…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

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Methotrexate…

Friday the 13th…

In the ER, alone.

No food, no water. No IV, just an IV access in my arm. They wouldn’t let me eat or drink because of the .00001% chance I may need surgery. Can you hear me rolling my eyes from here? So I got a lovely migraine because I was dehydrated and hungry.

My hubby was on his way home, aware of what was going on.  But, he was still a few hours away. I was stuck there for 5 hours before I finally got the methotrexate shot. When the lady came in to give me the shot is when it finally hit me that this was it. This was the moment I was going to stop my baby’s growth and essentially ‘abort’ it. The doctors hated that word -abort. But that is what it was. Not really by choice.

The shot goes into the glute by the way, in case things aren’t completely uncomfortable yet.  I held it together, holding back a flood of tears. Lips pursed, all I could do was nod that I understood what she was telling me.  Then she had to tell me she was sorry I was in this situation.  Sorry for my loss.  Of course that is when the tears could not be held any longer.  I felt so bad for her, having to be there for that. In my story, she is the one who takes away what I most wanted. It must be awful to have to play that part in anyone’s story. She held my hand and said something at an attempt to be reassuring. Like, she thought this was the body’s way of ending a pregnancy that would have been genetically flawed or something to that effect. I couldn’t look at her, couldn’t speak. I just lay there starring at the ceiling trying to control my tears.

sedate me <–Christina after her ectopic pregnancy in Grey’s Anatomy.

I was left alone again, for a while. Finally I was able to wrap it up and dam up the tears again.  Just in time for my mom to arrive with food. Not much longer I was finally discharged, with instructions for bed rest for the weekend. I got home just after my hubby did. One look at him was all it took to lose it again.

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I didn’t have any pain or bleeding until a week later. As per my ob’s wishes I was still taking it easy. I was not even allowed to be in my once best friend’s wedding because of the stress on my body. I of course wasn’t about to tell her the exact reason why which made for more drama I didn’t need. But that’s another story.  My severe cramps and bleeding started the exact moment I was about to leave to go to her wedding as just a guest. I missed it entirely. Not that she cared.

There is still a big risk for the tube to rupture. Methotrexate is a SLOW process. You have to avoid foods with folic acid, stop taking prenatals, and possibly up your green tea intake. Some women need a second dose of the drug if the hcg doesn’t go down enough.  Mine went down the bare minimum they’d expect. 15%. I thought since it was working, albeit slowly, that I would be in the clear.

Next chapter: Rupture and surgery.

 

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.

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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.
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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.