#misCOURAGE story by Laura,
My friends were perfect angels after my ectopic pregnancy.
The few I told were unbelievable. One rushed to hospital after my surgery and stayed with me, made sure I could shower at home, some sent face masks and soft toys, others bought chocolate and flowers, made my bed and carried my bags.
My parents, after some hiccups, were the dream and were the best anyone could possibly hope for. My GP was reassuring and kind.
But I’m 21. This doesn’t happen to 21 year old's.
Nobody I knew had been through anything like it and the partner I was going through it with wasn’t interested. I was lying in bed, probably crying and definitely still bleeding, over 200 miles from my family and I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to process everything alone.
People were so invested in my physical recovery and I was grateful for it, but the mental recovery, if it’s possible, is pretty difficult to help with.
I can only imagine this is somehow easier with a partner, but for women without the support of the only other individual that understands your unique experience, it seems impossible and it’s desperately lonely.
Because of age and situation it was assumed that the pregnancy was unwanted. Unplanned does not mean unwanted but I do think it led to a somewhat less empathetic approach from individuals.
The male consultant that told me I was silly for googling and that it was no way ectopic, “just a miscarriage” didn’t think to break the news gently because he had already decided to follow up his comment with “you weren’t planning on keeping it were you?” as if any answer to that question made his approach less inappropriate and made the results any less difficult to hear. I couldn’t even tell him that actually I did want to, do want to, before he’d opened the door for me to leave and drive myself off to another hospital. I was told again that no, I was so low risk, not worth a scan, to go home and unfortunately, one way or another the pain will pass.
I was back 6 hours later in an ambulance, my Fallopian tube had ruptured by then and the internal bleeding was substantial.
When I left hospital the day after my surgery I didn’t notice the fact I had to go through a maternity ward. But I did notice when I came back to the same ward 5 weeks later. I sat alone in the same waiting room I’d sat crying in 5 weeks before. It was 1am then and it was 11am now and it felt like the pregnant, coffee drinking woman next to me was there just as a form of torture.
It’s natural, I think, to keep thinking about how far along I would be now, how it would feel to still be pregnant, to be planning. I hope it will be easier once the due date comes and goes, but somehow I think it will only get harder, going from imagining a bump to my baby.
Any pregnant woman of any age and situation deserves to be taken seriously.
The nurses, HCAs and eventually, surgeons that treated me were wonderful and so kind. The time I spent in hospital after my surgery was comforting and private and I was grateful to be kept in the bubble I was, but when I left, that was it, nobody that was willing to be around knew or understood what I’d been through.
When you’re 31 and you lose a pregnancy everyone is devastated for you.
When you’re 21 and half way through university everyone is relieved, what a close shave, back to normal life. But it isn’t like that at all, it doesn’t take away the trauma, it doesn’t stop the constant flashbacks and dreams, it doesn’t make it any easier to be constantly bombarded with all things maternity. I lost every tiny bit of confidence, I felt like I’d completely failed, don’t deserve and won’t ever get another chance.
I feel so strongly that no woman who loses a pregnancy, in any way, should be shamed, but should be applauded.
Reading the stories on Tommy’s, when I feel most alone, helps. Even if I don’t know any of them and their situation is totally different, I know there are women who feel how I do.
Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer