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I’m 21 years old.... last Thursday I experienced a sudden and sharp pain in my abdomen and I had no idea what it was.. at first my husband thought my appendix had burst but I didn’t think so. I didn’t know what was wrong with me as I felt perfectly fine even 5 minutes before the pain started. As I was googling my symptoms it continuously said *ectopic pregnancy* I thought to myself there’s no way, I’m not pregnant.... zero pregnancy symptoms, had my period at my normal time, normal length, flow, everything was normal. my husband ran to Walgreens and grabbed a hot pad, Gatorade, and some pain pills for me and I called him while he was there to grab a pregnancy test too... I knew I couldn’t be pregnant but what’s the harm in just making sure was my logic. I kept feeling worse and worse and worse eventually everytine I stood up I started sweating profusely, my ears started ringing, vision went black and I couldn’t walk in a straight line. I took one of the tests and I was so out of it that I peed all over the stick and it didn’t even work. I laid down and fell asleep hoping I’d feel a little better in an hour or so. Wrong, I woke up feeling 10x worse. I couldn’t stand for more than 30 seconds without falling over. I stumbled to the bathroom and took the test... positive. As soon as I saw the two lines I told my husband we need to go to the hospital now.
at the ER I lost consciousness on the parking lot ground and woke up to my husband holding my head and a nurse running to me.. they brought me inside and took my blood, gave me iv’s, and took me for an ultrasound where I lost consciousness again. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy... I honestly don’t even remember everything that happened s during this time because it all happened so quickly. They started giving me blood and took me into emergency surgery.
I had a laparoscopic salpingectomy since my Fallopian tube was ruptured, they removed the entire tube. I was also internally bleeding the entire time and had no idea... I lost 3 liters of blood (Incase you don’t know.. the human body holds 5....) and I was given a blood transfusion as well.
That’s the short, don’t leave any details out version of my story. If I would have waited as little as 30 minutes to go I probably would have died..
though I do feel like my story is different than others.. I feel like everyone has been treating me as if I had a miscarriage and that I should be emotional about losing a baby and I’m not.. my thing is that I didn’t even know I was pregnant and as soon as I found out I was dying in the hospital 30 minutes later.. in my eyes I really never was pregnant. What I am emotional about and what I honestly think i am traumatized over is how I almost died. To have a nurse tell you that you lost over half of your blood supply is traumatic and I hate that I basically just have to continue life as normal now and wake up in the morning and act like this never happened to me when I still think about it all day long. at first I thought I was okay and then 2 days after being discharged from the hospital I started just crying at random things for no reason.. or thinking about what happened to me and I start crying. Has anyone had an experience similar to mine?
I don’t want to come across as cold by saying I’m not upset about losing a baby... like I said as soon as I found out I was in the hospital 30 minutes later.. I honestly feel as if I have some sort of trauma from the entire experience and to be honest I’m scared to even get pregnant again because of what happened! It sucks and I hate that I have to go about my days now as if a week ago I didn’t almost die.
by Dr to EPU 3 days later, who picked up a growing pregnancy on my left tube (2cm), and told me I was essentially a ticking time bomb and they had to remove it immediately.
Anyway, I think it's really important you speak to someone about your experiences - what about counselling? I think with such a traumatic ordeal like yours it is important to be able to deal with your PTSD so that you're able to cope with every day life without the fear of it happening again.
I think we have to remember that what happened to us was quite rare and very unlucky, and 90% of pregnancies next time round tend to implant in the right place (which sounds like good odds to me!) X
The feelings you describe are very understandable. You have had so much to process in a very small timeframe and it is very normal to feel overwhelmed. From your words, I can imagine how frightening the experience must have been and I am sorry you have had to go though this.
I completely understand you feeling overwhelmed from the shock and surgery. It is not cold to not be upset by the loss of your baby, as you mention, you barely knew you were pregnant so this is again understandable. There is no timeframe for recovery, take each day as it comes. Be kind to yourself and allow time to recover both physically and emotionally.
