Catterick woman who suffered two ectopic pregnancies and six miscarriages shares her story and raises money for charity

Fundraiser Shelley Betts.

A Richmondshire woman who has suffered two ectopic pregnancies and six miscarriages is sharing her story and raising money for charity to help others who have endured a similar ordeal

Shelley Betts, 32, who lives at Marne Barracks in Catterick Village with husband Andrew, who serves with 4 Scots, is taking part in the EPT80in1 challenge — 80 miles in a month for the 1 in 80 pregnancies that are ectopic.

Shelley is walking the distance to raise money for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, a charity that provides support to women and their families who have suffered an ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancies occur when the embryo grows outside the womb and can be life threatening.

Shelley also wanted to share her story  to raise awareness and to let other women who have suffered a similar experience know that they are not alone.

The couple, who are originally from Tranent, in East Lothian, Scotland, suffered their first ectopic in August 2017.

She said: “I found out I was pregnant early August. We were over the moon. I was totally fine, no signs that anything was wrong. I got prescribed folic acid from the doctor as she told me my HCG levels were rising normally. On August 18 I got sent for an early scan, I was over the moon I was finally going to see my baby.

“I lay on the bed. The nurse applied the cold jelly, my heart was racing with excitement when she began to scan me. She started to scan me and she looked confused she then asked if she could scan me internally. I didn’t have a problem with this I just wanted to see my baby.

“She had done an internal scan and that’s when she called for the doctor.

“The doctor came in and checked the screen and the nurse said ‘I’m so sorry but your womb is empty, your baby is growing in your Fallopian tube’.

“I had no choice but to say goodbye to my angel. I got taken to surgery and had my left tube removed.”

Then in February 2019, Shelley found out she was pregnant again.  

This time something felt different, or so I thought. In early March I went for my scan, I lay on the bed, the palms of my hands were sweating.

“The nurse applied the cold jelly and I couldn’t breath, excitement turned into panic, I couldn’t physically take a breath, then I heard the words ‘congratulations here is your baby’.

“My little peanut had a heartbeat, my gorgeous little peanut was just amazing. I cried tears of joy.

“All the family were over the moo.! I was scared to do anything, I didn’t want anything ruining my excitement for little peanut.

“A couple of weeks past and I had to go to hospital for some tablets. I arrived and the nurse said ‘would you like to see your baby again’. She was over the moon for us. I jumped at the chance to see my gorgeous baby’s heart beat again.

“The cold jelly was applied this time all I felt was excitement. She started scanning me and her face fell, I knew something wasn’t right, I asked if baby’s heart beat stopped and the nurse said ‘there’s no baby’s heart is beating perfect but can you hold on until I go get a doctor’.

“The doctor came in the room and said ‘Shelley I am so so sorry but baby is in your Fallopian tube and because baby is growing and has a heartbeat we have to get you to surgery’.

“I knew what this meant. I had to say goodbye. My heart was broken.”

A few days after surgery Shelley got the baby back and the family had a little memorial service.

“I had to name baby for the chapel of rest book at the hospital.

“We name our baby Bailey-Jo. I am in the middle of getting my BMI down and I can start IVF. I still have a chance at being a mummy so I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones because I have that chance.

“People can’t believe I say I’m lucky but I really am! I had absolutely no symptoms except from a little spotting and if anyone is struggling my mails are always open.” 

Shelley has already completed 20 miles of her 80-mile challenge with walks around Richmondshire.

To sponsor Shelley, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shelleyiam1in80