When does it stop hurting?

(25 Posts)
FeelingBlue Sun 12-Sep-04 01:46:50

On Monday I should be celebrating a 5th birthday of my child that never was. The thing is, because I had an ectopic I have been constantly told that it was not a baby, before a baby was properly formed etc. etc. Get over it for God's sake!

If they were trying to help it didn't work and now, even though I have two gorgeous children since I still feel a hole inside, a missing part where he (and I know my baby was a he) should be. I know I should pull myself together, but I never properly mourned, wasn't allowed to as DH kept saying no one was asking him how he felt. I had to placate him. I hate him for that now.

This is adding to a sense of sadness I feel every day. I wish I had been offered counselling but even in the hospital I was made to feel silly for crying (by the ward sister, Glasgow Royal Infirmary thank you very much.) I ache for my little boy even though I have other children to cuddle.

God I can be so stupid sometimes.

Feeling sorry for myself as usual, will finish now.

OP’s posts: |
tallulah Sun 12-Sep-04 11:51:02

Sorry to hear this. It isn't too late for you to go for counselling, & I'm sure it would help. Your GP should be able to arrange it for you on the NHS, or if you need it quicker there will be adverts in your Yellow Pages.

Of course you need to grieve. I'm always amazed when people in the so-called caring professions can be so insensitive. It may have been early, but he was still a wanted baby. Being told to pull yourself together is really unkind & frankly I'm appalled at your DHs reaction..

Hope you get through Monday OK. Make that appointment. <<<hugs>>>

NomDePlume Sun 12-Sep-04 12:00:13

It does sound like counselling could be a good way to go. Feeling grief is not 'stupid' and you're right, you've not been allowed to grieve fully so it's only natural that you start to resent it. Please do make contact with a counsellor, either through your GP or through an independent womens organisation (Marie Stopes etc).

debra64 Wed 15-Sep-04 22:22:10

I dont think it does really - if you're like me you will always be capable of being put back in touch with the grief, and it can be quite sudden and shocking.

My two subsequently born boys helped me feel the grief less about the first little girl I lost at 22 weeks, but I can still unexpectedly get upset about her. I lost her nine years ago on the 30th August - and yes, I always remember the day. It helps me not to be sad that my youngest was born on 27th August. When that week arrived in the years before my youngest was born I would start remembering each thing which happened leading up to it. ie this was the day I went to the scan and worried.... this was the day I went into hospital... Now my sons birthday gives me a positive memory for that week instead, and being preoccupied with his birthday arrangements helps too.

I feel so grateful for my boys but will never forget those I lost (now three), so I don't think you should worry about how you are feeling - its perfectly natural - but seeing a counsellor and talking about it might help.

unicorn Wed 15-Sep-04 22:40:35

Forgive me for intruding/ intervening,as I don't have any experience of your type of grief, however you asked a question.
My answer to that question is, it stops hurting... when YOU stop hurting yourself.
I think THAT question can apply to anything, and I do think counselling is a way forward.
Whilst you are still carrying your grief,(and that again applies to anyone) it will always hurt... you need to find a way of letting it go.
I'm working on mine....
Wish you much strength and success with your own personal loss.

cab Wed 15-Sep-04 22:49:40

FeelingBlue - hope Monday went ok. It certainly sounds like you haven't been given the time to grieve properly. It might be worthwhile contacting the miscarriage association for advice on properly trained counsellors.
In the meantime just writing down how you feel - either on here or in a journal at home might help?
Sounds like you need closure: Perhaps you could write a letter to the hospital to explain how their attitude has affected you long term. (This might also discourage them from treating others in such a cavalier fashion - sounds horrendous to me).
Your husband might be a different story mind you - men can be as thick as mince when it comes to things like this. I would perhaps speak to a counsellor before broaching the subject with him. TBH I doubt there are many men who handle pregnancies OR miscarriages well.

debra64 Wed 15-Sep-04 23:43:13

'My answer to that question is, it stops hurting... when YOU stop hurting yourself.'

