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My story begins...My partner and I had been trying for a baby for one year, and after deciding to relax up a little on all the OPK testing, BBT recordings and generally obsessing, we were super surprised to find out I was pregnant. Cue jubilation all round. At 5 weeks gone, I started to get a very light pink stain on the tissue paper when I wiped after peeing. The Midwife I'd been assigned but not yet met, was, through, text messaging, very supportive and told me not to worry. A few days later there was red blood spotting on the paper, again I was told not worry too much but of course I did. Then I began to bleed lightly, on and off pink, light pink, nothing, red, nothing. I took time off work convinced I was going to miscarry. I called my doctor who said yes indeed it sounded like I was miscarrying, to stay at home for now. A few days later the pain began. Intense, the worst pains I'd ever felt, not cramping, not "like period pains", this was severe abdominal pain, I was in agony, I was scared and my partner was scared. The problem for us is we live on a small island with no medical care. So if, like we did, you call 999, the first responders are alerted and then the paramedic will come by boat from the main island if needed. Now luckily for us they were already attending to a call so they all came within the hour and checked my vitals, all fine, and yes it was more than likely a miscarriage. I called the Doctor again who said I could get a scan on the Mainland the very next day. We booked helicopter flights, (fastest way to get off our island) and the following day we got to the EPU at hospital, in our hire car. They did a pregnancy test, positive, and then an internal ultrasound. They told me the could not see the pregnancy, could not see the sac. Of course I was in shock and crying at this point, I was told that it could be ectopic and they gave me a leaflet about Pregnancy of Unknown Location. They took my bloods to monitor my HGC. They told me to return in 48 hours for more bloods. We had packed lightly expecting to be returning home with a miscarriage diagnosis and so we had to travel 45 miles to stay with my partners family. 48 hours later we travelled back to the hospital for more bloods, the HCG levels were dropping but extremely slowly. They told us to come back 48 hours later for more bloods. Back to his families house, and back to the hospital we went. Again the HCG level was dropping slowly. I was told to return in 7 days and to stay on the mainland incase I was ectopic. So we stayed with his family while I was in pain and bleeding, stressed and worried and with none of our creature comforts. During that time my pain increased and decreased, I bled continually, slowly, sometimes light, sometimes a little heavier but never strongly. I considered going home to deal with this in the privacy of my bed, with my own toilet, my own space. But we knew it could be risky if I needed urgent medical care and I was home on a tiny island with no immediate medical care. 7 days later I was back, they took my bloods and I requested an internal scan, the pain was increasing, I was drained and tried and wanted answers. I could tell by the face of the doctor scanning me that something was wrong. she explained there was a visible mass 5cm /3cm /3.8cm in my left Fallopian tube, emergency surgery was needed asap, so they could perform a Laparoscopy to see for sure what was happening. My partner was not allowed in the hospital because of the Covid restrictions so I started this part of the journey alone. Soon I was going in for my surgery, the surgeon had talked through all the possible outcomes, and I signed the consent forms. Upon awakening I was told that the pregnancy was ectopic, had grown in my last Fallopian tube, had burst, I was bleeding internally and my left tube and the pregnancy had been removed as well as the clots of blood that were outside of my uterus from the internal bleeding. I was in shock and pain, I was given lots of pain relief and looked after at the hospital for 24 hours by an amazing care team. The next day I was allowed to leave. I had only been able to communicate to my partner by phone, and so he came to collect me and we drove to his family's house to rest and the following day we drove 64 miles to take a helicopter back home, all okayed by the surgeon and finally 16 days after this ordeal began I was home. Now the pain and the recovery of my body has taken over most of my feelings, when I thought I was miscarrying I was distraught but as soon as I heard it could be ectopic I've been on autopilot, knowing the danger to my own health, something had taken over and now I'm home I just can't seem to cry, can't seem to acknowledge what has happened. I feel completely numb and I just want to heal emotionally and start to process this awful experience but I can't. Has anyone else blocked this out like this? Its not what I want - I want to process it now, while I am home, off work, while I can be alone and cry but I just can't seem to. I feel numb. Totally numb. I don't seem to be able to realise how much danger I was in. I am so so sad that I am not pregnant anymore. We were so happy when we found out and that excitement and joy is just gone. Its seems so unfair. And now they tell me I have around a 60% chance to conceive again with a 10% risk of another ectopic. I'm so scared to try again, to risk even putting us through this pain again, what if I miscarry, what if we lose it again, what if I lose my other healthy Fallopian tube. So many what if's. So for now I will lay in my bed and feel numb and try to find support on this group and read others stories from women who have gone through this awful awful, cruel, unfair ordeal.
