9th October 2023
Sanctuary Supported Living
Jayne Oakley, 35, who works at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Sidegate Lane, a residential care home in Ipswich for people with mental health needs, has been putting her best foot forward, walking 80 miles to raise funds and awareness for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.
Jayne said: “When people ask me if I have children, and I say no, that I can’t have them, it’s painful each time. And often the next thing they say is even worse - ‘Aren’t you lucky? All that free time! Living your best life!’, but I don’t feel lucky. I would give anything to have a child.”
When Jayne had her first ectopic pregnancy in 2013, she had never heard of an ectopic pregnancy before. When a pregnancy is ectopic, the foetus begins to develop outside the uterus, most often inside the fallopian tube. As the foetus grows, it causes the tube to rupture, leading to major internal bleeding, which requires emergency life-saving surgery to remove both the foetus and the tube.
The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include bleeding, shoulder pain and severe stomach cramps. If you are experiencing these symptoms and there’s a chance you could be having an ectopic pregnancy, you should seek medical help immediately.
At the time, Jayne didn’t know that having one ectopic pregnancy would mean that a future pregnancy was also more likely to be ectopic. Unfortunately, when she fell pregnant again in 2019, the same thing happened and her other tube also had to be removed, meaning that she was no longer able to have children.
Four years later, Jayne is married to husband Liam, who she describes as her “soulmate”, and she wants to help other women who might be experiencing a similar sense of loss. For the past three years, Jayne has taken part in the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust’s annual 1 in 80 challenge, where participants walk 80 miles during August, representing the 1 in 80 pregnancies which are ectopic.
"I really want to support the Trust and help raise awareness of their work."
She successfully raised £200 in her first year, £150 last year and has so far raised £210 for 2023. Jayne said: “I really want to support the Trust and help raise awareness of their work. They were so incredibly supportive to me as I was coming to terms with my loss.”
When she’s not busy stepping out for charity or supporting the residents at work, Jayne enjoys spending time with Liam, as well as with her friends and her large extended family. She said: “Life is for living and you have to rise above the heartbreak. I try to make sure my life is as full as I can and regardless of what has happened, my life is all about love now.”
If you’d like to support Jayne with her fundraising efforts, visit her Just Giving page.
Download a PDF version (280KB) of this story.