Post ectopic physical torture

A fit blogger I follow recently had an ectopic pregnancy. There are so many similarities between her story and mine. She recently wrote this post about her physical state after the ectopic surgery which removed her left tube. I experienced what she did, except the very end about being comforted by her child. Because, I’m not lucky enough to have any living children.

Thought I’d share for any who may read this who are wondering what to expect when you’re expecting the worst, aka ectopic pregnancy surgery.

She hit the nail on the head about looking 5 months pregnant as an awful reminder of what was lost. It’s a cruel joke by Mother Nature.

I think everyone I’ve read about who has had a tube rupture or ectopic surgery says it’s worse than labor and delivery. I wouldn’t know, but I know it fucking hurt like a bitch. The worst pain I’ve ever felt. 20 on the 1-10 pain scale.

I like to think that if you can make it through that, you can make it through anything.

Side note, I know I have an award nomination I need to address. I will soon. 🙂

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Beautiful for grieving mothers.

A friend of mine shares beautiful things on child loss from time to time. Here is a link to one she shared. A service that aims to ease mother’s pain after losing a baby. From just 5 weeks in utero to newborns. The article is “The Unexpected Gift That Helped A Grieving Mother Face The World Again.”

Here is a heart to hold’s website.

❤ I had to share. ❤

HSG test. What was your experience?

Have you done a HSG test? The one where they shoot dye up your who-ha to see if your tubes are open.

My first one is tomorrow afternoon. I only have one tube. The other one that is missing now caused an ectopic pregnancy so I’m very worried my remaining one will be blocked.

I’ve rather stupidly looked up online what to expect from this test as I had no clue. From what I’ve read it’s either fast and easy with minimal pain/cramping or it’s the worst thing ever done.

It seems those who have both tubes and they’re clog free have an easy, painless experience. Those who have one or both tubes clogged experienced the horrible pain.

If you have only one tube and did this test I’m especially curious how your HSG test went. But I would like to hear all experiences with this test. Good and bad.

I’m doing my second acupuncture ever today in an effort to relax and promote a spasm free tube tomorrow. Because tube spasms can make it appear that there’s a blockage when there isn’t.

Wish me luck! Thoughts and positive vibes for an easy test with a clean and clear tube please!

How did your test go?

 

Mother Nature is a b!*@h.

August 1st marked the month we were allowed to start TTC again. (Surgery was June 24th, Metho was June 13th)

Emotionally, I feel like I’m as good as I can be. I feel like I won’t be ‘better’ until I get pregnant and have a healthy baby OR get confirmation that I will never be able to have children and am able to grieve that. One way or the other. I have my good days and my bad days as we all do. I am proud to say that as of just recently I can go to my ob’s office and not cry. I have seen my doctor and labs way too much in the last 3 months. Either the nurses or the doctor would seem to always say something that set my emotions off. Most often that something was “I’m sorry for your loss.” I could hold it together in public until someone said that. Or asked if I’m ok. Then the flood gates opened! Maybe it was just one of my good days but the last visit went smoothly.

Since I hadn’t had a period since the surgery, and since we were going to TTC again, I started charting my BBT to track ovulation so I could have a date if we got pregnant.  I started checking cervical mucus and occasionally cervical placement. I used OPKs too. I cut out caffeine (no more tea!) and ate green leafy veggies and avocados and kept on with my prenatals.

I got my first positive opk test. Hubby and I baby danced our asses off. But my temps did not agree that I had actually ovulated.

Another week and I got the most EW cervical mucus I’ve ever seen (the fertile cm).  The temps could have indicated ovulation, but I had no idea for sure. Fertility friend (the app I use to track my bbt) on the research setting said I could have ovulated when I thought I did. I thought that maybe I had started the TWW before I could poas. I tracked my symptoms, which were plentiful, and stalked the website two week wait.

I was hungry all the time. Starting as soon as I woke up. Very unusual for me. Acne which had subsided for a whole week was back and bolder than ever. I was very nauseous which is also unusual for me. If I ate too much, nausea.  If I didn’t eat quick enough, nausea.  I had vivid dreams and fatigue. I was bloated and gassy beyond belief again. That had subsided for a whole week after the pregnancy too. Basically, after surgery there was maybe a week where I didn’t feel pregnant any more.  Then it all came right back. Cruel joke mother nature.

