Whilst this blog is about my fitness and health journey, I really feel the need to write my story and put it out there, mainly because when those words “I’m sorry but this is an Ectopic pregnancy” were said to me the main thing running through my mind was but that’s just a myth, an old wives tale.
I came home and googled and googled to see could my baby survive and carry on? Will I die? Will I ever have another baby?
Whilst there is information online, it to me was too medical and generic as “I felt fine”. I felt like I should do in early pregnancy. There couldn’t be anything wrong as I could feel the first symptoms of pregnancy, I had sore boobs and that icky sick feeling that sits on your chest all day. I had no pain, no major bleeding as you are told to look out for. I just had some spotting.
There was just nothing… I didn’t understand, my questions were not being answered and I felt lost in this manic whirlwind of doctors and nurses moving me from room to room and passing me round till they all had a good look, touch and feel.
Let’s rewind and start from the beginning, I was told I would never have children and to be honest was happy with that but then we had a lovely surprise one day. We were living abroad at the time so going to the doctors was straight to a consultant who scanned us straight away and said it was one of the strongest heartbeats she had ever seen. We couldn’t believe it, we cried as we grinned like stupid kids. We hadn’t planned this but we didn’t care, we were in love and this was the icing on the cake.
We decided to come home to the UK as we wanted our family around us, so the big move happened and my pregnancy was easy. I loved it, I glowed and had a perfect little bump.
7 months pregnant in a 13-14yo onesie
Along came Archie bang on his due date, weighing a cute 6lbs 2.5oz after 10 minutes of active labour and 4 pushes! Dwayne reckons I sneezed him out! lol
After I had had him and was lying there in my newborn bubble, the midwives asked when I would be back as I was made to have babies.
So when a few years later we decided now was the time, I naively thought it would all be that simple again.
I had my coil removed in October 2016, this should have been a sign as it got stuck and I needed to go to the hospital to have it removed but I fell pregnant in January, just in time for my 30th birthday and couldn’t figure out why I was so tired during my trip to Madrid!
I had a big girls night out planned for when I got back, by then my pregnancy had been confirmed and hubbie and I were grinning like mad again. We had planned everything in one night, names, moving his home office to make the nursery, what holiday we would go on next year as a family of four and how we would work through my maternity. Because it had all been perfect with Archie, it couldn’t go wrong, could it?
I changed my birthday plans from the big night out to dinner and told all my girls that we were expecting and I was around 6 weeks pregnant. My 30th month was going amazing and this was the icing on the cake.
A couple of days later I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t in pain just felt odd and was tossing and tuning all night. I went to the loo and noticed I had some spotting, don’t worry I thought they say this happens around the 6 week mark and I tried albeit for 5 minutes not to panic. I tried to wake Dwayne up but he just told me talk in the morning and rolled over… Men! lol
The next day I went to work but I just couldn’t concentrate, I called my doctors who told me to come straight in and they will check me over. Once there and they had done all their checks, my tummy felt a bit sore when they pushed in. They called the Early Pregnancy Unit at Watford hospital and I was sent on my way for an early scan.
Now this bit was probably one of the most horrific experiences, its not the fault of the staff as they are amazing but the set up is really bad. You walk through the maternity day centre with all the women and their lovely big bumps and go down the end of a very dark corridor.
Here you are seated with a few chairs and you are all looking at this door, behind this door is the early pregnancy scan where you find out if all is o.k. There were about 3 other couples all sat there, looking at the floor and you could feel the nerves.
They called my name, in we went, my stomach was churning. The next bit isn’t the nicest bit as this early on you need an internal scan, I lay there but couldn’t see the screen, so anxiously watched Dwayne and the midwifes faces for a clue. Those couple of minutes felt like hours. I looked at Dwayne to see if he could see anything and he looked just as puzzled. I asked if there was anything there and then came those words “I’m really sorry, it is an Ectopic pregnancy”.
I crumbled. How? What? Why?
I just didn’t get it? Next, the dreaded bit where you have to walk back out into the open room whilst trying not to look a mess. They took me into a side room and gave me a leaflet to read. I couldn’t even see the words let alone understand them. I then started panicking that I would have to have surgery, I don’t have time for that. I have Archie and work and my work don’t pay sick leave. How would we cope.
It was then explained to me that depending on my levels we would then discuss treatment. I was advised of the signs to look out for, bloods taken and then told to go home but as I left those words “Remember any pain, come back to A&E because if you rupture it is serious and you could die”.
So why am I being sent home then?
The car journey home was very quiet, both of us just staring out, then it hit me how was I going to tell Archie? We had stupidly told him. Dwayne held my hand and said it will be o.k, let’s leave it a couple of days. We pulled up to collect Archie from Pre-School and I cleaned my face, put a smile on and tried to make out everything was going to be o.k.
