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The Grief and Shock of a Heterotopic Pregnancy

Photo Credit: Jenny M.

I struggled to get pregnant, but in 2016 gave birth to a healthy little girl.

My husband and I are also foster parents and chose to grow our family that way, too (and help kids in our community).

By 2021 we had adopted a teenager and toddler and were also excited that we were pregnant for the second time.

At fifteen weeks pregnant, we got a call and were told that our adopted son had a newborn sister. We needed to pick her up from the hospital and foster her.

Everyone thought we were crazy, as that would put our biological baby and foster baby six months apart in age.

My pregnancy was so easy and I felt great.

But suddenly, at 19 weeks pregnant, I woke up to extreme pain. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance to discover I was internally bleeding and had lost over 4 liters of blood.

Within minutes, they discovered I had a rare heterotopic pregnancy, meaning there was one healthy baby growing in my uterus and one baby growing in my tube. My tube had ruptured, and after surgery we discovered the baby in my uterus had not survived the trauma and blood loss.

I delivered my sweet stillborn baby boy, Benjamin, the next day, which was the day I was supposed to have my scheduled anatomy scan. March 8, 2021.

I was sent home to recover from surgery and the delivery. I wept as my milk came in and over the shock of what had happened.

Up to this point, we haven't met or talked to a doctor who has heard of such a rare, late heterotopic pregnancy. They are equally as shocked as we are.

I am grateful for my children (19, 4, 2, and 3 months) and grieve the sudden loss of Benjamin.

Thank you Jenny M. for sharing your story and photo. Shared with permission.

Coping with the grief of pregnancy loss can feel impossible and isolating. Surviving the Unimaginable is a guide to surviving loss, told through the voices of loss parents with the help of a clinical psychologist.

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