Mom to “Coby”

Ectopic pregnancy, November 19, 2009

Foster City, California

About 3 years ago, my husband and I got a BFP on a pee stick.  I was in pure bliss, because we were so surprised on how quickly we got pregnant after stopping birth control pills.  Then one morning in November (November 20th to be exact), I woke up with awful pains in my abdominal area and was very scared.  I called the doctor’s office and had an appointment with my OB, and that is where our story begins.

I went into the OB’s office and there she pulled out an u/s machine. My brain was racing with excited thoughts, thinking, “Wow, I get to see my lil’ babe!” BUT my whole entire world crashed when my OB told me that she didn’t see a heartbeat and she saw something in my fallopian tube.  I was sent downstairs to the X-ray lab where they have more advanced u/s machines to have the doctors take a better look.  I also was sent to get my blood drawn for a beta to see what my numbers were.  I remember crying hysterically and having the best lab tech comfort me.  I still see him today, and he is the sweetest guy. I think the phlebotomists all thought I was scared of getting my blood drawn, because they were so sweet to me and so gentle.  As I slowly walked over to the X-ray lab, the tears just didn’t stop.  A few ladies in the waiting room gave me a sincere look of ,”Oh honey, I’m so sorry,” which I didn’t think about until way later, but the X-ray lab is also where they do mammograms.  After seeing the u/s tech and the doctor, it was confirmed: ectopic pregnancy.  So many things were running through my head like, 1) Why me? What did I do to deserve this? 2) What is going on? What do I do next? 3) Can I save this pregnancy? I can endure pain…

My husband, waiting and waiting at work for me to call him, came running over to the hospital when I texted him the news… we waited upstairs in the OB waiting room to talk to my doctor, and all I could do was cry.

Once we saw my OB, she talked to us, told us all the information that we needed and answered our questions as much as she could, then she told us she had to send us to the ER for me to get a methotrexate shot to terminate the pregnancy and strict instructions about getting more blood work done to ensure that the pregnancy was over.

We waited for what felt like an eternity in the ER waiting room…just waiting, waiting, waiting…and finally got called in.  The needle was huge and all I could think of was I can’t believe this is happening to me.  The doctor was very sweet. She gave me the shot, a huge hug and let us go home. 

My husband and I drove home. I called my best friend on the phone and all I could do was cry.  I have no idea how she understood what I was saying, but she comforted me in a way that no one else could.  She just sat there and let me cry on the phone.  My husband made a quick stop to Taco Bell for dinner (how I remember that, I have no idea).  When I got home, I took a shower and just crawled into bed, thinking, “I never want to leave this bed.”

A few days later I went back to the hospital to get my beta done, to make sure that the pregnancy was gone.  I walked in, got my blood drawn, and then went home.  Waiting for the blood results felt like an eternity.  I remember checking my phone every few minutes.  I just wanted this nightmare to end so I could try to move on with my life.

BUT as life would have it, my OB called and told me that my beta numbers were still very high and that I would need to go into the ER again for another methotrexate shot.  This was very uncommon, for someone to have to get the shot done twice, but as luck would have it, that was what we had to do…and guess what day this was? The day before Thanksgiving.  So much fun for me, right?  That night the ER was extremely packed, and the OB on call knew I wouldn’t want to sit there all night long, so she called me in, and had me meet her in the bathroom, where she had me lean over the toilet and then give me my shot. 

The next day was Thanksgiving and I was cooking for my family. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law came over the night before and spent the night.  I think my brother-in-law had no words to say to me, I cried so much that night. I had a collection of hospital bracelets on me…I was just a mess.

I successfully made Thanksgiving dinner for everyone and kept myself busy.  It was the worst Thanksgiving of my life.  I was just going through the motions, I really didn’t think much about anything and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and die.

The rest of the year was a blur, as I was just getting through life, going on with work and trying to figure out the best possibility for my husband and me.

The next year rolled by (2010) and it was April.  My husband and I didn’t get pregnant after the ectopic, so we were scheduled to go in for a u/s to see what was going on with my fallopian tubes and my ovaries.  Well…lucky me, I was told that my fallopian tubes looked blocked and that I needed to see a surgeon.  Having never had surgery before, I was so frightened.  I had no idea what to think, what to say, or what to do.  All I have to say is thank goodness for my sister, who was there to hold my hand and support me no matter what.  Even though she had no idea what was really going on in my head, she was there for me. 

So May rolled around, and we had an appointment with the surgeon, who was very nice and coincidentally worked under my husband’s then-boss at the same company (what a small world). He explained the surgery, what he was going to do and promised that if he could, he would save my tubes.  He said that he wouldn’t really know what to do until he was inside and saw everything, but said that I was in good hands.  I felt like I could trust him and from that moment, I felt a little better. 

June rolled around and surgery day came.  My blood pressure was through the roof, I was crying, talking to the nurses when they asked me what I was there for (procedure).  I just remember my husband holding my hand as they walked me away towards the surgery room.  Six hours later, I was waking up and my first thought was, “Is it over,” “Is it done,” “What is going on?”  The kind nurses saw me waking up and came to me, talking to me and asking me how I felt.  I was extremely overwhelmed with different emotions, especially since I had no clue what had happened.  Finally, they called my husband in and the surgeon came in to talk to us.

We were told that he had to remove my right fallopian tube and that he cleaned up my left one as much as he could, and he believed that it would be fully functional, but still suggested that we visit his colleague, the RE doctor in the same office. 

We went, we chatted and we got information from the RE doctor, and we left so overwhelmed with information and emotions.  It was CRAZY.  I was told to go in for a HSG to make sure that my left tube was still OK.

