Thursday, February 7, 2013

Surviving an Ectopic Pregnancy

"You will never be able to have a baby, if you get pregnant it will kill you", thus were the words of doom uttered from my shoots straight surgeon. I looked to my left hand and pushed the button, the button to my morphine drip. The morphine that I thought could shut her up. Push the button and the horror of what my surgeon just said to me would be reduced to Never, Never land. What the hell was she thinking? What the hell was she saying? Where the hell am I?

The answers to my desperate questions came in multiple conversations with my mother, my boyfriend, my doctor. I had just lost my baby. How can you lose a baby that you never held? How can you rectify the dreams you had yesterday with the realities of now? Instead of planning for a baby shower, I would be bed ridden for weeks, and heartbroken with nightmares of a beautiful baby girl crying. To this day, I believe my baby was a girl. Although, I will never really know the truth of this little one's sex.

About a month prior to my hand on the morphine drip, I was in love, happy and using birth control. The first sign that something was amiss was the sudden, intense pain in my stomach. Bam, it would hit me, and for about ten minutes or so, I thought I was dying. Now, keep in mind I am prone to hypochondriac symptoms, thus the remarks of impending death. However, the pain would leave, and I would go about my merry way. Then my period started, so any worries of being pregnant vanished.

Nevertheless, the pain did not. It got so bad that one night I called my mother and explained to her what I was going through, she said to call 911. Therefore, like any dutiful daughter, I called. When the paramedics came, I was painless. My predicament, how to explain to these two men that I was not crying wolf, that I had most certainly been in sever pain. I could not explain why it was no longer ripping me apart. Forward to my ER visit, once escorted by the two doubtful paramedics, right into the arms of a very doubtful P.A. I kid you not, he said to me after I explained where the pain was, that "there is nothing there that would cause that kind of pain". So once, I got my pat on the head, and a request for my insurance card, off I was back to my oblivion of what was actually going on in my body.

The next day I bought a home pregnancy test. I sat on my toilet and read the instructions. Peed, and waited. "Oh my God, it's pink, the line is pink", I screamed. I was alone, and sat there, and let the news reverberate throughout my circulatory system. I was going to have a baby. I had to tell my love, tell him we were going to have a baby. I called him at work (I could not wait...not the most opportune time) but what can I say, I was a new expectant mother. He was quite surprised, because we used birth control, but said I will be home as soon as possible. Therefore, that night we sat stunned, planned, and accepted. The next day I went to Planned Parenthood (to this day, I do not know why I did this; I had medical insurance and a doctor). I took the urine test, and it came out negative. I asked the technician, was she sure that I was not pregnant; she said there was no doubt I was not. O.k., forward to the next morning, my period started. Therefore, that was that. No baby.

A week later, I was at work, stopped at a convenience store, walked in and the pain hit me so hard, I crashed to the floor. The proprietor of the store rushed to me, and got me into a chair. He asked if he should call 911. I said no, that I would be o.k. I got in my truck, put her in reverse, and the pain hit again, I ran right into the yellow pole. The yellow pole that is there to prevent people from backing into the house next door. Thank goodness for that yellow pole. "That's it", I said to myself. I went to a friend's house, she called my OB/GYN, made an emergency appointment for me, and then I went home to suffer until the appointment. I called my boyfriend and said that I was in trouble and could he meet me at the doctor's office.

After my doctor gave me a pregnancy test and it came out negative, she sat down to give me the "talk". It could be a sexually transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia. I remember thinking to myself, what the hell has my boyfriend been doing, or better yet, who? I know, not nice. Not nice to come to such quick judgment of the man that I loved. However, I knew that I had just been with him. Then the strangest thing happened, and my world imploded within ten or fifteen minutes. My doctor came back with that same pregnancy test and said it was positive. She then went on to explain that I would need to get to the hospital as quickly as possible for an ultrasound. My boyfriend picked me up and took me to the waiting room at the hospital that was ripe with happy, glowing pregnant woman. We sat there. I remember feeling nothing. I suppose I was numb and scared. I did not know at that moment what was wrong with me.

Forward to me laying on the table and the ultrasound technician is rubbing the hand held device on my stomach looking for the cause of all this trouble. Next thing I know she is screaming for assistance. That is where I black out. That is when my world changed, my first real experience with severe loss. My tube has ruptured and I was being rushed to emergency surgery. I remember waking up for a moment being rushed on a stretcher with my boyfriend at my side saying that he loved me and that everything was going to be o.k.

No, everything was not o.k. I woke up to the words I mentioned at the beginning of this article. I was twenty-two years old and barren. Better yet, not barren but I would be responsible for killing myself if I got pregnant again. The story goes like this; I was pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy and had been bleeding internally for over two weeks. My surgeon said that I was lucky to be alive. That if I would not have called her that day, I would have been dead that night. See, here is the real kicker; part of me did die that night. I lost my child, and the dreams I had of her for one precious day. One day where I planned her life, her clothes, her nursery, her smile, her little digits.

Now, many years have passed since I lost my baby. I have not had any children. Perhaps out of fear that it will kill me. I have since educated myself on what a cauterized fallopian tube is, and that many women have had successful pregnancies with just one tube. However, the words still ring in my ears and in my heart. I suppose it may not make sense to most people, but I also feel as if I would be betraying my baby by moving on, and having children.

For those who have experienced a situation like mine, I am sure you know what it is like not to be able to have a funeral for your lost child. I think finding closure when it comes to an ectopic pregnancy is the most difficult pill to swallow. It is imperative to find a way to come to grips with this type of loss. I suggest finding a way to have your idea of a funeral anyway. Thanks to my mother, we had a small ceremony to help me with moving on. Since this, I have lost my mother as well. One thing that I find comfort in, is knowing that my baby is with her grandmother. I am not the most spiritual of women, yet I believe this with all of my heart.

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