Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Ectopic Pregnancy #2

You can read about our first experience with ectopic pregnancy here.

Surgery to remove the first ectopic pregnancy happened in September (2001). Eight months later we were pregnant again. It took five of those months to get me cycling properly again and three months of trying to conceive. Sam was born in February.

With Sam almost two years old, we moved into this old house. I remember him exploring downstairs, crawling up and down all the little threshold steps in the doorways between each room. We were enjoying him so much and especially since we had just bought a three-bedroom farmhouse, we were looking forward to adding more children.

I was uncertain how long it would take to get pregnant again and therefore didn't want to wait too long. Jamey was convinced that having Sam was like "pushing the reset button" and set my cycles straight. He was right. We charted my temperatures as our form of birth control after Sam was born. I started cycling normally on my own after the usual six or so months of no periods due to regular breast-feeding. Three months after starting to try, I was pregnant again. Sam was two and a half years old.

The doctors and midwives had informed us that my risk of another ectopic pregnancy was higher than for those who had never had one. This was due to the possibility of scar tissue having formed where my fallopian tube had ruptured and been repaired. Did we expect to have problems again? Of course not. I, for one, felt like I had taken my turn with unfortunate conception problems, had our first child and would continue on without further incident.

I was about 8 weeks pregnant and had an early ultrasound scheduled in light of my history. One morning, prior to that ultrasound, I was going about my morning duties when I felt dull pain. Instantly and I mean instantly, I recognized the pain and knew I was having another ectopic pregnancy. Part of me was in denial, so I laid on the couch attempting to convince myself that it was something I had eaten or that I was possibly getting sick. But, as time went on the pain got worse and I could no longer deny the feeling.

I called Jamey at work (who had thankfully stopped traveling) and came right out and told him what was happening. I remember him asking me if I was sure. There was no doubt in my mind. I asked him to come home. Next, I called the midwives. As nice as she could, a nurse told me she didn't quite believe that I could recognize the pain and asked me to wait a few hours and see if anything had changed.

Now, I'm usually a people-pleaser. I usually do as I'm told (Jamey may disagree here a bit), but in this instance, I told her that if I was correct, things were going to get bad quickly and I didn't want to risk passing out at home with my 2 year old. She scheduled an appointment for an ultrasound right away.

Next, I called my friend, Shannon, and explained to her what was happening. Her daughter and Sam were best of little friends and she graciously agreed to keep Sam while we went in for my appointment. On the way to drop Sam off, the pain was increasing and yet so were my doubts. I thought, what if I was wrong? I had called Jamey home from work, made the nurse schedule an appointment for me and inconvenienced Shannon. I waited in the car as Jamey took Sam in to Shannon's, breathing through the discomfort. The pain wasn't in my head, but what if it was gas or something? How embarrassing would that be?

Less than an hour later, we were on our way to the hospital. I was right. What made this time even more difficult was that during the ultrasound, we saw and heard a heartbeat. Logically, I understood that even if it was possible to transplant that baby into my uterus, it would never survive. Even though the little heart was beating, it did not have the proper start to life, the proper nourishment there in my tube where it had begun to grow. We once again had lost a baby.

This time I was angry. Surprisingly, not at God. Just at circumstance. This pregnancy had implanted and started to grow in the same tube that the first one had. You can imagine how I felt about that blasted tube.

Recovery was once again difficult, both physically and emotionally. It was harder on me emotionally this time because of having seen that little heartbeat and because I began to wonder how we were to keep trying for children if this kept happening. They had removed the culprit (my left tube) during surgery, leaving me with only one. It seemed as if this was a sign that we should be done having children. This broke my heart all over again every time I thought of it.

We decided to do our best not to think that far ahead, to just get me well and see how things looked down the road. Six months down the road, the urge to add another child to our family outweighed our concerns. We decided to try again. We got pregnant the very first month we tried and nine months later welcomed Sadie into our family. We thought two was our magic number, but a few years later found us wanting to try for another. Once again, the very first month we tried, we conceived. This past mummer, Miriam joined us.

Our biological family is complete. I'm not sure how everything in heaven works, but I often think that I have the potential of meeting our two babies lost when I get there. Eternity with two babies? This would be my heaven.

Looking back, those two ectopic pregnancies seem like blips on the screen. At the time, they rocked our world. Our living children barely give me enough time to think of those who aren't with us. At times I feel guilty about this, but at other times think it may be God's way of helping to minimize my pain. When I dwell on it, it still hurts like crazy.

But if I stand way back and look at the biggest picture, the grandest plan, this life on earth will be the blip on the screen and I may one day be reunited with those babies for eternity. And that just makes me smile. Pin It

13 comments:

  1. I remember that day clearly (although in a different way from you). It was (maybe?) the first time I had kept Sam and I was so impressed with how easily he adjusted to being at our house. I was so grateful that you felt you could call me and that I was available for you that day.
    I also remember feeling so sad for you in your loss and somehow I think that sadness made me feel even happier for you when Sadie came along. It's funny how that works sometimes.
    Shannon

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  2. I believe you absolutely will meet your babies in heaven...just as I will meet the little one I lost to miscarriage years ago. Yes we will...

