*TRIGGER WARNING– As you’ve probably already guessed, in this post I’ll be talking about loss which can be a triggering subject for some.
If you need any help before or after reading this post, I am always available on my social media. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and chat, I won’t turn you away.*
Loss is never easy to deal with. Loss of an unborn child is worse. Question after question will consume you to the point where all you can do is cry. Your body is numb and your thoughts are wild. One minute your heart is full of love, joy and excitement to cuddle your little bundle of joy in a few months. The next is filled with nothing but disappointment, sadness and unbelievable grief. It always will be when it comes to this tiny little bundle of joy that is no more. My little angel.
My story begins last year, when we discovered I was pregnant and, in all honesty, I was ecstatic. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Me and my partner were in such a great place in our apartment with good jobs, cars and more love than you can ever begin to even imagine. Bringing a little one into this world was to be the icing on the cake in our, seemingly perfect, lives. Half of me, half of him. A little button nose, big brown eyes, and tiny fingers and toes. Seeing that faint, barely there line, our lives were set. Bringing us both together in the most magical way. I couldn’t stop touching my tummy. Knowing there was just skin and cells between us was just as much frustrating as it was exciting. The one element of this unexpected pregnancy was knowing that I had no choice but to get my mental health on track for the sake of our little one. I was determined not to be mentally ill and to be as strong as I could for all three of us. I was going to do this! I was going to be strong and fight with every fibre of my being for us.
If I knew back then what I know now, I would never have allowed myself to get so excited.
“I can hear your laugh, it’s ringing through the hallways
I can see your smile, it’s what gets me through my hard days
And your words was supposed to get me through my heartache, before my heartbreak”
The only person I told was one of my closest friends after she revealed to me that she was also a few weeks pregnant. I just couldn’t help but tell her and we squealed and giggled whilst I imagined our little ones being the best of friends.
One of the hardest parts of it all is that she has just had her baby, a little boy, and I can’t even hold mine. I never can. He’s a gorgeous little man, and so tiny. When I had my first cuddle with him recently, I couldn’t help but imagine my little boy being here too.
The night before was like any normal night in our household. We made dinner, watched TV and went to bed. We had a small argument that night and it was so silly, it was probably over something like washing up, I don’t even remember what it was over. We got into bed together and still cuddled up, like we do each and every night and still do. I’m safe in his arms. I love him and I’m months away from loving a mini him too.
It was about 3:30am when my eyes just shot open. My stomach was cramping so, so badly and I was really confused. My first thought was “oh my period’s here”, before I realised seconds later that I shouldn’t get a period when I’m pregnant and you haven’t had a period in a month or two. Climbing over Jon, I went to the bathroom and caught myself in the mirror. I was really pale. I sat on the toilet and saw what no pregnant woman wants to see; blood.
“There’s an emptiness that only few ever feel
And I somehow missed the meaning of love that is real
And it compliments my scars that will never heal”
You know that feeling you have when you get a fright, when your heart almost skips a beat? I had that. I pulled up my underwear and walked into the living room and just crouched in front of our sofa, staring into space. I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts, never mind make any sense out of what was happening. My cramps got worse and I just couldn’t stop the tears from coming out of my eyes; just silent tears. I called 111 and described all of my symptoms to him. I could hear him typing and I just couldn’t help but ask him: “am I having a miscarriage?” to which he replied “I wouldn’t be able to say.” He scheduled the out-of-hours doctor to call me back shortly and that if I started to fit, to be taken straight to hospital. I remember just placing the phone down on the table in front of me waiting for it to ring, for the doctor to tell me I was okay. I started to call for Jon, I couldn’t move. He eventually woke up and saw me on the floor in tears; his bleary-eyed reaction couldn’t work out if he was dreaming. I told him what was happening and he wanted to go straight to hospital but I was so adamant in staying until the doctor called, he gave up asking and went to get changed. The doctor eventually called about 15 minutes later and I didn’t even let it buzz more than once. The doctor went through all of my symptoms again before telling me “I think you may be miscarrying and you need to go to the hospital”. I just burst into tears and I had no longer hung up the phone, stuffing it into my pocket, before we were out the door and on our way.
“Maybe I didn’t deserve you
Maybe I just couldn’t cure you
They told me that I didn’t hurt you
Why do I feel like I turned you?”
