthing. For some mothers, this is a slow process – but is still considered normal.

3. Your child’s life will be completely different from yours.

4. Give yourself some credit.

5. Try and sit with someone you trust, e.g. husband, partner or friend, and talk more about your feelings.

6. Go out and join groups, e.g. parenting groups / playgroups, and make new friends.

Through the advocacy of my Birth Doula (I found her through Doula UK), the consultant agreed to perform a Natural Caesarean (ironically, this was also an Emergency C-Section as baby did not engage and was swimming in three litres of water). As soon as the medical staff brought the curtain down, I burst into tears. There she was, my lovely baby girl.  A few days after I gave birth, I called my CP to update her and told her, “I just needed to see my baby.”

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On Planned Parenthood: How I was Almost a Victim of Big Business

This article originally appeared on the author's site, 1Shiksayisrael on July 24, 2015.  Republished with permission.

 

I feel like I have aged a thousand years since June 15, 2015.  That is the day videos were released that showed a sting on illegal practices at Planned Parenthood.  I have been agitated, upset and at unease since they aired.  I have hardly slept and my mind has become troubled. 

I am troubled because me and my baby almost became victims of Planned Parenthood.  I say victims correctly because I feel like a victim of rape or molestation due to Planned Parenthood's unethical practices.  I have come to see that Planned Parenthood is an abuser like any other.  They use shame, manipulation and deceit like an abuser.  An abuser of women, babies and souls.  I should tell you of my experience with them.

Ten years ago I was a Federal Officer with a new house and a new relationship.  Things were going pretty good.  Then one day I found out I was pregnant.  My boyfriend's initial joy soon changed to worry for finances.  He just didn't think we could handle a baby.  Over the next week, Rob wore me down to having an abortion.  I just couldn't handle the pressure of losing everything for a baby.  I called Planned Parenthood and I must tell you, I was never counselled about adoption.  I wasn't emotionally counselled.  I was told to come in and have an abortion.  I was told it was a painless, easy procedure and best for the baby too.  They said my baby wasn't a baby but a blob of tissue without feelings.  They said it was a mercy to abort my baby.

I asked about having an ultrasound but I was told my baby was too small and it was a waste of time. I made the appointment for the next day.  I couldn't get my baby out of my mind so I called my regular doctor and he said he could fit me in for an emergency ultrasound if I hurried. I got to the hospital and I laid down on a cold, sterile table.  The technician didn't know I was going to have an abortion the next day.  She showed me my baby.  His heart was beating like a hummingbird's.  He was moving.  I looked at his heart beat and I couldn't kill him.  I just couldn't kill my baby.

I started to cry and the technician seemed to understand my thoughts.  She left and I cried on that cold table because I was all alone.  Then I remembered, I wasn't alone.  I had a little person with me and God.  I went outside and in tears told Rob that I wasn't going to kill our baby.  He said he would leave me and he did.  I gave birth without him and I cut my baby's cord alone.  I named him LeModre which is Spanish for "The Mother", because I brought him through Hell and back.

My baby is beautiful and not life unworthy of life.  He is my beautiful treasure and a gift from God.  When I see these Planned Parenthood videos I almost vomit, I almost throw myself to the ground.  What had I almost done?  What had Planned Parenthood made easy and pressured me to do?  I feel traumatized since I saw the truth of Planned Parenthood.. They are the worst human beings on Earth.  They make money off of people's problems and turn innocent life into meat for a corporation's sell as if they were a cattle farm..

If you're a mother unsure of what to do, please know that it won't always be like this.  God gives us trials to make us strong.  Please choose Life because Death never answered anyone's problems.  I want to encourage pro-lifers to keep encouraging and counselling women.  Corporations like Planned Parenthood are here to snuff the Light of God from this earth and we will answer in Paradise for our actions.  God bless you! 

I

 

 

 

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Planned Parenthood's Misleading Claims on Abortion and Mental Health

America's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood in its latest publication, "The Emotional Effects of Induced Abortion"(2013)1, claims that "legally induced abortion does not pose mental health problems for women" and that "most substantive studies in the last 30 years have found abortion to be a relatively benign procedure in terms of emotional effect.."  I looked carefully at the research Planned Parenthood refers to and these claims are false.  The two main reviews cited by Planned Parenthood do not support a general claim that abortion does not affect the mental health of women.  Planned Parenthood's claims on abortion and mental health are both misleading and irresponsible.