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  3. Thyhand.. I know you know how blessed you are... but I just want to say it again... You are blessed my friend...you are blessed! :)

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  4. THHP- 6 mos of waiting & healing is an eternity, when the desire is so great- It seems like a blip, but not when it's happening. the anger is so real, I have been that angry, wishing my body 'worked'. God puts such a desire in us, to procreate, and nuture children, our families. and then when it seems to 'go wrong'... I can be losing my mind with my kids, and yet I can smell a new baby & wish. :)
    How brave you were to tell the health professional you 'knew' what was going on. I'm sure she meant well, but sometimes we do know our bodies & our history best.
    Thanks for sharing this story.

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  5. How much of a blessing it will be to see our little ones. I know how much I look forward to meeting each one as I know you are too.

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  6. This is so beautifully written. Thank you for writing it.

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  7. I'm a little late on commenting on this post, but just had to say thank you for sharing. I've never lost a child, so I can't imagine the heartache, but I know it must have been hard to write about it. Your eternal perspective is something we all need to cling to.

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  8. Your perspective is such a comfort to read. I lost two babies to miscarriage also. Thank you for reminding me that our time here away from the ones we lost is just a moment in time and we have eternity to look forward to. Reading your blog has been a blessing.

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  9. i CAN'T BELIEVE YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH THIS TWICE. I WENT THROUGH THIS IN 1979 ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT. AT A HOSPITAL THAT WAS TRANSFORMING INTO A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY. SO IT LITERALLY LOOKED LIKE THE SCENE FROM HALLOWEEN [ WHERE THE GIRL IS IN THE HOSPITAL BY HER SELF ] I MADE IT BUT NOT BEFORE THE TUBE BURST AND SEVERAL TRANSFUSIONS LATER. THE FIRST THING I WENT THROUGH WAS A D&C--THAN I WAS STILL IN PAIN-SO THEY SUSPECTED A GALLBLADDER-[THE PAIN WAS IN THE SHOULDER ]BUT OF COARSE THE LAB TESTS SHOWED NO PLACENTA TISSUE IN THE D&C- I WAS STILL PREGNANT SOME WHERE. THANK GOD I PULLED THROUGH AND MY HUSBAND CONVINCED THE DOCTOR I WAS IN TROUBLE- TALKING CRAZY AND OUT OF IT-[ THE TUBE HAD BURST[ HE DID SURGERY THAT NIGHT INSTEAD OF WAITING UNTIL MORNING WHICH WAS THE ORIGINAL PLAN.THERE WAS A YOUNG LADY THAT DIED OF THE SAME THING. ALSO I HAVE VEVER GRIEVED PROPERLY FOR THAT CHILD. I HAD ONE A YEAR LATER. THERE FORE GOT THE VICK-NAME FERTILE MYRTLE

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  10. I am so touched by your story, and I'm so sorry you had to deal with the emotional pain an ectopic pregnancy brings with it... Twice! I found this blog from searching on the internet for ways to comfort someone dealing with a loss from an ectopic pregnancy. My sister and her husband have two amazing, beautful children, and have decided to add one more to the mix. They recently started trying and my sister went through her first EP this past summer, unknowingly, and ended with a burst tube and emergency surgery. She was scared and devistated, but her and her husband were willing to try again. I met with her last week and she told me they were pregnant again and I was overwhelmed with joy. Unfortunately, I received a call from her early this week after her first ultrasound and it's an EP for the second time. I didn't even know what to say to her, or how to comfort her. I told her that God has a plan for everything, even though we may not understand it now, and not to be discouraged. After reading your story it gives me such great hope for her, knowing she's not alone and knowing you were blessed with two more babies! I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, it really touched my heart in a special way and I'm very happy for you and your family! One day I hope to meet my niece/nephews in heaven too. :) Peace be with you!

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    1. I am so very sorry for your sister's losses (and they are losses!). Even though I'm a complete stranger, when she's ready and if she'd like to talk, please pass my email address onto her. I know what she's experiencing. My heart goes out to her...thyhand123@gmail.com.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story. I've been thinking a lot about our first baby that was lost due to a regular miscarriage. He would have been 7 years old on Sunday. I look forward to the day I get to meet him as well.

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  12. I just happened to see this on your sidebar and it caught my attention. I am so sorry and sad for what you went through. We experienced our fourth loss this past summer. We have had 2 early losses and 2 at 11/12 weeks that both required surgery. In the end, every loss has drawn me closer to God and I look forward to meeting our babies in heaven on day. My husband really struggled with this last one. Seems so little is talked about as far as the husbands dealing with it. It ended up being a very big faith building experience for him, which I am grateful for. It has also been hard on our three children....especially the oldest. They all pray for another sibling. If God chooses to bless us with another baby we will be very excited! I am grateful for the children we have and will be content and praise Him no matter what. I have found mamas who have lost babies have a special connection. I appreciate your willingness to share your story.

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