my ectopic pregnancy

If you’ve seen any of my Instagram stories within the last week or so, then you probably have a good idea of what’s in this post. But I still feel the need to write about it. Because that’s just what we do here. That’s what this place is for. Feel free to skip if you don’t want to read anything having to do with fallopian tubes.

We weren’t trying for a baby. We honestly were’t even considering trying for another until maybe next year sometime. (At least I wasn’t. Tyson would’ve already had a newborn wrapped to him right now if it were totally up to him.) So a possible pregnancy was the absolute last thing on my mind when I started bleeding. I had an IUD, (still have an IUD, though not for much longer) and with the kind that I had (the Mirena) I hadn’t had a period for the three years since I’d gotten it. I didn’t think much of it at first, I thought maybe I had just pushed my luck with the three blissful years of not buying tampons, and now my time was up. It wasn’t until I hit the two week mark that I started to think that maybe this was more than just an incredibly delayed period. I called my midwives back in Virginia, who were the ones who gave me the IUD after Isla was born, and their first response was to tell me that I should probably take a pregnancy test. This was the exact opposite advice I expected to hear. I hung up with them, and Everett who was in the backseat of the car at the time, asked me if I was pregnant. I answered with at least half a dozen toned-down versions of “there is no way in hell” while we finished driving over to Walgreens to pick up a pregnancy test. I drove home, drank a ton of water, and then took one. I didn’t even have to wait 10 seconds before the line started to appear. And in between the perfect storm of swear words and also an unexpected excitement and peace, I laughed. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. Ok. I’m pregnant!

I called Tyson at work and congratulated him on officially winning the “when are we having the next baby” debate ;), and then called my aunt to see if she could get me a last minute appt with her incredible OB/GYN sister-in-law.

At this point, I was still taking it all in with a grain of salt, since the only sign of the pregnancy was the bleeding. I hadn’t felt sick, no sore boobs, no unusual tiredness. I had felt 100% myself. It was such a strange range of emotions to experience, all so contradictory to each other, and all surfacing at the exact same time. The shock, and then more shock, the excitement, the peace, the fear, the visualization of doing it all for the third time, the imagining of the tiny little bean I didn’t know was in my body, while also mentally preparing to lose it, and kicking myself for waiting two weeks to ask questions.

The next day Tyson met me at the hospital for a blood draw and ultrasound. The ultrasound techs never really tell you anything until the doctor can meet with you, but after a long while of looking at a bunch of black, it was pretty clear that my uterus was empty, except for the IUD, which was exactly in the place that it should’ve been. Afterwards we met with the doctor, and had it confirmed that this was most likely an ectopic pregnancy, which means that the pregnancy had implanted in one of my fallopian tubes. Their best guess was that I was between 6-8 weeks along, which was incredibly lucky because the risk of the tube rupturing grows significantly after 8 weeks. Since there’s no way to move the fetus from the tube and into the uterus, this type of pregnancy isn’t viable. The only options are to either inject a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate, that will dissolve the pregnancy, or go in through surgery and remove it that way. The surgery also presents the likely risk of losing the tube and ovary completely, so obviously the methotrexate is the recommended first step.

We waited for about three days and then did another blood draw to confirm that my HCG levels did actually indicate an irregular pregnancy (in case we had missed something on the ultrasound). It was a Sunday when the on-call doctor called to confirm that it was, indeed, ectopic and that I needed to go in immediately for the methotrexate. This was when it really started to suck.

Up until that point, I’d been in a fairly peaceful state. I knew logically what I would have to do if it was an ectopic pregnancy. And it was actually what I was planning on, with only the slightest, tiniest, barely-there part of me holding out hope that my levels would be normal and the baby was just merely too tiny to see in the ultrasound. So when he called, I was completely thrown off guard when I felt instant, stinging sadness.

I did not want to take that drug. I hated that drug. I hated knowing what it was going to do. I hated that this baby was made to grow in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hated that it had been put there as a side effect of the thing I had put in my body. I hated the word “dissolve”. I hated sitting there with the wonderful nurse that was trying so hard to make the injection suck less, and feeling the sting spread throughout the muscle, knowing that it was on its way.

The physical pain that followed in the next week was almost a welcome distraction. I feel so incredibly awful for those cancer patients who have to get chemotherapy on a regular basis. One injection alone put me on the ground. 10 days later and my abdomen still feels like a beat up piece of meat.

