Category Archives: ectopic pregnancy

The Fear (Part 2)

So last night I started getting a pain in my right side. It’s not severe, but it’s there and I am hyper aware of it. It’s a kind of burning pain, similar to what I felt last time. Naturally I am on a Def Con 1 of a freak out right now. I had a good cry last night and went to sleep, woke up this morning and it’s still there. I’m off to see my doctor this afternoon and I am completely and utterly terrified of what they will tell me. In fact, I am sitting here assuming the worse and feeling sick with terror. There is quite the battle going on in my head right between the little voice that says it’ll be okay, and the much bigger louder voice that is screaming DOOM! DOOM! DOOM!

I am so spectacularly unimpressed with my husband who has gone off to work as it wouldn’t occur to him that I might need him around. He never comes to the EPU with me and I am fed up of going there alone. He’s not great with talking about feelings, in fact he spent most of this morning cracking jokes, which made me want to crack a plate over his head.

I’m almost too scared to hope that everything is okay.

Oh My Glob

I had the following exchange with the best friend (with whom I share too much) this afternoon

screen shot

You may well be squinting at the screen now, even I admit that it is a terrible picture. Here is a better one

unnamed

unnamed

Or to put it another way, I think it may be a case of

tom

(Okay, I admit I’m shamelessly fangirling like a 14 year old over Tom Hiddleston at the moment, thank heavens the husband is very understanding).

Oh my glob. Oh my glob. Oh my glob.

I did not see this coming, and now I am completely, totally and utterly freaking out. What if it’s not in the right place? What if I have another miscarriage? I don’t even want to get my hopes up that this will work out but every fibre of my being is desperately wishing it will. I guess maybe I did ovulate on the right? (even though I felt like someone was stabbing my left ovary) or maybe the egg somehow managed to make the trip across the void to my right tube? I should probably go see my GP right away but I could be sick at the thought of more betas at the minute. I’m off to London next weekend to visit a friend and see a play and I’ve been looking forward to it so much, I sort of want to get that out of the way before I face reality. The thought of this break has been one of the few things that have been helping to keep my mood up.

I don’t know what to do, but please baby be in the right place and STICK!

Bedside Manner

I got a call from the hospital lab this morning and had the following very blunt exchange.

“You asked to be informed if we found a fetus. Well we didn’t, in fact we didn’t find any tissues at all. There’s not even anything there for us to dispose of”

Wow.

Well I can’t say that I expected anything different, with a beta of around 300 it’s likely the embryo was so tiny as to be practically invisible. But no tissues at all? So what was causing the swelling in my tube? What was causing the bleeding? I thought maybe they’d find a sac or something, I didn’t necessarily expect them to find an embryo. I seem to remember in my first miscarriage (at around the same gestation) seeing something pass that I was fairly certain was the sac. I mean I’m okay with this being the result (it’s almost a bit of a relief) but I’m feeling more than a little miffed at Blunty McBlunterson who made the call to inform me.

I’m thinking back to my days of working in a laboratory and trying to remind myself that many of those around me (while being some of the most wonderful people I ever met) were also more than a bit socially awkward, and I guess a biomedical scientist never has the need to undertake training in “not talking to a bereaved woman like an ass.”

I guess I would have liked a “I’m sorry we didn’t find anything, most likely it was just too early in the gestation” rather than me having to be the one to say “I expected that would be the case as it was so early on” and him then agreeing. Even with the knowledge I have I still feel a little bit like, there was nothing there? So why did my tube almost explode???

I wish they’d never handed me that consent form about remains. I get why they do it, there are probably many, many people that it’s the right and helpful thing to do for (and sensitive disposal of remains is ALWAYS the right thing to do), but this morning it just feels like a slap in the face.

Cycle Day 10

Back to charting. Gah. I hate this bit. I HATE charting, but because I’m a type A obsessive I can’t not do it. I can’t just relax and see what happens, I need to know where I’m at. I haven’t gone so far as to pick up the thermometer yet (that will probably come in the next few days) but I have started using OPKs again, now that I am fairly certain my beta hcg count is back down to zero so that’s not going to interfere with the OPK result.

I am struggling with the official advice to wait two cycles. To be honest, I wasn’t actually given any official advice, I was told that if I had methotrexate or if they had managed to salvage my tube I should wait two cycles. When the doctor stood by my bed post-op and told me that had taken my left tube but my right tube looked healthy, all he followed it up with was “so your fertility should be fine.” I’ve gotten the two cycle/three month “official” advice from Dr Google.

Aside from having three still healing puncture wounds in my stomach, a pretty intense sense of exhaustion and a burning pain in my naval if I over do it, I actually feel weirdly normal. The post-operative bleeding is gone, and wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating, and I’m just feeling impatient and chomping at the bit to get on with it. If i detect an impending ovulation I’m not sure I will be able to just sit on my hands and do nothing about it, which may be fine or it may be the stupidest idea in the history of my stupid ideas.

It was comforting to learn that losing a tube does not mean that your fertility is automatically halved, around 20-30% of the time (wish I could remember where I read that) an egg released from the tubeless ovary can wing its way across to the other tube, and a quick google will reveal lots of women saying that they got pregnant from an egg released from the other side (I’ve got to find a better way to word that, sounds like a paranormal egg). Still, I think our chances of immediately getting pregnant again probably aren’t that great so maybe it doesn’t matter if we give it a go? I’ll come back to this when I’ve made a decision on how dumb I am.

