It should have been one of the happiest nights of Jennifer Cassidy’s life.

Instead, it was the start of a hugely painful experience that left her mourning a baby she would never know.

Jennifer and her husband Colin had been overjoyed in 2015 when, after many years of trying to conceive, they discovered she was finally pregnant.

A week later, she went out for a meal to celebrate her 30th birthday, only to be left in crippling pain.

Unsure of what was wrong, it was a worrying time for Jennifer.

She made several trips to hospital and was eventually told she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy – a life-threatening condition in which a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb.

Jennifer underwent emergency surgery and a blood transfusion and lost her left fallopian tube.

It was one of two ectopic pregnancies that left the couple heartbroken, with history repeating itself last summer.

Thankfully, Jennifer and Colin did enjoy a successful pregnancy in between these two devastating experiences, with much-loved daughter Nancy bringing joy amidst the dark times.

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The couple are now keen to raise awareness of the condition – which affects around one in every 80 pregnancies – and offer support to other people who suffer a similar experience.

With this in mind, 35-year-old Jennifer will take part in the EPT80in1 Challenge next month, generating funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust along the way.

It will involve walking or running 80 miles during August, with around £500 already raised.

Recalling her own experiences of ectopic pregnancy, Jennifer said: “Having only found out I was pregnant one week prior, I had to endure tremendous pain throughout my 30th birthday celebratory meal, unaware of what was wrong.

“After numerous visits to hospital, we finally discovered the source of my pain.

“By this time, the pregnancy had ruptured and I was very unwell. The rest is a bit of a blur but the end result was emergency surgery, blood transfusion and loss of my left fallopian tube.

“We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant again after a few months and, after a very stressful and anxious nine months, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Nancy.

“However, history repeated itself in June 2019, when we suffered a second ectopic pregnancy.

“The big thing with it is that, the earlier it’s caught, the less need for surgery and the loss of your fallopian tubes but, unfortunately, I’ve had surgery twice.”

Jennifer admits she was left “slightly overwhelmed” the first time she was told she’d had an ectopic pregnancy.

“It wasn’t something that I had heard of before,” she added. “I think it is more common than most people think but there is still this taboo around anything to do with baby loss and there is still a stigma.

“Fortunately, I stumbled across a support group through The Miscarriage Association and I have attended that for over a year, which I go to once a month.

“Going there has given me support and information.”

In the UK, around 11,000 pregnancies a year are ectopic.

When a fertilised egg gets stuck in the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the womb, it won’t develop into a baby and the woman’s health may be at risk if the pregnancy continues.

Sadly, it’s not possible to save the pregnancy and the egg usually has to be removed using medicine or an operation.

Among those to suffer an ectopic pregnancy are stage and screen actress Amanda Redman, former Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon and Celebrity Big Brother winner Charlotte Crosby.

All three are ambassadors for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, helping the charity to raise awareness of the condition.

Like Jennifer, they hope that speaking about their own experiences will shine a spotlight on the issue and let other people know that support is available.

However, raising money for the charity is equally important to Jennifer, who has thanked all those who have backed her efforts so far.

She said: “I set an £80 target, as this seemed a significant number in this challenge, but I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the support from everyone who has donated.”

If you would like to make a donation, visit here.

You can find out more information about ectopic pregnancies and the support available by going online.