Back in 2015 the thought of baby loss hadn’t crossed my mind. I wasn’t aware of an ectopic pregnancy or what it was, and had minimal knowledge on miscarriage and loss. I’d had a baby that went to term, and all was well. But we knew we wanted to add to our family and as little as a year after Logan was born we thought we would try once more. My plan was to have children close in age. I wanted the nappy years and the lack of sleep to be a consistent period of my life. Hoping that I wouldn’t get used to a normal routine only to be thrown back into sleep deprivation once more. That was my plan, but the reality was somewhat different.
It took a while to conceive
It took a while to conceive, but eventually in september 2015 I got a positive pregnancy test and I was overjoyed. But the truth of the matter is that something didn’t feel right from the start of the journey. I don’t know whether I had a feeling, but it didn’t feel right. I can’t explain it.
However, for about two weeks things seemed to progress, but I didn’t seem to have many symptoms. In fact I felt fine, but I just put that down to the early stages and it not being that far along enough to start having the signs.
When I started to worry
My first worry was spotting and bleeding, and at this point I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I managed to get in touch with my GP and attended an appointment that day. They referred me to the early pregnancy unit, a place I never knew existed. A department that unfortunately I have attended more times than I would like. I headed to the hospital, and the procedure of the early pregnancy unit began to take full force. It started with blood tests, and a discussion about how I was feeling. There was no heavy bleed, just spotting, and the first HCG results came back as a positive sign.
I went back a few days later only for my results not to rise as much as they should have, and they advised the devastating news that in this case I was miscarrying. I had no idea what to expect. It just feels like a blur to look back on.
The irony of this time of year is that during baby loss awareness week, which is between the 9-15th October, this was happening. It was the 15th October 2015 that I put on social media that we were miscarrying.
Not the end of the story
However, that sin’t the end of this story. I was still having my HCG levels monitored and fate the 15th I went back and there was a slight rise in the levels, something the staff could not explain. They had told me i was miscarrying, so how was that possible? I went in for a scan and they described it as a pregnancy of unknown location. That It was either over, and the hormone levels hadn’t dropped, or it was something else.
I was due back in on the 18th October 2015, a Sunday, for another HCG blood test, but the night before I felt terrible. It was in pain on my left side, and I had no idea why. I assumed it was an after effect of the miscarriage, or the last element of it. I’d struggled all night with the pain, thinking that there was no point talking to the doctors because I was there the next day anyway. I didn’t class myself as an emergency, and I certainly didn’t listen to my body. Something I do regret now.
Not knowing it was an ectopic pregnancy
I went into hospital, the pain was unbearable by this point, and they could see that the colour had drained from my face. I was rushed down for a scan, and they focused on the area causing me pain, my left side, and there it was. A pregnancy. In my left fallopian tube. This is what was called an ectopic pregnancy, and what I didn’t realise, is that it can be life threatening. That day I was booked in for emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy and that was the end of it.
Ectopic pregnancy was something I knew nothing about, but pain in your abdomen, shoulder tip pain, miscarriage signs like spotting and cramps, and also fainting can all be signs that it is an ectopic pregnancy.
There is nothing that could have done, nothing I could have done differently. It is just one of them things. During the surgery my left fallopian tube was removed. Had I have listened to my body at the time, then perhaps I would have had a different outcome. Who knows!
Four years on
This pregnancy four years ago was the start of the journey to conceiving, and further losses. It is a monumental time in my life where I was changed irreversibly. I still think about it, the grief never goes away, but you do learn to deal with it and move forward with your life. After all, I had my husband and two boys to think about.
The one thing that raising awareness for ectopic pregnancy can do is to help others feel less alone, and maybe sharing my story with you will help you to feel less alone. It is also good to raise awareness so that more people will feel comfortable in asking for help and reassurance should they need it.