How My Ectopic Pregnancies Tested My Faith

Ectopic pregnancies can be incredibly dangerous and can shake even the strongest people. In this deeply personal piece, Abi Adesina shares how she relied heavily on faith and prayer during her multiple ectopic pregnancies.

In May 2015, I married the love of my life. It was a whirlwind romance that took my breath away. I had so much hope and high expectations for this marriage. We were two young people excited to do life together.

One month later, I found out that I was pregnant. I wasn’t ready for that to happen so quickly; it didn’t even cross my mind that I would be in that position only 5 weeks after our wedding. I was honestly shocked and more scared than excited. But seeing my husband’s joy and encouragement convinced me that we could do this.

Shortly after, I started spotting. I never thought you could see blood after you got pregnant, so I visited the Early Pregnancy Unit where they could confirm my pregnancy. They took blood to measure my HCG levels and gave me a scan. The scan didn’t show much, and the sonographer explained that it might be too early to see anything. I left feeling ok and went to go shopping with my best friend.

I then received a call from the nurse. She said I needed to come back in; my bloods were showing a higher level of pregnancy than what was visible in the scan. So the next day, a senior midwife and the sonographer rescanned me. They looked at each other for what felt like forever in this horrible wave of silence.

“I’m so sorry Mr. and Mrs. Adesina, but this is an ectopic pregnancy and it’s no longer viable.”

Excuse me…ECTOPIC? What was that?

Neither of us knew what this meant. The midwife said, “Yes, you are pregnant but the pregnancy did not implant in the right place. It is instead growing in your left fallopian tube. Because of this you will need surgery and because of the high pregnancy hormone level, we will not be able to save your tube.”

What!? Wait. Slow down.

I asked them why they couldn’t just move the pregnancy to the right place. They explained this was not possible and that time was of the essence. I’d need to sign paperwork because the pregnancy could rupture and I could bleed internally, which is life threatening. I sobbed uncontrollably.

Why me, God? Why me? I’m a newlywed. I’m now going to have a major surgery that will impact my fertility chances for the rest of my life.

My husband tried his best to keep it together, but he too was shocked. Two days prior we were thinking of baby names and now we were signing papers to remove our baby. This was too much for any new couple to deal with. My mum was called because I needed her. She didn’t understand either; she was devastated. All she ever wanted was to become a grandmother again. She tried to comfort me and my husband, but needed comforting herself. I was prepped for surgery in a daze. I’d never been admitted to hospital before. Now I was going under general anesthesia to have my reproduction tampered with and the termination of my baby.

The last face I saw before going under was my husband. He held me and he said a short prayer. By this time my whole family had arrived to offer support. I didn’t want support. I wanted someone to take me home and tell me it was just a dream. But it wasn’t.

By the time I awoke I saw my husband, my mum and my sisters waiting. They were glad I was ok, but the reality hadn’t fully sunk in. I was taken to my ward and after everyone had left, I wept. I couldn’t process the events that had just taken place. I was overcome with a sadness and loss I’d never felt before.

That night, I didn’t sleep. I just listened to worship songs to encourage myself. The power of worship? Never underestimate it. It can take you from a really desperate situation and give you cause to lift your head up to face another day. The next day the doctors came around and explained how it had gone and that I’d need six weeks off to recuperate.

I don’t think anyone ever recuperates after a loss. We just get by one day at a time and that’s what I did. Time is a good healer and having a loving husband, supportive family and loving friends really helped. I didn’t tell a lot of people because I didn’t want pity. I just wanted to move on. So I went back on with life as a newlywed.

In November 2015, I find out I was pregnant again. Oh Lord, really? Part of me was so happy but another part was extremely scared that something else would go wrong. What were the odds though? So as advised, I went to the Early Pregnancy Unit. Again, a scan and bloods were taken. I kept thinking back to the time we had come before and received bad news. We saw the same midwife and she scanned me again. She turned to me and said, “I’m so sorry Mrs. Adesina but it looks like you’ve had another ectopic. This time it’s even more serious, as there’s fluid in your stomach and uterus. We need to operate now.”

This time, I was angry. What do you mean!? That’s impossible! I can’t be THAT unlucky. There goes me ever becoming a mother. They will want to remove my last remaining tube. One is already gone!

I called my husband and wept. He told me not to sign anything, That he was on his way and less than 30 mins later he was with me and so was my mum. We opted to leave this hospital as we were in disbelief that such bad luck would be our portion and off we went to St Thomas’s.

