It’s over 12 years since I first found out I was pregnant. I have to admit it wasn’t planned. We’d only been married 5 months and were settling into life as a married couple. It was January and I suddenly realised I couldn’t remember my last period. I still remember it vividly. It was a Friday night. I took the test and I shook as I waited for the results. Whilst it wasn’t planned, my pregnancy certainly wasn’t unwanted. We’d always known we wanted kids, it was just happening before we’d decided when. I remember ringing my best friend and telling her and crying as I did. I wasn’t upset, just very very shocked!
That night I couldn’t sleep as the news began to sink in. We both woke ridiculously early the next morning and rang our parents. My Mum and Dad were thrilled and I’m sure my mother in law hung up the phone and went shopping straight away! We went out for dinner that night as a family and you could feel the excitement around the table. This was to be my parents’ first grandchild and my Grandma’s first great-grandchild.
It all started to go wrong on the Monday after I had found out. I was in work and went to the toilet and noticed I was bleeding. Naturally, I panicked. My line manager was lovely and took me straight to my doctor’s. She examined me and booked me in for a scan on the Wednesday. Two days? How would I ever manage to wait that long? It felt like a lifetime away. After the doctor’s I went home. Not to my house, but to my Mum’s. Even then I needed my Mummy- isn’t it strange how we never lose that? To this day I can still remember being curled up in the chair at hers and feeling my heart literally break in two. I never knew you could actually feel it happen. My mum was my rock that day. She tucked me up in bed and surrounded me with her love and care. Each time I went to the toilet I hoped the bleeding had stopped, but sadly it hadn’t. It was soul-destroying.
The next morning I woke up and felt awful. I could hardly walk my stomach was in that much pain and going to the toilet was agony. We decided to take a trip to a&e. They triaged me and sat me in the waiting room. It was horrible. I wanted to be rushed in and seen straight away. I felt like my whole world was being taken away from me, but to them I was just another patient. I eventually saw a nurse who diagnosed me with a urine infection and sent me away with antibiotics. There had been a recent storyline on Coronation Street about ectopic pregnancies and for some reason, it had stuck in my mind. I asked could that be possible and was told no as I didn’t have the correct symptoms. What I had forgotten at this point was that I had had really severe shoulder pain, but it had been before my bleeding had started so I hadn’t connected the two.
The next day I was back at hospital for a scan. My husband came in with me and Mum sat in the waiting area. They could see blood in my uterus. It looked ectopic. I remember running out of the scan room into a packed waiting room. I swear everyone was looking at me. “It’s ectopic” was all I could manage to say to my mum and then I ran. I couldn’t bare to be in that room with everyone looking at me with pity in their eyes. I remember the doctor taking my pulse not long after and pronouncing me tachycardic (very fast pulse). I don’t know what he expected after that news?
I was admitted into hospital immediately and was given the choice between surgery or an injection. We were learning towards the injection when the head doctor came in and said he thought surgery was best. It was a wild January day. The rain pounded down and the wind howled. One of the theatres lost its roof. I had a lovely day! I think I was hysterical at this point. I eventually went down to surgery at 10pm. The doctor had been right. My left tube was slowly rupturing and was damaged beyond repair.
The next day I was sent home. With nothing. No support, no comfort. Just a leaflet telling me to look out for excessive bleeding. Less than a week after finding out I was pregnant and it was all over. The pyhsical pain was just the beginning though. I was not prepared for the emotional pain that was to come my way. It messed with my mind in a way that I had not anticipated. I was convinced I’d never be able to have a baby ever. EVERYONE around me was due a baby about the same time mine had been due. I couldn’t look at them and when the guy at work brought his new baby in to show us I left the room in tears. Oh and the guilt. I felt so guilty. My grandma was 80. What if I’d taken away her chance at being a great-grandma? I’d taken away everyone’s baby and I felt awful.
By the June I would say I was close to a nervous breakdown. I had gone back to work and just couldn’t cope in the real world. I decided I needed to do something about it and I began seeing a counsellor. My first hour long session lasted over three hours and, bless her, not only did she let me talk that long but she wouldn’t charge me any extra. Over the summer months I kept seeing her and she helped me realise that I needed to grieve for more than my lost baby. I’d lost my future, some of my fertility and I’d lost the sense of being able to control whether or not I could have a baby. She also made me realise that my own grief was enough to carry and I didn’t need to carry anyone else’s. On the 13th September, I had my last session with her. My baby had been due on September 17th. We were nearly at that due date. I knew it would be awful, but I also knew I would survive.
On the morning of 14th September I woke up and I felt different. It was 6am and I rushed straight out to Tesco. It was in their toilets at 6.30 am that I found out I was pregnant again. Three days before my first baby had been due. It felt like a gift and at that moment I just knew that, this time, everything would be ok. That positive pregnancy test is about to turn 12! I’ve got another two children as well as him now. I’m not going to lie. It was hard. Not just my subsequent pregnancy, but all three of them. I was convinced I’d have secondary infertility with my middle child and I was admitted to hospital with my youngest as I was having shoulder pain in the first few weeks. Turns out it was stress and as soon as I had a scan to show me she was in the right place it all went away. Once you’ve lost a baby you lose that sense of naivety that so many of us have. That you want a baby, get pregnant and have the baby. Sadly it just doesn’t work like that.
I would like to say that I am now at peace with what happened to me. I’m not over it. I never will be because it just doesn’t work like that. Every January and every September 17th that little bean is in our thoughts (as well as many other moments in between). We feel sadness. We feel regret. We wonder what might have been. However, to be where I am today I had to go through that loss and I will always be thankful to ‘Bean’ for making me the person I am today.
Fly high little angel xx