Gone Before You Were Here

 

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We had only known about our little miracle for 3 short weeks. Two of which were spent with a lot of worry and uncertainty. I went to the emergency room on August 2nd, 8 days after we got those life changing 2 pink lines, for some light bleeding. Of course the nervous new mom-to-be side of me was freaking out, and the rational side of me was saying, “some bleeding in the first 12 weeks is totally normal, you’re going to be fine, the baby’s fine.” However I still brought myself in to be checked out. My hCG levels came back normal for being 4wks 6days along. I was assured the bleeding would stop anywhere from a few days to a week. It didn’t. I called my OB’s office on day 10 of bleeding and asked if this was still “normal” first trimester bleeding. I was told if there was no pain / heavy cramping, or clots bigger than a nickel, it was normal.

Sunday August 14, 2016.

The day started as any normal Sunday in our house does. Woke up, made some coffee, and hung around in bed figuring out what we wanted to do for the day. It had been raining since the day before and didn’t look like it was going to clear up anytime soon. We decided to go get lunch at this Mexican place I love because momma was craving a burrito. From there we decided on what everyone else seemed to have landed on for the day as well; food shopping. We stopped at Red Box, picked up a couple movies and began weaving around the hordes of people and their little mini-me’s in Kroger’s. I started to feel a little weird. Not quite crampy, not quite painful either. Just, weird. my mood shifted and Julian noticed and asked if I was ok. I said I think so and shook it off and kept shopping. We finished what we needed from there and made our way to Walmart to finish up the rest of the list. Go figure, Walmart carries things I need dietary-wise that a major grocery store doesn’t. About 20 minutes into that trip around 6pm I felt that feeling again. Only it was stronger and located around my right ovary. I thought it may be a gas bubble or something. Since becoming pregnant I always felt super gassy (one of the fun things no one tells you about pregnancy). I figured it was just the burrito coming back to haunt me, no big deal. As we finished the shopping and were waiting online to pay I had to use the bathroom twice in a 20 minute span. I was bleeding a little more than I had been the last 12 days, and this pain was starting to become VERY uncomfortable. It was starting to go down my right leg and halfway up my right side to the bottom of my ribcage, which I still was shaking off as a major gas bubble. We got home and I took some gas-relief pills that seemed to kinda take the edge off. After a half hour the pain / discomfort went away. We put on a movie and about half way trough at around 845pm, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t lay down, I couldn’t walk. The pain was unbearable. Shooting down my right leg and all along my right side. I felt delusional, I spiked a fever, I got so clammy and sweaty I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. The nausea was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. I just wanted, needed it to stop. I must have looked like I was having an exorcism from the look on Julian’s face. My poor sweet man had no idea what to do or how to help me, because I didn’t even know what was happening to me. He finally said he was taking me to the ER. I had protested several times earlier. He didn’t know what else to do. I agreed. To the emergency room!
We got to the ER, they took blood, they did a pelvic exam, and an emergency ultrasound where they wouldn’t let Julian stay in the room for or let me look at the screen. I was told “it’s probably just a cyst you didn’t know you had that burst.” The ultrasound tech had extremely good poker face, to which I told her that and she said, “it takes a lot of practice to get this good, especially dealing with situations like this.” Right there. That’s when I knew she gave me a clue as to what she was looking at, whether she knew it or not. We still held onto the hope that it was just a cyst. After an hour of agonizing waiting together alone in my little exam room went by, my doctor came back in. I saw it on her face before she even said a word. It wasn’t a cyst. I was having a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. My baby was growing in my right fallopian tube. S/he never made its way down into my uterus, and I had been given 2 options on how to remove it. Medically with 2 injections, in my butt, of a drug called Methotrexate. Or surgically go in remove my entire right fallopian tube. My heart sank. Hit that cold hospital room floor. Hard. I felt sick and I couldn’t bring myself to even look at Julian. I reached for his hand but I couldn’t look at him or I’d lose it. I felt like such a failure. To him, and to our baby. I couldn’t stop his pain and I couldnt save our baby. I felt awful. You always hear and read about these things happening to other people, but you never in a million years expect you’ll be one of them.
The dr assured me it’s not my fault. Logically I knew that. Of course I didn’t do this. We were trying for a baby, I have done everything RIGHT. I took a prenatal vitamin and added DHA everyday. I was SO good with remembering my thyroid meds to bring myself out of hypothyroidism in order to conceive. I don’t smoke, I hadn’t drank in months. I was eating vegetables for gods sake (if you know me, I don’t eat anything green; unless its an avocado). But the irrational side of me overshadowed the rational side. I was blaming myself so hard. I really hated my own body that night. I wanted to take it off and leave it there. It betrayed me. It betrayed Julian. Worst of all, it betrayed our child. When I could finally look at Julian, all I could say was “I’m so sorry.” For about 2 days, that was all I could say to him. It hurt to look him in the eyes. He was so sad. He said he was just thankful that he brought me in and that it didn’t rupture. We didn’t know how serious this was until the doctor had told us if it had ruptured at home, it would have been fatal to me. So, silver lining I guess?
After the news, all I wanted to do was run. Unless you’ve been in this situation, you can’t even begin to understand the pain, guilt, and sadness that comes with it. I know I was only 7 short weeks into my pregnancy, and I know that stupid saying “yeah, you had it bad, but someone else has it worse.” But my baby had limbs (little buds was more like it, but limbs were forming), its brain and heart were forming. As Dr. Seuss said “a person is a person, no matter how small.” This was our little person. The worst thing someone can possibly say is “you can always get pregnant again.” I know that. But we wanted this pregnancy. We wanted this baby. I never thought that I would have to pick a way to end a pregnancy that I wanted. Seems a little twisted to me to have a doctor sit there and ask you if you want 2 injections (which is what we chose to do) or a surgery to end your pregnancy even though it was life threatening to me. I’m only 5 days into this nightmare and I’m not sure how long it will take me to recover from this.
The purpose of this post wasn’t for sympathy or “I’m so sorry’s”. Far from it. I needed a healthy way to get this out. And I’m a writer. I need to write. To relive it one more time so I can start to tuck this away in my “The Bad Things That Have Happened To Me” file in my brain and start to move on from it. The chances of this happening to a woman is 1 in 80. And now that I was that 1, my chances of it happening again have become 1 in 5. To which my doctor, glass half full kinda guy, said “but that’s a 4 out of 5 chance you won’t have it happen again.” So we are sad, but hopeful for a Rainbow Baby.  The baby you get after a loss. A term I didn’t know until this week, and wish I didn’t have to apply to us. But there it is.

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