This too shall pass

I’m not sure how a person goes about writing a blog about this experience and I’m not entirely sure it’s appropriate to blog about. But I’m going to do it anyway because reading several other people’s experiences online has helped me tremendously. So here is my experience with ectopic pregnancy.

Infertility issues are prevalent in my family. Josh and I have known this. It is why we decided I should go ahead and go off the pill this year. I mean, I’m not getting any younger. But there were many signs (I don’t believe in coincidences) that led us to this decision and so we decided to let it be. Patience doesn’t always come easy to me (I like to control things) but I knew we needed to let God work this one out for us.

Two Saturdays ago I was at school listening to my classmate give a presentation when I was suddenly overcome with unbearable stomach pain. It was much worse than I’ve ever had before, but being prone to frequent stomach upset, I didn’t think much of it. I gave my presentation and finished out the class. I went home and told Josh I didn’t feel well and laid down for most of the evening.

I didn’t get much sleep that night. I could barely walk and I kept seeing blood in my urine. I must have gotten up to pee at least 8 times. We suspected kidney stones. And since I didn’t want to pay the emergency room visit (stupid) I decided to wait it out and see my primary doc on Monday. After a urine test, the doc told me that I had a bad infection and needed an antibiotic. She still ordered a CT to check for stones.

Only 2 hours after the scan, my doc called me and told me that I was bleeding internally and I needed an ultrasound immediately. I just happened to have my yearly check-up with the gynecologist that morning (again–I don’t believe in coincidences) and it is there that I found out I was pregnant…but it was most likely ectopic.

There are some things that just stick in your mind. Memories that are vivid and don’t fade. My reaction to the nurse telling me I was pregnant is one of those moments. I had told Josh not to come. I didn’t want him wasting his vacation time for something that was probably nothing but I regretted that decision as soon as the nurse began explaining what ectopic pregnancy is. I really needed his hand to hold.

A blood test confirmed my hcg levels and I was admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was only days pregnant so it was really hard to tell if the blood clot near my fallopian tube was, in fact, an ectopic. It was possible that I was pregnant and just happened to have a ruptured cyst. We had to wait to check the hcg levels in my blood the next morning. If they went up, I was pregnant with a ruptured cyst. If they went down or stayed the same, it was a non viable pregnancy.

The hours crawled by and I didn’t sleep at all. The next morning the phlebotomist was running late but we finally got the results which confirmed ectopic. But, it was still too early to tell if I needed surgery. So we waited another day. Another very long day.

Though the wait was excruciating emotionally, I was starting to feel better physically. The stomach pain was almost gone and I figured I’d be heading home to let this resolve on its own.

But when the doc came in the next morning that was not the news we got. She decided that things were not resolving on their own and I needed laparoscopic surgery to remove the ecotopic pregnancy.

When I woke up in the recovery room, I was too afraid to ask the nurses what had been done to me. As soon as Josh got there I kissed him, grabbed his hand and braced myself. I asked “what happened?”

He said that the doc removed an ectopic pregnancy from my right fallopian tube. Afterwards, my tube would not stop bleeding so she had to remove it.

I just started sobbing. It is an odd thing. To imagine someone removing and disposing of your organ. I was hoping I would be one of the very lucky few who got to keep my fallopian tube since it didn’t rupture. But I wasn’t and now I only have one.

But I still have one.

In the days following the surgery, I was surprisingly chipper. It didn’t take long for the pain from surgery to go away. Josh stayed home from work with me and we walked in the mornings and spent the days lounging around. It was almost a little mini stay-cation.

But then Monday morning hit. It was time to go back to work. Combined with whatever was happening to the hormones inside me and suddenly I wasn’t so cheerful anymore.

Now, I am weepy and mournful. Though I know how lucky I am, I still feel a sense of loss. A sense that I have been robbed. Work keeps me distracted but at home I am lost. Many nights I dream of Josh and me with a child, sometimes more than one. We are usually playing somewhere outside, like the park or the zoo. But then I wake up to find myself sweating, sore, and needing to pee.

But I know this is not the end of the story. I would never minimize the effect that this experience has had on me and will continue to. I understand that I need to work through it, I can’t suppress these feelings. But I also can’t let it consume me. I will not allow it to rob me of more than it already has.

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