Can't believe I'm joining the loss club....Ectopic. — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

Can't believe I'm joining the loss club....Ectopic.

It almost doesn't even feel real.

On Monday afternoon I started to experience sharp pains in my lower left side. I tried to chalk it up to normal pregnancy pains, and went about my day. On Tuesday morning I woke up to some spotting, but again, try to tell myself a little spotting was normal. By Tuesday afternoon it had gotten heavier, and more like a period, so my OB ordered me to go to the ER for an ultrasound.

Hands down the worst experience of my life, because we have a horrible small town hospital. Blood work and ultrasound confirmed it was Ectopic, and since I was just 6 weeks they decided to move forward with the Methotrexate shot. I was given two injections, and after over 7 hours in the ER (God Bless my two best friends because my DH was out of town) I was headed home. My initial HCG was 15, and today at my followup blood draw it was down to 1. I have an appointment on Monday with my OB to go over it all.

I spent most of Wednesday & Thursday inconsolable, alternating between my friends babysitting me (and keeping me from crying by just talking about nonsense stuff) and on my own just sobbing. I'm so worried about the unknown moving forward. I told my DH that I don't know how I can go through this again.....bless you ladies who have managed to rise above multiple losses.

The worst is just not knowing what to expect after this. The doctors office can't seem to give me an answer about how long I should expect to bleed. The two days after I had mild discomfort and some pain here and there but it wasn't awful. But here I am on day 3 and I'm having more constant discomfort. Of course the doctors office will only give the standard "well everyone is different" answer. :(

Re: Can't believe I'm joining the loss club....Ectopic.

  • *lurking* So sorry @toesinthesand-2. Unfortunately it's true that everyone is different. There are so many variables. I bled for a week plus two days of spotting. I had a NMC, not EP. I hope you heal quickly.  <3
    It's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most...not where you live, or what you drive, or the price tag on your clothes... There's no dollar sign on a piece of mind, this I've come to know! *ZBB*

    Me: 36 DH 35 
    TTC  9/2016     BFP 12/9/16    EDD 8/21/17    NMC 1/8/16 at 7w6d
    TTC  2/2017  BFP 3/6/17   EDD 11/17/17   DS born 11/25/17 via ECS
    TTC 12/2018   BFP 6/2/19   EDD 2/12/20  NMC / BO at 7 weeks, low progesterone
    TTC 7/2019   BFP 8/21/19 EDD 4/22/20 CP at 5 weeks
    TTC 8/19    IUI #1 w/ Clomid + Ovidrel + progesterone  BFN, IUI 2 and 3 w/ Letrozole + Ovidrel + progesterone,
    IUI 4 Follistim + Ovidrel + progesterone BFP 1/9/20 EDD 9/18/20

    AMA, ITP in pregnancy, vWD type II - low Factor VIII, unexplained RPL and secondary infertility
  • So sorry for your loss.   I have no experience with ectopic.  I was told today that each person is different with recovery and this was my second d & c and she said those could be different too.  I hope you have a speedy recovery both physically and emotionally.  This is a tough road and it sucks to be here.  From my past experience I know that time helped me heal.  You will know in your heart when and if you want to try again. You just have to take one day at a time and do what's best for you.  

    Last time one around I took a week off of work which was good for me as it allowed me to have my break downs without being at work but it was nice to finally return to work to get my mind off things.  This time around I had a week to process news before procedure so I actually took time off this week (my procedure was today) which has helped today not feel completely horrible.  

    Best wishes 
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  • Thank you both. Thankfully I'm self-employed and work from home (wedding photographer) so I am very thankful that I don't have an office job to go to - especially because the breakdowns seem to happen randomly and out of nowhere. I did get out of the house yesterday to have lunch with two friends, and that kept my mind off of things - I've also processed enough that I was able to fill them in on things (we'd only had a few texts to let them know what had happened) without being a mess and crying.

