I sat nervously in the EPAU waiting room, holding Mr G’s hand and talking nonsense about the jobs we needed to get done at home – anything to prevent me thinking about what we were about to talk about. I had been dreading this appointment, it would rake up all the upset of the ectopic pregnancy and all the fear, but I needed to let them talk to me and ask what I needed to ask.
A rather over- enthusiastic health care assistant asked my name and explained that the ward Sister would be with me soon, I had to stifle a giggle as she literally bounced enthusiastically away to announce our arrival.
The Sister offered us a cup of tea and led us into the quiet room, we’d been in this room more than once before and it held unhappy memories, I was instantly sat on the edge of my seat. The Sister recognised this might be an issue and asked if I was OK being in this room, I was OK it just felt strange. She explained that we would discuss the surgery and the pre/post operative care I received. We discussed what had happened in the days before the surgery, the scans, blood tests and surgery.
I explained that the physical pain had been quite welcome after the surgery, I took myself off the pain relief within a day or two just to feel the pain. The pain which took my breath away with each movement and made crying impossible, this pain had given me something to concentrate on other than the emotional side of what had actually happened. I explained I didn’t feel I had really had the opportunity to grieve, many friends had made me feel that I had no right to grieve, I should just get on with things. I explained that I wasn’t just upset about the loss of the pregnancy but selfishly I was devastated over the removal of a part of me. I felt so stupid saying that, but the Sister looked at me and softly said “I think there are so many women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy who feel that way..” The Sister explained that it was very early days, and that for a while I will have good days and bad days, that’s part of the natural process.
I asked what would happen if we wanted to try again, as I was terrified especially as we’d miscarried in December and then this ectopic, what if it happened again?! While they can’t prevent miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, she went through things I could do to ensure I didn’t heighten risk e.g. don’t smoke (I don’t!) and explained that my ectopic was just one of those unfortunate things which couldn’t have been prevented, I was otherwise healthy, she is seeing roughly one lady a week with an ectopic pregnancy – that number amazed me, if you are one of those ladies I send you so many hugs and such love. If we decide to try again, I have to contact my GP as soon as I get a positive test and then they will refer me for an early scan at 7 weeks to check the pregnancy is developing where it should be, if it is, I will go back to normal ante-natal care. If I have any concerns before 7 weeks they will see me in EPAU, and they hope that if it does turn out to be another ectopic they will catch it early.
I cried so much during that meeting, my eyes were red and there were no more tears to come, but I walked away feeling somehow soothed and like the chapter on that had closed. I’m far from “over it” but I’m on the road to recovery.