Dear Each Other,
First of all, I want to thank all those who shared their stories of baby loss with me. Even though I am the only person I know who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy, I know that every loss is devastating and I felt very privileged that women were able to share their stories with me.
My family and friends have been my everything during these last few terrible months. They have allowed me to cry, to rage and be sad. They told me that all my feelings – yes, even the bad ones – were valid. They allowed me (and are still doing so) to be me and to process my grief and trauma at my own pace.
Yet, despite this, it has been very lonely. The world keeps turning and people keep having babies. There have been so many times that I want to throw a huge tantrum and scream: “IT’S NOT FAIR! WHY CAN’T IT HAPPEN TO ME?” Every time I hear a pregnancy announcement, a tiny piece of me dies inside but you slap on a smile and force yourself to be pleased.
It has been a hard journey to get to my first and only pregnancy and it’s a devastating loss that is indescribable. As someone nearing her 40s, I thought it would be easy, but here we are: over two years of trying, one pregnancy and one ectopic later. Prior to my experience, I knew what an ectopic pregnancy was but you don’t think it can happen to you. Then it does and it turns your world upside down. Since March, I have run the gamut of negative emotions: numbness, anger, jealousy, envy, fury, rage, sadness. I struggled to understand that what had happened to me – to us – was traumatic. I was pregnant for five days – then the pain came. Emergency surgery happened and I was pregnant no longer.
The one piece of advice I would share to someone supporting someone going through an ectopic is to not tell them how lucky they are [insert a terrible scenario]. A couple of weeks after my surgery, I was told I was “lucky” that I didn’t have a stillbirth and cannot tell you how conflicted and diminished I felt. It is not helpful to compare tragic situations, no matter how well-intentioned, because women like me need space to process our own personal trauma. Find your compassion, find your empathy and listen because that is all you can do and that is enough.
Thank you to Sarah for sharing her letter with us. If you would like to share your experience of ectopic pregnancy, please visit our guide for more information.
If you would like to share your own letter or creativity inspired by your experience, you can find more information on our Words of Wellbeing page.
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