Sorry unicorn but I think that sounded a little harsh and unrealistic. You can train yourself not to wallow in it too long but now and again, even years later, something can put you in touch with it unexpectedly and surprisingly the feelings are as strong as ever. IME of course.

unicorn Wed 15-Sep-04 23:50:56

well sorry if it sounds harsh,(I think you took it the wrong way)
I said.. whilst you are quoting me.. (or selectively quoting me)..
'I don't have any experience of THIS type of grief'
...nevertherless I was answering a question that can apply to MANY things (as I thought I was explaining)
I think a bit of counselling can help anyone.

debra64 Wed 15-Sep-04 23:53:27

sorry if I took it the wrong way - it sounded like you were saying one was causing the hurt to oneself in some way and ought to be able to stop it. Yes, counselling should help, like I said before.

Paula71 Thu 16-Sep-04 00:10:19

Hey, I don't know why I changed my name for this but it is me, the one with ds twins aged 2 1/2.

I totally get what you were saying unicorn hence the fact I came back on as me. I do put myself through this and can't get past it. Not that it affects how I am to ds twins but I sometimes feel sad they will never know their older sibling, like he never existed.

We are getting private healthcare with DH's new promotion so I might see if they will help in that. Our GPs are worse than useless and if I went to them I would feel intimidated into not saying I need help on this.

Would it not be too late to send the hospital a letter? At the time I never said anything because I was in shock and upset.

On Monday I took my boys on a day out so I wouldn't have time to think.

Paula71 Thu 16-Sep-04 00:11:01

Oh and thank you to everyone for replying, I know it isn't much compared to the horror some people go through.

cab Thu 16-Sep-04 00:19:46

Paula I don't think it would EVER be too late to send a letter to the hospital.
OK, the individuals involved might have gone, but the basic ethos could still be the same. I think it's really important that you do let them know how their treatment has affected you. It's important for you, and it's important for them so that they can do their job properly in a humane fashion.
(Have to say when I had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks the epu staff were wonderful. Very caring. You have been let down and you should let them know - word it politely but clearly and ask for a reply.)

kalex Thu 16-Sep-04 00:20:02


You probably don't have to go private for counselling, when I was in the depths of depression last year, I was referred to a CPN by my Gp and a counsellor through my work. The CPN was brilliant, and I would rate her higher than the counsellor.

Maybe you should go a speak to your GP about the way you feel. And ask for a referall to a CPN, mine came to my house, ( after an initial consultation at the surgery) so I felt very in control.

I have never been through this, so have no reference point to how you feel, but I also think that you are NOT feeling sorry for yourself but realise that you need to get past this in order to get move forward with your life, and I mean that in the sense, that it shall never go away, but you can learn to live with it, in a positive way.

If I am way off the mark and have send anything untward please forgive me. I would not how to deal with this, but I really think talking to someone about this will help.

Hugs From

kalex Thu 16-Sep-04 00:21:53

And you are not feeling sorry for yourself, you are obviously dealing with real pain. That is what we are all here for, the bad times, and also the the times that your Twin Ds do something truly wonderful

anorak Thu 16-Sep-04 08:39:44

Grief is a very complex thing and no one can tell you how long it should take. It just takes as long as it takes. It may hurt all your life, but you can learn to live with it.

I really think counselling is what you need, you sound as if you are aching for someone to listen just to you. We all need our pain to be heard and understood by another human being before we can move on. There is nothing self-pitying or silly about it at all. It's a basic human need and if others don't understand that then they are the ones who are silly, not you.

smellymelly Thu 16-Sep-04 09:58:06

Hi Paula71 - I suffered an ectopic in Nov 03.

I know how hard it is, you lost a baby, but your dh also has to deal with the severity of how you both lost that baby. Many people don't realise how dangerous ectopic's are, and in my case my dh had to watch me in uncontrollable agony, that if left untreated I would have died from. So while he mourns the loss of the baby, my dh is thankful that I am still here to look after the kids I already have!

