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My experience

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JJ28
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:23 am

My experience

Post by JJ28 »

I just want to share my experience as I’ve been left feeling lonely and confused, despite having the support of my partner and parents, and I kind of just want some reassurance that my feelings are valid.
I am 21 years old and I have been in a relationship with my partner for 8 years. We are very happy, and the only thing preventing us from actively trying for a baby is the fact that we don’t yet have our own house (which we are saving for). I know we are young but we want nothing more in life than to have our own family.
At around 3AM on the 19th (before I knew that I was pregnant), I woke up with an immense pain in my lower right abdomen, and shortly after I began bleeding. I felt sick, dizzy and fell unconscious twice. My parents rang an ambulance, and when they arrived I immediately got the impression that they thought I was being dramatic - I told them that the pain was a 7/10 and they asked if I am sure because this is high. They also asked if I’m sure that this was not just my period. I didn’t know myself at this point what was wrong and this made me feel as though I was wasting their time and didn’t really need to go to hospital. They sent me there just to check.

When I arrived in the ED, a doctor came to ask questions about my symptoms etc. While I appreciate that it was early, as I was answering they yawned loudly 4 times, and was overall quite abrupt with me - I was asked whether I passed out or went unconscious, and I wasn’t sure how to answer so I asked if I could get my mum to come and speak to them as she witnessed the whole thing and they just said “don’t bother”.

They took my blood and went to speak with the gynaecologist. When the gynaecologist came to see me, they explained that my hCG levels were high, indicating that I was pregnant. I didn’t know how to react as I would have been over the moon however I knew that something wasn’t right due to the pain and bleeding. They then examined me internally. I asked so am I definitely pregnant? They said yes. I said and does it look like I have lost the baby? They said NO.

They then said that although it doesn’t look like I have lost the baby, I should have a scan to find the source of the pain. They said this may be two days later, however (very fortunately) they were able to fit me in later that day at 1pm. At this point, I was in a lot of pain and I now understand that this is because my Fallopian tube had ruptured earlier that morning, but nobody knew that at this point. I was waiting for the scan until 230, I kept having to go to the bathroom to cry due to the pain. My boyfriend asked how long it would be because I am in pain and they said I don’t know, we asked if I could have anything for the pain, and I could not even have paracetamol.

When we were seen at 230, we were asked whether the pregnancy was planned, and when we said no they looked at my boyfriend and tutted. No one asked us if we were happy to be having the baby despite not planning for it. During the scan, they told me that they were highly suspicious that it was an ectopic pregnancy. I was aware what this meant but my boyfriend was not and he was offered no explanation. We were told to go and sit in a tiny waiting room with around 6 other people, including babies and children after I have just received this news. Instead I went straight to the bathroom to cry, and I then had to explain to my boyfriend what was happening.

To their credit, as they saw I was upset they let us sit in a room on our own while we waited to find out what was to happen next.

At around 6pm, I was told that I would need to have surgery to remove my right Fallopian tube, and that I would be going into surgery that night. Again, I appreciate the speed at which they got me into surgery, and the surgery went very well. Before I went in for the surgery, I was pretty upset and they just told me that it’s okay because the surgeons are excellent - I wasn’t worried at all about the surgery, I was upset about losing my baby.

After the surgery and until 1pm the next day I was not allowed to see my boyfriend or my family. I was on a ward with other people who weren’t going through the same thing, which can’t be helped but the whole time I was just alone and trying not to get upset.

A doctor came to see me in the morning and what she said made me burst into tears on the spot. She told me that she suggests that I go on a form of contraception that would last 3+ years so that this doesn’t happen again. And she was referring to me getting pregnant. This was incredibly frustrating as no one cared to ask how I felt about having the baby, they see me as a young girl who was probably having this baby by accident and honestly it felt like they thought I should be relieved that I was no longer pregnant. I cannot stress enough how much I wanted this baby and how heartbroken I am.

Following this, they sent in a student doctor to ask me questions about what had happened. As a student I understand that they may not know everything about ectopic pregnancies, but they asked me if they were able to save my baby. At this point I just wanted to go home to be with my boyfriend, who I had not been able to talk things through with yet. I feel for him as although I am going through the physical pain, he has also lost his baby and no one wanted to speak to him even once at the hospital or after. I’m not sure if this is normal but they don’t even want to see me again, or speak to me to see if I’m okay. I was just sent home on the 20th without any advice.

I wasn’t even told whether my stitches were dissolvable or not. We rang the ward and they said they were 90% sure they were dissolvable. My friend is a nurse and she checked them yesterday and told me they were in no way dissolvable and so I had to book an appointment to have those removed. If I hadn’t have been advised by my friend they would still be in there.