I went back to the hospital to take another blood test on Monday and then had a follow-up appt yesterday. My pregnancy levels started out as 198 and they need to get to 0. Yesterday they were only at 175. So that’s where I’m at right now. I’ll have to get more blood tests over the next two weeks to monitor their descent, and hopefully they’ll start to go down faster, but if not, I’ll need to take another shot of methotrexate. I try not to think about what all these numbers mean with what’s physically happening in my body. I really really try not to think about it. Most of the day I don’t. And I’ve told myself again and again that everything happens for a reason, and it has helped, because it has to.

Two things that I’ve discovered since all this happened is that

1. I must talk about Dr. Pepper a lot, because I have been showered in love and Dr. Pepper. I am the luckiest son of a gun with the kindest, most thoughtful friends and family. We have been so well taken care of, and I am forever grateful to everyone who has reached out to us, and to me especially. I am not alone, and neither are any of us. I feel so strongly about the power of bringing our individual places of dark into the light. And about placing the ups and downs of our lives where they can be seen and normalized. Outfit posts and ectopic pregnancies can co-exist in the same space. Anxiety attacks and a favorite recipe can co-exist in the same space. Depression and a vacation recap can co-exist in the same space. Make-up tutorials and a struggle with self-worth can co-exist in the same space. All are allowed. And all, when shared from a place of love and trust, are uniting and powerful. Thank you so much for hearing me and hurting with me and lifting me up this week, I just love you.

And 2. I’m ready for a baby now. I didn’t think I was. But I felt like I lost this baby, whether it was mine to begin with or not. And I cried for what it had to go through, logical or not. And I wished that it could’ve been real. And so now I’m ready to try again. We won’t be able to for four months, until the doctors are sure that the chemo is out of my system. But then we will. And that makes me happy.

Your body after an ectopic pregnancy — The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a hidden bacterial infection which affects the neck of the womb (cervix), womb lining, fallopian tubes and pelvis in women. It is sexually transmitted, affecting the urethra in men and women, and occasionally it causes eye infections (conjunctivitis). It can persist for many years and, if left untreated, it can lead to pelvic infection, fertility problems, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. It is thought to be responsible for about half of all ectopic pregnancies, particularly in women under 25 years of age.

It is transmitted through sexual intercourse and, the more people have sex with an infected partner, the more likely they are to get it but they only need to have unprotected sex once to be at risk. It’s important to understand that sexually transmitted infections are NOT necessarily diseases of people who are promiscuous, but a simple consequence of unprotected sexual intercourse between two otherwise healthy people. Making sure you are checked out, especially if you believe you might be at risk of infection, will protect your fertility and wider sexual health.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who has been sexually active is at risk of getting Chlamydia. It is most common at the ages when people are most likely to change partners, with about 1 in 10 twenty year olds infected at any time. By the age of 40, at least one-third to half of all women and men will have had it at some time. The number of new cases has doubled in the past 5 years probably because more people are being tested, with more accurate tests.

Approximately 80% of people infected with Chlamydia are unaware that they have the infection as there are rarely any obvious symptoms. It can therefore remain undetected for many years. If you have, or have had, Chlamydia, you probably wouldn’t know it, and nor would your partner, so most people who have Chlamydia get it from someone else who didn’t know they had it! Thus Chlamydia is widespread precisely because it can be silent.

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

Even though 80% of people don’t get any signs of the infection when they have Chlamydia you may notice some changes 1-3 weeks after having sex. You might have noticed:

The difficulty in trying work it out yourself is that these symptoms can also be caused by lots of other things as well. Guesswork cannot give you an answer so you need to ask yourself, am I actually at risk of having caught Chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted infection in the last year or so? If the answer is yes, then get checked out.

How can I protect myself from Chlamydia?

Using condoms during sexual intercourse is the only way of preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Other methods of birth control, like ‘the pill’ and diaphragms only protect against pregnancy. However, condoms only protect if you use them every time, in short-term or one-off situations. If you have a new partner, remember Chlamydia is symptomless, so ensure that you are both checked out for Chlamydia before you stop using condoms.

How is Chlamydia treated?

You and your partner must take a simple course of antibiotics simultaneously (both at the same time). This ensures that you are not re-infecting each other. You will also be asked for your sexual history so that your contacts can be traced and treated to prevent the spread of this infection. Treatment is free at sexual health/genitourinary (GU) clinics and there are no prescription charges. These services are totally confidential and you don’t need to be referred by your GP. Find your nearest clinics.