We went in to collect Archie and came home, trying not to cry and pretend everything was going to be alright. We all went to bed around 7:30pm, neither of us wanted to do anything, or even worse, think. I sobbed into his chest as I fell asleep.
We were told to go back to the hospital at 12pm the next day, we went back to the hospital and were left to sit in a TV room on a Gynaecology ward. It was weird, I couldn’t stop crying. There were families coming in to watch TV whilst visiting family, other couples going through the same thing and an older couple who were waiting for drugs for their daughter who had been told she didn’t have long to live. This wasn’t how I expected it to go, I was shaking. Dwayne was getting angrier by the minute. We just wanted to know my levels and whether or not I would need surgery.
I was forewarned of the following:
- Under 400 – they would just monitor me
- 400 – 1000 – medically treat me
- Over 1000 – the dreaded surgery!
After 3 hours waiting Dwayne was now pacing, he went and asked what was going on as we were told I was an emergency and now I was being left to wait. I stood behind sobbing, I literally could not control myself.
We were moved to another room but then left.
3:45pm the consultant finally came and saw us, she asked why I was here. I couldn’t find the words to respond. Dwayne asked if she was joking, she said she wanted to be sure we knew what was happening. Yes, please can you just tell us the levels result.
I was in the 900s, they were slightly concerned as this was really high but if I was happy they would go down the medical route but… (Here comes the kicker, there’s always a kicker) the pharmacy shut 15 minutes ago so I would need to come back tomorrow. I felt broken, I want things over with, I am naturally and generally impatient and when bad things happen I just want to rip the plaster off and crack on. This was making it worse.
We had a friends Christening on the Sunday, we got all dressed up and tried to be normal for Archie whilst waiting for the dreaded call that my drugs were ready. We went, we smiled, we talked and then the call came. My mum and sister drove up to take Archie and we headed to the hospital to kill my baby. I can’t put it in any other words, this is how it feels. I took a drug to kill my baby.
I had a complete melt down before they gave me the injections, are they sure? Can the baby not move into the right place? Are my dates wrong?
The consultant was not happy with my questions and asked why I was questioning her judgement.
Dwayne calmed me down and I had two doses, one in each bum cheek. They said I had to wait an hour but I couldn’t, I left and came home. As before, as I pulled up I cleared my face and acted normal, telling Archie I had to pop to work.
My mum and sister left and we sat down to talk to Archie. Dwayne had to do the talking as I just couldn’t find the words.
“Archie, you know the baby in mummies belly?”
“Yes, my new baby brother” (we didn’t know the sex, he just wanted a boy!)
“The baby has had to go to heaven as it wasn’t feeling very well”.
It was at this moment that a child’s innocence became the thing that both of us wanted to hear.
“But that’s o.k Daddy, it wasn’t right this time but next time the magic will be working and bust everything will be o.k” (bust is Archie’s Just).
We were now a sobbing mess whilst our four year old son, hugged us both and told us he loved us and everything would be fine. How did our little baby suddenly become the one thing we needed and wanted to hear?
The next week was horrific, I felt as if someone had sucked the life out of me and was so sick, the methotrexate really hit me. I had to go back on day 4 and day 7 to keep an eye on my levels, they were supposed to drop but for some reason mine were going up. I felt like this was never going to end. They wanted me to have another does of methotrexate. I was devastated. I was booked in on Sunday.
Dwayne had agreed months ago to DJ at my cousins 30th birthday party. I told him to still go, my family told me I should come out for Archie and for me. I would be around family so everything would be fine. Within 10 minutes of being there someone asked when we were going to have another baby. I broke down, I literally couldn’t hold my tears back and felt like shouting “funnily enough my second baby is currently dying inside of me”, but instead I ran out and sobbed in my car.
But I have to save face, that is what I do. I clear my face put a smile on and head back in. I’ll admit I struggled that night big time, I had no confidence. I was a shell. I clung to Dwayne but being the a DJ’s wife you need hard skin as there is always some girl trying to get his attention and on this occasion trying to touch him. Just what I needed.
My brother and sister talked me into relaxing and having some fun, I let go for a bit to try and forget what was coming tomorrow.
Now I was a bit naughty and Sunday came round and I may have stayed at home, I just couldn’t face it. The smell, the pregnant woman, the waiting.
Around 8pm I get a call from the hospital, they have been trying to call me all day, my levels have spiked and they need to check me over. I say I’ll pop in now quickly.
I walk into the ward and it’s like a scene from a hospital drama, all of sudden nurses are around me prepping me for surgery, taking bloods and putting an IV in, I ask what is happening and they tell me a Dr will explain but they have to get me ready, I was only meant to be popping in for checks and all of a sudden I am on nil by mouth, on a drip and apparently going to surgery in the morning. Full panic attack entails, I am not ready, I don’t have anything with me and my god my jeans are tight! I am told that the Dr has now gone home and I have to stay in and be monitored. I call home in a panic, Archie is in bed and Dwayne can’t wake him. Luckily my amazing friend Vicky comes to my rescue with pj’s and toiletries.
