Ectopic Pregnancy. LIfe After Loss – My Story

I have thought about this post many times ,have wanted to write it, but could not bring myself to it.  I am not sure why, maybe because I knew it would be a long post, or too emotional, or too raw..but regardless I wanted to write it and share since when ectopic happened to me I couldn’t find the answers I so desperately needed at that time.. so here we go over a  year after my ectopic surgery. (WARNING THIS DOES GET TO BE A LONG POST and a little graphic…)

What started my search was a lack of information upon my return home from surgery. I had so many questions that didn’t get answered or make sense. I am already leary of doctors, so I needed  to read more for myself.  We didn’t even know that I was pregnant when this all went down.. Let’s start from the beginning…

THE BEGINNING

About 4 weeks before the incident we thought I might be pregnant. ya know the typical missed period, etc.  However the test was VERY faint and I thought, okay I’ll wait until the morning.  Tried again…still FAINT.  I did’t take another test and a few days later I started my period.  So we thought.. hormones, old tests.. whatever.

Four weeks later on Saturday, September 26th, I got up feeling fine and I mean fine.. NOTHING felt odd at all.  I went and sat next to my husband for a bit, then all of a sudden felt the need to go to the restroom.  The odd thing was that when I got up to go I broke out in a cold sweat.  My instant reaction was to say I have the flu, but deep down I KNEW better.  I went and laid down on the bathroom floor and called to my husband.  I told him something was really wrong, but I think it’s the flu.  I am not sure how long I passed out on the floor, he brought me a pillow and blanket.  At some point I moved myself to the bedroom and fell asleep again.

I woke up feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom again, but no poop.  The last thing I remember after sitting down was having another cold sweat and thinking this isn’t the flu.

My husband found me convulsing and passed out on the toilet.  He was able to get me to come to….at which point I stupidly said, “I think I passed out.” He told me what happened and we were going to the hospital.  At which point I stupidly (once again) replied “no,  it is just the flu”.  He looked at me and took me to the car. Got our kids in and drove like a bat out of hell for the hospital.

THE HOSPITAL

You know it’s bad when they look at you, take your blood pressure and you hear the head nurse tell the others to clear a room and put me in immediately.  They ran tests, asked me questions and decided to give me a pregnancy test, which i told them was not necessary because I just had my period.  Well… guess what… it was POSITIVE.  They tried to do an ultrasound and found nothing. No indication of me being pregnant.  Nothing in the Fallopian tubes even.  Meanwhile my pain is becoming excruciating.  I can’t even sit up.They had to bring a bed pan and have someone lift me up.  If I move it feels as if someone is taking a knife ripping it up my right side to my ear and then stabbing me on my left side and ripping all the way down to my abdomen.  I would rather give natural birth (which I have 4 times) then EVER experience this kind of pain again.

They attempted to tell me it was an infection and that a high does of antibiotics would solve the problem, which they administered.. this only made it worse.  The hospital was going to release me within two hours ( I had already been there 4). REALLY.  I looked over to Joey and said “Are they fucking stupid? I can’t go home something is still not right, I can’t move”.  At this point he asked for the head emergency room doctor to come back and call the specialist back to the hospital since he didn’t think my situation was that bad.  He actually told me that someone else had a stroke, so that was priority.  Eventually a specialist was called in who at 10:00 pm (12 hours after arrival) took me into emergency surgery “just to see”.  What they found was that I was pregnant, that the pregnancy was in my actual ovary (which is why they couldn’t see it on the ultrasound) and that it had grown so big it had broke open my ovary and I was internally bleeding.  I lost my right ovary & Fallopian tube, a baby we didn’t know we had and over a liter of blood.  I found out later that at one point the doctor told my husband they were afraid they were going to loose me.

GOING HOME.. 5 Things I Learned in the Emotional Aftermath

Once home my neurotic self needed to know everything I could find on ectopic, but I found very little and came up with more questions.  I was told that if you have one ectopic you are likely to have more.. HOLY CRAP!!! really??  That I should feel emotionally one way or another.  It’s the same as a miscarriage, another source said it’s not….  here is what I learned…through my own research.

  1. My type of ectopic is extremely rare.  The went the wrong direction and implanted in the wrong place. MOST ectopic get stuck in the fallopian tube and doctors are able to remove the embryo and save the organs. The reason these type of ectopics occur is because of scarring from an infection – which would affect all of your female organs. Since my ectopic pregnancy implanted in the ovary and the whole ovary and fallopian tube was removed – there was no scarring and thus  having another ectopic pregnancy was not a concern.  Case in point – I was pregnant with our fourth baby 8 weeks later (not planned  – Yikes!)
  2. The emotional part can NOT be quantified in one way for all.   a lot of people were asking on sites if ectopic and miscarriage feel the same emotionally.  I can only speak from my experience and I truly think that it will be different for each person.  The reason  is that we have all experienced different birth stories and experiences along the way.  I have had two miscarriages before this, as well as three (now four) healthy full term pregnancies.  Because I had a miscarriage before this, for me I have to say NO, it is not the same.  It is still a loss, but deep down it felt very different.  With my miscarriages I knew I was pregnant both times.  The losses were devastating in a more immediate way. I  was already seeing changes in my body.  With the ectopic – maybe it was because I didn’t know – it didn’t hit me as hard initially or the same way.  Don’t get me wrong it was still a loss, but It took a lot longer for me to recognize and deal with it.
  3. The loss of my reproductive organs made it worse.  Losing my right ovary and fallopian tube made not just the surgical recovery worse, but the emotional piece as well.  There honestly was NO choice in the matter.  The surgeon had to remove it to save my life and clear up the internal bleeding, but it still rocked my world.  It was a mental fuck for me.
  4. It was REALLY hard on my husband.  While I was going through all of this my ever silent husband showed what I took as silent strength.  Only during an argument did he blurt out – you could have died – don’t you get that.   Ummm.. NO.  No one told me that part.  It wasn’t that they were really keeping it a secret, it was just that everyone wanted me to focus on recovery.  What I didn’t see was that he had a vision of life without me.  That he felt part to blame for what happened (he did help create the baby)and he couldn’t fix what was wrong.
  5. Getting pregnant again helped.  This is odd to say because we weren’t trying when I lost the baby from the ectopic and we weren’t trying when I ended up pregnant 8 weeks after the surgery.  Yet, being pregnant helped.  I no longer felt like I couldn’t have another child because I was missing vital female anatomy.  And I no longer felt like a choice was taken from me in which I had no control.  

As I write this that healthy baby girl is sleeping on my chest quite content.  

 

Questions? Comments?