My wife and I have always talked about expanding our family and decided early on that I would be the one to carry. We spent years researching our options and entitlement to help, often discovering that there’s not much help available. We knew we had to be married before starting the process so that delayed things slightly, especially given the pandemic.
When we finally got everything organised, it took a little while to get pregnant. Finally in December we had three weeks of pure bliss before we realised something was wrong. Several days of tests and scans confirmed an ectopic pregnancy and we made the difficult decision to try methotrexate (medical management) to end the pregnancy. I had to receive a second dose, sooner than initially planned as my hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced in the body during pregnancy) the levels were shooting up. It was terrifying and felt so wrong to put my health ahead of our baby. I also experienced a lot of side effects and was unwell for weeks.
We started to tell people over the following months as we slowly recovered emotionally. The thing I found the most difficult was the lack of sensitivity and focus on how the baby was conceived. So many people questioned how we’d got pregnant and wanted to find out more about that part of the story. The only thing that mattered was that we’d lost a child. How we got to that point was irrelevant and it was hurtful that so many people couldn’t see that.
My advice to anyone who hears news of an ectopic pregnancy or baby loss is to put your own curiosities aside and think about what the parents might need. Is there anything I can do? How are you feeling now?
If you want to know more about same sex couples becoming parents, do some research or wait for them to start the conversation.
We have made the decision not to share any details with anyone until our child is old enough to choose to share what they want to. Like so many other things, that choice, that control and that future was taken away from us. The physical and emotional toll of this also meant that trying again was not our priority. We are asked regularly when we will try again and it’s extremely upsetting. It’s hard not to feel angry and frustrated when things are over simplified and treated as though there’s nothing to it. Physically I have not been allowed to try again yet and emotionally, at times it feels like I never will. We also have a financial consideration and a lot to get organised. I’d urge everyone not to ask anyone about trying again following a loss.
Luckily, both of our workplaces have been fantastic and my wife was given just as much support as I was. Don’t forget about the partners and ensure you’re just as sensitive and thoughtful when talking to them too.
Thank you to Liz and her wife for sharing their experience of ectopic pregnancy. If you would like to share your experience of ectopic pregnancy, please remember our support services are available at any time.