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02nd Dec 2019

Today FM’s Paula MacSweeney shares heartbreaking post about her ectopic pregnancy

Melissa Carton

Heartbreaking news.

Most mums are excited when they go for their first ultrasound. It’s the first time they get to see their baby and it makes the whole pregnancy feel more real.

For some though, ultrasounds can reveal upsetting complications and losses that no parent ever wants to face.

Earlier today, radio presenter Paula MacSweeney shared some devastating news.

Paula explained how she went to the Rotunda for an ultrasound appointment and was told that her pregnancy was ectopic.

Paula later posted about the shocking blow and how distraught she is at the loss of her baby.

Paula bravely described how she found out that her much-wanted second pregnancy was not to be and how she is dealing with the tragic loss;

“Yesterday, at almost 9 weeks pregnant, we skipped into @rotundahospital for an eager look at our much-longed-for new baby. I was beside myself with excitement – having Roddy was the greatest thing to ever happen in our lives, and how lucky we were that we got to do it all over again! My pregnancy with Roddy was really straightforward – apart from a little blip at the end, resulting in a Caesarean – so I naively assumed this one would be no different.

I knew the pause wasn’t good. I knew the swishing around of the wand over my old C-section scar wasn’t good. I definitely knew the empty cavity that was my uterus, staring back at me from the screen wasn’t good.

Had I wanted another baby so much I invented a pregnancy? Had I not had a period in 2 months because of a wish? Had I imagined the morning sickness? The fatigue? After a little more hide-and-seek we happened upon what we were looking for. Tiny, perfect, its little heart beating away… in the wrong place.

I couldn’t go home to get a few bits because if this ruptured – which it would – I’d be in serious bother. So Aidan, in a daze, brought Roddy home and packed me a bag and returned to the Rotunda where he waited until I was out of surgery, no longer pregnant (and, as it happens, no longer the owner of a left Fallopian tube).

Last year, when we were here in the Rotunda having Roddy, I couldn’t get over the care we received. It was such a happy, positive and special experience. This time, I am even more bowled over by the kindness and compassion of every single person who has cared for me today. I’m sad, but I’m grateful.”

Pregnancy loss in the first trimester is something that many women still don’t speak about and even less so about ectopic pregnancies.

Many fear that people will downplay their entitlement to grieve and I can completely understand that.

In 2016 I lost my second pregnancy when I was almost at the two-month mark. Paula’s words of wondering if she had imagined being pregnant stuck a chord with me, I began to have the same doubts when I saw the empty screen.

It’s not something that I talk about that often especially after having someone close to me say I couldn’t cry over something I never had but the truth is, I did have it.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus, such as in one of the fallopian tubes. It can have some medical risks and thankfully, Paula was looked after well by the team at the Rotunda.

Around 14,000 women in Ireland experience miscarriage every year and if you have been affected, The Miscarriage Association of Ireland offers support at such a difficult time.