…and then I ruptured.

As I mentioned in the last post, methotrexate – the drug used to treat cancer patients – is a slow process.

For me it wasn’t particularly painful.  I had some bad AF type cramps and I bled moderately. The bleed after the shot was something special. I refuse to go into details here because you’ll lose your lunch. It’s not just blood and clots. That’s all I can say.

A week after the shot my levels had decreased 15%.  A few days later, my tube ruptured anyways.

I was cleaning a wall (carefully might I add with no big movements and no bending etc) in my house in preparation for having a birthday party for my husband a few days later.  I felt increasing pain over the course of 20 minutes before it got so bad I couldn’t stand.  The pain was on my left side (where the little bean had implanted into my tube right next to my ovary) and in my abdomen. The pain is so much worse than AF cramps. I started sweating, and getting cold sweats. I was dizzy and light-headed and very nauseous.  I called my ob all out of breath because it was also hard to breathe.  The nurse at the office told me to go to the emergency room and not to drive myself.  I had to call my mom because my husband was further away than she was. 25 minutes later I was in line at the ER in a wheelchair because I couldn’t stand. Let me tell you they took their sweet time getting to me and getting me admitted. I was just bleeding internally, no big deal.

Hubby got there about the same time I did, thank goodness. I couldn’t have gone it alone again. I wound up getting 2 IVs (after a very painful lot of time trying to find the veins) because I was very dehydrated. NO PAIN MEDS though. I was poked and prodded and rolled into another ultrasound. Having the internal ultrasound was so painful! It told them I had blood pooling where it shouldn’t and my tube had ruptured. The rest of the evening was a blur. I was told I had to have surgery to remove the remaining embryo and to stop my bleeding. All the women taking care of me before and after surgery were so nice. I was thankful for that. I also FINALLY got some damn pain meds. And something to relax me.  My usual ob was on call so she was the one to do my surgery.

When I woke up – which I was very thankful for knowing how dangerous the situation can be – I was told that the entire pregnancy had been removed as well as my entire left tube.  I didn’t need a blood transfusion thankfully. But, my doctor immediately let me know that I only had a slight decrease of fertility because of that. A 15% decrease. This part is kind of a blur too, thanks to all the meds I was on. She said that my remaining tube could float over to the other ovary if that ovary was the one to release an egg and catch the egg. This supposedly happens all the time. Since I got pregnant so fast the first time she had every reason to think that it could and would happen again soon after recovering.  Ok, I guess I can handle that. I don’t really have a choice though right?

Then I had to be discharged. But I couldn’t leave until I urinated. It took me forever! Several bottles of water, coffee, tea, the rest of an IV and a couple of hours later and finally I was able to go. Never have I been so happy to pee!  Food, pain, home, pain, pain meds, pain, bed, pain, and sleep. Up every single hour to pee. Ugh! I had 2 small incisions on my low abdomen and one in my belly button.  My abs were officially useless, and my husband was now my crutch.  And I was empty. So much emptier than I had anticipated.

Emotionally I was better than my breakdown during the metho shot. But I think the drugs had something to do with it.

 

Speaking of emotional instability. One thing I forgot to add in the last post regarding when I got the shot.  One reason I had to wait 5 hours for my shot was because the ob got called into an emergency C-section. All I could think was how awesome. I have to sit here and wait to kill my baby while someone gets to have hers. I had very unsavory thoughts that I’m not proud of in that moment. But at the same time I was grateful for the extra time with the little pea.  This doomed little sweet pea that I would never see or touch or even hear it’s heart beat. Torn between the extra few hours to “say goodbye” and the agony of prolonging the awful inevitable.

Next Chapter: Physically recovering

From hope to hell.

I became a human pin cushion. I looked like a damn junkie. Both arms had ‘track marks’ from the blood work every couple of days.

In a normal, viable pregnancy your hcg levels should double every 48-72 hours until week 11-12. Mine were right on track. Obviously the nurse’s miscarriage call (little miss can’t be wrong) was for nothing.

What did this mean? Either great news and I had a healthy pregnancy, or horrible news and it was ectopic. Story of my life. Only another ultrasound could tell. But again I couldn’t help getting my hopes up slightly. Just wishing it would be healthy. Normal. Something go right for a change.

Upon discovering my normal rising hcg levels, my ob wanted me to go to the emergency room immediately. She wanted me to get an ultrasound. I was spotting again after having stopped for a week. My uterus felt like it was growing. I still had slight cramping/twinges on mainly my left side. Pregnancy symptoms were the same, plus fatigue and lightheadedness.

My husband had just left town for a few days on work so I was alone. I decided to wait until the next morning -Friday the 13th- to get the ultrasound. Meanwhile, just making sure I wasn’t bleeding through more than a pad an hour or in so much pain that I couldn’t walk.

Side note: Pads. You mean unstable, messy, half diapers? Ugh. I have been a tampon convert since I figured out how to use them. But apparently tampons introduce bacteria into a place you don’t want it. When you’re pregnant or have surgery you HAVE to use pads. Not the scented ones because they’re as bad as tampons. Don’t even get me started on the scented tampons. I mean, really? What’s the point ladies?
You’re not a scratch-n-sniff.

I finally had to let my mom know I was pregnant, just in case anything did happen. We had been keeping our not-preventing-pregnancy a secret since we started. I hadn’t planned on telling anyone if I got pregnant until after the miscarriage risk went down at the 3 month mark. So that of course was emotional. Followed by a don’t get too excited because this may end badly speech.