After a frightening ordeal like ectopic pregnancy, some women find that they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and symptoms can include anxiety and not being able to focus on everyday things like work. Whilst your feelings are completely normal at this stage, if you feel the down days start to outweigh the good we at the Trust believe that talking through what happened and your emotions as and when you can helps the healing process. We operate a helpline service and there's no pressure whatsoever but if you would ever like the opportunity to speak over the phone to someone who has been through a similar experience, do feel free to call, details are below. We can take things at your pace entirely and you are free to ask any questions that are on your mind. You can talk about the ordeal you have been through and express your feelings to vent and let off some steam. We can exchange emails too, if you prefer that route. We'll simply be here for you, however you wish and for as long as you wish.
Although well meaning, my friends and family didn't truly understand how I felt either. Many women experience feelings of isolation after an ectopic pregnancy - I did, too. It is a frightening experience. Like you, I reached out to the Trust for support and we will be here for you to lean on for as long as you need.
Sending much love,
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1071811
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During the coronavirus outbreak, The EPT team is still working hard to provide crucial information and support to women and families experiencing ectopic pregnancy as quickly and efficiently as we can.
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You’ve certainly been through a tough time. I felt like you after my tube ruptured, like I was just happy to be alive and not concerned about the embryo. I knew it wasn’t a viable pregnancy and wasnt sad. However after the second tube was removed I felt completely different and felt sad, struggled with losing a baby which is odd as they were the same gestation. You may find you have ptsd from the trauma of your experience, speak with your doctor and try to find a good therapist to talk to it about. A perinatal therapist maybe a good option as they specialise In this area. X
I just want to say I hear you, I can really relate to how you're feeling. I had a ruptured ectopic just over a year ago. Right now feeling how youre feeling is i think quite normal. Your head is probably trying to catch up with what's happened to you, I felt the same. Right now you've got to deal with the fact you nearly lost your life, this is a massive thing. Unfortunately people sometimes dont really truly understand the trauma attached to this. Allowing yourself time, being really kind to yourself - try doing things that make you feel relaxed.
A year on I have gone through a range of emotions, initially like you it was trying to get my head around what had just happened to me...it wasnt about the loss of a baby..I only knew for a few days before.
Give yourself time to process it, it takes time...try and take each day as it comes. Talk about how you're feeling, the support line on here is good. The problem is we have no idea how to react as this is such a strange feeling, I have been to see a therapist which has helped.
Sending you hugs, I just wanted to reach out as I know how painful it is and what you're going through...it will get better I promise with time. It's a journey and there will be bumps along the way...but a journey that will.help you heal.
I went through something similar five days ago. No idea I was pregnant, taken to hospital after becoming unwell with abdo pain and then ended up having emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy and a tube. Similarly I'm told I lost 3 litres of blood. I'm still trying to get my head around how seriously unwell I was, and like you Victoria, I don't yet feel sad about the loss of a baby as I'm just glad to be alive. That may come though.
I was wondering how long it took for you to start to feel physically better? I'm suffering with the after effects of the blood loss mostly I think. Due to the anaemia I also feel pretty detached, which doesn't help with processing the events. I hope you all managed to heal physically and access the support that you needed anyway.
Our experiences sound so similar, main difference being I think that I did know I was pregnant. I totally feel the same in terms of the trauma. I'm really anxious, have had flashbacks about the moment i got rushed into surgery having been resuscitated. I just thought I was going to die, I lost 3 litres of blood too.
I feel like there are so.many things to work through in my mind. I can't grieve my loss until I have dealt with what I think is some sort of PTSD about the experience in the hospital.
I hope it helps to know we have a similar story. When was your surgery? Mine was this Tues just gone.
The response from friends and family has mainly focused on recovery from surgery with little acknowledgement of the loss of a baby or the trauma associated with the collapse and being so unwell. Paulina your comment about coming into contact with your own mortality really struck a chord and I just wish others could understand that. And Sarah I'm struggling to process it too, with so much to get my head around. I guess for both of us the events were so recent that it will take some time.
Calty your advice of not trying to do too much and expecting the anaemia to be around for a while was really helpful. I've found followup/advice post discharge has been really limited so it's hard to know what to expect. I've already pushed myself too much I think and ended up more tired and with an infected incision scar. It's just hard to know what to do for the best and how to get back to some kind of normal.