Just for giggles I decided to start opk testing again. A week later, another positive test. Of course I had researched the hell out of my temps and my situation to no avail. A few days later, and another positive opk test. Each one going negative again the day after they went positive (as is normal). But this situation was abnormal. I know that the body can gear up to ovulate, produce an LH surge, and get a positive opk and then not ovulate.

2 weeks after the possible ovulation and no AF and BFN pregnancy tests. I had gained 15lbs since the ectopic over the summer. I lose that over the summer not gain. In the long NY winter the most I ever gain is 10lbs and it melts off as soon as I start moving and eating better again. But on the plus side since I gain weight in my boobs, among other places, they looked phenomenal. My hormones felt very out of whack. I was so bloated and miserable and something had to give. Not to mention let down because no AF and no BFP in sight.

I went to my ob, again.  She sent me for blood work, again. She also proscribed me 5 days of Provera to induce a bleed. 3 days after provera, it worked an I started a ‘period’.  My tests were all normal. Negative pregnancy. But very low progesterone indicating that I had in fact not ovulated. I suspect I was in estrogen dominance.  It would explain my weight gain and other symptoms as well as low progesterone. It would also explain why I feel so much better and back to normal now that I have taken provera which is progesterone. So my body flat out refuses to let me even try to get pregnant again. Thanks mother nature. You’re a bitch.

If none of this jargin makes sense to you please visit my abbreviations page. It may help clear things up a little.

In the course of 2 months of charting I did not ovulate. But it was my first time charting so I didn’t know what to expect or how exactly to tell if I did ovulate. Here is my anovulatory chart.  Your temps should increase about .4 and stay up to indicate ovulation occurred.

 

 

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You wanna know how I got these scars?

3 scars on the outside, too many to count on the inside.

June 25th. So I was then officially not pregnant. I’m not sure how your body reacts after a miscarriage or other loss but I’m assuming it’s similar. You get all the after effects of being pregnant, postpartum depression included, with no bundle of joy to show for it.

Hair: I shed like a cat before this mess. During the pregnancy, as is normal, I didn’t shed as much. But after the metho and after my hcg dropped it all fell apart. My bathroom and tub looked like I was scalping people inglorious basterds style. IMG_3977
We pulled a hair clog the size of a small rat out of the drain. After every shower I’d pull a mouse sized clump from the tub. The look of horror on my hubby’s face is burned into my mind. How I’m not bald is beyond me.

Skin: Acne. Godzilla acne. It wasn’t this bad when I was going through puberty! Cystic, hormonal acne. Pizza face acne. Acne that is resistant to every face cream, scrub pad, face wash product known to man. It’s been 3 months and it’s still here. 😦

Lady Bits: After the surgery, the entire left half of my lady-bits-n-pieces was black it was so bruised. And swollen. I called the ob because I swore something would fall off of me. Apparently it’s normal. It did subside quicker than I thought. But boy was it scary!

Body: Swollen legs (normal). Horrible pain in the shoulders due to the gas pumped into my abdomen during surgery. Weight gain. Weak. Sore. Word to the wise, take the laxative after surgery. For the love of whatever you pray to, take the damn laxative.
It took a while to fully physically recover from the surgery. As far as moving, exercising, not feeling pain, using my abs again, fitting into jeans again goes. Several weeks. And this was keyhole surgery.

Emotions:This is going to be a long section. You’ve been warned. Well there’s the depression, jealousy, anger, dealing with grief just from losing the little pea and an essential part of your womanly package. Then there’s the postpartum hormone surges and the possibility for postpartum depression. Yay! That’s a recipe for a disaster cocktail.

My first trip out of the house as soon as I could walk upright on my own was brief. We went to Wegmans, our upstate NY grocery store of amazingness. If you don’t have one near you, I’m sorry. Sincerely. It was the one store I missed when I lived in SC for a couple of years. Anyways, I figured grocery shopping would be ok. But little did I know that every pregnant woman, every newborn, every trashy family with 10 kids would be there too. I can’t count the number of times I almost let the tears escape. Hubby saw and got us out as quickly as possible.

Speaking of the hubs, he was and still is an amazing saint of a man through all this. He cancelled his birthday party and spent his birthday taking care of me. He has been my rock this whole time. He has been my teddy bear of a man, soft when I need him to be. My grizzly bear, defensive of me when necessary. He didn’t cower under a rock when my hormones made me a raging lunatic that cried all the time over everything. (I don’t recommend watching what to expect when you’re expecting even when you think you’re stable again btw). He is my everything. Pardon the shout out. It was overdue. ❤

Next Chapter: Mother Nature is a bi*€h

…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

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.