It all started on 15 March 2023, when we found out we were pregnant.
I was tracking my dates and we found out super early, but I couldn’t wait to tell our family as we’d been trying for so long and it had finally happened. I was beyond excited.
About a week later I felt horrendous.
I had lower backache and cramps all round my middle and then to one side but just assumed it was growing pains and thought that I must have had them before in my previous pregnancy.
Then the sickness started, and I was unable to keep anything substantial down without rushing to the toilet. It was to the point that I couldn’t even drink a cup of tea and I LOVE tea. But I’d suffered with such bad morning sickness in my previous pregnancy, so I thought it must be normal and just carried on, but it got worse. Then the bleeding started.
The bleeding started off light and I went to ‘doctor google’ and convinced myself everything was fine and that it was pretty normal to have some sort of spotting in early pregnancy.
I was so wrong, and the bleeding got worse; so much worse.
It was extremely heavy and almost like a period but so much worse, and I knew deep down something was seriously wrong. An ectopic pregnancy didn’t even cross my mind. I didn’t even know what an ectopic pregnancy was, I’d never heard the term before.
It was a Sunday evening and I called 111 as I didn’t really know what else to do, the lady on the phone was so helpful as I sobbed that I was losing my baby; I just knew it.
I was advised to go to the local urgent care centre and be seen within four hours.
Urgent care was a good 5-6 hour wait but I sat there patiently, I was seen and within five minutes she told me ‘Oh there’s nothing we can do, it’s probably an early miscarriage, just go home, rest up and call your doctors in the morning and ask to be referred to the early pregnancy unit’. I can’t tell you how deflated I felt, I knew deep down it was the end of my pregnancy but there was nothing I could do.
The doctors were fab and by midday on Tuesday I was in the early pregnancy unit being seen by the most caring and compassionate people, who let me sit in a separate waiting room as I couldn’t bear the thought of being sat in a room with happy pregnant people. I was so upset and even the sight of a pushchair made me well up.
I had a scan and they said ‘Oh yes, we can see the sac, but you’re only 5-6 weeks so we can’t see the heartbeat yet, go home, keep an eye on the bleeding and we’ll rebook you for a weeks’ time’
The next scan everything was fine, baby Roe was growing, happy and healthy and the heart was beating away but I was still bleeding, and it was still pretty heavy, but I had hope.
I had two more scans and saw another consultant who seemed concerned and asked for a second opinion, they thought the baby was a little too low and this was the first time I heard the words: ‘This could be a caesarean scar ectopic pregnancy – we want to refer you to another hospital with a consultant who specialises in early pregnancy’.
So, I was sent on my way to the hospital, this time I’d gone alone as Adam was working and Maisie was at school, so it just wasn’t possible for anyone to come along.
After my scan I was called back into the consultant’s office once he’d reviewed everything and he bluntly said, ‘I can’t sugar coat this and I need to give you the facts, we need to remove this baby as a matter of urgency otherwise you could lose your life, this is a caesarean scar ectopic pregnancy’.
Cue the sobbing and ‘oh my gosh what is happening to me?’, I walked out of the hospital and sobbed the whole way to the car; people must have thought I was crazy, but I couldn’t believe what was happening and I couldn’t stop the tears.
The next day we were sent to another hospital, they had phoned me after an appointment and said we’re ready for you please come as quick as you can (I can’t thank them enough for how patient, caring and compassionate they were with me and my family whilst we went through this scary experience).
We didn’t realise quite how dangerous it was until we were in the thick of it all and I was bumped to the top of the emergency surgery list after a scan confirmed everything, it was then things felt real; before it was just a blur.
We were given some pictures of our baby and some ectopic pregnancy leaflets, and I was admitted to the ward.
The amazing hospital managed to find a room for Adam and Maisie to sleep in so they could stay close by, and they walked with me down to theatre. I tried to put on a brave face but really wanted the world to swallow me up and wake me from the nightmare.
The surgery went well and considering what my body had been through, I felt okay.
When we left the hospital we were also given a little memory box which at the time I couldn’t bear to look at but now it gives me peace knowing baby Roe is remembered and I’m glad I brought it home.
The journey with our ectopic pregnancy continued for a couple of weeks afterwards with me needing to go back to hospital as I was in a lot of pain, and I was still testing positive but eventually my body did what it needed and I’m thankfully back to my ‘normal’ self again.
We’ve grieved, we’ve cried, we’ve been angry and upset, we’ve laughed to stop crying some more and have had the most amazing support from friends, family and the charity, The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, which has helped no end; I don’t know what we would have done without them all to try and come to terms with what has happened.
I’ve questioned every possible reason as to why this has happened, why us, why me, why my family, what’s wrong with my body and have we done the right thing but there’s no answers and there never will be.
The rollercoaster of emotions afterwards has been tough, some days I feel fine and other days I struggle with the ugly thoughts that roll in when I see anyone pregnant and little babies as I feel jealous and upset that it should be me, but I understand it’s all part of the grieving process and no matter how small our baby was, baby Roe still means the world to us and will never be forgotten.
I’ve found comfort in books, podcasts, and online support groups which have helped me to realise that my feelings are all part of the grieving process and I’m not in fact going mad for the way I feel.
Time may soften the edges of our grief, but our love for our precious baby will forever remain in our hearts. Each day, we carry the memories of the love that brought them into this world.
Though the pain of loss may linger, our little one will never be forgotten, their presence in our lives was a gift that we will hold on to forever.