We were able to grieve together, and I cried for months, but I feel healed now (already) and feel ashamed to say I actually missed the baby's due date this summer. It was, in my defence, 5 days after I got married, so we were on honeymoon.

Also just like you had, I'm expecting TWINS (24 weeks now) and we see this as a miracle! (no I'm not religious). We were told that my 'fertility would be dramatically reduced' by the gynae., but on the second month of trying we fell pregnant. Not bad with one fallopian tube! we went through the panic of it being another ectopic etc., and my gp was very unhelpful, but we contacted the epu direct, and they offered us scan immediately, at 5 weeks,6 weeks, and 8 weeks. So at least someone was looking after us. In the months following the ectopic, there was a big difference between the people who cared and understood what happened, and those who never realised how serious it was, and that included my family not caring, some gp's etc. But plenty of supportive people like dh's family, one gp we saw when I had pains afterwards, the hospital on New Years eve, when I had bad pains and they think I had a burst cyst. etc etc etc...

The fact that I'm carrying twins doesn't make me forget that I lost a baby, but it makes it so much easier to bear.

I think you need to have a talk with your dh about this, as you both still need to understand how the other one feels. I do believe that it is hard for the man, as so much emphasis is put on how the women deals with it, as it was her body etc. But it was his baby too, and you needed to grieve together, as you won't be able to heal.

5 years is a long time, and the pain should be easier, no-one is asking you to forget, but the fact that you were not able to deal with the situation in the way you wanted at the time, will make it harder for you to move on.

Personally I am a great believer in fate, and I think this happened to me for a reason, I wouldn't be pregnant now with twins if the pregnancy last year had survived, and I always wanted 4 kids, and I get bad SPD, so having 2 in one pregnancy is probably the best thing for me.

I hope you can look forward positively soon, but please speak to your dh about this when you can both sit down when your son's are in bed, and listen to him too, don't make him think what he went through was any easier than what you had to deal with.


essbee Thu 16-Sep-04 10:03:27

Message withdrawn

Marina Thu 16-Sep-04 10:26:04

Paula, there is absolutely nothing "stupid" or "silly" about continuing to mourn a child. The gift of subsequent children does not take away the grief of having lost a baby, just as you don't stop loving your living children when a new baby comes along.
Counselling can and does help and you can, as others have said, seek it out WHEN you feel ready, for a lot of mothers that can be years after their baby's death.
I will never be the same again after Tom died at 22 weeks. I am a different person entirely. It knocked my faith for six and although I laugh and enjoy so much happiness in my life once again I still struggle with black days and so does my dh.
I find some of the comments you have received about your pregnancy ending because it was ectopic offensive and bizarre in the extreme.
Please don't feel you have to "pull yourself together". What you are describing is normal. Take steps that you feel appropriate to help you deal with your grief but don't feel it is wrong to be grieving. I think you live with the loss of a child for the rest of your life, tbh.
Huge hugs to you and the other women on this thread who have been through this shattering experience.

debra64 Thu 16-Sep-04 21:04:53

I've heard that an ectopic pregnancy is really awful. After my two recent miscarriages my hubby really felt like running off to get the snip as he didn't want to see me go through it again. The husband of a friend of mine who had an ectopic pregnancy and lost a fallopian tube actually did that, it was such a scary experience.

But what a positive note - twins! All that time to worry (9 months is soooooooo long) but two babies at the end so at least you don't have to do the long trek again! Mind you - a lot of work when they come along to, so good luck!

debra64 Thu 16-Sep-04 21:11:23

I think its really awful to say its not a baby. Of course it is. In a 'usual' (if there is such a thing, cos I'm finding there are so many different variations) or non-ectopic pregnancy the thought is that something must have gone wrong and thats why it happened, nature's way and all that. Hard to deal with but part of life.

