Life after Ectopic — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

Life after Ectopic

This will be the third attempt at blogging on this site, but the first and second attempts were before I had to have emergency surgery so in time my story has changed.

My first and second attempt to write on here was after I believed to be having a miscarriage. I found out I was pregnant on May 22, 2011 and my last menstrual was April 5 so I was already a few weeks along. My boyfriend (of 3 years) and I were very excited although the pregnancy was unplanned.

I had switched employers and was off of the pill for ONE month due to insurance initiated GYN changes.  I had even followed an ovulation calendar to 'avoid' becoming pregnant. But nonetheless I was staring at a positive pregnancy test (and 3 more after that).

We decided that day that we weren't going to tell our family or friends until we had passed the 1st trimester with the exception of my closest best friend with whom had also had a late period and we had been keeping tabs on if we had taken positive pregnancy tests together.

The next day I came home and found a card my boyfriend had left me telling me how excited he was for our child and that even though it wasn't how we had planned to conceive that he was still ecstatic that we would be becoming parents sooner than we had planned. (I am 26, he is 25) It in turn made me that much more excited to know he was already planning our lives 9 months from now and on board to be in this together with me.

About a week later I started bleeding. It began as spotting but then turned into heavy bleeding and I called to make an appointment with my GYN.  I was told to come in that day and was given a transvaginal ultrasound that yielded no evidence of a pregnancy in my uterus and further examined my tubes and had ruled out an ectopic pregnancy. I was sent for blood work.

The next morning I received a phone call telling me that at this stage (7 weeks) my levels should have been in the 1,000s and mine were only in the 400's and that it would not be a viable pregnancy.  1.5 weeks and many more blood draws later, my levels kept flirting above and below the 400 mark.  I had an appt every week and 2 weeks after the initial appt I was told everything was normal and I should be finishing up the miscarriage process and another blood draw was taken.  The following morning my blood work came back and it had risen again so I was immediately told to go to the hospital.

After spending hours at the hospital, I was given another transvaginal ultrasound by an ultrasound tech and I begged her to tell me what she saw. She said she could not speak on behalf of the Dr. but she saw the pregnancy in my right tube. The same area that I had been having rather intense cramps from that went undiagnosed by my GYN.  2 hours later a doctor (not my own he was out of town) told me that I most likely had an ectopic pregnancy and had the option of being treated with methotrexate to possibly avoid surgery.

I was administered with the medication and left the hospital, days later my levels rose to 600, I was sent to the hospital again and then told to leave since my GYN's backup unnecessarily sent me down there. 2 days later I had to go back to the hospital for another blood draw in case I needed more methotrexate and my levels dropped to 265 so I was okay to go home without another shot.

4 days later I started experiencing horrible pain in my abdomen and decided to sleep on it and see how it felt the next day since cramping can both be a side effect of methotrexate and also a sign of the tube rupturing. The next day I came to work in horrible pain, crying at my desk, fearing the worst.  I knew I had to make another appt so I called and was seen. When the Dr. did a physical exam it was excruciating pain. I yelled out in pain and was having deep sobs. I had been keeping myself composed at all the other visits to the GYN and to the hospital but I was finally at my breaking point. He told me the news I had been dreading to hear, that I needed to have surgery.

I drove home going 20mph below the speed limit sobbing and not believing it had gotten to this point.  My boyfriend works out of state so I knew he wouldn't be home in time to take me. Thankfully my mom is a RN at the hospital I was being sent to (she actually works in L&D too so I was in great hands) My doctor said he couldn't perform my surgery because he was going out of town (I found out later he actually went to a U2 concert) and I was sent to his cross coverage doctor, who in turn was on call and I ended up having his on-call Dr perform my surgery. (He turned out to be great so at least that went well)

My mom set me up in my gown and then I had the IV inserted. I had never had surgery before and was nervous about all the things that would happen. I had to be put completely under so I had a breathing tube and everything. My boyfriend made it to the hospital in time to see me before I was sent to the OR, so that was a relief.

The Dr discussed the surgery over with me and told me the first attempt would be to save my tube and if it was too damaged they would need to remove it.   That was my ultimate fear.  I never thought any of this would turn out the way it did but the thought of losing my tube and hampering with my future fertility was a new fear all of its own. (I do not have any kids, this was my first pregnancy)

I had to wait while the Dr. delivered 2 babies. This in itself is a hard thing to comprehend. I'm waiting for a surgery to remove a pregnancy while 2 other women are bringing their babies into the world.... it just didn't seem fair I had to know that.

I had extremely high anxiety but opted to joke with my boyfriend and mom, and nurses, and anesthesiologist vs. letting everyone know I was freaking out inside. Finally when they wheeled me into the OR (after getting drugs to relax me) I started shaking all over. I was so insanely scared.

3 hours later I woke up trying to read a clock that was set on military time. I bombarded my nurse with a ton of questions... where is my family? what time is it? did they take my tube? how long have I been laying here?

The Dr. came in and told me my worst news. The tube had already started to leak and was moments from rupturing, they had to take it. I had asked him to show me the pictures of my tubes.  The left (not affect tube) was the size of a pencil and the right tube looked like a bruised, black and blue coffee mug sized mess. I remembering sobbing while he told me I probably wouldn't remember talking to him all while I knew I would.

I'll leave out the nauseous, dizziness, and other results of being on anesthesia and pain meds, but the next 12 hours were not my finest.

Thankfully, I was surrounded by a loving and super supportive boyfriend, mother, and group of friends. My best friend took off from work and drove (a state away) to be by my side my 1st day of recovery, and I had other friends come by, bring me magazines, movies, flowers and fudge bars.  My boyfriend took off work to be by my side 24/7.

