Break the Silence – A Man’s Perspective

Kerri and George are both passionate about raising awareness and talking about ectopic pregnancy.  Kerri is currently taking part in the EPT1000 challenge and has set up a fantastic facebook page “From Sofa to 1000km My Ectopic Pregnancy Trust Challenge”.  Below,  in George’s own words, he talks candidly about his personal experience as a partner and how to deal with the trauma of an ectopic pregnancy and its ongoing effects.  

“When we found out we were expecting a baby we were surprised but also delighted, we started planning for our new arrival.
A couple of weeks later, at a scan, we were told we had an ectopic pregnancy. To me this was just a word but I knew it wasn’t good and that we would lose our baby.
Devastated, confused and not really knowing what was going on, Kerri told me to go home and collect our daughter from school as she was going to have a small procedure and the nurse was to ring me as soon as she was on the recovery ward.
I went home and kept busy with the kids. 5 hours later a nurse rang to say Kerri was in recovery after major surgery, I couldn’t understand why it had taken so long but was just glad she was ok.

When i got to Kerri she was still out if it due to the anaesthetic and was rambling on about major surgery, blood transfusions and collapsing on the ward. I didn’t really believe her because the nurse had told us it would only be a minor op.

Nobody told me anything, I went back home to the kids. I just wanted to get Kerri home home so we could sort things out like we aways did. No matter the problem we always faced it together, me leaning on her and her on me.

I rang my family and friends to tell them what had happened, no one really knew what ectopic meant but it was something that happens and you get over it.

The next day I found out exactly what it meant and just how close I was to losing my wife as well as my baby. I couldn’t believe I knew nothing about something that almost ruined my life. What if Kerri had died too? My life would have been over – my wife and best friend, gone. The mother of my kids, gone. The person I wanted to be with forever, gone.

The loss of our baby then hit me. I wouldn’t get to see their little character changing as they got older. If it had been a boy, all the football we would have played…His first Liverpool jersey…His first match for our local club the pride of a dad watching his son pull on a jersey that he had once worn.
If it had been a girl, then more of the same we had from our other girls…doing hair and nails!

Grief, loss, heartache. All emotions you go through but I had another, anger. Anger that I had never been told about this Ectopic thing. Why did no one speak this in the same way they do heart attacks, cancer and strokes? ….

Over a period of weeks I noticed Kerri was in bad form, sometimes up but a lot of the time down. I allowed that this was normal enough after the loss of our baby and her body recovering physically.

We, as a couple, could always read each other. When we needed a hug, when we needed a little time on our own or even just a joke to lift the mood.
Now, for the first time ever I couldn’t read Kerri. I couldn’t lift the mood, she didn’t respond to my hugs and just seemed to want to be on her own more and more.
I couldn’t get my Kerri back.

I got frustrated at myself for not knowing what to do or say, but how could I? Nobody ever discussed this damned ectopic thing.
My job as Kerri’s husband was to make things better, to make everything alright and I just couldn’t do it. I was failing the one person I had promised to never let down. Why couldn’t I make this alright?

Kerri then found an online group for women going through Ectopic Pregnancies and seemed to brighten up somewhat. She told me a little about the group and to be honest I didn’t care what kind if group it was, Kerri wasn’t as down as she had been. Things improved greatly over time and I started to notice Kerri getting back to herself. She had a great focus and purpose, she was supporting other people who were in the same position as us and was being supported in return.

Kerri had been lifted out of the gloom she had been in. I, as her husband, hadn’t managed to do this and and though it went against my male pride I didn’t care because I had my Kerri back.

She came back with a new purpose and confidence, prepared to put herself out there and to speak out about what had happened to us.

Local newspaper, local radio, national newspaper, national TV. Her purpose is to create awareness about Ectopic pregnancy and i couldn’t love her anymore for doing this.

We still have our bad moments (but nothing we can’t handle as a couple) but nobody should find themselves as we did.” – George

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