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After many years of trying to start a family with no success my wife and myself decided to go down the IVF route and to our amazement we had a daughter. We couldn’t be happier until about two weeks ago, when i came home from work, picked up the post my wife had put on my chair and found a pregnancy test bidden underneath it. The test was positive. I looked at my wife’s happy smiling face and hugged her. There were no words, just happiness. A week later she said she had some cramping pains and a bit of fresh blood. We went straight to the hospital where they did a scan. I could tell by the faces of the staff that something wasn’t right. “I can see a dark space where in your womb” she said “this means that either the pregnancy has stopped or your still in very early stages. We will do another scan in 1 week and we should see a change by then”. We left the hospital feeling a bit confused. But still with the hope that a week later we would be laughing and overjoyed that were panicking over nothing. Three days later my wife told me she had a lot of pain, almost like intense trapped wind but very low down. I suggested she try having a bath which she did. She then said the bath had helped. We both went to sleep, then just before six o clock in the morning she woke me up. “I can’t move” she said, “the pain is unbearable”. She was very pale and looked so fragile. The fear hit me like a bulldozer. We phoned the hospital who told us this pain wasn’t pregnancy related and we need to get to a and e. My wife was in so much pain that I couldn’t even help her to the car. We had to call an ambulance. We bypassed a and e and were taken straight to the early pregnancy unit. The on call doctor came to see us and told us he was reluctant to do a scan as we had one booked for a few days time, but he did one anyway. I’ll never forget that moment. The cold harshness of what he said. “I can see a mass of fluid in your pelvis, you have what we call an ectopic pregnancy, you’re going to need surgery. Everything went so fast from that point. The doctors and surgeons came and went then came and went again. Finally a doctor with a consent form came and sat by the bed. He introduced himself and told us he was going to be performing the surgery to “fix the problem” and that my wife needed to sign the consent forms. Then she was taken away from me. I asked how long the surgery lasts. I was told that it depends on what needs doing but to go home and come back in around 4 hours. Then they were gone and I was standing in a hospital corridor. I looked around me, the corridor was completely empty. I knew I had to go home, my daughter was being looked after by my parents and she needed me too. So, in my numb state I drove home. My parents wanted to know what was happening and said they’d guessed it was an ectopic pregnancy, even though we hadn’t told them we were pregnant. Then came the probing questions. What caused it? Did you know you were pregnant? How far along was she? I had to get away, i needed to be alone for a few minutes to try and process everything. No chance of that. I was now being told I need to be strong for my wife, and that I need to phone around the family and tell them. It seemed like the world was closing in around me, and all I wanted to do was go back to the hospital and stop the surgery to try and make them see that they’ve made a mistake and everything was fine. But deep inside me I knew they were right, and I have never felt a pain like it in my life. Suddenly I had no feelings, all my emotions were gone. Eventually I went back to the hospital to wait for my wife. She was brought back to the ward. The doctors came to see us. The surgery was a success, they said, you should be able to go home tomorrow. That was it? This was a success? My wife had lost one of her tubes, she’d had internal bleeding, we’ve lost our baby and I nearly lost my soul mate at the same time and this was a success?
Well, we are home now to try and recover together. They say time is a healer, we’ll see. Right now I can only watch my wife suffer ad try and be there for her. We foolishly looked to the future and it was taken from us. But we will get through this together, like we do everything else, together
I am so sorry to read about everything you have gone through. These boards are filled with people who have been through similar experiences and can understand the physical and emotional traumas of ectopic pregnancies. It is so supportive of you, for your wife, to be searching for positive stories and for answers which can help heal the pain and move you forward.
Please be patient with yourselves and give yourselves the time to heal. Take all the time you need. There is no set time for which to move through these emotions, and every woman and couple go through at their own pace. As well, If you think it may help, we can certainly arrange to speak to you about what you have been through and be a shoulder to lean on. My colleagues and I have also experienced ectopic pregnancies and understand how heartbreaking it is. You can ask any questions or simply tell us about the horrible time you have been through. You can also look at counselling services and emotional recovery support on our website under Patients/Emotional recovery.
The charity Mind may also be of assistance. They have local centres and support groups and can offer services on a means-tested basis (you pay what you can afford) or sometimes free. You can find your local centre following this link if that may be useful too:
Making the decision to begin trying to conceive is an emotional rollercoaster compounded by our sad loss. Again, you are not alone. We here emotional support whenever you need us.
With good wishes,
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