When I read Planned Parenthood's publication and similar statements from other abortion providers, I wondered about claims that abortion does not have emotional effects because so many women have expressed deep and ongoing negative emotional reactions after abortion.  It just didn't seem right because although women in general are obviously coping, all the women after abortion who I know personally have suffered so much mentally in private and for a long time and I have read the stories of many more who have gone through similar experiences.

So I spent weeks looking into the actual research on mental health and abortion referenced by Planned Parenthood, reading mammoth reports.  Firstly, the 100 page report by the American Psychological Association's Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion (TFMHA)2 in 2008 and then the 250 page report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC)3 in 2011 (London).  These reports are the result of two major systematic reviews that Planned Parenthood cites to support it's own claims on mental health and abortion 

Firstly, Planned Parenthood makes this opening statement, "legally induced abortion does not pose mental health problems for women" and says this is supported by rigorous reviews in the last five years.  It goes on to give conclusions from the two reviews by the AMRC and the TFMHA that I just mentioned.  However, in doing so, Planned Parenthood fails to make some crucial points which are necessary to understand the context of these reviews and the conclusions they make.

Looking at the AMRC report, it is important to note this review excluded negative emotional effects and research evidence of mental health problems within 90 days of an abortion.  Its focus was on clinically diagnosed mental health disorders or mental illness beyond 3 months of an abortion.  Planned Parenthood does not mention this.  It does not define mental health problems anywhere in it's publication and seems to confuse this term with emotional effects when these two outcomes are actually treated very differently in the TFMHA and AMRC reviews into mental health and abortion.  

The AMRC conclusions do not directly support Planned Parenthood's statement, 'legally induced abortion does not pose mental health problems for women.'  It concluded that support and proper care should be available for all women who have an unwanted pregnancy "because the risk of mental health problems increases whatever the pregnancy outcome".

Also the TFMHA review does not support Planned Parenthood's opening statement.  The TFMHA report did not conclude that no women suffer mental health problems as a result of legal induced abortion.  In fact it says, "To state that women in general do not show an increased incidence of mental health problems following a single abortion, however, does not mean that no women experience such problems."(p.91)

The TFMHA also clearly state in their report how crucial it is to define "mental health problems" (which it defines as clinically diagnosed/measured mental disorders).  The Planned Parenthood publication fails to share this information.  Planned Parenthood fails to inform women that claims made by the paper in reference to mental health problems do not include the negative emotions or behaviour, e.g. sadness, regret, guilt, or even depression below the clinical threshold, that may affect a women's health after an abortion. Unless this is made clear, readers may otherwise think the conclusions made by the APA on mental health problems includes all negative psychological effects, including emotional healh

Planned Parenthood makes another claim in reference to the AMRC review, falsely stating it, "reviewed all studies about the emotional effects of abortion that had been published in English between 1990 and 2011."  As mentioned earlier, the AMRC excluded 'emotional effects' of abortion as being 'beyond the scope' of its review and only concluded on evidence on mental health problems (clinically measured or validated using rating scales) and substance abuse from a very limited number of studies in the end. In fact by the time the AMRC was done with excluding studies because they did not meet inclusion criteria it was left with only 180 studies out of 8909 references from 1990-2011, and drew its final conclusions on mental health outcomes from between 1 & 4 studies only (see p.108-118 of report3).  This claim by Planned Parenthood which indicates that the AMRC conducted a rigorous review on emotional effects and abortion is hence false.

As the TFMHA says, "abortion means different things to different women" which may "lead to variability in women's psychological experiences to their particular abortion experience.  For these reasons, global statements on the psychological impact of abortion on women can be misleading."(p.9)  Planned Parenthood should have noted this important observation of the TFMHA and refrained from making a global statement about abortion and mental health problems that seriously misinforms the public, especially health providers and vulnerable women in pregnancy who may make decisions based on these claims.  

 

1  Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.  The Emotional Effects of Induced Abortion. 2013. 1 - 3.  http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/Emotional_Effects_of_Induced_Abortion.pdf. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 

2  TFMA. Report of the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Washington, DC. American Psychological Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion.  http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion/mental-health.pdf

3 AMRC. Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. (2011). Induced Abortion and Mental Health - A Systematic Review

of the Mental Health Outcomes of Induced Abortion, Including Their Prevalence and Associated Factors. London. 

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges/National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

http://www.nccmh.org.uk/reports/ABORTION_REPORT_WEB FINAL.pdf  Retrieved on 10 July 2014.

 

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