How do I tell my partner?

The most difficult thing is often telling your partner. At the time of the ectopic pregnancy, it is often difficult to identify Chlamydia by testing, and Chlamydia may not have caused YOUR ectopic. Among male partners of women proven to have Chlamydia, up to 90% are infected with no symptoms. Remember that Chlamydia can persist for a long time, and either of you might easily have acquired the infection before you met. It is impossible to tell from tests how long the infection may have been there.

How does Chlamydia cause an ectopic pregnancy?

Anything which damages the fallopian tubes, such as endometriosis or previous pelvic surgery, can cause an ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia causes inflammation within the tubes, damaging the tiny hairs which waft the eggs down the tube. The egg gets stuck and this is how an ectopic pregnancy occurs.

How will I know if Chlamydia caused MY ectopic pregnancy?

It is normal to look for a reason why you experienced an ectopic pregnancy but, for more than half of the UK’s ectopic pregnancies, there is no link, risk or factor known to cause the condition associated with the ectopic pregnancy.

For any woman who has had Chlamydia, it may have contributed to tubal ectopic pregnancy but it is impossible to tell if this was the case because the only way we would know would be to remove the tube and examine it to see if there was evidence of scarring associated with the infection.

Could I have had Chlamydia and not even know it?

The short answer to this is yes. Chlamydia is a bacteria and our bodies are designed to fight bacteria very effectively so our bodies can successfully overcome Chlamydia without treatment. Given the infection is symptomless in 80% of cases and that the infection can self-resolve, it is possible to have had Chlamydia without realising it.

If an ectopic pregnancy was caused by Chlamydia, the infection that did the damage may be long gone and so will not be detectable on a Chlamydia test which is done by testing urine or taking swabs. There will be evidence of antibodies in the blood in anyone whose had Chlamydia but, because testing blood will not alter the doctors assessment or treatment or give them any more information than they already have, testing for antibodies isn’t routinely available. What’s more, even if you did have the blood test and it showed positive antibodies, it doesn’t mean that it was the cause of your ectopic pregnancy.

I have had Chlamydia, will my remaining tube after an ectopic pregnancy be affected?

It is important to remember that even after an ectopic pregnancy there is a chance that your remaining tube is unaffected, even if the tube you lost was damaged by the disease. Chlamydia does not necessarily cause damage equally to both tubes.

Should I test for Chlamydia after I have had an ectopic pregnancy?

If there is a chance you have been infected with Chlamydia then it is always worth taking a test. Although treatment will not correct the damage already done, it may prevent further damage. Some hospitals routinely take swabs after an ectopic pregnancy but many do not.

If I have Chlamydia does it mean I will become infertile or will have an ectopic pregnancy?

Most women who get Chlamydia do not become infertile or suffer an ectopic pregnancy. The reasons for this are unclear, but women’s bodies react differently, similar to an allergy. Risk of ectopic pregnancy is increased by repeated infection with Chlamydia or lack of treatment.

The more times that you get Chlamydia the higher your chances of not being able to have a baby (even if treated). If left untreated, there is evidence to suggest that Chlamydia may affect men’s fertility as well.

What about other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases passed on through intimate sexual contact. They can be passed on during vaginal, anal and oral sex, as well as through genital contact with an infected partner. Common STIs in the UK include chlamydia, genital warts and gonorrhoea.

It’s important to understand that sexually transmitted infections are NOT necessarily diseases of people who are promiscuous, but a simple consequence of unprotected sexual intercourse between two otherwise healthy people. Making sure you are checked out, especially if you believe you might be at risk of infection, will protect your fertility and wider sexual health.

How to help someone who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy — The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

We often hear from family and friends of people who are going through or recovering from the ordeal of ectopic pregnancy. Many want to know how best they can be there for their loved ones. Some of the women that we have supported have movingly shared their stories and acts of kindness that have helped them through one of the most challenging times in their lives.