Unfortunately, my "Life after Ectopic" has yet to find its silver lining. It?s been a week and I don't even think all of this has hit me yet. Even typing this out isn't sunk in that I'm telling MY story.

This is a site for people who are pregnant, who have had children, who are expecting and yet there is a small tiny portion for Pregnancy Loss, it just all seems so surreal. I signed up to research what I couldn't eat while I was pregnant and now I've wrote this long personal account of my situation.

This is my third attempt to post and I still don?t know if it was worth sharing or not.

I just don't know when any of this will seem real.

 

BFP 5/22/11 Beta #1 400s; Beta #2 500s; U/S 7w1d nothing in Uterus; Beta #3 300s; Beta #4 400s; U/S 6/10/11 diagnosed ectopic, receieved methotrexate; Beta #5 600s; Beta #6 265; Emergency laparoscopy led to right tube Salpingectomy @11w1d 6/22/11

Re: Life after Ectopic

  • Lindsey, I am so so sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers your way! I am so glad to hear that you have such an amazing support system at home, and hope you can find even more support here with us. Big hugs!!!!!!
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  • delinodelino
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    I'm sorry for your loss and rollercoaster that you had to go through.  The ladies here are a great sounding board for all of your feelings and emotions.  Having a strong support system is the most important part of helping your recovery.  I would be lost without mine.
    3 ectopic pregnancies (EDD's 1/30/12-tube removed, 6/2/12-methotrexate and 10/2/12-methotrexate)
    IVF and Natural FET resulted in BFN's and a hole in our wallets
    Natural BFP #4 on 9/7/12 gave us our miracle on 5/18/13
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  • I can't begin to tell you both how great it was to read a reply. After I posted I started thinking 'this is so stupid why did I just do that' and reading your comments made it that much better.  I hope to find continued support on this board.

    It definitely  has been a rollercoaster and my Dr. (with whom I plan on leaving his practice after the final post-op) admited to me yesterday that he thought I was put through the ringer and apologized for all the different steps along the way.

    I just know I need to focus on my healing process both physically and emotionally but at the same time am waiting for it to feel like my reality.  Not to mention the fear of future fertility issues is a constant worry of mine now.

    BFP 5/22/11 Beta #1 400s; Beta #2 500s; U/S 7w1d nothing in Uterus; Beta #3 300s; Beta #4 400s; U/S 6/10/11 diagnosed ectopic, receieved methotrexate; Beta #5 600s; Beta #6 265; Emergency laparoscopy led to right tube Salpingectomy @11w1d 6/22/11
  • delinodelino
    5000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    Yes, future fertility is constantly on my mind.  One thing to keep in mind with the removal of your tube...if the tube was not removed, there would have been a scar.  Scars make it even more likely for another ectopic.  Did the doctors tell you if they saw any reason for the ectopic?  Mine checked both tubes and said he could not determine a cause...said my insides were beautiful...go figure.
    3 ectopic pregnancies (EDD's 1/30/12-tube removed, 6/2/12-methotrexate and 10/2/12-methotrexate)
    IVF and Natural FET resulted in BFN's and a hole in our wallets
    Natural BFP #4 on 9/7/12 gave us our miracle on 5/18/13
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • When I am thinking positively (and rationally for that matter) I do remind myself that if the tube was A. already blocking the embryo to get to the uterus and damaged somehow and B. damaged enough that it was leaking that it would not be of any use in the future and was probably better off removed.  (like you said, especially since it would've created a higher risk for a future ectopic)

    They told me the same thing, that they could not determine the cause, but that my other tube looked healthy.  Compared to what the damaged one looked like ANYTHING would've looked better to me.

    BFP 5/22/11 Beta #1 400s; Beta #2 500s; U/S 7w1d nothing in Uterus; Beta #3 300s; Beta #4 400s; U/S 6/10/11 diagnosed ectopic, receieved methotrexate; Beta #5 600s; Beta #6 265; Emergency laparoscopy led to right tube Salpingectomy @11w1d 6/22/11
  • delinodelino
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    I went to post op appointment this afternoon and my doc showed me the pictures.  Other than the bulge, the tube looked fine.  I had no pain, no leaking, tearing...nothing.

    3 ectopic pregnancies (EDD's 1/30/12-tube removed, 6/2/12-methotrexate and 10/2/12-methotrexate)
    IVF and Natural FET resulted in BFN's and a hole in our wallets
    Natural BFP #4 on 9/7/12 gave us our miracle on 5/18/13
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • Lindsey, I am so sorry for your loss.  That is a lot to have to go thru, it breaks my heart that they had to take your tube...... But please DON'T GIVE UP!!!  My mom got pregnant 3 different times- me and my 2 sisters- and she only had 1 tube and 1 ovary.  There is still hope and you are still young.  My T&P's are with you.  Hoping you have a healthy and fast healing.  Hugz!!!!
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  • Lindsey, my thoughts are with you as you deal with this loss. I only joined this community a few weeks ago and have found the women on here to be a wonderful support network. I wish you the best as you heal.
    BFP 5.04.11 | EDD 1.17.11 | missed MC 5.27.11 found at 6.16.11 image image image ?PAL/PGAL Welcome?
  • Thanks for the message regarding the hope for the future with one tube.  I just can't see myself not worrying about it constantly until the time comes in the future where we try again.  It's still good to hear accounts of pregnancies with only one tube though. 

     

    BFP 5/22/11 Beta #1 400s; Beta #2 500s; U/S 7w1d nothing in Uterus; Beta #3 300s; Beta #4 400s; U/S 6/10/11 diagnosed ectopic, receieved methotrexate; Beta #5 600s; Beta #6 265; Emergency laparoscopy led to right tube Salpingectomy @11w1d 6/22/11
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