Ectopic Pregnancy Awareness Day 2023 will mark eight weeks since our ectopic pregnancy journey. It seems poignant that we can share our story today, in the hope that it can help others.
We have been trying to conceive for around eight years and once we fell pregnant, we knew that this baby was our ‘miracle’. We were so happy and started planning for the future.
As I was so used to tracking my cycle, we found out quite early on in our pregnancy, I think this is what contributed to us knowing that something wasn’t quite right. Around the 6/7-week mark, I woke up one night with a sharp pain across my stomach and some bleeding. The few hours that followed the bleeding got a little heavier, if I didn’t know I was pregnant, I may have mistaken this bleeding for my period.
I called the Early Pregnancy Unit, who scheduled me for an internal scan. At this point, I had none of the typical pains such as sharp pain in the shoulder or cramps; for me it was just bleeding. The Early Pregnancy Unit stated I had a ‘pregnancy of unknown location’ (PUL) and I was advised to monitor bleeding, come back for blood tests over the next two days and to report if there were any changes.
The bleeding continued into the following week, but again I had none of the other symptoms you would associate with an ectopic pregnancy. The Early Pregnancy Unit called again once my bloodwork was back and it showed that my hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy) levels were rising, meaning the pregnancy was still advancing. I was called in again for a scan, this time with not so promising news.
They ran urgent blood tests and did another internal scan, our baby was growing in the wrong place and our only option at this stage was surgery. I was sent down to theatre the same day and had a laparoscopy of my tube. The whole experience was a whirlwind.
Recovery was hard, physically your body’s healing and emotionally, you’re experiencing a loss. The smallest thing could set my emotions on edge, like seeing someone with a pram or another pregnancy announcement on social media, even though I had these emotions whilst trying to conceive, it was hard to not think ‘that should have been us this time’ and that we were robbed of our chance.
The irrational part of me feels incredibly guilty and that I’m to blame for this happening. The rational side of me knows I’m just 1 in 80 unlucky people that this has happened to.
I’m lucky to have support from a brilliant family and amazing friends, I am hoping and praying that our time will one day come, but for now I’m just recovering …one day at a time.
We’ll be lighting a candle on 1st August for raising awareness and I’m hoping to share our story on our own social media too.
Thanks for reading our story.
Claire & Scott