But surely with an ectopic pregnancy it must be worse to deal with in a way because its simply implanted in the wrong place and might otherwise have developed into a perfectly healthy baby. You'd almost think can't they transplant it or something?

I hope I haven't said something depressing - I just wanted to show that I understand that an ectopic pregnancy is just as much and could possibly be even more upsetting than a miscarriage. I hope all the chat on here is helping you and that you find someone in person to talk it over with to help you move on.

Paula71 Thu 16-Sep-04 22:17:17

Again, thank you I am finding this thread a great help and everyones views have good points to make. Am not seeing any offence in remarks made.

Smellymelly, I didn't suffer any pain which was the terrifying thing. They thought it was a miscarriage then discovered by scan what was going on and by the time I went into surgery the tube had burst. I was told I had the same chance as a 40 year old woman of concieving so not to expect anything. Yet, with only one working tube I got my beloved boys! I have a picture from the 8 week scan, the clearest twin looks like a spaceman. I lost my first at 8 weeks so it made it feel worse than it wasn't a shapeless blob but a "spaceman." Good luck in your pregnancy, Smellymelly when I was 24 weeks I looked ready to pop! Would also like 4 (all boys if poss. but the more the merrier.) You seem to have a better outlook, I worried through my twin pregnancy and ended up with pre-eclampsia. Next time I get preg, if lucky enough, I will relax more. I know ds twins are my miracles too.

I am so relieved no one has said what I was fearing in writing this, that I should be glad to only have suffered one loss or that I am obsessing in the past.

Cheers folks, this is one big step forward.

debra64 Thu 16-Sep-04 22:48:04

I'm so glad you're feeling better, Paula. And hey - I'm 40 and have conceived twice this year so those chances of conceiving sound pretty good to me! Also, my miscarriages are common at all ages apparently so the doctors say that age is not a factor in that area either, its just bad luck.

I have a step daughter 7, and my boys 5 and nearly 7, and am longing for one or even two more. After a hectic day like I had with them today though, I do have a small wonder if I must be slightly mad??!!

smellymelly Fri 17-Sep-04 13:59:54

Hi Paula - You sound much happier, I hope I was a little help. I also had no pain until it ruptured, then it was horrendous! I lost mine at about 6.5 weeks, very early, but the heart would have started beating I think.

Yeah I'm looking a little large, people keep saying to me 'when are you due?' thinking I would say 2 weeks or something, and when I say 3/4 months, they looked so shocked.

When will you start trying for more, Paula??

Debra - you are so right about thinking it was a healthy baby, and wishing they could have put it in the right place. I just explained to Dh that it was too keen to get started, and therefore latched on too soon!!

Paula71 Fri 17-Sep-04 21:16:54

Thankfully I live elsewhere so have no dealings with Glasgow Royal Infirmary. In fact the hospital I had my twins at was wonderful and now I have been told my chances of concieving another set of twins is more than 95%. So in answer to your question I am waiting another year and a half or so, I will then stop using contraception.

What happens will happen. Since having ds twins I am not as terrified of another ectopic. Whatever happens I still have them.

Smellymelly did they come up with a reason for your ectopic? One of my worries was that for me there was no reason at all for it happening, which is apparently rare for ectopics.

woodpops Wed 22-Sep-04 12:22:15

I don't think the feeling of a lost baby ever goes away. I always think of mine on it's due date. It would have been 4 next Feb. I'm very open about my whole miscarrage, I don't think enough is spoken about them. They're just ignored with comments like you'll have another, yeah I may have another but it will never replace the baby I never had. IYKWIM. I've got 2 wonderful children now that we would never have had had I not had the misscarrage. We'd said we'd wait 5 years after getting married before having children and seeing as it was our 5th wedding anniversay last month I suppose we'd only just be starting to 'try' for a family now. But no matter how much I love ds and dd I never forget the baby that never was.

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