When myself and my wife found out she was pregnant, she was rushed to hospital within the next 24 hours due to having an ectopic pregnancy. The hospital first said it was fine on initial examination through ultrasound scans, but then she experienced excruciating pain. The next morning, less than 24 hours from finding out we were pregnant, we found out we had lost the baby and I had nearly lost my wife. It was a very frightening and emotional experience for us resulting in a lot of mental health appointments and issues still affecting us now. It is something you can never “just get over” in your lifetime. We still think about it to this day. It’s not something we thought would happen to us or something you think about at all – but if it does happen, support is there to help anyone who needs it.
We were both unaware of The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust charity when we had the ectopic pregnancy. We now know that they support both partners through these difficult times. Had we known, we would have asked for support instead of struggling and trying to come to terms with the loss and traumatic experience on our own.
The hardest part for a man is to be the support foundation for the woman and to hold the family together too at such a difficult time. There are a multitude of emotions – from the stress of losing a child, to regret and sorrow and “what if I could have stopped it”. There can be feelings of fault and, when faced with not just losing a child through an ectopic but nearly losing your wife as well, it is very difficult. I was under mental health support for approximately a year due to it and had to stop work because of suicidal thoughts. It is like a train that just keeps going and getting bigger and bigger. There is no easy way to deal with the problem. I bottled it up and tried to keep going and be supportive, but in the end, I took the fall for it and suffered mentally.
Things won’t be the same for a long time. However, being able to talk to the EPT and share experiences with people going through a similar experience does really help. A lot of people think that the woman has had the ectopic and the operation so comfort them. However, the man also has to bear some of the scars – mainly emotional.