Today, I am just feeling very lonely, heartbroken and kind of neglected. I wish people would not look at me and assume that I wasn’t ready for pregnancy. We would have given that baby the world. I’m sorry this was so long and I don’t really expect anyone to read this, but just writing this has lifted a weight. I am also so thankful for finding this website, as it makes me feel less alone and like I actually matter

LisaKate
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:56 pm

Re: My experience

Post by LisaKate »

Dear JJ,

I am so sorry to read your experience, it hurts my heart to know you weren’t treated well during such a traumatic time :(

Regardless of your age, finding out you are pregnant changes everything. Me and my husband weren’t trying for a baby, but I was over the moon to find out I was pregnant, and utterly distraught when I lost our baby.

Although most of my doctors and nurses were wonderful, I too had a couple of inconsiderate and unkind people who shocked me with what they said. One doctor came in to me and asked how I was (I’d been passing out, heavily bleeding, in excruciating pain and informed I was definitely miscarrying at this point, but didn’t know it was ectopic as I’d not had my scan yet.) when I replied, “I feel awful” the doctor replied, “why’s that?” I said “why do you think?!” And he said “I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking”. I couldn’t believe it, in tears I shouted “IM IN TERRIBLE PAIN AND I’M LOSING MY BABY”

He then proceeded to tell me what he thought my options would be for helping the miscarriage along. One of them was to “hoover out the foetal matter” - I kid you not! Who says something like that?! Some humans should not be allowed to work in such sensitive jobs, they just wouldn’t know compassion if it hit them in the face.

But not all doctors and nurses are like that, in fact some of my nurses were the kindest and most empathetic humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. So please don’t lose faith in the medical system from your experience!

Also, please know that you are not alone and that all us other mums-to-be know you would have been a wonderful mum given the chance. Your time will come! But in the meantime please be gentle with yourself and give you and your boyfriend time to grieve and heal, physically and emotionally.

Sending lots of love and hugs during a horrible time x x

JJ28
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:23 am

Re: My experience

Post by JJ28 »

Thankyou so much for your response, I think that was everything I needed to hear🥺 I’m sorry that the doctor spoke to you like that, no one deserves that on a good day never mind when they’re going through such a thing.
I hope you and your husband are well, I really do appreciate your kind words xxx

EPT Host 20
Posts: 3193
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: My experience

Post by EPT Host 20 »

Dear jj28,
I am so sorry to hear of your ectopic pregnancy and loss, and the way you were spoken too and treated during your hospital stay.
When we experience ectopic pregnancy we are suddenly faced with a life threatening emergency and it's treatment, reduction in fertility and the loss of our babies. Experiencing any one of these is an ordeal, putting them together is immense and your feelings are completely normal.

Generally speaking, should take it very easy for about six weeks after surgery. Your body will be using its energies to heal internally. It is normal to feel physically and emotionally exhausted during this time so please do be kind to yourself. Recovery can take time and some days will be better than others. One day you may be okay and the next you may be in discomfort or more emotional. This is perfectly usual and the healing process will go back and forth in this way for however long you need. It is important to listen to your body signals. Pain and feeling tired are your body signals to tell you to rest. We suggest keeping a healthy diet drinking lots of water and resting.

There is no evidence to suggest you need to have contraception for 3 years, following surgery for ectopic pregnancy, we and many medical professionals advise waiting for two menstrual cycles before trying to conceive and you may wish to use contraception during this time. It is important to allow time for your body to recover and emotions to surface and be worked through. This is so that you have some comfort that your body is returning to its natural rhythm and you have a last menstrual period date from which to date a new pregnancy - key information in checking you are not suffering from an ectopic pregnancy in the future. The first bleed soon after surgery for ectopic pregnancy is not classed as a period as it is the body's response to falling hormone levels.

It is normal to feel anxious about the future. We experience a mix of emotions from wanting to try again to being petrified of what may lie ahead. We never forget but we can learn to accept what happened and understand that It wasn't our fault. It is a slow process that might be weeks or months ahead. In time, we can get to a place where we feel comfortable trying again. When this is, is individual for each person. There is no timeframe for recovery, take each day as it comes. Importantly early scans avail. As soon as you know you are pregnant, contact your local EPU to inform them and book in for an early scan at around six weeks. Remind them of your previous ectopic pregnancy. This self refer route is the best route in our view. Hopefully you will have some comfort to know you are under the radar of medical professionals right away.
The chances of a further ectopic after a first in UK is 10%. So that's 90% chance of the embryo being in right place next time.
While generally it is possible to conceive after an ectopic pregnancy, the amount of time it takes varies from couple to couple. Factors include age, general health, reproductive health and how often you have sex, among other things. It may be comforting to know that 65% of women are successfully pregnant within 18 months of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy and some studies suggest this rises to around 85% after two years.

