I came off contraception after being on it with no break for fifteen years so that we could try for a baby. I got pregnant quite quickly – I was over the moon and announced it to family and whoever I saw when out and about.
Unfortunately, I woke up one morning to find a bit of spotting so, I rang my midwife to be told it was probably an implantation bleed (where the fertilised egg attaches itself to the wall of the womb). She didn’t seem concerned as it was not a lot of blood and I wasn’t experiencing pains/cramping, told me to wait a week and, if it got any worse, to phone her back.
I waited a couple days and the spotting got lighter which was a good thing as showed less of a concern, but I felt in my gut (perhaps it was intuition) that something wasn’t right. I told my partner that I was going to ring back and book an early pregnancy scan.
A week later, I went in for a transvaginal ultrasound scan. The sonographer said she could see a sac but it was empty. She said I could have miscarried or it was too early in the pregnancy for an embryo to show. She took my bloods then sent me home to wait another week to scan again and I went home not knowing if I had lost my baby or not.
No sooner had I got in my front door, I received a call to go back in the next day for another scan as my hCG levels in my blood showed that I was still pregnant. I was overjoyed that I hadn’t miscarried and was a bit confused as to why the doctors needed to see me if I was still pregnant.
The next day, I had my further scan but the sonographer moved the camera further up and I noticed a black blob on the screen. The sonographer rubbed my leg and shook her head and said she was sorry for my loss. I didn’t understand what she meant – I was pregnant and hadn’t miscarried so why was she sorry? She explained that the baby was growing in the wrong place, it was in my Fallopian tube, and was called an ectopic pregnancy. I’d never even heard of the condition and didn’t know what this meant as the baby was alive and perfectly healthy but not in my womb. I hoped they could move it to where it should be, but the doctors said that there’s no procedure for that.
They gave me a leaflet to decide how I wanted to be treated. I felt awful and like I had to end my pregnancy. There was a procedure where I could take some medicine where to end the pregnancy or have surgery.
I thought surgery would be the “better option” for me but a nurse came and took the decision out of my hands as said they needed to operate fairly soon because I was further along in the pregnancy than they first thought. I was eight weeks pregnant and had a pooling of blood in my pelvis as I was bleeding internally.
I was a bit shocked at how the doctor just came out with asking what I’d like to do with the remains after surgery. I was just getting over the shock of everything, things were happening so fast, and I had to make decisions quickly. I decided to let the hospital bury my baby. That day, I was booked in to stay overnight and had surgery the next day to remove my baby. Baby Blake (named after the last name of the father) passed 26/2/16.
When I woke from the operation, I was told they removed my left Fallopian tube as it was damaged (my tube was very narrow). I had keyhole surgery. I was left with three little scars, but the biggest scar was the heartache of losing my baby.
Roll forward a few months and happiness happens….
Three months after surgery, I went abroad for a much-needed holiday. For the first time since surgery, my partner and I made love not thinking of making a baby. A few weeks later. I decided to do a pregnancy test just out of curiosity and to my astonishment I was pregnant. I was happy but scared. I booked an early pregnancy scan at six weeks pregnant to see if all was ok, as previously having an ectopic pregnancy can increase the chance of it happening again. All was ok.
I found it hard to bond with my growing bump. I didn’t want to get attached for something to go wrong. It would be easier to deal with if I had no emotion. The pregnancy was awful, I was sick all way through, and I had anxiety.
Three weeks early, my son was born on New Year’s Eve. Birth was very easy and quick, but he had the umbilical cord wrapped round his neck. I thought I was going to lose him. After the cord was cut, he was only placed on me for a second before being whisked off to get some air and warmth from a heat lamp. I never got chance to strike up a bond.
I believe I had post-natal depression although I never told anyone. I found it hard to love my child, but I plodded on caring for him which felt more like a chore. It wasn’t until he was 11 months old when he took his first steps that I felt that rush of unconditional love. I was so proud of him. He is now nearly 6 years old and I have a nearly 2-year-old.
I just can’t get over how many women who I have told my story to have never heard of an ectopic pregnancy and the signs to look out for.