Lucy and Jack's experience of two tubal ectopic pregnancies

21 Apr 2022 | By Kerri

My name is Lucy and I would love to share my story with you all. 
 
So here goes. 
 
Towards the end of March/April 2021, my partner and I took the biggest plunge of our lives and decided it was time for me to come off contraception and to start a family together. 
 
I came off the pill and had the usual pill bleed/break. Three weeks passed by and I started what I thought was just a normal period after being on the pill for eight or so years. I tested negative for pregnancy despite having a few possible symptoms. A week passed and I tested positive on a pregnancy test along with a little bleeding. I made the decision after being begged by family to ring the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) who reassured me a little bleeding could be common and to ring back if nothing had changed, which I did a few days later just to be told the same again. After another long few days, I called and they decided to see me, which is when we found out the pregnancy was ectopic and I was bleeding a little internally. It turned out we were nine weeks pregnant at this time. 
 
Surgery happened. I had my left Fallopian tube removed and began to recover really well with the support of amazing family and friends around me. I was handed leaflets for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust; it was good knowing I had people to turn to if I felt lonely or needed extra support. I didn’t get in touch, looking back, I wish I had, but I stayed strong. I didn’t know how I was supposed feel, no one prepares us for this. 
 
A few weeks later, I finally decided to let out all of my emotions and have a well-deserved cry. I did this quite often whilst on my breaks at work, because I had nothing else to think about as I work from home. 
 
I decided to go back to in-office working for a few weeks, this helped me massively, I met new people who I was able to talk to and have a laugh with and share my experience with, that was the most important thing for me, talking and letting others know what I had been through and the risks of ectopic pregnancy. 
 
In November 2021, we were given the absolute best news that we were pregnant again. I called the EPU, had a reassurance scan and we saw the tiny heart beat flickering. Within 3 days, I began bleeding, I knew what was happening: I had miscarried. I was heartbroken, I had seen our perfect baby on a screen and this made it so much harder this time around.

My partner and myself came to the decision that we would try again when ready as we had a lot of grief to process. I openly talked about my experience to anyone who would listen and honestly this does really help. My partner on the other hand was hit really hard. I think we forget, as we as women are the ones whose bodies have gone through the trauma, that men have feelings too and it is extremely important to talk.

Valentine’s Day came; I announced to Jack we were blessed for a third time and we really did hope for the best. On the 22nd February, I began experiencing a sudden pressure pushing down on my tummy and I struggled to get comfortable. I told my boss I was unable to work, finished for the day and rang the EPU, explained my history and a nurse rang a few hours later, as they were seeing me the next day for a routine scan, they weren’t overly concerned and said it may be an underlying UTI (urinary tract infection).

By the next day, I was in so much pain that I wanted to ring 999 and I was contemplating not going to the appointment as I was unable to walk, thankfully my sister told me I had to go or she would drag me there.

I went for the scan as arranged and the nurses began muttering. I knew something wasn’t right. There was nothing in my womb, nothing but blood. This made them think my right side Fallopian tube had ruptured but they were unable to determine this and emergency surgery was the only option. I was given an option before I went to surgery whether the surgeon should try to save my right Fallopian tube if possible and I made an instant decision for them to remove it. I couldn’t go through this a third time, I knew IVF was our last hope.

I came around from surgery after three hours, a catheter in place, a 1.5l blood loss, puncture wounds all over my arms (my veins weren’t behaving), two cannulas in, and four surgical sites. I overheard a doctor saying to the nurse on shift, it was the left side, the stump (tubal stump ectopic) and I immediately said did I hear that right? WOW! How does that even happen? It was such a surprise to us after giving up all chances of conceiving naturally before I went for surgery.

Despite knowing I nearly died for a second time, the outcome was really positive for us. My right Fallopian tube is still considered healthy and we are waiting for the day we are able to conceive again naturally, as we had thought this was our last chance.

It was Jack’s brother’s wedding the day after our second ectopic pregnancy and he was the best man. Once he knew I was okay, I made him go to the wedding as he needed to go to help himself. I had my lovely family around me to help me home and to stay with me to make sure I was okay.

I have been extremely strong and persevered with anything that has been thrown at me, whilst it was important for me to stay strong, it’s always very important to cry and grieve your loss.

As sad as we are about the last nine months, we will not give up hope and urge absolutely every woman and their partners to know the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. It’s crucial. Before my first pregnancy, I had no idea at all what is fully was. Ectopic pregnancy needs to be talked about and shared. It’s very important, not only to share awareness, but to help with the grieving process

For my birthday in March, I decided to fundraise for the Trust and got a whopping £400 off all my wonderful family and friends! I cannot thank the staff at the hospital where I was treated enough. They are absolutely outstanding, as well as all of the support from everyone close to us.

If you would like to share your own experience of ectopic pregnancy please email kerri@ectopic.org.uk

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