By Ina Woolcott, home educating mummy of 2……

On February 6th 2016, I had an ectopic pregnancy and had to have my right fallopian tube removed. I also had internal bleeding because the tube/embryo burst. They sucked all the blood up during surgery, roughly 1 and a half pints – 750 ml – cleaned it up and put it back in me through a drip.

So… the symptoms of my ectopic actually started 8 days before I had key hole surgery on a Friday. I think the 29th January. The night it started one of my good friends stayed over with her 2 kids who are a similar age to my Inky (10) and Bri (2). Her daughter is 10 like Ink, her little boy not a year yet. We’d been out for a day trip to Fishers Farm. It was a wonderful, happy day with my sister and her son, lots of fellow home educators and happy kids. Air full of good vibes and happiness.

After we got home around 7pm, I still had to cook dinner and by 22:30 I was shattered and in bed. I woke around 2 in the morning. My stomach was in excruciating pain. I hardly slept anymore that night, knees tucked up to tummy willing the pain to go away. Next day felt OK. I did mention to my friend how ill I had felt in the night… I soon forget and the day continued. I played host to everyone, which distracted me from any pain. Whilst i was talking to my friend, i realised my period was a week late. I put it down to having been so busy throughout December, Christmas, Brian’s 2nd Birthday, Sam’s birthday, visitors from abroad… Anyways, that night after my friend left, I still had heaps of wet washing to hang up, hoovering, mundane household chores before my neighbours came over for the first time ever. I felt ill but tried not to think about it by getting on with my 101 chores and focusing on the neighbours. Surely I wasn’t pregnant anyway… my period is normally one day late when I’m pregnant and I already start with the morning sickness. Plus I always FEEL pregnant. I just didn’t. Sunday day and night I felt OK. Monday and Tuesday I felt fine too. We were very busy Monday doing home eddy stuff, no time for much thinking. Met up with my old boss in Brighton on the Tuesday. Again, was so busy I pushed everything out of my mind. Tuesday night the kids and I stayed at my Nans’. Something we do once a week. My tummy felt a bit sore in the night, but I awoke with what I thought were the beginnings of my normal period, accompanied by acute tummy pain and an extremely upset stomach. In spite of the tummy ache I felt relieved and put it down to the build up of my period being late.

I actually took some paracetamol at my Nans and tried to carry on with my day as normal (must’ve been bad to take meds! Those who know me, know I’m well into homeopathy and would never deviate unless chronic). Thought I’d get fresh air and walked in to town from my Nans with the kids to grab a coffee and essentials from Waitrose and to meet my mum there. By the time we reached Waitrose I could hardly walk. Tears welled in my eyes because it was such a struggle. My Mum was like ‘you can’t cry in a supermarket Ina’. I pulled myself together and walked home with the kids. Brian on his scooter, me pulling him along on it. So thinking it was just a really messed up period went home and slept for 3 hours with Brian. Before I got in to bed with him, I went to the loo and realised there was just spotting on my sanitary pad, but as it had seemed to start in morning and was late, I still thought that that was the cause at this point. Felt ok-ish when I woke and carried on with my day as normally as I could. When it came to dinner, this literally went straight through me within 30 seconds. Really bad diarrhea. Decided to eat no more. Bed at 9 with Bri. Bad night sleep. Looked online around 4 in the morning because I was in such pain to see what I could find on how I was feeling. Tummy below belly button sore to the touch. Could only gently poke it before it felt painful. A thought entered my mind… – mum had had an ectopic when I was 6 years old, I still remember. She had to have her left tube removed and almost died because it was left too long. She was in hospital for 16 days. I still remember her not being there for what seemed like months and missing her terribly, worrying I wouldn’t get to see her again. Ectopic pregnancy stood out instantly. I had all the symptoms… but then i tried to push the idea out of my mind, if i thought about it too much I’d really scare myself.  Thursday I felt like s**t. I have a very high pain threshold. I think a lot of women do? Especially when you have been through child birth before? I did say to Inky at some point that I felt like my tummy was dying its own personal death :/ She looked after me so much, we watched films, she played with Brian and drew me pretty pictures. At one point I started crying because I felt so bad and Inky cuddled me. I apologised in case I was scaring her, but she said she’d rather know if something was wrong instead of not being told the whole truth…when had my little girly become so grown up … At 5pm that Thursday (4th February) I decided to call my GP as I was feeling progressively worse. She was too busy to see me, so called me back but says THERE’S NO WAY IT COULD BE AN ECTOPIC. But suggests pregnancy test nonetheless. Sam grabs me one on his way round and i pray that I’m not pregnant. Instant positive. Really??? I think to myself. But I don’t FEEL pregnant like I normally do. No, I tell myself I’m imagining things. As its already 19:30 and the surgery is obviously shut this time if day, I decide to sleep on it. Part of me wants to go to hospital now, another part thinks, am I just over-thinking it? Feeling really bad in the night, the constant pain has spread up to my rib cage. Legs tucked up again, laying there in the small hours of the morning going from extreme worry to non-worried states.




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