Oh my heart goes out to you for all you have just experienced. The confusion and trauma of an ectopic pregnancy is enough to endure without needing all of those logistics and transportation as well. I am so happy that you are home, safe and recovering. And while that might not feel like enough right now, please do take some comfort in those thoughts.
Following an ectopic pregnancy can be a very confusing time and brings up so many emotions which we may not have expected. You have suffered physical and emotional trauma, and right now, it is so important to look after yourself. It's important to remember that there is nothing you did to cause or could have done to stop an ectopic pregnancy. Every women is unique, we all process it in different ways. Some days are better and some days are harder. Over time, the initial feelings may fade, but we don't forget. Your well-being is the most important thing right now. these boards are full of men and women who understand the challenges of ectopic pregnancies.
I found that journaling was a way for me to get my thoughts onto paper, helping me to make sense of my emotions and to share them with friends and family. The Trust also believes that talking therapies can be of great help. You may want to speak to your GP for a referral and a look into counselling or to contact your local Mind centres. We can also arrange for you to speak to someone on our helpline at the number below. Many find it of comfort to speak to someone who has been through same thing and we can support you alongside the counseling. You will also find more information for support on our website: http://www.ectopic.org.uk/patients/emotional-impact/
Please know that these boards are here for you, any time, to share or to vent for as long as you need.
With good wishes,
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
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That was me in 2019. Very similar experience although I did not realise I was pregnant until I was in the back of an ambulance realizing what was going on when they asked if I was pregnant. Afterwards I was so numb. My husband and I wanted a child so badly and age 30 was upon me. I was depressed and didn't know what to do. I lost a tonne of weight and didn't want to talk to anyone.
Eventually I physically healed enough to go back to work. I didn't tell many people what had happened and lied about working out when people commented on my weight loss. I always did my hair and makeup because people think you are fine if you look good.
Honestly, it just took time. I started out doing what you are doing posting here. Eventually I felt comfortable enough to talk to close friends about what had happened. Many of them had miscarriages of their own and even thought their experiences were different it made me feel less alone. I probably should have gone to therapy as I was having night terrors, panic attacks and signs of PTSD, but I never did and I sort of regret that. I just tried to get back to normal life as much as possible. Melotonian put me to sleep on nights that my head was racing and joining a gym made me feel stronger again.
After almost two years, I can talk about my experience with other without crying. After a year and a half, my husband finally gave me the okay that he was comfortable trying again. We are now pregnant again and things are very early, but so far so good. We tried for 5 months, but didn't really have a difficult time getting pregnant even with one tube. I pregnancy tested constantly and as soon as I got a positive my Dr did blood tests within 48 hours to make sure that hcg levels were rising and did an ultrasound at 6 weeks to verify that it was in my uterus this time (it was the most stressful time of my life wondering if it was ectopic again). I still have a hard time trusting my body and pray that this pregnancy goes well.
This post got a lot longer than I thought it would. I just want to advise you to give yourself time and try to focus on the future. The future is bright and full of hope for the both of us.
I'm already starting to become more emotional since I made my post, so I know that its starting to happen that I can open up after the trauma of the whole incident. I see now that it's just going to be a slow process and could take many years to heal emotionally, like yourself.
Congratulations on your pregnancy, I wish you the very best, its nice to read that many women fall pregnant easily with only one tube and I have hope that I will conceive next time and it will all be ok for the future. x