    Yesterday was day 3 since my injection, and I had constant pain most of the day and night until I fell asleep....and again this morning when I woke up. Unfortunately I've got a full week ahead as my season basically starts today. Here's to hoping I can get through this first wedding of the season without being a wreck.
  • @toesinthesand-2 I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't have experience with an ectopic, but I can relate to the fear of trying again. I had a natural MC with my second pregnancy. Some days I never want to try again while others I can't wait. You have to do what is right for you and your H. Good luck with your recovery and your decision moving forward.


    trina347
  • ***lurking**** TW pg mentioned

    @toesinthesand-2

    First, I am so sorry you are going through this.  An ectopic is a terribly difficult thing to heal from both emotionally and physically.  I had an ectopic in September.  Feel free to PM me if you want.  It was a terrible and my system was out of whack for a long time.   At least your HCG was low so hopefully you will be back on track soon.  What really helped me was finding out that some ectopics happen because of abnormalities in the egg which cause it to travel more slowly on it's way to the uterus and just can't make it. That helped me believe that it was a nonviable pg from the beginning. I hope you can find some solace in that as well.   I had no history that would warrant an ectopic.  What helped me heal was setting milestones to look forward to my first O, my first AF, and then tracking.   I was able to get pg again this March (6 months later).  I got a super early scan to find out that it was in my uterus.  GL to you.

    GhanimaAtreides
  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I had an ectopic diagnosed at the end of January. It's been... a process. It took a week of spotting after my injections to start full-on bleeding and a pseudo labor before passing a decidual cast (common with ectopics). I was SO NOT PREPARED to cramp like that and pass tissue. A week or so after that I had a second session of bleeding/cramping/passing more decidual cast. I ended up needing two surgeries for this EP within the last 3 months. 

    You hcg starting so low and dropping to non-pregnant range so rapidly is a good sign for a quick uncomplicated recovery. Do perhaps request an HSG to make sure your tubes are unblocked as part of your follow up. I had a nurse assure me that a beta <5 meant there was no retained tissue. That was a lie. I still had RPOC two weeks after hitting zero and needed the second surgery to clear it.

    It sounds like you have an amazing IRL support group of girl friends. Sometimes husbands aren't sure how to process around you, so having some estrogen around you can be invaluable.
  • @GhanimaAtreides- hearing this is very helpful, because the hardest part for me right now (aside from being an emotional wreck) is the fear of the unknown and not knowing what to expect. All the OB could tell me was "the pain might get better before it gets worse" and "everyone is different" whenever I ask her a question about bleeding. So frustrating.

    When you had yours, were you already bleeding at the time of your injection? The bleeding is one thing that I'm so unsure about. The severe pain and heavy bleeding is what prompted me to go to the ER (I hadn't even had my first appointment yet, I was only 6 weeks). I had heavy bleeding that day, and the consistent bleeding the following day, but since then barely anything. I'll have some when I wipe and maybe a bit in a pad but that's it. Today is day 5 and I'm basically not bleeding at all.

    The other thing is pain. I of course had pain/discomfort the day of the injection and the next day. The following two days the pain seemed to let up, but now it's back again. It's constant down on my lower left side (similar to ovulation pain) and just continual discomfort and now my back hurts on that side too.

    Do you think that I just went ahead and bled it all out or should I be expecting to start bleeding in a week like you did?

    I have a followup with my OB tomorrow morning. Ironically, I was waiting for my period to start last month so I could schedule an HSG when we ended up pregnant instead.
  • @justsuzie thank you. I'm trying to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. It seems everything I'm reading is so different from my experience because a lot of people don't find out until their first ultrasound, where as I found out at 6 weeks because I was in pain and started bleeding heavily. My HSG was only 15, and everything I'm reading for most experiences it was much higher like with a normal pregnancy. I had the injection on Tuesday night at 7pm, and at my blood-draw on Friday morning it was already down to 1. I'm hoping that is a good sign I can get this all behind me.

    How long did your doctor tell you to wait before you tried again?
  • I had some spotting a week or two before, but after 24hrs I started progesterone supplementation to suppress it (no idea then that it was cornual ectopic at that point). My pregnancy location was technically just inside my uterus, 3.5mm from the tubal opening suspected via ultrasound at 6w5d and confirmed then terminated on 7w5d. Not far enough inside to accommodate a growing baby. If I wasn't being monitored, I would've ruptured weeks later than a typical ectopic and I would've bled out very rapidly since the uterus has more blood flow than a tube. 

