Danni's tubal ectopic pregnancy treated with surgery

30 Aug 2022 | By Kerri
Personal Experience

My name is Danni and I am 1 in 80.

On the 18th August 2021 I was told that I had had an early miscarriage after experiencing heavy bleeding, at this point I was 6 weeks pregnant. I had an ultrasound scan which showed no signs of a pregnancy, not even a gestational sac. Both pregnancy tests I had done during the short time at the hospital came back as negative and because of this I was told blood tests to investigate further were not necessary. I was told that all of my symptoms were that of a miscarriage, even the intense pain I felt in my right side. I was told this was all normal and that it would all settle down. I was sent home, broken hearted that I had lost our baby with leaflets in my hand about miscarriages.

I continued to experience bleeding and pain; I had never experienced a miscarriage before so I just assumed that all of this was normal.  As the days went on nothing seemed to be changing, my pains became more intense but I carried on, went to work and continued with everyday things.

Fast forward to exactly two weeks after being told I had miscarried.

On Wednesday 1st September I was in so much discomfort, severely bloated and even more so on my right side that it felt so hard to touch. I rang my GP and was told I may have an infection following my miscarriage and I was prescribed antibiotics. As the day went on the pain worsened, my body couldn’t cope with the pains so I ran myself a bath in the hope that it would ease them. As I was about to step into the bath the colour from my face had drained, my lips turned white, I was lethargic and holding myself up on the sink to stop myself falling. I had to call for my partner to come and sit with me whilst I lay curled on the bed in agony. After a few words, he managed to persuade me to let him take me to A&E (accident and emergency).

When we arrived at A&E we were told that only I could go in due to Covid, I put on a brave face, but I was petrified of being all on my own without my partner by my side. After waiting then being seen to have blood work done, I was sent to the emergency gynaecology assessment unit and was examined by a consultant and did a urine test. I was left for what felt like a lifetime in a small room on my own barely keeping myself together.

The consultant returned with a folder, as he opened it up, he looked at me and looked at the notes with a confused look on his face and said “your ultrasound from two weeks ago shows no evidence of a pregnancy?”.
“I was told this along with the negative tests, and was told I had miscarried early” I answered, he then looked at me again and said “your urine sample has come back positive, meaning you are pregnant.”.

At this point I was tired, in pain and was just an emotional mess trying to get my head around what I was being told. I felt like my whole body had been sucked into a hole, you are meant to be excited when you have a positive pregnancy test, yet I was petrified. I have never felt so alone as I did at this point. I just wanted my partner by my side.  

So, I’m now 8 weeks into my pregnancy?! How was this missed and why was this missed? The consultant informed me that at this moment in time I had a pregnancy of an unknown location and that I would need to come back the next day for an urgent ultrasound and await the blood results I had just had. I knew that whatever the outcome, this pregnancy wasn’t normal but I clung onto some hope that maybe it would all be ok. I was sent home as there was nothing they could do for me until I was seen the next day. I left the room and walked down the corridor all alone thinking how do I explain this to my partner? How do you explain this to anyone? None of it made sense.

The next morning, we woke up and had a phone call at 8am from the hospital telling me I needed to be there at 9:20am for an ultrasound. We arrived and I was seen pretty much straight away. It was like déjà vu, there I was lying on the couch in the same room just like I had been two weeks ago with my partner by my side, both of us thinking a million things. Within minutes, the sonographer found my pregnancy. “I’m sorry to say but you have an ectopic pregnancy in your right Fallopian tube, it’s a good job you came back”. I don’t even know what or if any of us said anything at this point – silence filled the room for a few moments.

We were sent to the emergency gynaecology assessment unit, the same place I had been the night before, but this time my partner was allowed to be with me. We both sat in silence taking in the news we had just been told. Minutes felt like hours.

A doctor came in and spoke with us both, she explained everything as clearly as possible. I sat trying to take it in, nodding and agreeing like I understood but in reality, nothing was registering. She then explained that there are three treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy. I was told that the pregnancy was measuring just under 3cm and because of how large it was it had caused my Fallopian tube to rupture causing internal bleeding which was life threatening for me. The only option was for me to have an emergency laparoscopic salpingectomy – removal of my right Fallopian tube with my baby inside. I was petrified but I had no option. My baby has no chance at life and left untreated could take my life too.

I was taken to surgery at 3:30pm and came round from the anaesthetic at about 5:30pm, shaking and scared but a sigh of relief that I was awake and I knew I’d soon get to go home and see my daughter, my partner and be with my family.

In less than 24 hours we had so much information to take in. In less than 24 hours I was diagnosed and had emergency surgery. Two weeks ago, we were told I had miscarried, we were grieving the loss of our baby, our baby that was still inside of me but unfortunately didn’t make it to the one place it needed to be for me to keep it safe and help it grow.  Now we are grieving for our baby all over again.

My life had been at risk, I was angry and sad. I kept thinking this could have been prevented, why did no one listen to me when I first attended hospital and explained the pains on my right side, why was no blood work carried out, surely this should be routine procedure? Why has this happened to us? It’s something I’ll never get my head around.

I will never overcome the loss and trauma caused from my ectopic pregnancy. The one thing I am accepting of are the scars left on my body because they are a story, a story that our baby existed and was loved from the moment I saw those two lines appear. They show that I survived. 

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

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