Ectopic pregnancy

April 2010

Lubbock, Texas

We began trying for a baby starting the summer of 2009.  We had been married about 4 1/2 years and I had been on birth control pills our whole marriage.  We were not actively trying at first, mostly just preventing.  I really thought that we would get pregnant right away.  I have never had any problems with my cycle and it has always been very regular and predictable.  Well, month after month went by with no pregnancy.  Most months I would get my hopes and then my period would start.  I could probably name off everyone who got pregnant while we were trying.  It was very hard to hear people say that they got pregnant their first month trying.  March of 2010 my period was late.  I took several pregnancy tests and they were all negative.  I was also having some pains in my ovary.  I looked some stuff up online and got freaked out!  Then my period started, so everything was fine.  I had decided not to stress about getting pregnant and just leave it all in God’s hands.

DH’s birthday is in April.  I remember having a dream that I was pregnant, so I thought I might as well take a pregnancy test.  I thought if I WAS pregnant, it would be cool to tell him on his birthday.  I took a pregnancy test (not expecting it to be positive) and there come two lines!  I was pregnant!  I remember freaking out!  I was off work that day and DH was sleeping in.  I was walking around our house saying, “Oh my goodness!  Oh my goodness!”  I eventually woke him up because I couldn’t stand it anymore!  I had the book “What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding” and put that in a box along with the pregnancy test.  I videotaped him opening it.  It was precious.  He didn’t realize at first that I had already taken the pregnancy test.  You can see on the video when it finally hits him :)  This was Wednesday.

I had to get a new doctor, because my gynecologist did not do obstetrics as well.  I called the doctor I was wanting to use and they were taking new patients (yay!). I was to go in that Friday for blood work and then they would schedule a nurse visit and the first doctor visit.  I still was not sure I was really pregnant.  I was really in shock!  I had the blood drawn and my hCG was around 500.  I was really pregnant!!  We decided to tell our family.  Our parents were so excited to be having another grandbaby (we both have older brothers who already have kids).  According to my LMP, my due date would be December 10, 2010…our 5th wedding anniversary!  How perfect.  This was Friday.

Sunday morning I woke up to use the bathroom.  I didn’t turn the light on, or have my glasses on, but I noticed when I wiped it was dark.  I quickly turned the light on and saw blood.  I told DH that I was bleeding and we were losing the baby.  I was so sad and scared.  I tried going back to sleep but couldn’t.  I was also having a pain on my left side/leg and my back.  We went to church.  We still didn’t know if we should tell people that we were pregnant, but I didn’t want to.  After church we talked to our preacher and told him what was going on.  I was crying a lot.  This was Sunday.

Monday I went to work.  No one knew I was pregnant.  My back was hurting really bad.  On my morning break I called the doctor’s office.  They said bleeding can be normal in a pregnancy, but that since I was having pain I should get checked out at the ER.  I got my work finished and left early.  DH went with me to the ER.  I was concerned about an ectopic pregnancy because of the stuff I had read online the month before.  We went to the ER and they got us back fairly quickly.  I had a really nice nurse.  They took my blood and then sent me for an ultrasound.  I also had to have a catheter put in.  Not fun.  The ultrasound tech was obviously pregnant.  They did an abdominal ultrasound and didn’t see anything.  The tech said they might to a transvaginal ultrasound.  They took me back to the ER room; they did not do the transvag ultrasound.  The doctor performed a very painful pelvic exam and said that my cervix was closed, which was good.  They said my hCG came back but we would need to see how it rose.  I told them I just had blood work at my doctor’s office on Friday.  They asked if I remembered what the number was.  I told them 500 or something.  My hCG at the ER was around 550.  They discharged me from the ER and told me to go back on Wednesday to have another hCG check and to follow-up with my doctor.  The ER doctor said I might be having a miscarriage, but I was young…I could have more.  I didn’t want more…I wanted that baby.  DH called my doctor and we were to go in Tuesday morning.  I called work and told them I’d be out for 3 days (I had a note from the ER).  This was Monday.

Tuesday I went to my doctor.  I had never met her before.  I thought she was really nice, though.  She seemed very compassionate and concerned.  DH said we were worried about an ectopic.  She asked questions and we gave her the lab work from the ER.  She said she did not think the pregnancy was viable with my hCG barely rising over 3 days.  We already knew that.  We had already accepted that we would never meet this baby this side of Heaven.  She said she didn’t want to just give me Methotrexate in case it wasn’t an ectopic.  It’s a pretty powerful drug that you don’t want to have to take for no reason.  We could do a D&C, where they could check for fetal cells to see if the pregnancy was in my uterus (if not, we could have the Methotrexate).  We could wait and have blood draws to see if my numbers go down (indicating a miscarriage that was being passed).  She didn’t want to do surgery on my tube because it’s so small and could just cause more problems.  She left us to talk about it.  We decided to do the D&C.  I really just wanted to get everything over with.  I did not know much about a D&C.  My SIL had one when she had a miscarriage.  I thought maybe they just do them in the office.  We were to go to the hospital around 11.  We still had a couple of hours, so we went home.  I took my contacts out and wore my glasses.  We went to the library to check out some movies.  I still remember what shirt I was wearing.  We went to the Admitting Dept. at the hospital.  I just kept thinking, “I want to run away.”  I even told DH that.  We got all the billing stuff taken care of, then we went to the short-stay floor of the hospital.  They started an IV (once they could actually get it in).  My doctor came by, because she’s awesome :)  They told us that they do the D&C’s on the labor and delivery floor because that is where all the equipment is.  I had a really good nurse.  She said they would put something in my IV to make me groggy.  I remember feeling really fuzzy in my head and I said, “I guess I’m supposed to feel weird?”  Then they wheeled me back.  I vaguely remember them transferring me to the operating table.  The next thing I remember is being wheeled into the recovery room.  I asked my nurse if I said anything funny.  She said I kept telling them not to forget to give me oxygen.  I met back up with DH in the short-stay surgery room (He had to wait in the L&D waiting room all that time…).  A nurse came and said that the results came back negative so I would be getting the shot.  My doctor came by to talk to us.  She said we could try again in a month.  I asked if having one ectopic made it a higher risk to have another.  She said yes, but it’s not definite.  If I got pregnant again we would need to go in right away and monitor my hCG levels.  We went home that evening.  I started feeling really sick.  I was shaking and throwing up.  I’ve never felt so nauseous.  DH called the nurse on-call and they got my some nausea meds.  I don’t know if it was the anesthesia that made me sick or the Methotrexate.  This was Tuesday.

Wednesday again.  Within one week, I had gone from being super excited about finally being pregnant after 9 months of trying, to completely devastated and grieving the loss of our first pregnancy.  I cried a lot.  Every day.  On Sunday a couple announced that they were expecting their 1st baby.  That was hard.  Our babies would have been a few weeks apart.  I had to have my hCG checked every week till it went close to 0.  It took about 6 weeks.  It was terrifying knowing that my tube could burst.  It was a relief for my hCG to be down, but also sad to know it was all over.  I didn’t know if I would ever want to try again.  I could have died.  I did not want to ever go through another ectopic again.  DH and I took a road trip to California.  He has family out there and I had never been.  It was good to just get away.  I did eventually stop crying every day.  We now have a healthy baby girl, but I still think of my ectopic baby a lot.

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