We often find that partners find it hard to express how they feel coping with the grief of losing a baby and potentially also losing their partner.
Daniel Rush has decided to raise awareness and funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust by cycling from London to Newcastle in July with some work colleagues. He has found it cathartic sitting down, thinking and writing an honest and open account of how harrowing the past 4 years have been for Laura and himself.
Dan’s Story – The Man’s Perspective:
“Over the last 4 years Laura and I have been trying to start a family unfortunately with little success.
Since we met we always knew we wanted children, It’s one of the reasons I knew she was the one. We are both pretty healthy and just assumed things would naturally happen, after all it seemed like everyone else was getting pregnant, how hard could it be?
In the 4 years we have gotten pregnant twice. The first pregnancy ended in an ectopic in the tube. This was found at a scan due to complications just before our 12 week scan was due. I remember sitting in the room with her when we were given the news, as soon as she cracked, so did I. We just held each other and cried, it felt like we wouldn’t stop. At that time I hoped I would never have to see Laura that upset again, I just couldn’t let it happen, she didn’t deserve it. Life went on hold personally after the surgery but jobs, family and friends all had to continue. I felt like I needed to be the rock for her but inside I found this more difficult than I had imagined. It felt overly dramatic but I realised I could have lost Laura if this hadn’t been caught and I don’t know what I would do without her.
We continued to try….
The second pregnancy more recently looked like it was good news, at our first scan all seemed well and the staff performing the scan had great news! We got to see our baby and its heartbeat and could think about starting to make the plans for the future, we were elated, it felt like early days but we had made it!
Coming out of the room and needing to wait to sort a future appointment, 20 minutes passed by, we sensed something wasn’t right. Our fears were proven right. On reviewing the scans the staff saw some problems which required a re-scan. What they discovered was that Laura had a Cornual Ectopic pregnancy, these are more difficult to diagnose as the pregnancy looks like it is in the right place, but actually isn’t. This meant this pregnancy needed to be ended as well and further surgery for Laura which went beyond the tube removal last time. The surgery took longer than expected and I couldn’t get an update, I was worried that something had gone wrong in the surgery and it took all my strength to stay calm.
I couldn’t believe it, Laura and I were devastated and the further surgery could make things the end of the road (luckily it hasn’t). The overriding feeling was that as much as I wanted a child, I knew Laura would be wanting it more, I couldn’t imagine what she was going through and it felt so cruel and unfair that this had happened again. How dare I feel like this when it is so much worse for her.
After the first ectopic I think I buried my feelings, the second has made it harder to cope, how could we only get pregnant twice and both be ectopic? Is this ever going to happen for us? Does Laura have to risk her life every time she gets pregnant? We’ve planned, got a family home, a family car, everything is set up and ‘on the surface’ perfect but there is a giant piece missing that we desperately want to fill. Recently Laura has been the stronger one as the grief of these losses has caught up with me somewhat, I’ve come to realise the world behind all this and the amount of women and their partners affected. I’ve read up and looked at the accounts from women and other men and seen that I’m not the only one thinking the things I do, that I’m not losing it. I have a lot of anger about this and I’m slowly dealing with it. All the while feeling like I’m letting Laura down by not being as strong as I can be for her.
I’ve learned many things about myself over the past year. The main thing is the love that Laura and I have for each other and although difficult at the moment, we will be coming out of this the other side stronger. I try and support Laura as best I can, most of the time I feel like I can’t give her enough, there has been a strong sense of guilt in all this that I’ve let her down. I even feel guilty writing this.
I said earlier I hoped I would never see Laura that upset again. I saw it happen a second time and in worse circumstances. It will be a long time before thinking about it doesn’t make me emotional (if I can ever shake it). Material from The Ectopic Trust and the website have massively helped us and provided the gateway to understanding how things are and how to seek help. I may have to see Laura as upset again, you can’t guarantee things are going to go well. I just hope I don’t have to but knowing the support is out there makes things that bit easier.
There is so much more I could write about this, but ultimately I felt like I had to do something to repay the support and raise awareness around ectopic pregnancies and the devastating effect they can have. I’m going to be cycling from London to Newcastle in July with some work colleagues, we’re doing it over 5 days due to the mix of abilities, my colleagues will be raising money for their own causes close to their hearts. I’m lucky that I still have Laura and the potential that we may still have a child and I’m eternally grateful for that.
If you would like to support and help Daniel with his fundraising please take a look at his fundraising page.