My fiancé ran me a bath, washed my hair then left me to have a cry. He came back to dry me off, put me in my PJs then snuggled up in bed whilst I cried some more in his arms Jean

Being with my family and talking to the EPT helpline when wanting advice on trying again. Kerri

A nurse sat by me and chatted at night when I found hard to sleep. Candace

My parents were my rock Manni

My fiancé held me, washed me and cooked for me. We also had a cremation and have a memorial plaque giving us a place to visit our angel. Hayley

My partner gave me a little teddy sprayed with his aftershave to help me sleep at night. Sabrina

My best friend came round at 8pm with a hot water bottle to go around my neck. My husband got every pillow in house and made pillow fort for me to sleep in while he slept on the sofa. Kimberley

As well as my family showing me support and kindness, a fellow patient made sure I ate my meals and insisted the medics gave me pain relief when I was in so much pain I couldn’t eat. Julie

One particular doctor was really supportive and got me an ambulance on a Friday night to another hospital so I could be scanned. On the following Tuesday when she saw me waiting for hCG results as an outpatient she “barged” into clinic, looked at the results, moved me to a private room, called the consultant and shouted it was urgent. I was operated on as my hCG levels were 8000+. The next day, in her own time, she visited with pictures of tube and explained everything. Kerri

I was rushed into hospital on Christmas Eve. When I came out of hospital the whole family had put Christmas on hold. Libby

My husband and a blessing from the priest. Priscilla

My husband saved my life by actually forcing me to go to hospital. Lydia

Walking the dog; People at work sending a beautiful card and coming out to the car park on my first day back at work to hold my hand; Reminding me to breathe when I became terrified or when someone asked me how I was. Frances

My partner deserted me but the EPT website and friends and family were great support. Becky

My mum sat with me every day while my husband was at work and did crosswords with me. It really helped not to be alone and to have distractions while I came to terms with my ectopic. Alex

What is an ectopic pregnancy? — The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

Ectopic pregnancy is a common, occasionally life-threatening condition that affects 1 in 80 pregnancies. Put very simply, it means “an out-of-place pregnancy”. It occurs when a woman’s ovum (egg), that has been fertilised, implants (gets stuck) outside the womb. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tube but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located. It is, sadly, not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy into the womb to allow it to grow normally.

Each month, before a woman has her period, one of her ovaries produces an ovum that is drawn into one of the fine finger-like tubes called fimbriae at the end of the Fallopian tube. The ovum then makes its way along the Fallopian tube towards the womb. During the course of this journey it may encounter a man’s sperm, in which case it may be fertilised.

If it is fertilised, the ovum implants itself into the special lining of the womb (renewed each month) called the ‘endometrium’ and becomes a baby. If it is not fertilised, then both ovum and lining are discharged in the menstrual flow (period), a fresh lining is prepared and a new ovum begins to ripen within the ovary.

In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fimbriae can fail to catch the ovum so the ovum becomes fertilised outside the reproductive system or, more commonly, the fertilised ovum becomes caught or delayed while progressing along the Fallopian tube. In this case, the pregnancy continues to grow inside the tube where it can cause the tube to burst or otherwise severely damage it. This can sometimes cause internal bleeding causing pain and requiring immediate medical attention.

The diagram shows where ectopic pregnancies are most likely to occur:

The specific types of ectopic pregnancy

Click on each one to read more.

Tubal ectopic pregnancy (ampullary, isthmic and fimbrial)

The Fallopian tubes (or oviducts) are small, hollow muscular tubes, each about ten centimetres long. The outer half lies next to, but not attached to, its ovary. The tubes have a delicate mucous membrane lining inside the tube, thrown up into folds, which almost fill each tube (see diagram below). The diameter and the number of folds increase as the tube nears the ovary and forms the fimbriae – tiny finger-like projections that move and create a suction effect to draw the ovum to the tube. In the lining of the tubes, half the cells are mucus-secreting and half have cilia – tiny hair like projections which waft gently to propel these secretions towards the uterus. The tube has a natural peristaltic action (contraction and relaxation to create a pumping effect) which assists the movement of mucus. An egg, released at ovulation, is picked up by the Fallopian tube fimbriae, and the tube is responsible for the transport of the fertilised egg to the cavity of the uterus which takes about four days. A bundle of sixty-four cells reaches the uterus to implant six to seven days after ovulation, by which time the natural female hormones have prepared the uterine lining cells (endometrium). The embryo burrows into the endometrium and starts to form a placenta.

It is not difficult to imagine how the delicately folded tube linings with specialised cells can become damaged by inflammation or infection, and/or the transportation of a developing embryo to the uterus may be slow for no obvious reason. In the meantime, the embryo is still trying to develop and has a natural invasive nature, so it can implant in the tube or fimbriae to form a placenta, resulting in a potentially dangerous ectopic pregnancy.

