Jodi

Mom to a little one 

Lost to ectopic pregnancy October 2008

Akron, Ohio

At nineteen years old I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was told many different things from many different doctors, ranging from, “You will never be able to have children,” to “The only way I tell someone they will never have children is if they do not have a uterus.” December 25, 2007, at the age of 33, I found out I was pregnant (exactly 17 weeks 4 days…yes I missed my entire first trimester!). I had defied the odds that were against me…this was a miracle!! At this point I was single, finishing grad school and a full time teacher. May 29, 2008, Jacob came into this world and today he is a healthy, happy, intelligent light in my world!! 

Mid-October 2008 (for some reason I do not remember dates…it is like I have blackened that part out in my mind) I had my normal period, and then had another mild one a few weeks later. Given that I had never experienced something like this (I barely had periods as it was before Jacob), I called my doctor. They told me that I could be pregnant and scheduled an appointment for me to come in. When they took my blood my hCG levels were in the 40s. The doctor told me that this was the earliest detected pregnancy that she had ever seen in her career (she also added that apparently they were wrong with their diagnosis of PCOS when I was19). I was so excited…and scared.  I was worried to tell my family I was about to have another child because I knew they would worry that I would not be able to handle it financially or physically. That same week, my Grandma passed away and we were headed to Maryland for her funeral. The doctor decided she wanted me to come in again to get my hCG levels checked one more time since I was going to be gone for a few days. After the funeral I called the doctor’s office to check on my levels. Iwas in the car with my Aunt…it was bad news. My levels had gone down. The nurse said to expect cramping and heavy bleeding within the next few days. They scheduled a routine outpatient D and C for me on the day that I returned. I was heartbroken…

The walk into the hospital was somber for me. I had not yet bled and was told to expect it. At this point, it had been three days since the nurse told me the news. I knew that in a few hours I was going to be walking out of the hospital not pregnant anymore…and that was so painful. I kept hoping and praying that my numbers were a fluke and that they had gone up. I remember talking to the baby about all the hopes and dreams I had for it and how much Jacob and I loved it. I just kept thinking, “This isn’t happening,” but it was…

They prepped me for surgery and the doctor came in and explained to me that they would be doing a D and C and if they didn’t find anything there they would go in through my belly button and see what was going on. I vividly remember how cold and sterile the operating room felt that day and I thought, “This is it,” and I said goodbye before they put me to sleep. When I came to, there was an orderly taking me on the elevator. I did not understand this. I asked him where they were taking me, and he replied, “To your room.” I asked him why he was taking me to a room when my procedure was outpatient. He replied, “I have no idea, I am just doing what they told me to do.” When we arrived in the room, he asked me if I needed help onto the bed. My thought was, “Help? Why would I need help?” so I said no. As I was moving myself onto the bed I realized just how much pain I was in and that something was wrong. 

So here I am, sitting on the bed, waiting for the doctor to come in. I called my mom. I had no clue what was going on. My mom was still in Maryland with her family and could not be home with me. She said that there were some complications, and that the doctor did not see anything when she did the D and C, so she went in through my belly button to have a look and the baby was in my tube. Here is where the complication came in. When they tried to remove the baby through my belly button, my heart rate kept going down and I almost stopped breathing. So, they spoke with my dad (who was at the hospital waiting for me) and they agreed to cut my c-section back open and remove the baby that way. The next complication was, when they did that, my tube would not stop bleeding, so they had to remove my right tube as well. The doctor also told my mom that when she had opened me back up, she still saw the stitches in my uterus from when I had Jacob, and that if this baby had implanted in my uterus the pregnancy would have been very difficult. This was the hardest thing I have ever heard in my entire life, and I was alone in a hospital room. I did not want to spend another moment in the hospital…I wanted to go home to my baby and be with him.  The doctor sensed my pain and only kept me for one night. 

As soon as I got out of the hospital, my boyfriend left to go be with another girl and left me to take care of a 4 ½ month old all by myself (and keep in mind I was not supposed to be lifting anything and I was off work for the next 7 weeks). It has been 3 years and I still have not grieved this loss. Every time I see a pregnant woman it puts me right back where I was. I have an extremely hard time when people are pregnant with their second, or third, or fourth baby…and no one seems to understand why I get like this. The words that I hate the most that come from people who have never experienced loss of a child is “You need to focus on your child you do have.” I want to shake them and say, “Really? You think that I don’t do that? He is my life!! He is my everything!!!” I just can’t seem to shake these sad feelings when I see other people with newborns or who are pregnant with their second child. I want to have another baby someday…but at the moment there is no one in my life to help make this happen. I am still struggling to find peace.

You can contact Jodi at jappleten@yahoo.com.

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