Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Meet Sarah!

Another fantastic lady decided to participate in this project and share her story. Sarah thank you so much, we know it's really hard to bring back all the emotions and relive what happened, but there's no doubt this will help may other women to feel less lonely. Like Sarah said to us, writing this was somewhat therapeutic for her too.

What type of ectopic pregnancy did you experience?
I have had two ectopic pregnancies both resulting in loosing my tubes. The first one was in 2006, and I lost my right tube, my second pregnancy and most recent was in November 2011 (one week ago) - this was going to be my last baby and lost my left tube.

What were your symptoms?
On my first EP in 06 I was about 7wks pregnant. I was out with my mother and my little girl and I got really bad pains in my right side, it was so awful. I could hardly walk or drive. The pain eased off that evening but the next day I had very bad cramps in my stomach and went to my gp. On the way back I started to bleed lightly but that was the beginning of it really. I went to EPU [Early Pregnancy Unit] and scan couldn't confirm anything, back the next morning and a more detailed scan showed the pregnancy was in my right tube.

This time round I was only 6 wks but I really had zero symptoms, zero pregnancy symptoms or EP symptoms. I had an early scan booked for last Tuesday 8th November and they thought they could see a very small empty sac in my womb. So they took bloods and sent me home. EPU phoned last Wednesday morning and said to come back down for another scan as soon as I could that the hcg levels were at 3900 and at that stage they should be able to see something. So down we went, myself, dh and 3 children really expecting the best (but really deep down I knew it wasn't looking good). By the time I got there I had a very very mild pain on the left, low down in my pelvis. Two sonographers both scanned me internally and both confirmed that the womb was empty and that perhaps there was something in my left tube - I was deemed a mystery because I really didn't have any symptoms at all. The nurse in the EPU insisted to the doctor that I had to stay in the hospital as I live over an hour away - so they found me a bed and booked me in for laparoscopy that night, hoping to have me down in theatre by 9pm

How was your experience with the doctors?
Back in 2006 It was all very sudden, straight down to theatre, laparoscopy done, pregnancy and tube removed and sent home the next day. While the nurses where lovely I really just felt like I was rushed home.
This time round in 2011 - Pretty much like the first experience or rush, shock and fear, but I really couldn't have gotten any better care. From the nurse in the EPU who insisted I was kept in, to the doctors, to the surgeons, consultants, and nurses they really took care of me and looked after me really well.

How were you treated? (surgery, MTX)
In 2006 I was straight in for surgery. They did laparoscopy to remove my tube which by that point was rupturing. The healing time was much quicker, I was physically healed in just over a week. Emotionally was harder work. It really did take me months. As at that time they told me there was some damage to my left tube and my conception chances naturally where about 5% and IVF where probably the only other way for us. For months I really couldn't come to terms with that. But 8 months after I conceived my first son (I already had a daughter thank God for her) and then went on to have a second son.
2011 they presumed it would just be a "simple" laparoscopy - down and back in an hour is what the surgeon told my husband. When in fact when they took me down (at 7pm) and did the laparoscopy they discovered my tube had already ruptured and I was  bleeding into my pelvis (and I really only had a very mild pain) also the pregnancy was embedded into my ovary too that they had to do abdominal surgery - and cut about 7-8cm but the whole procedure took just over 2 hours.

Can you tell us a bit about your emotions, family support (if shared) etc?
God the emotions!! The first time round I really couldn't get my head around it at all. I went through it all I suppose. From feeling like a failure because I couldn't' even "get pregnant properly" to "was it my fault, did I do something wrong", to anxiety, even though I already had a child all I wanted more than anything was to be pregnant again. I soldiered on with the support of my wonderful husband and came to terms with it all, and thankfully went on to have 2 more beautiful children.
This time round, at the moment I really don't even know how I am feeling to be honest. It was only one week ago - so I really don't think it has sunk in. I have a lot going around in my head. On one hand I am so thankful to already be blessed with 3 great children, but I cant really even imagine that I will probably (unless ivf, which is not 100%) never be pregnant again, never have a baby growing inside of me, have that newborn feeling in the house. It is crazy really, as this baby was to be our "last" one. My family have been out of this world, my friends have been great and plenty of help from everyone. I also have in my head "oh my god I could have died", a feeling I never thought about the first time round. I suppose the first time my tube was rupturing in the hospital where as this time it had ruptured and I was bleeding internally. I really shudder to think of the what if's, what if they took more bloods and sent me home. My husband at the moment is really only thinking of this and I really wish he wouldn't beat himself up over it. We just need to keep talking to each other and making sure we are both OK emotionally.

What happened since your ectopic pregnancy?
Since 2006 and loosing my first tube a lot went on. We signed our names for inter country adoption also decided we would give ivf a try. The week before our first meeting with the consultant I found out I was pregnant again, which was a successful one, and in August 07 out popped my beautiful son. When he was 10 months we said "sure lets try again, it might take ages, it might never happen lets just see". Two months later I was pregnant again :) In April 2009 my next little fella was born.
So I am so lucky to have 3 great kids.
It has only been one week since my last ectopic and not much has happened other than thanking God to be alive, have my husband and my children. I may never have another so I am taking my blessings where I can I suppose. The next few months might be a bit of a roller-coaster but I'll take each day at a time for now.

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