As cliché as it sounds, the next few hours are genuinely a blur. Bloods were taken, urine samples, blood pressure, the works. As my cramps worsened, they gave me painkillers and wheeled me down to the gynaecology ward. There, I had two internal examinations and my first ultrasound, except I didn’t get the joy of seeing a baby on the screen just a black and grey screen. I kept on hoping, praying that it was just a scare and then the nurse told me; “there is something there…”, which filled me with so much hope and relief. “Is everything okay?!” I asked, to which she replied “no, sweetheart. There’s no baby.” She took the instrument off me, wiped off the jelly and popped it back in its little holder. Removing her gloves, she gave her apologies and said she needed to speak with a doctor. I cried. A lot.
When the doctor came in he said that I had what looked like a cyst on my left ovary and that they couldn’t say for certain what it was. Nobody mentioned at that point, that it was an ectopic pregnancy and nobody really explained what was actually going on. The only thing baby-related were my blood test results that tested positive for traces of HCG, the hormone produced during pregnancy. I was told to go home, take painkillers and to rest up as they had to try out the ‘wait and see’ method before considering surgery.
“Maybe I don’t understand it
Tell me is this how you planned it?
Did you see us so stranded
Maybe I’m too much to manage”
The pain didn’t subside or get any easier when I was home. I was numb, really numb. Was I ever pregnant? Did I have a false positive test result? What on earth is going on?
I went to my doctors the next day and saw my nurse; I explained everything and she looked at my notes from the hospital and said that there was nothing substantial on there except that I had been pregnant.
I received a call from the hospital a few days later, asking me to come down which I did. When I got there, it was more tests, more bloods and more scans. What was on my ovary was still there so I was briefed on surgery and told that as it hadn’t reduced in size and was only getting bigger, that was my only option. I had never had surgery before and was so scared. I found it all too much to handle and just couldn’t manage my emotions, one minute I was depressed, the next I was angry with myself, the next I was crying. What I struggled with was knowing it was my body that killed our baby and that it shouldn’t have happened. All I wanted was to be bundled up and told it was alright but my partner just couldn’t do that as he was grieving in his own way; he didn’t want to be in the flat and just wanted to be alone with his thoughts. The next month was extremely difficult and some awful things happened but that is for another post, this post is dedicated to my baby.
“And if you weren’t gonna guide me,
Why bring me into the light?
Must have done something to make you want to run and hide
Why oh why didn’t you just live your life?”
I had my operation in January of this year and had the pregnancy removed. I was told I was lucky to come in when I did and get it removed as it was close to rupturing; it had already started to tear. I awoke from surgery with some health complications. My blood pressure was really low and has continued to be at a low rate since, as well as anaemia and an internal infection. Once the test results came back, it was confirmed as an ectopic pregnancy and the ‘cyst’ on my ovary was in fact, the baby. With typical ectopic pregnancies they occur within the fallopian tubes but in rare cases, like mine, they can occur elsewhere.
“And every girl needs a mother
And damn it I needed you
Instead you duck for cover
And you ran from the truth”
My recovery was really hard, physically and emotionally, but I’m okay now. It’s not to say that I will forget my baby because I never will. To know there was a baby inside of me that never had the chance to grow and live a good life kills me. But, through therapy and medication, I’ve learnt to deal with loss. I also think that music was a big part of my recovery and hence why I have quoted one of the songs that spoke to me most; Kehlani-The Letter.
We decided, as a way of remembering the baby we never got to know, to name him; I say ‘him’ as I believe it would have been a boy, I don’t know why but I just have a feeling.
Our little boy is now known as Finley. Finley Reeve. And he will always have a place in both of our hearts.
“Maybe I don’t understand it
Tell me is this how you planned it? Did you see us so stranded
Maybe I’m too much to manage
Maybe I didn’t deserve you…”
Thank you for reading my story, I know this might have been hard for some of you to read. But this is just my recollection of my ectopic pregnancy. I appreciate this is a long post but if you made it to this bit, I’m truly grateful.
This post has honestly and truly had me in tears, it has taken me a long time to finish it. I still find it hard to talk about but writing and being part of such a strong and loving community has given me the strength to finally publish this.
If you have been through an ectopic pregnancy, there are some fantastic websites out there that can help you come to terms with the diagnosis.
This can be such a challenging time both mentally and physically because whilst your dealing with loss and difficult emotions, you’re also dealing with the physical symptoms such as having to have surgery to remove the fetus. I’m going to leave a short list of websites below that I think are informative as well as helpful. And as always, my (online) door is always open. Please feel free to send me a message or comment below.