HSG, no fun! It HURT LIKE HELL…having a tube that became blocked again does not feel good when they are pushing dye into it…I wanted to cry

So, as is my luck, my left tube was blocked and there was NO chance I would ever get pregnant on my own.  Those words are the hardest to swallow; how do you accept that what your body is supposed to do, it won’t do?  I felt so broken.  I cried, and cried and cried.  I felt so broken; I felt less of a woman.  It was ridiculous.  My husband and I fought a lot, about IVF, the cost, the success rate, and the idea of going through this.  My husband wanted to wait, I wanted to do it right away. I wanted my baby in my arms so badly!  I didn’t care about how much it would take, I just wanted to start something that would go towards getting my baby.

The RE scheduled an appointment with an OB who specializes in what is called the Essure procedure.  This is where they stick a metal rod into your fallopian tube, which is where the scar tissue can form and which will block the tube completely.  The hardest part of the surgery was reading all the pamphlets. The procedure is really used as a method of permanent birth control. All the pamphlets read, “Are you ready to live child-free?”  There were stories about moms who had enough children and didn’t want to risk an accidental pregnancy.  I had nurses asking my age and questioning my choice, without reading my chart. It made me an emotional train wreck. 

Surgery over, a week passes by…and guess what’s next? Another HSG to ensure the Essure worked.  The doctor explained that I wouldn’t have anything to worry about, as the procedure was 99.89% effective.  HAHA to that!  My body didn’t take to the Essure.  Lucky me.

The RE was nice, and she said we could do a FET instead of a fresh cycle to ensure another ectopic wouldn’t happen.

February rolled around and we started our IVF cycle. It was the scariest thing I have ever done.  Looking back at it now, I am very happy that I didn’t question anyone at the doctor’s office, and just kind of followed what they told me to do.  I didn’t interview different REs, and I didn’t search online for her success rate.  Those things really didn’t occur to me until WAY later, when it was too late.  I am very happy that my surgeon pushed me to my RE; her staff was very sweet, and she was very kind and gentle.  I felt like she really wanted to get me pregnant.  It made me feel more secure.

So, off we were starting shots, following the IVF calendar, and going to morning monitor appointments.  I used to be scared of shots, and never looked when the doctor gave me any, but all of a sudden, there I was giving myself injections in my car, at work, in the kitchen, everywhere.  It was like I became a different person. 

Monitoring was going great, follicles were growing, and then we had an ER date set. 

Morning of the ER, I was giddy. I had my clothes all laid out, my Valium in my pocket and we were ready to go.  After they wheeled me away, DH was sent into a room to give his sample.  I woke up and found out that we had 8 eggs!! YAY :)  And that we would get a fertilization report the next morning.  I went home, and napped; I was exhausted!

Next morning, we found out all 8 of the eggs were fertilized and were all going to be frozen :)  Awesome!

April rolled around, and we started our FET.  It was so exciting and scary at the same time.  There was less monitoring and less shots, until we started the OH SO FUN PIO shot.  I could never get myself to do my own, so I always had to get DH to do it for me.  I told him just do it, don’t tell me when or I might flex.  But, he became a pro at it. He did it when we were out and about, even on the 13th hole of a golf course.  We were watched by the golf ranger, I think he thought my DH and I were up to no good. Haha!

April 15th came and we had our FET :)  I was nervous, excited, just a bunch of emotions.  My DH sat in the “husband” chair next to me as we watched the embyros being put into my body.  I must say it was pretty amazing….and then it was the start of the dreaded 2 week wait.

I must say, I was pretty spoiled. DH let me sit around the house on the couch and watch girly movies for a week before I had to return back to work.  I stuck a post it on my bathroom mirror (which is still there today) that reads “BFP #teamhope.  I got that mantra from a bunch of my twitter friends.  I must say, I don’t think I could have gotten through any of this without them. Everyone on twitter was so supportive, so caring and so kind.

The last week went by super slow…then came the morning of my beta blood draw.  I woke up super early, got to the hospital before the lab was open, pulled a number and waited.  I got my blood drawn, went to work, and waited…I kept texting my husband “test, does my phone work” just to make sure I had service.

THEN THE PHONE RANG…my heart skipped a beat, I stopped breathing…and then the nurse told me that I was pregnant!! My beta was 92!! I was in shock, pure joy, I had no idea what to feel. I was so excited.  I called DH, I called my sister and I called my best friend. We all squealed in excitement.  After work I ran off to Target to purchase a digital pregnancy test…just to see the word PREGNANT.

The next 2 days were slow as I waited to get my 2nd beta done…but alas…226! :)    I was so excited!! I don’t really remember what I did or how I was able to finish the rest of my day at work, but I somehow managed to get home and sleep that night. 

Four weeks later, we saw my RE again and the amazing heart beat or our lil’ miracle.  It was such a bumpy journey, but here we were looking at this amazing lil’ flicker on the screen!  Both my DH and I were in disbelief! After all the bad luck we had the previous year, it was finally our turn for some fabulous news! A baby!!

Today I have an amazing lil’ miracle who I never take for granted.  I look at him when he sleeps and just thank all the guardian angels and all the powers above for this miracle.  He is my everything, my entire world.  I can honestly say that the day he was born was the day my heart healed.  Even though DH was always there to hold my hand, my sister was there to support me, and my best friend was there to listen to me cry, I always felt that a huge piece of my heart was missing.  My lil’ miracle makes everything better.  He is already 7 months old, and I cherish every day.

As for trying IVF for a 2nd, it is not 100% out of the cards for us, but DH and I are not sure we can go through all the emotional pain and suffering if it doesn’t work.  We were blessed to have our lil’ miracle on the first try of IVF. He is our warrior…

Jaclyn blogs at http://www.lilmsadventures.blogspot.com.

You can contact her at lavfishey@gmail.com.

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