“Larken” means fierce, like the fierce realities of motherhood: beautiful and difficult, rewarding but oh-so challenging.
Maggie Phipps is a mom of two, an attorney, and co-founder of Larken, a nursing essentials brand. Along with her best friend and law school roommate, Katie, she designed a complete line of comfortable nursing essentials. Through their company, Maggie and Katie have grown a community of fierce women bonded by the ups and downs of motherhood.
Maggie will be sharing her story about her experiences with ectopic pregnancy and fertility struggles. We know our community is made of strong, fierce mamas who all have had different pregnancy journeys. We hope that sharing Maggie’s story with you will provide some comfort or support to anyone who may be going through a similar situation.
I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want to share this, but I believe there are so many things that women go through silently that need to be normalized.
A few months ago, I had emergency surgery from a rupturing ectopic pregnancy that was internally bleeding. “You’re lucky you only lost one tube” “You’re lucky you may still be able to have kids” “You’re lucky the scars should heal” “You’re lucky you are alive”.
This came as a big shock to us after several (4!) Doctors told me that the excruciating pain I was having was just due to “gas”, “kidney stones” or, my favorite, “sometimes pregnancy can hurt”. I was sent home and told to rest. My HCG was increasing and I had no bleeding. But, I knew in my heart something was seriously wrong. It felt like someone was holding a lit match inside my body. From my first awful pain, it took one long, excruciating week until a doctor thought to test for internal bleeding. I remember hearing the baby’s heartbeat as they scanned for how extensive the bleeding was. In a dense haze, it was straight to surgery for 3 hours to save my life.
If you’re wondering what to do when a doctor doesn’t believe you, don’t be afraid to get a second, third, or fifth opinion.
About 2% of pregnancies are ectopic and a small percent of those begin to bleed internally. Mine was caught very late. Bleeding from ectopic pregnancy causes 10% of all pregnancy-related deaths, and it's the leading cause of first-trimester maternal death.
It’s a strange kind of sadness that comes with what happened. I don’t think I have processed it yet and wonder if I ever will. I see the sadness in my children as they give me sweet smiles and big kisses because they know something is wrong with mommy. I see sadness in my husband, as he grieves the loss of our son while still processing what happened to me.
I know that so many of us have gone through similar losses, both with and without support systems. Reading stories of others has helped me and maybe sharing my ectopic pregnancy story can help someone else know they aren’t alone. Women deserve to be seen in all their wonder and unique strength - the happy and the sad.
Follow @larken_shop on Instagram to keep up with Maggie as she embarks on her fertility journey after an ectopic pregnancy.
Do you have a Larken Fierce story you want to share with our community? Reach out to us on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.