    As for pain, my pseudo labor lasted from 2pm on a Wednesday (2/1) and I passed the first decidual cast chunk at 11am Friday morning, stopping contractions (2/3). However, I would compare the contractions to how they feel around 4-5cm dilated; something you can tolerate at home, and even easier since I kept dosed up on two Percocets plus Ativan the entire few days. With the second surprise session (2/15), I only needed one dose of perc and Ativan (pain less than initial session) and I passed more tissue after a couple hours while the bleeding continued and extra day. My injections/termination procedure was 1/26. The bleeding sessions looked like this: 

    I only started experiencing pain on my ectopic side after the injection procedure (they injected the actual sac under general anesthesia, making it larger) and throughout recovery; I also had a very overlarge corpus luteum cyst on that side, twice the size of the gestational sac. It was hard for me to differentiate the pain.

    Hope that helps with what to expect. How did your follow up go?
  • She said to wait for 3 months and 2 full cycles. The methotrexate depletes your folate (folic acid) and it's better to build it back naturally and with prenatals. I've also read the methotrexate affects egg quality. Good luck. Btw I didn't have much pain when I bled. However the next month was a heavier period than usual. It wasn't too bad though. 

  • When I had my ectopic, all told I bled in some form for almost 2 months. I had about 2 weeks of heavy bleeding before the methotrexate, when we thought it was a miscarriage. After we confirmed it was ectopic, I got the shot. At first I was worried it didn't work because the bleeding was light, but it did work. It took about 3-4 weeks for my hcg to go down, and it was like spotting most of that time. After my hcg was below 5, I stopped bleeding for a day or two, then I got my period.

    My obgyn said the recommended wait time for TTC is 3 months after that first period, but since we were already being seen by a reproductive endocrinologist for infertility, I asked her and she said just to wait 30 days from the shot to get it out of my system. Since we're already infertile and getting older every day, we shouldn't wait. 

    One interesting tidbit: I was also waiting to schedule an hsg the month I got pregnant with the ectopic. Since it's fertility related, insurance only covers half for us. However, since an hsg is standard after an ectopic, a post-ectopic hsg was covered 100%. It was a pain since the first doc to order the hsg was a fertility doc, it was coded in billing as fertility related, so I ended up having to file an appeal with the insurance company. However, they easily fixed it and I ended up saving hundreds of dollars. Just a tiny little positive on this horrendous journey.

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope you get clarity and answers soon.
  • @EverythingsBetterOutside thanks for replying! Thankfully my HCG was only around 15 to begin with. I got the shot Tuesday night around 7pm, and had a blood draw first thing Friday morning....and it was already down to a 1. For that reason I felt fairly confident that when my bleeding stopped for the most part on Sunday that's the end of it. I would think the next time I bleed will be my period. I did get another blood draw yesterday morning because they want to be certain it gets down to 0, even though they consider anything under 5 to be negative.

    We're on DH's company health plan, which isn't the greatest. It's fine for general office visits but doesn't cover anything having to do with infertility or testing. My initial round of blood work got billed as part of my yearly OB visit/annual, and so it didn't cost as much. I had two more rounds of blood work after that and it got billed as fertility testing and none of it was covered. We also paid out of pocket for DH's SA - but that was the cheapest thing at $100.

    The HSG test would have been out of pocket too, and would have ranged anywhere from $800 and up. I'm actually really glad we didn't do it before, because I would assume that an HSG would have to be covered by my insurance now that I've had an Ectopic purely as a checkup to make sure the situation has been resolved. If it wasn't covered I would be very shocked.
  • Hi All

    Im also struggling right now and could use some support.  I had a mc in early Nov at about 8 weeks.  I wanted to wait a few months after this before trying again, as this was our first pregnancy and I was an emotional wreck!  

    I just found out yesterday that I'm pregnant and I'm about 4 weeks along.  I've been having serious back pain and stomach cramping.  I went to the ER today and the ultrasound did not show anything.  They said there's a chance that I could have an ectopic pregnancy due to my symptoms; however they said it's too early to know for sure.  I basically have to wait it out and I'm terrified.  The pain is so bad that I can't sleep but I haven't had any bleeding yet.  I don't know what to do with myself and I feel like I'm just waiting for the worst at this point.  I could really use some support from others who have gone through this.  I feel so discouraged and fearful of pregnancy because all of my experiences have been incredibly painful and emotionally draining.  
  • I have no experience with your situation but I'm sorry you are going through this 
  • @sgraham281 - So sorry that you're going through this. I can give you my experience as I just went through my Ectopic last week. :(

    I started having severe pain on my lower left side that Monday. It lasted pretty much all day and into the night, but I was able to go to sleep. I thought maybe there were just normal pains, and that I was sitting too much (I work from home) so I kept getting up to walk around.

