Saturday, 1 March 2014

Life after an Ectopic

Some of you may have read my previous post about my Ectopic pregnancy back in November. My first post was more about the facts, what happened, and how I responded in the moment. But of course there is always much more. I wasn't ready then to share the emotional side of how I felt and how I feel now about it all, but I am now. If you want to read more about my first post you can here: My unexpected November. 

As I sat in my living room waiting for the ambulance to come, and for my Dad to return from collecting my eldest son from playschool I knew I had to remain calm. I always think of myself as a bit if a hedgehog when it comes to my emotions. I am very sensitive, perhaps too much sometimes but my way of coping with that is to put up my defence spikes. I often feel that I am so overwhelmed with emotion in a situation that it comes across that I am not that bothered by it, or that I am calm and in control. I flicked into emotional lockdown pretty quickly on the way to the hospital, I had already been in it to keep both of my boys calm before I left so it was easy to stay in it. 

As soon as they asked me for a urine sample in A&E I knew that it would come back positive. I think sometimes you just know. The surge of emotions hit me in the hospital, my husband hadn't arrived yet and I knew I had to keep a clear head ready to fight the pain that was consuming my body and draining any piece of energy I had. But at the same time the loneliness of the cubical and the unknown was consuming my thought space. 

I prayed. Being told that I was pregnant was just words, I heard them but I already knew this baby was on its way to heaven. I felt God's peace on me as I prayed my baby on. It's a really strange feeling to know your baby will never breathe, never see your face, and you will never see them. You won't dream big dreams for it, see it smile or help it walk. On the other hand this baby made it to heaven before me, it gets a perfect and complete body before it's body was even fully formed, thats pretty special too. Such mixed emotions!

I felt God's presence upon me giving me peace that it was ok to let this baby go it would be in good hands, safe hands. It was that quiet reflective moment that got me through what was to come. 

The deteriation to my own body was quick, my life hung in the balance in the hands of the surgeons and hospital staff. I didn't once consider the dangers of my own life at the point until afterwards, reflectively! That was my fighting talk, I wasn't going anywhere just yet! My husband hasn't quite got over the bit where my life hung in the balance yet, not surprisingly he is still very emotionally sensitive to this. I was also struck that afterwards people comment on how sad they are you have lost the baby but they seem to miss the fact that I could have died. Emotionally thats a pretty huge thing to face. 

When I woke up the baby was gone, I never saw it and I was left with the normal questions that no one could answer; boy or girl? How many weeks was I? The difficult thing about an Ectopic is that it's just seen by hospital staff as another life threatening surgury. The baby is to them a foetus which they never once give a second thought to, considered just a mass that they remove. That's how my husband saw it to, he has never been one for emotion but I think it just drove my pain further and deeper into numbness for the first few days. My husband and I have always processed things in different ways so I didn't really expect anything different. 

When the numbness wore off I had to face reality, I have always found talking about it helps, so thats what I did; talk it through, rationalize it in my head and move forwards. After all I had two beautiful kids right in front of me who needed me to get my head around it so that they could too. It was hard in those first few weeks, still groggy from the anisthetics, tired from losing so much blood and seeing how much my husband as much as he tried just couldn't be me. I was forced to give up breastfeeding my youngest as it was just too challenging to tackle with everything else so I also faced a frustrated toddler and a three year old who was desperate to help me get better.

Life is always bitter sweet and just after Christmas a friend of mine whose baby is just a few weeks old asked me to take her to the hospital because she was pregnant again and was bleeding, she expected the worse. I was ok emotionally until they told her the baby was fine, I was pleased for her but at the same time it felt like a smack in the face as she didn't really want the baby.

I also found it very overwhelming and weird when complete strangers offered to hug me about it all as its like a fierce reminder of what has just taken place. I never feel like that when my friends and family have spoken to me about it. Everytime I think I am feeling less emotionally sensitive my son plays one of those Disney movies that catch you unawares like Cars, its ok until they get to the final race where Chick Hicks knocks The King and he crashes, so Lightening McQueen pushes him over the line so he can finish his last race *Sobs*.

We are getting through it, we are nearly 4 months on and normality has resumed on the whole. I am visibly reminded of this baby everyday by the 3 little scars it left behind on my stomach, its not forgotten. People that say time is a healer are wrong. I don't think time is the healer I just think in time we get better at dealing with it. Time helps you to focus your emotions, to contain them better, to trust God that  his plan is bigger. I am very nervous about getting pregnant again, I think anyone would be when your odds go from a 1 in 100 chance of an ectopic to a 1 in 10, but when or if we get to that point we will deal with it all. 

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