16th of April 2015

May 27, 2015

I wrote this a month ago, almost two weeks after the events had taken place, and since then I have gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to publish it. It is a very personal post and to be honest I just wasn't sure that I wanted to put that part of me online, leaving me vulnerable and exposed. However, I think that by sharing my story today, I can finally close a chapter on a not so great part of 2015 (100%, no backward glances) and look forward to what lies ahead instead. I'm not looking for sympathy nor am I attention seeking by any means. All I want to do is share my story.

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As I write this on the 27th of April 2015, I have absolutely no idea whether or not I will ever press the little publish button on the right hand side of my screen and share these thoughts with you. Yet, I find myself writing it all the same. Writing has always been cathartic for me. Sometimes the written word is the best way to express my feelings and thoughts and so I think I need to do this, if only ever for myself.

I feel like if this does ever make it into the blogosphere I should preface this with a potential TMI warning and explain that it isn't good news. If you prefer the light, fun lifestyle posts then skip over this. I won't blame you. It's pretty heavy stuff.

On the 16th of April 2015, I went to have my first ever ultrasound. Almost five weeks previously I had gotten a second pink line on a pregnancy test telling me that it was positive but when I had started bleeding in the first week of April I didn't hold out much hope for the little one surviving. As I lay there on the bed for my scan I had already prepared myself for the worst: a miscarriage.

What I was told surprised me even more.

I was told that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I hadn't miscarried as I had feared but instead my little bean was still there, still alive, heart beat and all, but the pregnancy would never survive. I already knew what an ectopic pregnancy was but for those of you who don't I'll explain. Sometimes an ectopic pregnancy is referred to as a "tubal pregnancy". What this means is the fertilised egg doesn't implant in the uterus but instead gets stuck in the fallopian tube and begins to grow there instead. This is extremely dangerous for the mother as while the baby grows the tube will eventually rupture and can cause severe internal bleeding that can be fatal. In an ectopic pregnancy a baby doesn't survive.

Before I was transferred by ambulance (how embarrassing) to another hospital on the other side of the city (who would eventually carry out my surgery) I had blood taken, an IV put in my arm and my blood pressure taken. Kami, who was with me for the appointment, took the opportunity to call around our family and explain the situation. They didn't even know I was pregnant as the bleeding had started right around the time that we had planned on telling them. No one ever wants to have to share bad news like that.

At the other hospital it was explained to me that I would need to have keyhole surgery (laparoscopy salpingectomy) to remove the tube and pregnancy. Sometimes an ectopic pregnancy can be treated with an injection which causes the baby to detach and move out of the tube resulting in a miscarriage. However, as I was eight weeks pregnant and they could see a heartbeat on the scan I had to have surgery. They were concerned that the baby might have been near the end of my tube which would have been a more difficult surgery that may have involved removing some of the womb (my ovary could have been removed too) but they wouldn't know anything until they "got inside".

They made me sign some forms for the procedure, explaining all the risks involved. I had to discuss if there was any reason why I wouldn't want a blood transfusion, if anyone in my family had a reaction to anesthetic, whether I drank alcohol or smoked. I had to decide what would happen to the pregnancy after it had been examined in the lab - did I want to have the remains or should the hospital deal with it? I chose the latter.

Before the surgery I was calm, matter-of-fact - even joking around a little with Kami to lighten the mood. I didn't have any choice in the matter. I had to be brave and to be honest the thought of freaking out never even crossed my mind. I had to have surgery otherwise I could end up ten times worse. Not to be dramatic but I could have died if it had ruptured.

My first sign of vulnerability was as I whispered "I'm scared" to Kami, a single tear rolling down my cheek, as they pushed my bed down the corridors to prep me for surgery. I was scared. I didn't know what to expect. What if I woke up and found that they had had to remove more than they had hoped, that they had found something else wrong with me inside, that they had to cut me open more than they two little incisions on either side of my stomach and the one at my tummy button? What if I woke up in unbearable agony? I was scared that I would be aware of the whole thing like that movie Awake with Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba where he has surgery but knows of everything going on around him.

Luckily, it wasn't like that. I felt dizzy and then the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room, unsettled as my brain rushed to work out where I was and what had happened. Apparently my doctor spoke to me as I came around but I have no recollection of that whatsoever but I do remember the anesthetist telling me everything had gone fine. I was given some extra strong painkillers and taken back to the ward where Kami, my parents and my mother-in-law waited for me. I mustered a weak smile at my husband and mum before they whisked me into my room, attached my drips and monitored my blood pressure.

I was groggy but fine. There wasn't any pain. I just felt like I'd woken from a really deep sleep (I had) and that I was tempted to fall back asleep. My doctor informed me (again) that everything had gone well. They had only needed to remove the tube and apparently they had a look around and everything looked healthy. It was over and all I needed now was some time to recover, physically and mentally.

Well, here I am now eleven days on and I'm recovering. The pain and stiffness that had followed subsided after about a week. All I have now is some bruising from the incisions and stitches that I'm waiting to dissolve. I'll have three scars that will eventually fade into virtual nothingness and before long I'll be back to doing everything 100% - I'm not really meant to do anything too strenuous for a couple of weeks.

It's the psychological part of it all that will take some work. Both Kami and I had already sort of come to terms with the idea of a miscarriage and although it broke our hearts we were dealing with it. Neither of us expected to see a heart beat on that Thursday morning, that tiny, little flicker that told us our little baby, whilst it would never survive, was still holding on tight. I've since said to Kami that it's typical. Our baby was stubborn like me, holding on tight, but stupid like him, getting stuck in the wrong place. 

I was only eight weeks along but I loved that little one. It's hard because now I think of this year by the milestones I should have been reaching in this pregnancy. The baby would have been due right at Kami's birthday which means every year I won't be able to help thinking about what could have been. People keep telling me that I have been so brave and so strong but when I think about what I've gone through I don't feel brave or strong. I just did what I had to do. I didn't have a choice. There was no other option. And when I find myself crying, my heart breaking a little at our loss, I definitely don't feel strong. I feel vulnerable and hurt, sad and scared. Just like the moments before surgery.

There's no reason that we can't have children or that we have to wait years on end before we get another positive test but our chances have been lowered slightly while the likelihood of another ectopic pregnancy has risen. It's scary and it's worrying, especially when the one thing I truly want in this life is to become a mum. 

I always said that I wanted to be pregnant before my 26th birthday and now I guess I have been. My only wish was that things had worked out differently and that this had been an entirely different post that I have just written.

C'est la vie.
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6 comments :

  1. I am so sorry to read what you had to go through :( must be devastating I can't even begin to imagine. Glad that you're pulling through & you have Kami there to support you xxx

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  2. Aw lovely, you are so strong for writing this post!! This must have been such a stressful time, but as you say - you are healthy and there is nothing stopping you having a completely healthy and normal pregnancy soon. I hope you are feeling better soon xx

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  3. There really isn't much I can say to this apart from how strong you must be to of shared it.
    Sending you lots of love and wishes <3
    xo

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear about what you've gone through. It made me cry to read this! I really hope that by sharing your story that you've had some closure that you wanted. I will wish you all the best for the future and hoping you will one day get your rainbow baby. xx

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  5. Great post about your personal experience. I'm sorry it happened to you though.

    emyii90.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. I'm so so sorry you've had to go through this and the way you've written about it is extraordinarily 'together'.
    Sounds like you have excellent people around you though and the comment cones with a whole lot of love and good vibes and positive thoughts right at you.
    M x

    ReplyDelete

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