Narrative Interview Essay Example
For this assignment, I have interviewed two different people about their experiences during the same life event; pregnancy and parenthood. The assignment will focus on the impacts of a life event on two people, how the people adapted to the life event and the types of support they received throughout the life event. Also in this assignment, I will discuss comparisons of the experiences of both people during the life event.
The first individual that I interviewed is female and will be referred to as Suneeta. Suneeta is in early adulthood (aged 41) and first experienced parenthood at the age of 25, however I will be sharing her experience of parenthood when she was aged 39. At the age of 33, Suneeta underwent exploratory surgery which resulted in her diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome had a major impact on her fertility, meaning the chances of her getting pregnant again were very rare. In addition to loss of fertility, Suneeta also experienced emotional stress, insecurity and discontentment. Unfortunately, the surgery made Suneeta feel very fatigued which meant she was less able to go out and socialise with her friends and other people. Despite having this health condition, Suneeta still tried for a baby. Regardless of many difficulties with Suneeta’s fertility, she managed to become pregnant.
The second individual that I interviewed is female and will be referred to as Sonya. Sonya is also in early adulthood (aged 25) and first experienced parenthood at the age of 24. When Sonya first became pregnant, her body was at its physical peak, which meant that she was likely to be at her most fertile. Sonya’s pregnancy was unexpected, unlike Suneeta’s pregnancy which was expected. Sonya had never experienced parenthood or pregnancy before, so she began to feel various emotions such as excitement, worry, happiness and stress. Sonya didn’t experience any complications with her own health during or after the pregnancy, and her baby was also healthy without complications.
Physically - With pregnancy came many new physical changes to Suneeta’s body. Suneeta experienced short-term changes such as enlargement in the uterus and abdomen, gum sensitivity, swollen feet, hair and nail growth, weight gain, frequent urination and cravings. The weight gain caused Suneeta to feel fatigued, as she had to carry around the extra weight of her growing baby. Because Suneeta was now pregnant, she also had limitations of many things she was previously able to consume such as specific painkillers, fish, soft cheeses, pâtés and meats. Throughout the 42 weeks that Suneeta was pregnant, her body was continuously changing. After all this time, her third baby was finally born. For a while after the birth, Suneeta’s body wasn’t changing quite so much since her pregnancy, but some of the previous effects still remained throughout her body. Now that her baby had been born, she was left with stretched skin and stretch marks around her stomach, which only remained for a short while. Suneeta also struggled with sleeping, as her baby was regularly waking in the night, which meant she was left feeling fatigued and lethargic during the day.
Intellectually - Fortunately, having polycystic ovarian syndrome did not have any impact on Suneeta’s intellectual development. However, becoming pregnant and experiencing parenthood did negatively impact some of Suneeta’s intellectual abilities. Whilst Suneeta was pregnant, she had difficulties remembering various things which occasionally affected her language, because she couldn’t remember the words that she was going to say. A positive impact of experiencing parenthood for a third time was that it increased Suneeta’s knowledge of childcare. She received lots of information and advice about parenthood which educated her and increased her current knowledge.
Emotionally - Suneeta experienced many positive emotional changes during pregnancy and parenthood. During Suneeta’s first ultrasound scan, she felt relieved and emotional. She felt that seeing her baby on the screen made everything seem more realistic. Suneeta’s body also released hormones such as estrogen, which made her feel happy, joyful emotions. When Suneeta’s baby was born, he was born healthy and happy. Knowing that her baby was healthy and that there weren’t any complications, she felt relieved and secure. Suneeta’s baby was placed onto her chest, and she immediately felt feelings of love and contentment. Suneeta felt quite sad to see her baby growing up so quickly, but also happy to see her baby developing healthily and gaining his own personality and how her love and care was turning her baby into a considerate person.
Being diagnosed and living with PCOS caused Suneeta to feel a range of emotions. The physical symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome negatively affected Suneeta’s emotional development; she felt insecure about her self-image and about the way it was changing. Suneeta also went through mood changes, anxiety, and at times she felt depressed. As well
as releasing the hormone estrogen, it also released progesterone. The release of progesterone made Suneeta feel quite depressed at times. For the pregnancy in itself, Suneeta was feeling all of the normal feelings that any other pregnant woman may feel. However, Suneeta was told by doctors that some difficulties may occur with her pregnancy and birth, due to her having PCOS. Being told this caused extra stress and worry about the safety of her baby and herself. Sadly, a day before Suneeta’s baby was born, she found out that her dad had passed away. When Suneeta’s sisters told her this, she suddenly felt feelings of grief, distress, shock and worry. Hearing that her dad had passed away stalled Suneeta’s labour. 24 hours later, Suneeta still hadn’t gone into labour, so she was admitted to hospital to be induced. To begin with, Suneeta was calm and confident about giving birth because she had given birth twice before. Since there were a lot of complications and worries regarding the baby’s and Suneeta’s health, Suneeta didn’t feel as calm as she was initially.