Interstitial pregnancy

An interstitial pregnancy is a rare type of ectopic pregnancy that occurs when the fertilised egg implants in the part of the Fallopian tube buried deep in the wall of the uterus.  Some doctors call interstitial pregnancies ‘cornual’ which is confusing, so the term ‘interstitial’ is preferred. Pregnancies of this kind are difficult to diagnose as they may appear to be in the uterus on a scan or may be difficult to see on scan very early on. They are particularly dangerous if they are growing  as they can progress further and tend to rupture later, having the potential to damage both the wall of the uterus and the fallopian tube. If diagnosed early enough, doctors may recommend medical treatment with methotrexate if the patient is a suitable candidate for this, as surgery for an interstitial pregnancy can involve surgery to the actual uterine wall and this could result in the uterus being weakened. Some interstitial ectopic pregnancies may not be growing and may even resolve without any active treatment. It is possible to have successful uterine pregnancies after an interstitial pregnancy. Your doctor will assess you carefully and consider the need for an elective caesarean section to deliver any subsequent pregnancy and the preferred method of delivery will depend on the extent of the surgery necessary on the uterine wall to resolve the ectopic pregnancy.

Caesarean scar pregnancy

Research indicates that this kind of ectopic pregnancy appears to be increasing, most likely due to the impact of elective caesarean section delivery which was much less common 10 years ago than today. Caesarean scar ectopic pregnancies are when the fertilised egg implants into the gap in the muscle of the uterus that has been caused by the scar on the uterus from a previous Caesarean section. The pregnancy may then grow out of the uterus or onto the cervix and cause torrential internal or vaginal bleeding. In some pregnancies the placenta develops so that only part of it is within the scar and these pregnancies may proceed to delivery of a live baby, but with risk of significant bleeding from the mother and hysterectomy at the time of delivery. Early treatment options include removing the pregnancy using suction & a cervical stitch or keyhole surgery, or using methotrexate injection/s. The treatment of caesarean scar pregnancies is potentially difficult so management has to be individualised on a ‘case by case’ basis. Despite appearing to increase in incidence, they are still relatively uncommon and so some hospital see very few of them. Accordingly, there are moves to focus care in these cases to regional units with experience of these problems both to optimise care and to collate information to make sure there is a better evidence base to inform treatment decisions in the future.

Cervical pregnancy

Cervical pregnancies are one of the rarest forms of ectopic pregnancy and are thought to be of special concern because of the risk of life-threatening vaginal haemorrhage. The cervix is highly vascular (lots of blood vessels) and, when the pregnancy separates from the cervix blood transfusions are usually essential. An emergency hysterectomy has historically been the only option as the diagnosis was not often made before rupture; however, planned conservative management of a cervical ectopic pregnancy using suction evacuation & a cervical stitch, or methotrexate are now potential treatments to preserve the woman’s fertility if the diagnosis is made before it becomes an emergency. Prior surgical trauma, including dilatation and curettage of the cervix (D&C), has been identified as one of the leading risk factors for a cervical ectopic pregnancy.

Cornual / rudimentary horn pregnancy

This is another rare type of ectopic that only occurs in a uterus that has not formed normally. A pregnancy in the uterine portion of the tube of a normally formed uterus is called an interstitial pregnancy, which should not be confused with a cornual pregnancy.  A normally shaped uterus develops from two halves that join together. Sometimes these two halves do not meet and this leaves one banana-shaped (unicornuate) side which is in contact with the cervix and vagina and another nubbin of uterus on the opposite side (that is not usually in contact with the cervix and vagina, called a rudimentary horn). Both sides have their own fallopian tube. Sperm can reach deep inside via the one sided uterus that is in contact with the vagina, but the opposite tube may pick up the fertilised egg and transport it into the rudimentary horn. Because the rudimentary horn often has a thick muscular wall, these pregnancies may advance into the second or even third trimester before they cause catastrophic rupture. The thick wall also makes them more difficult to diagnose, as the rudimentary horn may be assumed to be a normal uterus. Treatment is to terminate the pregnancy by surgically removing the rudimentary horn and its fallopian tube. If the pregnancy is advanced, this is sometimes difficult to do without also removing the ovary on the same side.

