You’ve had an ectopic pregnancy, what now?
You have a long journey of recovery ahead of you but one day it will be a little better, you’ve come such a long way already. You feel lonely and scared now but you need time - everyone says so. You came back from a heart-breaking miscarriage last year and you will come back from this, although this pain is cutting so much deeper.
You have had to deal with so much. What you thought initially was another miscarriage turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. You knew that it was so much more than an early miscarriage but no-one listened. You spent hours in waiting rooms – GPs, A&E, private ultrasound clinics, desperate for someone to tell you what was going on. But no-one listened properly. You had to fight until finally the early pregnancy unit accepted you and scanned you – and found the pregnancy in your tube. It was then you had to let go of the tiniest glimmer of hope you held that maybe everything was going to be okay and you would be able to carry a sibling for your son. But it wasn’t to be. You had to let go.
You went for surgery and you felt relief as you came round from the anaesthetic. The time-bomb inside you was gone but so was your fertility. You made that decision to remove your one remaining fallopian tube along with the pregnancy inside and you will have to deal with that. But at that point it was just physical recovery that mattered.
Three weeks from the surgery and you have been so strong. Your wounds are healing and the bleeding has stopped as the hormone levels have dropped. You are able to pick your son up from his cot in the morning and dress him. But you haven’t started to heal mentally, here you are fragile and weak. The emotions are starting to surface. You are due to return to work next week; how are you expected to continue as nothing has happened?
You feel the deepest guilt for ending a pregnancy but you had no other option. You feel traumatised and exhausted from living in fear and pain for so many weeks. You feel daunted and overwhelmed by the prospect of IVF as your only option for another child. You feel ostracised and isolated by all the pregnant women you see every time you leave the house. You don’t feel normal.
But you also feel love. You are so grateful to have one child, a two-year-old boy who demands your undivided attention. You have an incredible support system from your husband, your family and your friends. You have options going forward but you will need to take your time. You are impatient and want to be ‘normal’ now. But that’s not an option. You will need to process what you have been through and you will need to make decisions in the future about what you want. But for now, just rest and in time recovery will come.
Now go and give your baby boy a kiss and remember how far you’ve come already.