Over 16 hours later, Suneeta’s baby was born, healthy and happy. From the moment Suneeta’s baby was born, he continued to grow and develop healthily. Although it was a very happy time to see her baby thriving, Suneeta was struggling to come to terms with her dad’s bereavement. She received informal emotional support from her sisters who helped her to cope with the loss of their dad. Suneeta could have received formal emotional support, information and advice through counselling which may have also helped with the bereavement of her dad.
Socially - Since becoming pregnant and having her third child, Suneeta found having an active social life significantly more difficult. She found that she couldn’t be as social as she was before. Whilst she was pregnant, carrying the extra weight of the baby caused Suneeta to feel fatigued, which led to her being too tired to go out. Once her baby was born, he needed constant attention, which also prevented Suneeta from being able to meet with her friends. Suneeta’s new baby took up a great deal of her time, which resulted in her being too busy to socialise, but occasionally people came to visit her and her baby. As Suneeta’s baby grew older and more independent, she was able to be more sociable because her child could be left with other members of the family.
Physically - During the first trimester of Sonya’s pregnancy, she felt very fatigued and nauseous for most of the time. Progressing into the second trimester of her pregnancy, she began to feel really great and energized. For the last trimester, Sonya felt quite uncomfortable, but also excited because she could feel her baby moving and couldn’t wait for her baby to be born. Sonya also experienced new food cravings, frequent urination, thickened hair, bleeding gums and acne. All of these changes were very new to Sonya, as she hadn’t experienced pregnancy before. When Sonya went into labour, she felt very tired and in pain. When she gave birth, she thought it to be very painful and exhausting. Once Sonya’s baby was born, there weren’t any complications with her or her baby’s health.
Intellectually - Towards the end of Sonya’s pregnancy, she experienced forgetfulness, which meant she often couldn’t remember what she was going to say or what she was supposed to be doing. Sonya’s memory loss was most likely caused by the increased production of hormones and experiencing the significant lifestyle change of pregnancy and parenthood. However, as Sonya’s pregnancy came to an end, her memory gradually began to improve. As well as affecting Sonya’s memory, becoming a parent also positively impacted Sonya’s intellectual development because she received lots of helpful information and advice which increased her knowledge.
Emotionally - When Sonya found out that she was pregnant, she began to feel many different emotions, because the pregnancy was unplanned. She felt very excited, but also slightly nervous and shocked. Additionally, the pregnancy made Sonya feel more emotionally sensitive and more protective. Further into Sonya’s pregnancy, she went to have her first ultrasound scan. Sonya felt that the scan made the pregnancy seem more real and that it was an emotional experience. To begin with, Sonya was quite scared about the idea of giving birth, but as the pregnancy progressed she felt more excited. After Sonya’s baby was born, she felt very emotional, but happy that her baby was healthy and glad that everything went well. Sonya thought seeing her child growing up was a very rewarding experience because she felt proud to take part in raising her and could also see how her child was starting to develop her own personality.
When Sonya went into labour, she felt anxious about whether the birth was going to go well and if her baby was going to be born healthy. After her baby was born, she also struggled with worries about whether she was taking the right steps in keeping her baby healthy and safe. One of the reasons why Sonya was worried was because her baby was too young to tell anyone if there was anything wrong or if she was unhappy.
Socially - Becoming pregnant and being a parent for the first time did have a significant impact on Sonya’s social life. Sonya was the first person in her friendship group to become a parent, which meant that she couldn’t see them as often as before. During her pregnancy, carrying the extra weight of the baby caused Sonya to feel fatigued, which sometimes limited her abilities to meet up with friends and family. When Sonya’s baby was born, she found that her baby took up a great deal of her time and needed constant attention. Despite Sonya being unable to be as socially active as she was before, she still occasionally had friends and family to visit her and her baby.
Formal - For formal support, Suneeta turned to her midwives, her local breastfeeding group and her health visitors. Suneeta’s midwives provided information and advice from the very beginning of her pregnancy to the end where her baby was born. Her midwife also took part in improving her physical, intellectual and emotional development by giving support and advice involved around antenatal care, women’s health, postnatal care and any aspects that may have posed a risk towards her or her baby. Suneeta also obtained formal support from health visitors who supported and educated her and her baby by providing vaccinations for her baby, free information packs and general healthcare advice.
These sources of support provided Suneeta with information, advice and free information packs which helped her through parenthood. They also made sure that her baby was developing healthily and helped Suneeta with any issues that she was experiencing. At her local breastfeeding group, other mums shared information and advice from their previous experiences with parenthood. Suneeta was also given financial support from the government who provided her with maternity pay. Suneeta could have turned to formal counsellors who would have given emotional support to help with her bereavement, and charities such as NCT for information and advice associated with pregnancy and parenthood.
Informal - For informal support, Suneeta turned to her family for emotional and practical support. She received emotional support from her sisters which helped her to come to terms with the bereavement of her dad. She was also provided with practical support from her family who helped her with shopping, cooking, cleaning and general household chores. Suneeta was also provided with advice from her friends who had previously experienced parenthood.
