This is my concluding note on my recent ectopic pregnancy, it may be a trigger for pregnancy and loss, TMI.
I have found recovery from the ectopic pregnancy much tougher than I could have imagined.
I’ve suffered such a range of emotions and the deepest of sadness, but the over-riding feeling has been one of anger.
Anger that no-one listened to me.
I know me quite well (!) and I remember saying that if on that fateful Friday they did not listen and scan me properly then I would have not gone back, not ever. I’m stubborn and felt so embarrassed that I know I wouldn’t have gone… regardless.
What would have happened – I would have died, for sure. I was already bleeding internally and gathering from the emergency situation of the operation, I suspect it wouldn’t have been long.
I was presenting with every symptom of an ectopic pregnancy but no-one took me seriously.
I was made to feel embarrassed, foolish, deluded, even somewhat ridiculed for my persistence in asking for help and telling these ‘professionals’ that it wasn’t right and that something was wrong. I was even told that my positive tests were negative even when I was staring straight at the tests in front of me.
I had several visits to the doctor, 2 visits to the EPU, several telephone conversations with the doctors etc, and 1 visit to A&E and no one listened.
In some cultures ‘elders’ are the most well respected members of a community where other people go to have their questions answered from those who have already lived some life, those with experience. I am at the tail end of my reproductive life, I have 5 children, one may have assumed that in this scenario I might well have known what I was talking about. Instead I was completely disempowered by the very people who were supposed to help, right up to nearly losing my life and leaving 5 children without a mother who loves them.
Maybe some of the cultures I refer to might be considered to be in countries less ‘developed’, however I have to conclude that we have somehow become ‘over developed’. The cost of human life is measured in purely monetary terms and whatever their drain might be on society’s pocket, their cost, where the lives of mothers and their babies are cast aside as an inconvenience to progress, a waste of someone’s time –someone more important.
The stories I have read on-line lead me to the certainty that I am not the only one to have suffered like this.
Has everyone forgotten that without mothers there would be nothing – no people at all to bring about any sort of progress anywhere. That it is us mothers that are actually supplying people!
Yet women in our wonderful developed country are still lesser citizens, we have to scream and shout for our children, to be heard. Our babies lost are offered no respect in their short lives or in burial, ‘just have another one’ they say, ‘get over it.’
Maybe we don’t want to ‘get over it.’ Maybe we should be allowed the time to grieve for the future that we lost, to acknowledge that our babies were people and honour them respectfully.
If I had died I’m sure I wouldn’t have appreciated being disposed of with the rest of the hospital’s bodily waste, multi-cultural blessing or not.
I shudder if I think back to the ‘me’ I was when I had my first child, I was quiet, didn’t like to make a fuss.
Where would I be know?
DEAD. I wouldn’t have questioned the conclusions of a professional like that of the consultant that ruled out my pregnancy on the basis of 2 HCG tests and offered me no further follow up or even a conversation on my symptoms. I was terrified, did he know that? What was he thinking? I had a baby inside me and he just sent me away without due care or attention.
I read recently somewhere that ‘no pregnancy should be ruled out without conclusive evidence to the contrary.’ Clearly my consultant hadn’t read that.
I’ve suffered emotionally from the ectopic pregnancy a great deal in the 6 weeks that have passed, mainly because of my anger at my treatment, and of the way that I was made to feel. Maybe if I was looked after properly in the first place then it all wouldn’t have carried on so long, and I could have grieved instead of fighting to keep myself alive. I didn’t want to die, I wanted to have a baby.
I could complain that it was the NHS’s fault but it wasn’t. There was every facility there to help me, ready for me to access. It was (some of) the ‘Professionals’ that just wouldn’t listen. I was refused a scan over and over, I suspect this was to do with cost/time. I shouldn’t have to remind them that my baby was priceless. However if we look back over the countless visits we had to make to be heard at various places, the operation, the aftercare , oh no sorry there wasn’t any aftercare (!), the tests etc, etc then it probably would have been a lot cheaper to listen to me in the first place.
If I could go back in time I would insist on talking to that first Doctor again and the Consultant who couldn’t be bothered to speak to me directly. I would tell them that I think they are first class assholes.
I would mention that I wouldn’t trust them to take out my rubbish let alone take care of mine or my baby’s health. That I shiver when I think of the young women under their care, and really if I could, I would take those young women who trust them and take care of them myself. I would empower them to listen to their bodies to realise what fabulous things they are capable of, and remind them that they should trust their instincts always.
I would tell those professionals not to ever dismiss one of my children like they don’t matter, because those children are my life and they matter to me, and if I have to I will fight to the ends of the earth to protect them.
I would ask them that if they aren’t compassionate, kind, caring, or simply can’t be bothered then why they are in the health profession at all? I would tell them that for us mere mortals on the receiving end that’s really scary. Also that if they can’t read a pregnancy test correctly what the hell are they doing working in an EPU?
When my daughters or my daughter-in-law’s are ready to have children of their own I’m going with them. I will be at every appointment, I will be there to hold their hands when it goes good and if it goes bad. I will make sure they get the correct treatment and are treated with kindness and compassion. I will make sure they know that to grow a human being inside of them is the most remarkable and fantastic thing that they will ever do in their lives but that it’s tough too. That the fight starts when that sperm reaches the egg and then it will continue for the rest of their lives. The rewards are profound, the heartache unbearable.
In my 44 years of life I have now found that I have learnt 2 very valuable life lessons and I will continue to stick rigidly with them, they are as follows, please take note:
1) Never ever go outside without your hair and make-up done.
2) Trust yourself and no one else. Even when people should know better, get paid (usually an awful lot of money) to know better, that doesn’t mean that they actually do.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT ALWAYS –THEY ARE THERE FOR A REASON
And now I will continue with life, I push on and I push through because – that is what mothers do…