Ovarian pregnancy

These are difficult to diagnose as they look very similar to a tubal ectopic pregnancy that is stuck to the ovary or a ‘corpus luteum’ which is the place that the egg was released from, so they are often not diagnosed until surgery. The ovary is a highly vascular structure. An ectopic pregnancy located on or in the ovary will usually require surgery involving either the partial or complete removal of the ovary due to bleeding. If the ovary is only partially removed, it may recover and continue to produce eggs as before. However, even if it does not produce eggs any longer or is removed completely, the other ovary is perfectly capable of producing an egg every cycle, enabling the woman to conceive naturally in the future.

Intramural pregnancy

This is a term that means ‘in the wall’ and refers to a pregnancy that implants outside the cavity of the womb, but within its muscular wall. These pregnancies are thought to occur when the uterus has been scarred by previous surgery or a condition called adenomyosis. Again, they can be difficult to diagnose as it can be hard to see the cavity as separate to the pregnancy. The pregnancies are also inaccessible, which makes them difficult to treat by removing the pregnancy. Methotrexate may be advised.

Abdominal pregnancy

Abdominal pregnancies, in most instances, are thought to have begun in the fallopian tube and then separated from the wall of the fallopian tube, floating into the abdominal cavity to then reattach to one of the structures in the abdomen. The pregnancy can progress and may go undetected until many weeks in to the pregnancy. There are some accounts of abdominal pregnancies surviving to be delivered with an abdominal operation but these are incredibly rare.

Heterotopic pregnancy

Heterotopic pregnancy is the term used to describe a condition where there is the co-existence of an intrauterine pregnancy with an ectopic pregnancy. Although it is rare, it is possible to have a twin pregnancy and for one embryo to implant in the uterus and another elsewhere. It is possible for the co-existing intrauterine twin to survive in approximately 30% of diagnosed cases of heterotopic pregnancy, despite the woman being treated surgically for the condition.

An explanation of ectopic pregnancy

One of our medical advisors, Jackie Ross, Consultant Gynaecologist at Kings College Hospital helps to explain ectopic pregnancy in this video.

Menstruation and pregnancy

London to Newcastle — The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

We often find that partners find it hard to express how they feel coping with the grief of losing a baby and potentially also losing their partner.

Daniel Rush has decided to raise awareness and funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust by  cycling from London to Newcastle in July with some work colleagues.  He has found it cathartic sitting down, thinking and writing an honest and open account of how harrowing the past 4 years have been for Laura and himself.

Dan’s Story – The Man’s Perspective:

“Over the last 4 years Laura and I have been trying to start a family unfortunately with little success.

Since we met we always knew we wanted children, It’s one of the reasons I knew she was the one. We are both pretty healthy and just assumed things would naturally happen, after all it seemed like everyone else was getting pregnant, how hard could it be?

In the 4 years we have gotten pregnant twice. The first pregnancy ended in an ectopic in the tube. This was found at a scan due to complications just before our 12 week scan was due. I remember sitting in the room with her when we were given the news, as soon as she cracked, so did I. We just held each other and cried, it felt like we wouldn’t stop. At that time I hoped I would never have to see Laura that upset again, I just couldn’t let it happen, she didn’t deserve it. Life went on hold personally after the surgery but jobs, family and friends all had to continue. I felt like I needed to be the rock for her but inside I found this more difficult than I had imagined. It felt overly dramatic but I realised I could have lost Laura if this hadn’t been caught and I don’t know what I would do without her.

We continued to try….

The second pregnancy more recently looked like it was good news, at our first scan all seemed well and the staff performing the scan had great news! We got to see our baby and its heartbeat and could think about starting to make the plans for the future, we were elated, it felt like early days but we had made it!

Coming out of the room and needing to wait to sort a future appointment, 20 minutes passed by, we sensed something wasn’t right. Our fears were proven right. On reviewing the scans the staff saw some problems which required a re-scan. What they discovered was that Laura had a Cornual Ectopic pregnancy, these are more difficult to diagnose as the pregnancy looks like it is in the right place, but actually isn’t. This meant this pregnancy needed to be ended as well and further surgery for Laura which went beyond the tube removal last time. The surgery took longer than expected and I couldn’t get an update, I was worried that something had gone wrong in the surgery and it took all my strength to stay calm.

I couldn’t believe it, Laura and I were devastated and the further surgery could make things the end of the road (luckily it hasn’t). The overriding feeling was that as much as I wanted a child, I knew Laura would be wanting it more, I couldn’t imagine what she was going through and it felt so cruel and unfair that this had happened again. How dare I feel like this when it is so much worse for her.

