Ryan had just returned to us in Ohio after being gone for a month. That Sunday I had the shock and surprise of a positive pregnancy test. The hospital did a urine test to confirm followed the next day by more blood tests.
On Wednesday they did an ultrasound to get a basis for how far along I was and that's when things went bad. There was nothing there. No baby, no heartbeat. Yet my body was showing all signs that I was pregnant. According to them I was about 9 weeks, but according to me I was closer to 7 weeks. The doctor was talking about it most likely being an eventual miscarriage. There was a TINY chance there was a viable pregnancy that they weren't seeing, but signs didn't look good. What they were most concerned about was that I was experiencing a molar pregnancy. He mentioned an ectopic pregnancy but said I had none of the risk factors and at that time he wasn't seeing anything on the ultrasound screen.
I felt crushed. Kind of like someone grabbed the inside of my chest and ripped it down to my knees. It was awful news. I held myself together talking with the doctors but once Ryan and I got into the van I broke down. I wasn't prepared for this... my other pregnancies went so smoothly, why did this happen??
I didn't know what a molar pregnancy was so I spent a lot of time doing research to discover what I was possibly up against. Let me tell you... it was scary.
Ryan was wonderful to me... allowing me to make sense of this and mourn in my own way. He let me cry when I needed to. He let me talk out my feelings. He let me be alone when I wanted to be. He let me sleep.
For the next several days I was to get my blood drawn every 48 hours and watch for signs of a miscarriage. The following week they wanted another ultrasound. The OB clinic was following my case over the long weekend and watching my HGC levels, which were abnormal; not doubling every 48 hours. Since the numbers were not sky high they ruled out a molar pregnancy, thank God! The OB clinic was thinking this was going to end in a miscarriage and told me of the warning signs and sternly reminded me that because I have the RH factor I would have to come in for a rhogam shot if indeed I started bleeding.
Sunday afternoon I noticed bleeding and the ER told me I should come in.
Sunday evening of Memorial Day weekend the ER was not busy. They got me checked in and contacted the OB's upstairs who were aware of my case. They would be down later since they were busy with a delivery.
Lots of blood work was done.
In the end I had 3 OB's... an actual OB doctor, an OB resident, and an OB student. They did an exam and said it was not an active miscarriage but wanted to do an ultrasound. They used their portable ultrasound but were not getting clear enough pictures of what they wanted. They again mentioned an ectopic pregnancy to me, but weren't sure. So they called in an ultrasound tech from her holiday weekend and took me into the diagnostic imaging area for a better ultrasound. They were pleased with the images and then I realized they found something when all 3 of the OB's suddenly stand up and are huddled closely to the monitor and whispering almost excitedly to each other.
I'm taken back to my room in ER and the news is delivered. There is an ectopic pregnancy located in my right fallopian tube. This is rare -- as an ectopic pregnancy only occurs in about 5% women with no risk factors. It is uncommon, but not un-heard of.
We discuss my options:
1. Do nothing. Apparently 60% of ectopic pregnancies will be reabsorbed. Many women never even know they experienced one or were even pregnant. But the doctors didn't want to do that since I was leaving soon and they could not monitor me.
2. My other option, which I was a good candidate for, was this special chemo drug which would attack the cells and basically removed the pregnancy. The problem with this is that it takes about 3 days before the drugs work and the ectopic pregnancy could burst in that time... also, this drug required several weeks of follow up from the doctors and I was to PCS in 2 weeks.
3. My final option: surgery. Immediately.
I called Ryan and he also talked with the doctors. We agreed to do the surgery.
Read Part 2 HERE.