I woke up the morning of my second ultrasound feeling better than I had in weeks. I was very hopeful, very positive. Things would be ok. Our little pea would be in the right spot. Maybe I’d even get to hear a heartbeat.

**************
Hindsight is 20/20. Every time I had a day where I felt better, things just got worse. What I only briefly considered that morning was that I was feeling better because my pregnancy symptoms had lessened.

Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life where feeling like crap is a good and necessary thing.

An ectopic is a non viable pregnancy. It cannot be saved. Eventually the fetus runs out of room to grow. The hcg will stop doubling. Symptoms will dissipate.
***************

This time, a different lab. I had a tech who actually talked to me AND I could watch everything. I saw a mass the size of my ovary in my tube next to my left ovary. 😦 The head of the lab had to come in to discuss. He assured me that he was 99% right that it was ectopic. My scans looked just like the rest of the ectopics do. He could never say that he was 100% accurate though.

That bothers me. I know a lot of pregnancies are misdiagnosed as ectopic to err on the side of caution. Couldn’t we figure out a fool proof 100% sure way to tell an ectopic from a viable pregnancy by now?

Regardless, I had 2 options. Go home and see if it resolved itself naturally which is a death sentence when it comes to ectopics. Or, go to the ER and get a shot of methotrexate to “dissolve the pregnancy”. I did not want to possibly die so I chose the latter. The head of the lab felt the need to personally walk me to the ER. He was pretty concerned. I guess having something the size of your ovary in your tube will do that.

Next chapter: The ER, methotrexate, emotions.

First pregnant ob visit.

Everyone in the Obgyn office was so excited for me after my second test of the day revealed a bun in the oven. The pelvic exam looked normal. My uterus was growing as expected. There were so many smiles and congratulations. But my ob was cautious as there was a possibility of ectopic pregnancy. The spotting and cramping were a cause for concern for all of us. Probably not ectopic, but we better do an ultrasound to be sure.

In all the movies and tv shows I’ve seen an ultrasound is simple. Cold gel on the abdomen and a device gliding on top. A smiling tech explains everything to you and all is well. You go on about your day with a print of your jelly bean in hand, and smile plastered on your glowing face.

First of all, I was unaware that your bladder needed to be full to the point of bursting in order to get a good ultrasound. You’ve seen these just popped water balloon photos right? Yeah.
image

The gel was freezing, the room was dark, the tech barely spoke English and refused to say anything descriptive. We were not able to look at the screen.

Then she brought out a wand with a magnum condom on it. You know where that went. Highly uncomfortable. But at least she let me go release the water balloon pressure first.

After more silence she got her superior who reviewed the images and proceeded to tell us they couldn’t see anything and that they were sorry. They slowly backed out of the room like they thought I would burst into tears or lunge angrily at them. Truth is, I knew it was too early anyways. Turns out my hcg (the ‘pregnancy’ hormone that appears in your blood and then in urine and gives you a positive test result) was only at 1300 and you won’t see anything on an ultrasound until it hits 1500. I was still hopeful.

As I mentioned in the last post I was off to California. In the airport almost boarding my plane a nurse from my ob office called. Due to the ultrasound test alone she concluded that I was miscarrying. Hello misinformation! I specifically asked her if she could be wrong and of course, there was no way she was wrong.

I was obviously upset. But I had a nagging feeling she was wrong. I did some online research and discovered that it was definitely too early to see anything and continued just enjoying being pregnant. Hubby and me with our little pea got to walk in the Pacific Ocean for the first time-all together. I think our time in Cali was the only time I was able to really absorb and relish being pregnant. 🙂

Pacific
Next chapter: Coming home, being a human pin cushion, going to the emergency room.

Hello!

Hi cyberverse! I’m not big on small talk so let’s cut to the chase shall we? This year I went through getting pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy, having the tube rupture, having surgery, and starting to heal. It was my first and so far only pregnancy. With lots of drama and emotions in between.

I have found a surprising lack of info, support, and discussion about this common occurrence. Especially in the USA. The last I read, 1 in 50 pregnancies is ectopic. Something like 1 in 5 pregnancies will end. (Ectopic, miscarriage, still birth etc).

Until this year I had never even heard the term “ectopic pregnancy”.

Oh sure in health class in school we took how to make a baby 101 and learned that an std would kill you or drive you insane. But the word ectopic never came up.

Ectopic pregnancy is the number 1 cause of death in the first trimester.

I’m starting this blog for several reasons. Not in any specific order: 1) I love to write. Writing is therapeutic for me. Given that I went through a trauma I figured this would help. 2) To raise awareness of the serious and common danger of ectopic pregnancies. 3) To let others who have been through this and worse know that they are in fact not alone. 4) If I can make even one person feel better or comfort them in any way then I will be happy.

I’m trying to put my story out there with as much detail as I can. For those of us going through this when researching online the devil is in the details. I’ll try to be thorough. If I leave things out I will edit later. I’m always editing in my life. I’ll try to cut it up into more easily digestible chunks for you. It may take some time before I’m caught up with where I am right now. I honestly can’t wait until it’s all out and back to the present tense.

Also, for convenience sake I’m writing most of these on my phone. Autocorrect sucks. Please excuse the random if instead of of and whatever else slips through.

Happy reading! Thank you for stopping by!