Christabelle's experience of a heterotopic pregnancy

30 Jul 2022 | By Kerri
Personal Experience

My name is Christabelle and this is our story.  

I had just told Ollie (my partner) that we had another baby bear on the way. We were both so happy!  

On 23 May, I was taken into hospital with sharp stabbing pains on my left side. After having multiple scans and assessments, the doctors confirmed I had a viable pregnancy in the uterus. I was asked if I had been on any IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatment or had twins in the family – both of which I hadn’t. I was then told I had a possible heterotopic pregnancy (two pregnancies at once, implanted in multiple places). In my case, one pregnancy was in the Fallopian tube and another in the uterus. This is very rare. I was sent home as the doctors couldn’t confirm what was happening, as I was very early in my pregnancy, so I was rebooked for a scan on 27 May.   

27 May came around and I had yet more scans and assessments and was told what was happening with my pregnancy still couldn’t be confirmed and, if doctors were to investigate with a camera to see what was happening, that there was a high chance of us losing the pregnancy in the uterus, which at this point was still progressing.  

We had to go back the following Monday. Again, there were more scans and assessments. This time, we were told everything was fine, with no sign of an ectopic pregnancy and the pregnancy in the uterus was progressing well. We felt like a massive weight was lifted off our shoulders. Finally, everything was going to be ok and we were booked in for a heartbeat scan on 9 June.  

I went in on 9 June excited to hear the heartbeat. Doctors carried out the scan out and, during the procedure, they asked for multiple senior members of staff to come in to access the scans as something wasn’t right. At this point, I was completely in the dark about what was happening and I was asked to sit in the waiting area until they had finished looking at the scans. When I eventually got sent back to the sister on the early pregnancy ward, she told me I was to be looked at by a consultant as what they had found on the scan was abnormal. 

On the evening of 9 June, doctors confirmed it was a heterotopic pregnancy and I was admitted to hospital as the ectopic pregnancy in my left Fallopian tube had ruptured. I went in for emergency surgery to remove my Fallopian tube and to try and save the pregnancy in my uterus. For three weeks following my surgery, I had follow-up scans once a week to check the progress of the pregnancy in my uterus, all the while being told I would probably miscarry from the trauma caused by the ruptured Fallopian tube and surgery. On my scan on 27 June, doctors confirmed everything was fine and the pregnancy was heading in the right direction.  

I had a follow up scan on 4 July and doctors confirmed I had miscarried; on 5 July, I was booked in for an SMM (surgical management of miscarriage) to empty my uterus.  

I decided to finally tell my story as, having gone through such a rare situation, I want people to know they aren’t alone. I felt so lost and helpless in our situation and I found it hard to find any information regarding heterotopic pregnancies online. I still have so many unanswered questions about it that no one can answer.  

Having lost not one but two babies at the same time is utterly devastating and it’s probably been the hardest thing both me and my partner have ever faced. I just want to raise awareness about this subject as I struggled so much mentally every week it dragged on and, even though I feel much better coming out the other side of such a horrible situation, I still have days where I think of what could have been or how the situation could have had a different outcome. 

Thank you to Christabelle for sharing her experience with us. If you would like to share your experience of ectopic pregnancy, please visit our guide for more information.

Please remember our support services are available at any time.

Get help