Helina lost two babies through ectopic pregnancy.
I have learnt that sometimes there are no answers and you may never know the reason.
Ectopic pregnancy. I’m sorry but the pregnancy is ectopic. These were the words I have heard twice in the maternity scan room.
After all the prodding, poking and endless blood tests, they found my beautiful baby, alive, measuring 7 and half weeks with a strong heartbeat. However the pregnancy is not viable (so they put it) and this baby was endangering my life.
The first words I cried out were Why?, ‘What is wrong with me? Why me? Why our baby?’. I felt the world fall from beneath my feet and collapsed in absolute hysterical tears. The doctor explained to me that they needed to operate. The baby was growing and to leave it would lead it to me bleeding to death.
I was given leaflets, hooked up on a drip and I was placed on nil by mouth for over 48 hours whilst I awaited surgery. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening to me, the most important thing to me was my baby. I wanted them to save my baby, not me.
I was in a haze, separate from reality. I signed the consent forms. I signed the cremation forms. This is not what was supposed to happen.
I remember thinking whilst I was waiting to go into the surgery room, why my baby? Why my precious little baby? I would have done anything for you and for some reason I am not allowed to keep you. Why?
The hours, minutes and seconds were ticking away whilst I lay on the hospital bed. I felt like time had stopped for me but I could hear the tick tock countdown to the end of my baby’s short life. I was pregnant, I felt pregnant. I had all the symptoms. How could this go so wrong?
I apologised to my baby. When I think about that now, it breaks my heart that I was brought to a situation where I was apologising to my own babies, that I couldn’t keep them safe. I had already started to look for the answers. I decided maybe I wasn’t good enough to keep my babies, maybe I did something wrong, maybe I was being punished.
After the surgery in which they removed my baby and my left fallopian tube, I was told that my right remaining tube was healthy and this was an unlucky event, one of them things. I stayed hopeful that soon I would conceive again, and that this time it will be in my womb. All the fertility tests I had, came back clear. There was every reason to be optimistic.
Six months later I had a second ectopic. I was given an injection to stop the pregnancy early. The injection didn’t work and my little fighter baby kept growing. At 8 weeks, my right tube had already started to rupture and I was bleeding internally. Again I was rushed into emergency surgery, and my baby and my last remaining tube was removed.
So if it wasn’t physical then there it is, it must have had something to do with me.
The same feelings came back, this time coupled with the reality of infertility and a future of uncertainty. I was given no medical reason for my ectopic pregnancies, I kept wondering.. Why?
The ectopic pregnancy statistics given to me by the doctors felt like a reminder that I was part of what felt like a small percentage. I felt so alone. I felt that I wasn’t good enough to be part of the majority who have healthy pregnancies and bouncing beautiful babies at the end. I looked at my flat scarred stomach and I hated myself. I felt so alone and worthless.
Whilst these thoughts and feelings may feel extreme to some, I have learned that this is a natural aspect of the grieving process. I was grieving, not just for the loss of my babies, but the loss of the future I had envisaged with them. Once I recognised this fact that I am grieving, I felt that I wanted to reach out to others, I wanted to talk about my beautiful babies.
We are not a minority and we are not alone, there are thousands of others who have experienced this. I slowly learned to forgive myself, not only for the ectopics, but for the hurt I had caused to myself. I began to understand that there was nothing I could have done, that I am a good person, and that I did deserve these babies. I loved my babies and I was still their Mother.
The truth is I will never know why what happened, happened. It is something I am learning to live with. So – why me?
I don’t know. I have learnt that sometimes there are no answers and you may never know the reason. However I learnt to be kinder to myself. It is ok not to be ok. I guess I will now be taking the long way around to have my own family. One day I will hold my little miracle and it will be better than I could ever imagine. It is scary but there is still hope for the future, and that is the most beautiful thing to hold onto in the world.
In loving memory of Isaac 21/07/2015 and Angel 01/02/2016. Lost to ectopic pregnancy.