Deirdre's Story

I always had in the back of my head that having a family might not be straight forward for me. I don’t know why- call it instinct maybe. When we got married we started trying straight away, my reasoning being we were already in our thirties and if there were problems then we would need time on our side. We got pregnant on the second month of trying and were thrilled. For some reason I could not get excited. At 6 weeks pregnant I started spotting in the staff toilet at work. My heart pounding I rang John. He picked me up and we went to the local hospital. I was scanned, there was the baby but no heart beat. I was told to rest and to come back in 2 weeks. I stayed in bed, despairing with any spotting and praying so very hard that my baby would stay with me. Sadly it was not meant to be and at nearly 8 weeks I miscarried. In the following 2 weeks after this I kept getting bouts of severe left sided pain. I went into the local hospital 3 times with this pain. I was scanned, I asked the doctor on each occasion to check my fallopian tubes, on each occasion this was dismissed. At the third scan John was told that I was not dealing with the miscarriage, that the pain was in my head and that we should take a break. We went to knock where the pain returned necessitating a pain relief injection from the local GP. After this I was pain free for a few days, decided that whatever was wrong had corrected itself and we decided to go to New York. I did wonder if maybe the doctors were right all along and that maybe the pain was in my head. The evening before the flight we were booking into the airport hotel and the pain returned. Excusing myself I went to the ladies and doubled up in pain. When it passed I came back out to the lobby, and collapsed. An ambulance brought me initially to Beaumont where John was told that I was very ill. From there I was brought to the Rotunda. A midwife did a scan and her face fell. Looking at the monitor we saw a perfect little baby, but in my left fallopian tube. I had an emergency laparoscopy, my tube had begun to rupture and I had internal bleeding.. The baby and tube were removed. In the space of a month I had lost twins, and a tube. The surgeon explained that I had had a heterotopic pregnancy, extremely rare. It is more common in ivf pregnancies but even then extremely rare and virtually unheard of when a pregnancy is not a result of ivf. It occurs typically in one pregnancy out of every 300,000 pregnancies.

Never one to lose hope we began trying soon afterwards. After an early miscarriage I became pregnant again and our son was born less than a year after the ectopic surgery. Two devastating miscarriage later and our daughter was born. I once despaired of having this little family but the stats of everything working out were always in my favour, even after losing a tube. As I type my son has his arm around his little sister and they are cheek to cheek, the best of friends, looking at the birds out in the back garden. He is very protective of her because she is not used to this walking lark and keeps falling on her bum. I’m pretty sure there are a few little angels in the room with us also.