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Coping at night

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Jennib85
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 4:44 pm

Coping at night

Post by Jennib85 »

I had an ectopic pregnancy resulting in rupture and emergency surgery back in Sept 2019. The circumstances were extremely traumatic and ive struggled to cope since. I'm finding day time ok, but at night when I go to bed I'm really struggling. I wondered if others find night time hard and if anyone had any tips or words of wisdom?
I think I've fallen in to some bad habits, and now I don't know how to stop. Every night when I go to bed I run through the events in my head. Every night since it happened I've done that, and I have this awful fear that I'll forget to think about it one night. Then guilt sets in.
I've just lost my Nan who I was very close to. She passed two weeks ago, and now I find myself in this situation where I feel I have to spend time thinking about her at night too. So I go to bed and I think about all of the trauma and all of the loss, and now there are two things to run through and I'm petrified of breaking that routine. It's almost like some sort of sick streak that I'm scared to break. And I'm really scared that if anything else bad happens, will I have to add that to my awful list of mandatory night time thinking?
I don't feel like I can tell anyone how I feel because it feels like an atrocious shameful sin to even entertain the idea of not thinking about them every night. But I'm feeling like my mind has been hijacked. Like it's not even my choice anymore. And then sometimes the guilt even kicks in when I notice which one of the two losses I thought about first, because that might seem like one is more important than another. I'm torturing myself and I don't know how to stop. Help?

paulinavx_1
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:18 pm

Re: Coping at night

Post by paulinavx_1 »

Hi. I'm really sorry for your loss and that you're still struggling with emotional consequences of ectopic pregnancy.
It's normal that after trauma we tend to process traumatic memories over and over in our heads. I believe this is necessary to understand and accept what has happened to us. However, if these thoughts and memories are getting intrusive, turn into habit or you find difficult to focus on sth else, it may mean that you're still processing your trauma. If you feel really overwhelmed, I would suggest you to look for talking therapy or counselling. It really helped me to deal with sever anxiety I had developed after ectopic.

EPT Host 20
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: Coping at night

Post by EPT Host 20 »

Dear Jenni,
I am so sorry to hear of your ectopic pregnancy and loss and your continued upset. Thank you for being so brave in talking about this and reaching out to us. You are among friends here.
I too struggled emotionally and in silence for around 2 years after my ectopic pregnancy. I eventually found The Trust and in reading others posts, didn't feel so alone.
Although our feelings of grief are natural after such a traumatic event and loss of our babies, holding on to these feelings over time can affect us negatively and it seems to be having a negative effect on your mental health just now.
Coupled with your more recent bereavement, it is no wonder you are struggling. this will have naturally stirred up feelings of loss and anxiety.
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, issues with sleep, flashbacks and this can worsen feelings of isolation and guilt. I wonder if this is why you are struggling so much. I have added more information here
https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/condit ... rder-ptsd/

There are a number of avenues that you could look into to get the help that you need. I would definitely recommend speaking to your GP who will be able to inform you of, or refer you to local counselling services.

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.

The charity Mind may also be of assistance. They have local centres and support groups and can offer services on a means-tested basis or sometimes free. You can find your local centre following this link if that may be useful too: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/local-minds/

I had counselling following my ectopic pregnancy and it made me realise that it is a traumatic event that takes time to comes to term but in time we can learn that although we will never forget our pregnancy or babies, we can learn to accept what has happened and crucially understand that it wasn't our fault.

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 and gentle hugs,
Karen x


The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1071811
Ectopic pregnancy patient information suite: Highly Commended in the 2019 BMA Patient Information Awards
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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.
If we have been able to help you, are you able to help us with a small donation or by volunteering or fundraising?
Further information is available at ectopic.org.uk
Email us: ept@ectopic.org.uk
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Mags2021
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:37 pm

Re: Coping at night

Post by Mags2021 »

Hi jenni,
I just wanted to say that I can relate to your story. I had an ectopic pregnancy and had emergency surgery, which resulted in the loss of a tube. I’m 41 and it was my first pregnancy so it was very upsetting and traumatic. I also suffered another bereavement around the same time that was very upsetting for the family and very stressful due to circumstances.

Initially , after my surgery, I was sleeping soundly, probably due to physical exhaustion and medication. Around 6/7 weeks after my surgery however, the sleep stopped… I would fall asleep for an hour or two, then wake up and stare at the wall for hours on end..my mind was racing with thoughts and worries, and I really struggled. I also found myself quite stressed and tense and could literally feel a heavy tension on my chest. This lack of rest certainly impacted my general health and I was exhausted.

So, I tried some things that have really helped me and I wanted to share my experience with you, in case it helps.

Firstly, I went to a health shop and asked advice..they recommended a good multi vitamin to help build me up physically. They also suggested a natural remedy called Night Essence. It’s a floral remedy that you put in water, all natural and alcohol free. It helps to quiet the mind apparently! And it honestly has really helped me, I was a bit sceptical but it really has helped!!
I also tried some mindfulness exercises…after some research I decided on an app called Calm… I listen to it on headphones when I can’t sleep. It has a variety of breathing exercises- these are very good, they are guided and really helped to calm me down when I get the racing mind scenarios! They also have meditation and sleep stories- which although it might sound a bit silly, they have really helped. Now, the app is free but I did subscribe to get full features and I honestly think it has really helped.
I have been using the multi vitamins, night essence and the meditation app for about 3 weeks and I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my sleeping patterns. It’s not fully right, but so much better.
I hope that this helps you,
Take care xx

Clairm11
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 02, 2021 4:26 pm

Re: Coping at night

Post by Clairm11 »

HI Jenni, and all other contrabutors,

Im sorry for what you have gone through, and still are mentally.

I can relate to your situation, I am 8 weeks post emergency surgery from a ruptured tube, which was removed. I too find night time and sleeping very difficult at times. In a weird way its reassuring to see that what you are going through is almost normal for what we have experienced. I replay the days before my ectopic, and how excited i was for baby no2, then i get hit with the memories of pain, the frank conversation of needing the surgery asap and my life depending on it. Then the thoughts of not saying bye to my daughter and all the things I could have left behind. for a while I was scared to be alone, or be out anywhere, as I had the fear of becoming really unwell again.
The only things I can suggest that you may have tried or may not work, is trying to set a bed time routine, whether it be a bath, some meditation music, pillow spray (we have used the Avon pillow mist for my daughter when she was struggling its a lovely smell too) I have found that I dont get quite as upset as I had been before when i remind myself of a few things - that i am safe, i am alive, i am loved, and i am strong. I know that might sound daft but I repeat these to myself and I relax my breath as best i can.

I hope you have some improvement soon, if you are still not sleeping well or at all, then i would suggest speaking to a medical professional

Clair x

Jennib85
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 4:44 pm

Re: Coping at night

Post by Jennib85 »

Thank you so much for your kind replies. I've had a chat with my partner and I've reached out to an online counselling service available through my employer. I want to see my GP but I've had poor experiences in the past when I've tried to tell them I'm not coping and it's made me really quite anxious about trying again. I'll see how the online thing goes and maybe that will give me some courage to see my GP. I use the headspace app sometimes to get to sleep and its great, but I get all this guilt around wanting to stop thinking about things. I'm definitely going to get some pillow spray. Whatever I can try to help feel calmer at night I think it's worth a go. I think I'm accepting that I can't carry on this way. I'm definitely not coping, and as it's been almost two years, I think I need some help.
Thank you again. It really helps to be able to say how I'm really feeling and know there are others out there who understand.

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