Case Study: Poppy and her guilt of a termination

Case Study: Poppy and her guilt of a termination

Poppy came to see me when her and her husband felt the ‘should’ try to have a baby, not because they felt it was the perfect time but because she was 39 and her biological clock was ticking.

They would have liked to be in a better financial position, had a bigger apartment, had some more savings and felt more prepared but knew that it was coming to the ‘now or never’ point in their relationship and they better get on with it.

This was not a fairytale – it was reality.

"I suggested the first thing to do was to get fertility tests for both of them"

Poppy asked for my advice and I suggested the first thing to do was to get fertility tests for both of them. This has a dual purpose of having the laboratory result and also focusing the mind to realize what the odds are today.

The results were distressing her Anti Mullairan Hormone blood test indicated she had an almost zero chance of conceiving. I always caution clients not to look at this result in isolation.

Poppy had a relative who was an eminent obstetrician in her country of origin and she arranged a telephone call with him to ask his advice. After sharing her test results with him the medical advice was to come to terms to terms with the fact that she would never be a mother.

"The medical advice was to come to terms with the fact that she would never be a mother"

Poppy had a relative who was an eminent obstetrician in her country of origin and she arranged a telephone call with him to ask his advice. After sharing her test results with him the medical advice was to come to terms to terms with the fact that she would never be a mother.

Of course more distress and heartbreak piled on.

The emotions that came with this news were:

  • Disbelief
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Rage
  • Heartbreak
  • Sorrow
  • Grief
  • Shame and guilt

Shame and guilt because years before she met her current husband in a previous marriage Poppy had had a termination. The stress of regretting her previous decisions and blaming herself for her situation was hell. A lonely, isolating purgatory.

Poppy needed someone to share this with and as we had established a relationship of trust, she was able to unburden herself by talking it through with me. There were a lot of hot angry tears, a lot of what if’s .. and a lot of letting go and healing involved in our sessions. I coached Poppy and believed if she did want to become a mother nothing and nobody should stand in her way of trying.

Poppy and her husband changed their lifestyles and had a very proactive approach to trying, against the odds, to have a baby. It was hard as Poppy was the higher earner in their relationship – but she reduced her working hours and stress and tried to focus on the quality of time she spent with her husband. After several months of focusing, sometimes not very romantically, on the fertile window that she had, Poppy had a positive pregnancy test. They were both overjoyed and in shock at the same time.

Her first trimester was one of nausea, tiredness and getting a little rounder in the tummy but she was like a warrior and took it all in her stride as she had wanted a baby so much. The twelve week scan ended in utter devastation there was no heartbeat and she had to wait 4 days for a termination of the child within her that no longer had life.

Heartbreak, grief, rage and deep deep sorrow spilled from her in our regular sessions together and again the guilt surfaced.

  • Was it her fault?
  • Punishment for the previous termination?

If you have been through this experience you will know the depths your soul can plunge to when you lose a child. You lose the hope and joy for that little person you wanted to desperately to welcome into your family.

"If you have been through this, you will know the depths your soul can plunge to when you lose a child"

She talked to me honestly about her feelings and cried a lot during our sessions. Her mother, to whom she was close, lived in her country of origin and she had decided not to tell her about the pregnancy until after her 12 week scan so she did not have that support to turn to. She felt utterly alone and devastated.

I am a certified grief counsellor and this is one of the occasions where through that additional experience I was able to professionally counsel her myself without her having to seek out another professional when she was feeling raw and shattered. I already had a full case history of her and her partner so the need to explain the whole story to a new person was not necessary. Poppy said many times this was something very valuable to her.

After several months, being able to slowly heal and the support of a good GP (Primary Care Physician) picking up the pieces and dealing with her grief Poppy decided to try to conceive again against all the odds.

Poppy was able to apply for IVF on the NHS in the UK.

There was both a time and geographical limit to 1 round of IVF free of charge and we prepared her mind, body and spirit to let go of guilt and shame and to accept that she was worthy of becoming a mother and had a lot to offer.

"Their daughter is the light of their lives and I feel pure joy every time I see her."

The very first cycle of IVF resulted in a positive pregnancy test and of course the first 12 weeks were filled with trepidation and they could not allow themselves to believe it would work out. Happily everything went well and after a healthy pregnancy she gave birth to a beautiful daughter.


It took great courage to keep going and the couple both said the confidential coaching and support I provided played a huge part in giving them a clear direction of what choices they had going forward. Their daughter is the light of their lives and I feel pure joy every time I see her.

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Linda Carter

Linda Carter

I am Linda Carter, a fertility-support coach who works with couples and individuals, like you, who are wishing to start a family but are having challenges conceiving.

Your top priority is to become pregnant and have a healthy baby, but you’re confused by conflicting information and who to trust.

Every month, the two-week wait before your pregnancy test is filled with worry and anxiety. You feel like you are losing hope and are physically and emotionally exhausted.

I’ve worked with couples who were told they could never have a baby and now have their much-longed for child. I combine my 20+ years of experience with the vital latest developments in technology and research in this expanding field. My integrated approach looks at your current physical and emotional state, while providing complete confidentiality and support during one of the most difficult challenges of your life.

From no hope to healthy baby.

Many of my clients come to me after they’ve been told there is no hope or possibility to have a baby and their fertility results indicate their chances of conceiving are very low.

We put together a positive strategy that helped them move forward and have a healthy baby.

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