Let me start out by saying I am an extremely lucky woman. I have been blessed with the fertility of my mother and sisters and have not had to experience the pain and longing of being unable to get pregnant. I know how fortunate I am and don't want this post to sound ungrateful.
That being said, the planning of our third child did not happen as expected.
I knew that I wanted more children. Probably two more. But I couldn't bring myself to want to be pregnant. I don't enjoy the majority of my pregnancies, because I'm sick for so much of it. The last ten weeks are the best. I've finally stopped throwing up, I have a nice, cute belly, and I can feel my baby moving. It's the best. The rest of it....I struggle. I had finally come to terms with the fact that if I wanted more kids in the spacing I desired, it was time.
I went off my birth control and promptly got pregnant. Although I didn't know it. With both Evan and Graham I was sick the day after conception. Seriously. But not this time. I felt fine. I assumed that meant I wasn't pregnant...but after being a week late decided to take a test anyway. Alex and I were shocked that I was pregnant but not sick. Excited and a little wary. My Due Date was March 31st.
The first week in August I started spotting. Bummer. That explained why I wasn't sick, right? I was likely to miscarry. But I only had pains on one side. So I called up my OB, told them what was going on. We drew some blood work to check my HCG level. (Pregnancy hormone) For how far along in the pregnancy I was, my level should have been >1,200. It was 112. Sad, I really was going to miscarry. Now I just had to wait for my body to realize this baby wasn't going to last. (I hate waiting) But I still felt pangs just on the right side.
HCG levels were drawn every few days to see if it would start to rise, which they didn't. But they didn't go down significantly either. (I hate waiting)
A week after I started spotting I found myself in the most pain I had ever felt before. Sobbing on the bathroom floor in one sided labor. That's the only way to describe it. But it felt like the contractions never stopped, it was constant, unbearable one sided pain! At this point I was pretty sure it was an ectopic pregnancy. I had been worried for the last week because of the mild pain, but this! Now I was positive.
I called my doctor, unsure of what to do. Ectopic pregnancies can result in the loss of a fallopian tube if not treated. She told me to go to the hospital because I could barely breathe let alone talk to her due to the pain.
Here's what I should have done. I should have had Alex drive the 25 minutes to the hospital that my doctor works at. What we did do? Went to the hospital two blocks from my house. It made sense at the time, that closer was better. But it's not really.
The ER got me in quickly and checked me out, gave me much appreciated pain medication and did an ultrasound. My HCG levels were so low that they couldn't "see" a pregnancy. But based on my symptoms, it looked like an ectopic pregnancy.
They wanted to keep me overnight. That hospital doesn't accept my insurance. I asked if Alex could drive me to a different hospital, they said no, for fear of my rupturing and bleeding. They offered an ambulance to another hospital. (that's not cheaper by any means!) to which I said no. In the mean time, my OB called me to see where I was. She had been expecting me at her hospital. I told her the situation, and that they were going to make me stay. She said she'd call me in the morning if she hadn't heard from me. (I really like my OB)
I agreed to stay when they explained that insurance will cover an ER admission for 24 hours. I've come to realize that I am a hospital snob. And this was an old hospital. Nice staff, just old building and equipment. They took me to their observation floor and Alex left for the night to take care of the boys.
Observation my foot. I wasn't connected to any monitors, no one came in to check on me unless I called them for pain meds, and they wanted me to collect my urine to look for blood clots, (which I did on my own) but no one ever looked! I could have ruptured and hemorrhaged in my sleep for all they would have known! I'm sure they were just trying to let me get some rest, but if they were worried enough not to let me go home, or drive to another hospital, I expected a little more....observation.
Morning arrives and I'm greeted by a new nurse informing me that I would be having surgery!
The heck I am! (which is exactly what I told her....I was still in pain and huffy about the whole affair) There are other forms of treatment I will be trying first before I go to surgery (which increases your already higher chances of having ANOTHER ectopic due to scar tissue). And, more to the point, I'm not having surgery in a hospital that doesn't accept my insurance in an old decrepit building! I'm a hospital snob, remember?
She seemed surprised by my response and just left. In come the OB covering their hospital. *groan. I've met this man before, 8-9 years ago when I was looking for a new OB because I was moving. He ignored me the entire visit until somehow he found out I was a nurse, and then we were best buds. No thank you. If you don't treat me well as a person, before you find out we are "colleagues", then you are not the doctor for me.
He discusses my options, doing things the "Pead way" or going back to see my regular doctor. I obviously chose my doctor. If this happens again, I don't care how much pain I'm in. The 25 min drive is SO worth it.
My OB and I decided to try an injection to absorb the still persistent pregnancy cells. At this point my level was still in the 90s. Not enough to make a baby, but enough that could still damage my tube if left untreated. The injection is a low dose Chemo drug...with no chemo side effects because the dose is so miniscule. But the drug absorbs rapidly growing cells, ie cancer and pregnancy cells.
I got two shots and then waited a week to watch my HCG levels go to zero. They barely moved. I seriously HATE waiting. We tried the shot one more time. Both of us REALLY wanted to avoid any type of surgery. I had more waiting time, finally saw some significant decrease in my levels, but had to wait until I was zero, and have a cycle before I could try to get pregnant again.
Finally, by the first of October, my levels were zero! I feel like it took forever, and was wasting my time! I had moments were I was sad, and mourned the loss of a baby, but my coping skills tend to get angry. So I was mostly annoyed and less sad until it was all over.
A few short weeks later, I was pregnant again! (I told you, I'm incredibly lucky!) I wasn't immediately sick, which had me concerned. Close to 6 weeks I got sick. Hooray! My gratitude for feeling sick only lasted for a day until I was just miserable and sick :)
Because of my (now) history of ectopic pregnancies, we needed to make sure this one was in the correct place. Levels were drawn, they were now 4600! I was able to get an ultrasound at 6 weeks, see my little diamond ring (amniotic sac and tiny little baby mound) and hear the heart beat! That's amazing! 6 weeks pregnant and we heard the heart beat!. Had the ultrasound been done a day before we might not have heard it. Amazing!
I am currently 16 weeks, my due date is now July 2nd. I'm really hoping for a June baby though. I didn't want to be pregnant in the summer, oh well. I'll take whatever I'm given. I'm still sick, though this pregnancy is different than my other two. I WANT to throw up all the time, but I don't, not as much as I want to anyway. Trust me, it's not any better that way. You still feel terrible. I had a few random days without medication. Far earlier than previous pregnancies! I was initially excited for the thought of not being sick the majority of my pregnancy, but now, I think it was just a fluke. I'm back to my regular, pregnant self. *sigh, it was nice while it lasted I guess.
Evan has been really aware of this future baby. He likes to look at pictures from my 11 week ultrasound, we talk about the new baby a lot. What month the baby will be born, I tell him June :) What month June comes after, how he came out of my belly in July. He says the baby will be a girl, and I wouldn't mind that one bit. It's been really fun to have him be more involved this time around. Graham on the other hand, has no idea.
We will find out if this new baby will be a boy or girl in a month and I look forward to sharing the news!
Pray For Arnie
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