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. There is a specific Preparing for your Next Pregnancy board you can look at too whenever feel ready.

Sending much love,
Karen x

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JJ28
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:23 am

Re: My experience

Post by JJ28 »

Thankyou for your reply and advice - this has definitely helped to put things into perspective and answered the questions that I had and was worrying about. It’s nice to see the facts delivered with compassion, and this has furthered my understanding and confidence in trying again in the future. Thanks again x

Amb13
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat May 07, 2022 9:17 pm

Re: My experience

Post by Amb13 »

JJ! Totally get where your coming from I never had internal bleeding but the pain wasn't excruciating for me but I am a little older than you so the pain is a little less painful. It varies for different people. The pain i felt was like wind but it was dehabilitating as it made me crunch over. All pain is different with womens body. My experience was horrible when i had the ectopic- i walked into hospital but I was referred by my gp who were absolutely awful i remember calling the GP surgery and explaining to them I've tested positive but I had the copper coil and said to them i think i have an ectopic pregnancy because I had done the research and googled all possible worst scenarios just in case. So basically the gp reception staff said to me oh your pregnant do you want to keep the baby? If not we can fit you in for abortion i was absolutely shocked no congratulations or how are you feeling. They got me an appointment but not with the doctor to talk through whats going on they palmed me off to the nurse who was helpful she booked me in for the next day to get an appointment in egu which was helpful. Ive had so many bad experiences of hospitals in the past and they have been unhelpful doctors. So when i get there i see a doctor or nurse practitioner no idea she was quite rude they passed me off to someone else who done this scan abit like an ultrasound and smear test combined they stick this thing inside and can show ultrasound internally that process was traumatising too it was so painful. Then i got passed back to the other practitioner and she explained everything and said you are being admitted your not allowed to go home you cant have the injection thats available yoi have to have the operation to remove a tube and the tube with the baby. I was literally balling my eyes out I couldn't be more devastated. Me and my husband been married for 4 years wasn't planning a child but like everyone was happy that it had happened. I was traumatised by the way people treated me and my husband to be told you have no choice I was gonna go mad. After the surgery the surgeon said to me when you try again for a baby and get pregnant to come back in for an early scan. So 3 months later no longer on contraception I'm pregnant I have a scan next week as in a n e they wouldnt get me a scan today. Apparently they only scan at 5 weeks. Quite ridiculous, the higher your hormones the more likely they make you do a surgery if you are ectopic.

I'm praying this baby is in the womb.

Doesn't matter your not married, not planning, if you wanted the baby and you was going to raise it to be healthy and happy that's all that matters. Atleast the child grows up with 2 parents and who cares about your age. Your not too young. Ectopic is devastating tho.

Just curious was you on any contraception???!

JJ28
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:23 am

Re: My experience

Post by JJ28 »

@amb13
Thankyou for your reply, I’m sorry that you were also treated this way - I know that not everybody understands fully what an ectopic pregnancy is, but anyone can act with a bit of compassion.
I too am praying that your baby is in the womb, and that you have a happy and healthy pregnancy. I can’t imagine the worry that you’re going through waiting for the scan but I’m glad that they’re going to see you at 5 weeks and I hope that everything goes well.
I was on the mini pill when I had my ectopic, and it wasn’t until after that I read that this may contribute towards causing one😞

Thanks again for your response, wishing you the best of luck x

JJ28
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:23 am

Re: My experience

Post by JJ28 »

I am conducting research on ectopic pregnancies, with the aim of investigating mental health outcomes among women with PAST experience of ectopic pregnancy, and the effects of the type and amount of after-care received.
I have created an online survey to investigate this aim. This survey has been granted ethics approval from Sheffield Hallam University and will form the basis of my dissertation for my Masters degree in Public Health.
I, myself, have experienced an ectopic pregnancy and so this topic is something that I am very passionate about. I would be extremely grateful if anybody who is over the age of 18 who is living in the UK with a PAST experience of ectopic pregnancy could complete my survey using the link below:
https://shusls.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/for ... u9lEAaFkzA
The findings of this study will be used to suggest the optimal after-care pathway following an ectopic pregnancy in terms of mental health in order to improve the mental health outcomes of anybody who may experience an ectopic pregnancy in the future.
Thank you in advance for taking the survey and contributing to ectopic pregnancy research.
*DISCLAIMER*
This survey will ask questions relating to ectopic pregnancy and mental health. Although care has been taken to word all questions in a sensitive and considerate way, if you feel as though you may be triggered by discussion of any of these themes, please do not take the survey.
This survey is not designed to diagnose participants with any conditions, nor is it intended to be taken by patients currently experiencing or being treated for an ectopic pregnancy.

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