Leah Van Dale, known by her wrestling name Carmella, is detailing her experiences with an ectopic pregnancy.
The WWE star, 35, took to Instagram on Monday, where she shared a black and white photo of herself in a hospital bed. She began her post, "I've gone back and forth with myself about posting this because I'm not looking for any sort of sympathy, but since today is the last day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I wanted to share my story. Today, I was treated for an ectopic pregnancy."
An ectopic pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic, occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus. As the fertilized egg cannot survive outside the uterus, it needs to be surgically removed. Untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can cause serious bleeding and death.
Van Dale explained how she "never thought something like this would happen to me, especially after suffering from a miscarriage in September." However, she said she was "cautiously optimistic" after taking a positive pregnancy test.
"I spent 12 hours in the ER on Saturday when I started experiencing some sharp pains on my left side," she continued. "After several tests and ultrasounds, I was given the devastating news that this was, in fact, an abnormal pregnancy. The reason I'm sharing all of this is because in the moment it feels so isolating. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about this?"
Van Dale said that she burst into tears after watching Iliza Shlesinger's comedy special, in which she spoke about her own pregnancy loss and why women shouldn't blame themselves for the experience. Now, Vale Dale wrote, she wants to do the same.
"I'm part of this statistic and it's happening to me," she wrote. "Again, I'm not looking for sympathy, I know I'll eventually recover from all of this mentally, physically and emotionally. For anyone dealing with ANY type of pregnancy loss, I want you to know your feelings and emotions are valid, there is NOTHING wrong with you and you are not alone."
Van Dale's former WWE peers, the Bella Twins, reached out in the comments section. Nikki Bella wrote, "So sorry Leah, I can't even imagine your pain right now. Saying prayers for you. Thank you for being so honest and sharing this. You will help so many women that are going through this or have gone through this. Us women need each other to lean on. Love you." Brie Bella commented, "I'm so sorry!! So brave of you to share this!! Sending so much love."
WWE’s Barbie Blank Coba, known by wrestling name Kelly Kelly, shared, "Babe my heart is with you, nobody can ever prepare you for the loss of your baby but im so proud of you for talking about and bringing awareness to this. That is the most heroic thing you could ever do."
Van Dale is not the only public figure to talk about experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. In 2018, Nicole Kidman told British magazine Tatler that she had an ectopic pregnancy while married to Tom Cruise. In 2013, Vanessa Carlton shared that she suffered an ectopic pregnancy and needed to have surgery.
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