Formal - For formal support, Sonya turned to her midwives, doctors and health visitors who provided her with information and advice associated with the health of herself and her baby. Sonya’s midwives again provided information and advice from the beginning of her pregnancy to the end where her baby was born. Sonya’s midwife also took part in improving her physical, intellectual and emotional development by giving support and advice involved around antenatal care, women’s health, postnatal care and any aspects that may have posed a risk towards her or her baby. Alike to Suneeta, Sonya’s health visitors supported and educated her and her baby by providing vaccinations for her baby, free information packs and general healthcare advice.These sources of formal support took part in helping Sonya to adapt to the life event of parenthood. One way in which these sources of support provided information and advice is through free information packs that were supplied to Sonya. The information packs contained many different written resources that Sonya would refer to when she needed advice, and also multiple products that Sonya used throughout parenthood. Sonya could have turned to charities such as NCT for more formal information and advice associated with pregnancy and parenthood.
Informal - For informal support, Sonya turned to her older sisters for emotional support. Her sisters helped her come to terms with her and their dad’s bereavement. Sonya also received informal information and advice from her older sisters, as they were able to educate Sonya on their previous experiences with pregnancy and parenthood. When Sonya needed informal practical support, she turned to her family who helped out with cooking, cleaning, shopping and general household chores. Sonya’s friends were able to provide practical support, but not information and advice as Sonya was the first person in her friendship group to experience parenthood.
Both individuals were largely affected in various ways when they experienced the life event of pregnancy and parenthood. Formal and informal support played a significant role in helping individuals 1 and 2 to adapt to the changes that they experienced during parenthood. Individual 1 and individual 2 were both provided with similar sources of support such as midwives, health visitors, friends and family. Individual 1 received formal support from her midwives who provided information and advice.
Throughout individual 2’s pregnancy, she received lots of support from multiple sources similar to individual 1’s, which helped her to prepare for the lifestyle change into parenthood. Individual 2 also received formal support from her midwives who again provided information and advice. Alike to individual 1, individual 2 also obtained formal support from health visitors who supported and educated individual 2 and her baby. For informal support, individual 2 also received practical support from her family and friends, except only her boyfriend was usually around to help out.
It can be seen that individual 1 was adapted better to the life event as she had encountered it twice before her third child. In addition, she had been intending to become pregnant for a long while, which gave her more time to prepare for if she did conceive. The extra time she had to prepare resulted in her being better adapted to parenthood. When individual 2 experienced this life event, it was for the first time, meaning she wasn’t as knowledgeable or prepared as individual 1. Individual 1 received lots of support from multiple different sources including formal and informal.
Although she struggled with the stress of polycystic ovarian syndrome, individual 1 was fortunate to have various sources of support who were willing to help her with her worries by providing emotional support, practical support, information and advice. A source of formal support that individual 1 received was from health visitors. The health visitors were qualified nurses and midwives who supported and educated individual 1 and her baby by providing vaccinations for her baby, free information packs and general healthcare advice. For informal support, individual 1 turned to her family who provided her with practical support. Her family supported her by cooking, cleaning, shopping and doing general household chores.
In comparison, individual 2’s pregnancy was unplanned. It could be seen that individual 2 was impacted more by the life event of pregnancy and parenthood because it was unexpected, meaning she was less prepared to have a baby than individual 1 and she’d not experienced parenthood before. Also, Individual 2 didn’t have the support of the whole family that individual 1 had, however her boyfriend regularly helped out with shopping, cooking, cleaning and general household chores. Individual 2’s friends would also often provide practical support when she needed it. Although there weren't any complications with the health of individual 2 or her baby before or after birth, it can still be seen that individual 1 was better adapted to the life event of pregnancy and parenthood than individual 2. However, individual 1 turned to her local breastfeeding group for support whereas individual 2 turned to doctors for support. The doctors may have provided more professional support to individual 2 than the local breastfeeding group that provided support to individual 1. Individual 1 could have been even more adapted to the life event if she received formal support (such as information and advice) from doctors.
To conclude, individual 1 was better adapted to the life event of pregnancy and parenthood than individual 2. This is because individual 1 had experienced this life event twice before, meaning she was aware of what would occur during pregnancy and parenthood. Individual 2 had not experienced this life event before, which meant she was not fully prepared or aware of what would occur during pregnancy and parenthood. Although individual 2 was able to become more adapted to the life event with the presence of support, she would not have been as adapted as individual 1. It could be agreed that throughout both individuals’ s with the same life event, the role and value of support has been significant as it has helped the individuals to adapt well to the life event. The wide range of support that the individuals were able to receive was very beneficial to their and their babies’ development. If in this case support was absent, the individuals may not have been able to adapt as well as they could with support from multiple sources. For the life event of pregnancy and parenthood in particular, support has played a very important role in helping individual 1 and individual 2 to adapt to the lifestyle changes that occur during this life event.