    The next morning (Tuesday) I got up and pain was still there and I had some very mild spotting. Again, chalked it up to normal pregnancy spotting. I was just a couple days shy of 6 weeks. By that afternoon the spotting had gotten heavy and when I went to the bathroom and wiped it was more like a period and red. Called my OB and she sent me to the ER. They did an ultrasound and confirmed it was Ectopic. Thankfully I was early enough (and my hCG was only 15) that they moved forward with the Methotrexate injection). By my follow up blood draw that Friday my hCG was already down to 1.

    Honestly its really hard to tell. At this point because they didn't see anything on the ultrasound, I think you might be in a situation of just having to wait it out unless the pain persists. This was my first pregnancy too, and so I was really unsure of what the pain meant - but knew once the bleeding started I needed to make the call. Knowing that I had severe pain for an entire day and a half before my bleeding started, my best advice would be just to keep an eye on things.

    Prayers for you! I was (and still am) an emotional wreck and it's been over a week. It's honestly the worst thing I've ever been through in my life.
  • Thanks for sharing your story @toesinthesand-2

    So it ended up being a blighted ovum.  I'm in more pain that I was with my mmc back in Nov.  The doctor said since it's so early I can wait it out and miscarry naturally.  I just want this all to be over but the pain is constant and I still have not had any bleeding yet.  I've been to the ER 3 times already but they can't do anything.  I'm so emotionally drained and I honestly don't know when I'll be ready to try again.  I want to get tested but I heard that most doctors won't do this until after 3.  Has anyone had experience with getting testing done?   I never want to go through this again, but I want a baby so badly.  I guess me and my husband need to decide how much we're willing to go through to have a family.  I want to be in a place where Im hopeful and willing to try again but I'm definitely not there yet.
  • @sgraham281.  I'm so sorry.  It is hard to know if you want to try again when you are still going through MC/ectopic.  Take time to heal physically and emotionally.  You will know when and if you are ready.   I've had two MMC and I feel like each one has taken a piece of me.   I know I'm willing to try again but I'm not sure how many more times I can go through this.  Time will tell.  You will figure things out in time.  I hope things get moving for you and the pain stops so you can have a quick recovery both physically and emotionally 
  • @sgraham281 I just completed my testing and received a preliminary phone call that said the only concern was lupus anticoagulant... the fix being baby aspirin cycle-round instead of just after a +hpt. I did have to go through 3 losses in a row first though, which seemed particularly cruel as only 2% of women have 2 back to back and only 1% have 3. Like, come'on insurance... are you really saving THAT much money by putting women through a third before investigating? The first loss was the hardest emotionally, the second two were chemicals and I just took that "don't get attached" stance. The 4th loss (cornual ectopic surprise pregnancy that interrupted RPL testing) was rough mostly in that blood work was super promising and the ultrasound devastating. Everything was perfect, just 3mm away from where I could keep my baby. I'm actually thankful half were chemicals. My body doesn't know how to let go of a clinical pregnancy without hemorrhage, infection, or just plain keeping it like a souvenir. The worst part of testing for me was the SIS.
  • @sgraham281 So sorry you're having to go through all that. The feelings are so awful, because it's such a mixed bag of emotions you're going through. As hard as it is, I wouldn't worry just yet about when you'll want to try again.....especially while you are still in the thick of a MC.

    I'll be 4 weeks post ectopic this week, and if you could have seen me the two weeks after it happened? I was a disaster. Crying all the time. The first 4 days home from the ER I literally cried around the clock it felt like. My DH was out of town for work, and thankfully my two BFF's basically babysat me. The only time wasn't hysterically sobbing was while they were here. Even just the first two weeks I'd be ok one second, and then something would set me off. At that point the thought of trying again....I just couldn't imagine ever having to feel that way again (I still can't!).

    Now that it's been a month, I think my emotions have leveled off a bit. Don't get me wrong, I still get super upset and cry - but it's not like it was that first week.
    silvergreen
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