The next morning the consultant comes and sees me, they tell me my numbers had spiked close to the 2000s and this was very dangerous, however a nurse took my bloods in the night and they have now dropped so I won’t be needing surgery but will have another dose of methotrexate. They promised to rush me through and send me home.
Now this second dose is not like any other second dose, it feels more like a 10th dose, methotrexate is a very very lethal drug, it is a chemotherapy drug. It stops your body from forming and developing any new cells and strips you of all Folate. You have to be very careful whilst on this and are not allowed to take vitamins or any other medication as this could have a serious reaction and cause damage to your liver and kidneys. The consultant actually told me this was the strongest drug you can legally give.
So, as you can imagine I was beyond broken at this point. After this dose I had 12 cold-sores in one week! My body was under attack and there was nothing I could do. On top of all this my work were questioning me and putting pressure on me to get back to work. This led to my first ever panic attack, I couldn’t stop sobbing but I also felt like I couldn’t breathe.
I was already questioning myself and why I had failed as a mother and wife? Why wasn’t I good enough? I was broken, but to then have my work attack me just pushed me over the hypothetical ‘edge’. They asked me to come in repeatedly to talk to them, I wanted to get paid so I had no choice. My manager forced me to talk to all the Directors and tell them my progress. One of them had me in his office sobbing whilst asking over and over again when the baby was going to pass. As if it was that simple? I kept trying to explain I wasn’t having a straight forward miscarriage but despite my crying and how clearly upset I was, he just wasn’t getting it. He kept trying to pick holes in what I was saying, I am usually quite strong but I have never felt so under attack in all my life. This Director said I was o.k to be out clubbing all weekend, I explained it was a family party which I was crying at. I told him I couldn’t talk anymore and I wanted to leave, I went to say goodbye to my manager who told me they didn’t really have time for all this and there was work to be done. I felt useless. On the way out a colleague told me that my manager was questioning him on what I had told them. How could he do this? I felt so degraded.
I went home and broke down, I have never felt so useless and broken in my life. I barely ate for weeks and felt so sick. The pressure from work meant I had to go back after a week off and a week working from home. They never even offered their sympathy.
All of this happened in such a blur that I somehow managed to bury it and try and get on with life for Archie and Dwayne. Luckily we had a holiday booked a few weeks later to Lanzerote and this just managed to tie in with my reaching negative levels.
Now I wish my story ended there and you probably do too! Sorry it’s so long!
But… We were very careless and relaxed on holiday and found out we were pregnant again in March!! How could this happen so soon? I thought my folic levels were currently non-existent! I took a test and sat there staring and crying for 10 minutes before I showed Dwayne, he was just as shocked. It must be fine this time, surely we couldn’t be hit with more bad luck?
I called the EPU straight away and they were lovely and whisked me straight in for a scan, they couldn’t see anything but said this was probably as it was too soon. They could see that I have ovulated from my left side this time. The ectopic was in my right tube last time so I felt positive that maybe this is my bubba. Even if it meant I would have another Christmas baby!! Whilst we both got excited this time we kept it to ourselves. I had to tell work as the hospital wanted to monitor me every two days and keep an eye on my levels. Yet again my manager told me they didn’t have time for this and got quite stern with me. This time I didn’t care, I let them rule me first time round and I don’t quite feel recovered from it yet.
So I went back but this time my levels were not going up as they should be, in early pregnancy your levels should double every 2 days. Mine were 69, 74, 85…
We were told it could be a chemical pregnancy or a miscarriage about to happen and to just wait and see. We couldn’t believe it, more bad news. I carried on with my blood tests but my levels were still going up albeit very slightly.
4 weeks later I had another scan and this time they could see it, sat high up in my left tube, those dreaded words again “It’s an ectopic”.
My heart broke again, I knew deep down it was stupid to get pregnant so soon and we didn’t plan it but still couldn’t believe we would have this much bad luck again.
Luckily this time around my levels are low and as I type I am now at the end of my treatment, my levels yesterday were a lovely 9! They will never hit 0, the average woman is usually around 2 but anything under 20 will show as negative on a pregnancy test.
I hope this post has helped someone out there and given some comfort, it has helped me to overcome it and get it out. I am learning that you shouldn’t keep bottling things up as it does seep out physically and affect your health. This blog is me standing up and not letting my grief take over! I will also remember my two babies, they may not have been around long but we still planned a life for them and I feel like I am now missing something. Since this has happened I feel like the world has announced they are pregnant and a few are even due when I would have been.
But, all that aside, I am strong and I will take control! If anyone else is going through this and wants to talk please get in touch!