That ride to St Thomas’s felt like the longest ride ever. All I could think was, I’m saying goodbye to baby number 2. We got there and were immediately taken to the gynaecology ward. I prayed that it was a mistake and that all will be well and in 9 months I’d meet my baby. But it wasn’t. They confirmed it was an ectopic but could not be sure of its exact location because there was a litre of blood in my stomach.

We were now in a life or death situation. We needed to go straight to surgery.

By this time, my mum was inconsolable. Seeing my mother break down like that was too much. I knew she felt helpless, just as I did. The doctor came around and I asked him, “What is the chance of this ectopic not being on the other side and on the same side?” He said to me “1 in a million.” I prayed, “God please let me be that one.” I asked the doctor to please try and save my right tube. I told him I did not have any children and I only got married 6 months prior. He looked at me and he said “What would be the point of saving your tube if you don’t survive yourself? You need to be in surgery now.” Those words stung. I’d never been spoken to about my life in such a way. I didn’t want to die, of course, but I also didn’t want to be infertile. So off we went to surgery. All my husband kept saying was, “Please make sure my wife is ok. Please bring her back to me.”

The next thing I knew I was waking up from the anaesthesia. Still groggy, I heard, “We didn’t touch your right tube.” That was like God saying to me, “I’ve got you.” Even when you feel forsaken, He’s working things out. The ectopic was a rare form (the one in a million) known as a stump ectopic and was found on the same side. Thank you, God! This may not have to be the end of my fertility journey after all.

I physically recovered quite quickly, but mentally I was broken. I was so unsure of myself. My marriage was struggling because my emotions were everywhere. I was scared to get pregnant, so I was fearful of intimacy. But other months I’d want to get pregnant by any means necessary.

Imagine the mental struggle: scared to get pregnant and also wanting it more than anything else in the world.

I cried most days…sometimes to my husband. Others in my quiet space. I was sad. Sadder than I’d ever been in my life. This was hard. But life went on. My husband kept saying that God had not forgotten us. Did I believe him? I don’t know. I wanted to.

Then February 2017 I find out I was pregnant again. Third time was the lucky charm, perhaps? I told no one. I didn’t want pity. I just wanted to carry and hold my baby. I eventually told my husband and we kept it to ourselves. Two days later I started bleeding. “Oh no. Here we go!” On March 1 we went to EPU and was told that I was pregnant but was miscarrying.

Wow, God. I must really have done something unforgivable because I wouldn’t wish this fate on my worst enemy.

While I wasn’t ok, I was finding ways to manage my pain. I found writing to my unborn babies helped me release some of that hurt. I used to say, “Please tell God to send me a baby that actually wants to meet me.”

By this time, I was now eligible for full fertility and loss investigations. All the tests were done and nothing major came out; I had fibroids and an issue with my thyroid that could potentially cause loss, but they weren’t sure.

During this period I prayed even more. I went to prayer seminars for women in waiting. I started to fast every 1st Wednesday with my sister. I left it to God and carried on.

June 24th 2017, I was at a church service and it was so powerful and I heard the Lord say, “Go into Boots after service and buy a digital pregnancy test.” Meanwhile, I had been testing every month since the ectopic. I obeyed. I was pregnant.

I was pregnant but this time it felt different. I told my husband and we prayed. I told only my mum because I needed her to pray too. I felt this could be it. I had an appointment with the fertility department the week after, so I waited until that appointment to confirm things. I was indeed pregnant. I asked what they could see and they said they could see the sac and the yolk, something I’d never heard before.

8 months later, I met my baby: Josiah Samuel Abayomi Adesegun okuwatifunmi Adesina was born on February 13 2019. A lot of names I know, but when you’ve been through something like this, God must be glorified.

My pregnancy was a beautiful experience. I didn’t experience major symptoms. I joined the womb ministry who really encouraged us and stood with us in prayer throughout. I prayed for a supernatural birth like that of the Hebrew women and you know what? My birth story is a testament itself. My established labour after I’d fully dilated was only 26 minutes. My midwife was in awe and said to my family and me, “She’s a superwoman. It’s women like you that should have babies.”

Imagine that. From going, “Will I ever have my own child?” to being told I should have even more because I made it look easy. God truly is a restorer. I am so in awe of Him; he turned my mourning into dancing. I could never ever doubt God again. If he could do it for me, he can do it for anyone. Delay does not mean denial. I promised the Lord on my hospital bed through the tears that if he did this for me, I would not stay silent. I would testify and let people know how he turned my story around and gave me a new name.

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