After the first ectopic I think I buried my feelings, the second has made it harder to cope, how could we only get pregnant twice and both be ectopic? Is this ever going to happen for us? Does Laura have to risk her life every time she gets pregnant? We’ve planned, got a family home, a family car, everything is set up and ‘on the surface’ perfect but there is a giant piece missing that we desperately want to fill. Recently Laura has been the stronger one as the grief of these losses has caught up with me somewhat, I’ve come to realise the world behind all this and the amount of women and their partners affected. I’ve read up and looked at the accounts from women and other men and seen that I’m not the only one thinking the things I do, that I’m not losing it. I have a lot of anger about this and I’m slowly dealing with it. All the while feeling like I’m letting Laura down by not being as strong as I can be for her.

I’ve learned many things about myself over the past year. The main thing is the love that Laura and I have for each other and although difficult at the moment, we will be coming out of this the other side stronger. I try and support Laura as best I can, most of the time I feel like I can’t give her enough, there has been a strong sense of guilt in all this that I’ve let her down. I even feel guilty writing this.

I said earlier I hoped I would never see Laura that upset again. I saw it happen a second time and in worse circumstances. It will be a long time before thinking about it doesn’t make me emotional (if I can ever shake it). Material from The Ectopic Trust and the website have massively helped us and provided the gateway to understanding how things are and how to seek help. I may have to see Laura as upset again, you can’t guarantee things are going to go well. I just hope I don’t have to but knowing the support is out there makes things that bit easier.

There is so much more I could write about this, but ultimately I felt like I had to do something to repay the support and raise awareness around ectopic pregnancies and the devastating effect they can have. I’m going to be cycling from London to Newcastle in July with some work colleagues, we’re doing it over 5 days due to the mix of abilities, my colleagues will be raising money for their own causes close to their hearts. I’m lucky that I still have Laura and the potential that we may still have a child and I’m eternally grateful for that.

If you would like to support and help Daniel with his fundraising please take a look at his fundraising page.

Video of baby from ectopic pregnancy shows clear humanity of preborn

A video shared on Facebook of an eight-week-old preborn child who had to be removed because of an ectopic pregnancy is proving that human life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of a human being.

Jonathan Van Maren, communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, originally shared the video two years ago, but it is now gaining more attention through the Nurses&Midwives4Life Ireland Facebook page.

WARNING: The video below is difficult to watch.

The heartbreaking video shows the preborn child moving his or her tiny head and limbs just as any baby, born or preborn, would. But this child will not survive. He or she was removed from the mother due to an ectopic pregnancy in which the baby began growing outside of the womb. While babies who grow in their mother’s abdomen have been known to survive, a baby who begins to develop in the Fallopian tube will not survive and is an immediate risk to the mother’s life.

This video and this baby’s life can teach us two things about pregnancy and abortion. First, at eight weeks old, the approximate age of this child, the preborn baby has developed enough to be easily recognized as a human being. Abortion at this stage is committed one of two ways. One way is via a surgical abortion that involves suctioning the child from the womb with a force powerful enough to destroy the little body. Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes this procedure in the video below:

The second type of abortion procedure used during the first trimester is the abortion pill, which starves the preborn child. Thankfully the effects of the pill can be reversed in some cases before the second pill is taken. Dr. Levatino describes how the abortion pill kills a child in the video below:

One woman who took the abortion pill describes what it was like to see her aborted child:

“Within two hours of taking the second set of pills, I had the baby in the toilet,” she said. “When I turned around there it was in the sack and everything. I broke open the sack and held the helpless little baby in my hand. I cried and felt like I had just murdered someone so innocent.”

The second thing we can learn from the child in the video is that abortion is not necessary to save the mother’s life. A common pro-abortion argument is that abortion is necessary in cases in which a pregnancy threatens the life or health of the mother. One of the go-to examples for abortion advocates is an ectopic pregnancy. They argue that we need abortion in order to save the mother. However, as can be seen in the video, this child is alive. She or he was not actively killed when removed from the Fallopian tube, therefore an abortion was not committed. Abortion is the act of intentionally taking the life of a preborn child. Instead, doctors can safely and quickly deliver the child and save the mother’s life. The mother’s life is spared, and depending on the age of the child, the child’s life can be spared as well.

Unfortunately, this particular child could not survive due to his or her age. Perhaps in the future, technology will provide women with options that will allow them and their children to survive. No matter what, this child was clearly a human being and deserving of life. It is a tragedy to have lost him or her.