I do know that I am done with supplements like EPO and b vitamins. So many women self-medicate with herbs and vitamins and minerals, and sure maybe a lot of the time they do a little good, but the two cycles where I have gone crazy with them have both been stressful and ended badly, so I may suck up my shortish luteal phase (which will probably balance out with time, and was no hindrance apparently to actually getting pregnant on this last occasion, just a shame my baby didn’t implant in the right place). Basically, I am doing everything I can to make this as stress free as possible. I’ll take my folic acid, I’ll do OPKs, I’ll make a note of CM and (eventually) start taking my BBT again, but that’s it.

I’m still waiting to hear from the hospital about the results of the pathology report and whether or not they found, or there remains, any tissues to be released to it. After a lot of discussion we have finally decided that we are happy (that’s the wrong word), we are satisfied? with the hospital making arrangements for their disposal. They inter all remains during a service on the first Monday of every month, so it’ll be the start of February for us (assuming there is anything for them to inter). I’m not sure if I will go the service or not. I feel guilty at the thought of not going, but it’s also something I’m not sure I can face. It’s all hypothetical at this point anyway. I don’t know why but this loss feels different, maybe it’s because the beta was higher than it had ever got on my previous losses. I had an early positive, it seemed to be progressing well, I had every reason to think that it was going to be fine and there would be a baby at the end of it. I suppose, more than with the others, I have a feeling that if only this one had implanted in the right place there was a very good chance that he/she would have made it. This one feels more real, but it’s probably silly to think this way and torture myself with a massive bunch of hypotheticals. It’s just one of those things, it happened and it’s shitty but I had zero power to influence the outcome so why beat myself over the head with what ifs?

I am trying very hard to be positive and to see the silver linings. This experience has definitely brought me closer to my husband and has brought on a whole new heady surge of love for my existing children. It’s reminded me of how fantastic they are and how lucky I am to have them. I’m marveling in their wonderful, intense and unique little personalities, the beauty of their faces, how their hands feel in my mine and how my heart swells when I put my arms around them. I think I can live with it if my ttc journey ends here.

If.

I still have a lot of decisions to make.

It’s Over Now

I went for the return beta on Christmas eve, it had fallen a little to 337 so they asked me to come in on Christmas morning for the methotrexate shot. When I got in they informed me that pharmacy was working on an out of hours basis and I could be sitting around for several hours waiting for the drugs to come up to the ward. We decided that I would go home and they would call me to come in the next day when the drugs were available. I waited for the call and when they eventually did ring they were still having the same issues with pharmacy so it would be the 27th. It occurred to me that I hadn’t discussed the fact that I am still breastfeeding with the doctors so I brought it up, they said I would have to wean if I wanted the methotrexate shot. I was adamant I wouldn’t wean, I mean it’s bad enough to lose this baby and perhaps even lose the possibility that I’ll ever have another. I just couldn’t face abruptly weaning Arya, she is still so reliant on nursing, it’s the only thing that settles her down at night, and well I love it. I love feeling so close to her. I couldn’t lose a baby and her babyhood like that.

On the morning of the 27th they called and said they’d discussed it and the best option would be if I came in for a laparoscopy. I’d had a cup of coffee when i’d woken up that morning so the surgery would have to be in the afternoon when I’d been fasted long enough. About three o’clock they took me down to theatre. It all felt very, very unreal. I really can’t praise the nursing, medical and theatre staff enoughthough, they were so lovely and made what was a very hard experience as easy as they could. I woke up in recovery about two hours later and soon I was back on the ward where the husband was waiting. I felt groggy, sore and a little sick but not too bad. After a while they brought me some tea and toast and told me that if I was feeling up to it I could go home that night, which was the best news.

Eventually the doctor came around to see me and told me that my left tube had been very swollen and there had been quite a bit of blood in my abdomen, looks like I was pretty close to a rupture so the surgery was really the better option than the methotrexate. They had removed the left tube. I was given a form to sign saying whether or not I consented to have the tissue looked at by pathology (I did) and what I wanted to do with it if they found fetal tissue. That hadn’t even crossed my mind. My choices were to get them released to me to arrange burial (wow that seems way too adult an thing for little old me to arrange) or the hospital can bury them in their communal plot in one of the local cemeteries. I signed the form for the remains to be released, but it’ll be a few weeks so I have time to change my mind. To be honest, I think I’d like to get them cremated, but the only crematorium in Northern Ireland is in Belfast, so I’m not sure how practical that is.

The good news is that my right tube looks healthy so they think my future fertility should be fine, minus obvious the effect of only having one tube. I honestly don’t know if that’s something I want to consider.

I still feel quite numb, it’s all quite unreal. I keep waiting for it to hit me. I think maybe I’d be more devastated if I didn’t have such a large and wonderful family, but I look around at my children and my husband and I think even though this has happened I am still so lucky. I lost my baby but I was still able to go home and cuddle my other baby, put her to my breast, stroke her soft blonde curls and feel that little body nestled against mine. I do wish I had been able to give this little lost baby a shot at life and I’m sorry that I couldn’t.