They say that life is full of surprises. That you should cherish each and every day of it as if it was your last.
I am fortunate to be here today…
I am blessed to be able to share my story with you…
I could have never imagined that my holidays, which were supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” would turn out like they did. I envisioned spending time with family and sharing the exiting news that our family of three was soon to grow to four. Today, I would have been 14 weeks pregnant. We were supposed to be the announcing to our family and friends that we are expecting in August of 2020.
Instead, on January
24, the journey ended.
It all started on December 23, 2019, which was our first appointment with the doctor when we were informed that he did not see a baby in the ultrasound. My OBGYN told me to come back in one week, on the 31st of December, coincidentally my son’s, Emmanuel, birthday. Although pregnancy was confirmed by hCG present, there was still nothing appearing in my uterus via ultrasound. My OBGYN told me he was concerned about an ectopic pregnancy and instructed me to go to the emergency room.
For the whole month of January, I was pretty much in and out of the hospital. It became my second home. On New Year’s Day, I was given an injection of Methotrexate, a chemo drug designed to stop the division of the cells in the fetus within just a few hours. The fact that this pregnancy was not viable was beyond crushing. I was seriously struggling inside. This “grouping of cells” as it was being called was the 3rd baby I would never get to meet (as I have experienced 2 miscarriages before my son was born), and the one I had to allow to be ended, and yes, we have been trying to have a second baby for quite some time.
The drug they gave me was supposedly a medical treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, but to me, it was killing my baby. Yes, I knew this baby had zero chances of survival. Yes, I understood that allowing this pregnancy to continue without medical treatment would likely be fatal to me. I could not shake the negative feelings taking the drug gave me, but for my health and the sake of my family, I accepted my first treatment. It made me so sick on day two and three that I did not leave my bed. My cramping became worse, and my bleeding gradually got worse leading me to believe it was working. I went back to the ER on the 4th of January to receive my second dose of Methotrexate. Then, a third blood test was taken on the 7th of January, which gave me crushing information again. I was informed the second round had not been successful and that the fetus was continuing to grow inside me and, “Unfortunately, while it is rare, sometimes we do have to go through a third round of the drug,” I was told. I could hear the pain in my doctor’s voice, and I knew I had to agree to repeat this whole dreadful process.
A third dose of Methotrexate was ordered. Surgery to remove my fallopian tube was briefly discussed. I was informed that while my levels were still going up, the ultrasound was reviewed again and due to something about my tube “moving” or something I still don’t understand or remember clearly, they couldn’t perform surgery on what they couldn’t find and they had to try the Methotrexate drug again. My traumatizing, ectopic pregnancy. Honestly, I laughed while I cried. “How does this even happen?” “We really don’t know.” I was told. I should have asked more questions. Onto round three I went. This time, I was told, it would be four days before we knew if this treatment had worked. Those 4 days were excruciatingly difficult for me. Between cramps, sickness, out of whack hormones, big emotions including depression, and a major lack of proper information regarding the circumstances (googling to no avail), I was purely lost.
Luckily, or so I thought, the 11th of January after waiting the four days following the third round of the drug, I was given good news that my levels had decreased drastically. The relief I felt was indescribable. This whole process had now been going on for weeks after having discovered I was pregnant and then, that the pregnancy was not viable and instead life threatening. I saw four different doctors plus various ER staff including countless nurses. I took three rounds of a drug used for treating cancer, put my entire life on hold due to my emotional state, and now I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but NO, there was more to endure after all.
On the 18th of January I went back to the ER due to excruciating abdominal pain I was experiencing. Even though my hCG was not yet down to 0, I was diagnosed with “constipation” and sent home the same day with medicine that gave me diarrhea. That week was filled with ups and downs, and I was trying to convince myself there was nothing wrong since I had just been to the ER again and sent home. I was even able to take a couple short walks until Friday, January 24, 2020, which I now call my second birthday because I survived and have been granted a second chance at life by God.
I feel blessed to be back with my family.
That morning started
with severe abdominal pain. Immediately, I called my husband to come home and
take me back to the ER with horrible pain and bleeding, but I was “stable,”
They did an ultrasound and saw blood in my abdomen and confirmed a ruptured
fallopian tube. The situation became serious very fast, and I apparently looked
worse in every way as I was given fluids, blood, etc. I could hear and
understand everything, but my energy didn’t allow me to speak much besides
short answers about how I was feeling. They rushed me to the OR where they
started the surgery laparoscopically removing my left Fallopian tube where the
ectopic pregnancy had ruptured. As I was told when I woke up, when they were
actually done and ready to finish stitching me up, I started bleeding again,
and they couldn’t address where this blood was coming from so they continued
with a C-Section, and then they discovered my left ovary was bleeding too and
also needed to be removed.
Recovering from the surgery was not easy. My first C-section was on December 31, 2018, and I remember thinking then there was no worse pain. After having both laparoscopy and a C-section to recover from, it felt 100 times worse. I was sent home on Sunday the 26th of January with so many questions: “Why did they let me go so far?” “Why did they remove my ovary?” “What will happen next?” “Why did this have to happen at 25 years old?” “Did I do something wrong to deserve both my tube and ovary to get removed?” “Why didn’t they do the surgery when I requested it?” “Why wasn’t I told there was a possibility of losing my ovary also?” All these questions and more haunted me.
When I had my first C-Section, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and was told I had lots of scar tissue, which apparently (after my own research) could be the reason I experienced the ectopic pregnancy. I was asking all the right questions before, but my doctor never discussed this as a possible outcome with me. At my follow up, a week after my surgery, I asked my OBGYN many questions. I was told that it is a likely possibility that my history of endometriosis caused the ectopic pregnancy and that the scar tissue may have contributed to the bleeding on my ovary. I was told what happened to me threatened my life, and that there is no way to go back and fix what happened. I do not know what the right thing to do is at this stage, and I don’t know who to blame so I must learn to accept what happened and go on to try to stay positive and live my second chance at life.
If you made it reading this far, you may be wondering why I am sharing all of this. The reason is because I know there are women out there who want to hear my story and that it may help them in some way. Right now, there are women reading positive pregnancy tests. Other women are being told their pregnancies are suspected to be an ectopic. Some will find next to nothing constructive online because talking about terminating a pregnancy, even when it is medically necessary, it is taboo. Some people may read this and think I posted it for attention (don’t worry, this post isn’t for you). But somewhere, there may be a woman who will read this, and she will know that she is not alone. She will know that while this whole situation sucks, and she feels that her body is betraying her in so many ways, she will know that there is a day this will all get easier. There has to be. This post is mostly for her. This post is also meant for those who care about me and routinely follow my posts. If you wondered why I fell off the face and went silent for the last month and a half or so, now you know why. I know there is no need for me to give an explanation, but nonetheless, here it is.
Lastly, I have a favor to ask all of you.
Please, PLEASE, take a second to share this post somewhere. Maybe you know someone personally going through this, maybe there is someone on your social media who is experiencing something similar.
Regardless, I want those people to know that they are not alone in their ectopic pregnancy experience, and it could be your share that gets this post into their hands to help them not feel alone. Hopefully, it’s a small piece of sanity in their current situation in knowing it will get better. I pray at least one person is helped by this post. Thank you to those who made it this far!