My ectopic pregnancy – trust your instincts
In October 2011 I was rushing out the door to go to my friend Hayley’s Hen’s Night. (Jonathan and I had decided we were ready to have another baby, Olivia was 2 and we had just started trying). As I was on my way to a hen’s night that I knew I would have a few drinks and I thought I better do a pregnancy test, just incase. To my surprise it came up positive, I ran downstairs to share my excitement with Jonathan and he was also shocked. We had only just started trying and with my history of endometriosis, we didn’t expect it to happen so fast.
Jonathan and I decided that we would be excited from the beginning. When I was pregnant with Olivia we held back until the 20 week scan, to relax and be excited about our impending arrival. I really felt this added to me developing Post Natal Depression, from the minute you find out you are pregnant and all through out your child’s life you will have worries but I didn’t want this to take away from our excitement. Off I went to Hayley’s Hens night and I told a few of my closest friends, the girls were very excited for us but disappointed that I couldn’t drink because I’m pretty fun when I go out, ha ha.
Over the next few weeks I had a blood tests to check my pregnancy hormone levels were rising. My GP said they were quite low so we had to keep an eye on them to ensure the pregnancy was progressing. I had some spotting which is very common in early pregnancy due to implantation or sometimes there is no cause and everything is perfectly normal.
I was now 6 weeks and went to my OB (Obstetrician) for a scan and check up. The minute the ultrasound picture came up I knew something was wrong, I could see that there was some sort of sack but nothing in it. I said to my OB” there’s nothing in the sack is there?”. He went on to explain to Jonathan and I, that the fluid we could see was a pocket of blood, which was more than likely that a miscarriage had occurred or was about to. I had a blood test and my hormone levels were still rising. This was confusing to me, I was still pregnant but we couldn’t find where it was.
The only symptoms I had was a sore shoulder and neck, I felt nauseous but that is also an obvious pregnancy sign. I then had to have a specialised scan to find out what was going on and where this baby was growing. The scan was when I knew the situation was quite serious, the sonographers did a lot of talking to each other which is not very comforting. They could see a lot of blood and swelling here and there and also some other things happening but still no confirmation of a baby.
I went straight back to my OB and I made the call to operate, I have been through a fair few female issues and my instinct has always been right and lucky I did. The pregnancy had implanted in my right fallopian tube, more than likely due to my endometriosis and the damage it had cause to the tube not allowing the egg to pass through after being fertilised.When they opened me up I was full of blood which explained my shoulder and neck pain, this is a symptom of internal bleeding. The tube was very large and had been dripping blood into my uterus, I am lucky the tube didn’t burst as I have heard this is excruciating and extremely dangerous. My OB couldn’t save the tube there was far too much damage so he removed it but my right ovary was perfectly healthy.
When I was waiting to have surgery I remember both nurses looking after me where pregnant, I did what I do best and joked about the situation. I even went as far as messaging my friends a photo of me in the white compression socks with the caption “tube socks are so in right now”. I don’t know why I acted this way, was it the fact that I had just started feeling good after a lot of treatment for my PND or I felt if I joked about it I wouldn’t have to feel the loss? I’m still not sure.
It hit me when I woke up, I had a massive panic attack at 5am and sent Jonathan, my mum and dad and Sarah (a close friend) a message saying “Can someone please come to the hospital I am freaking out”. I was in a lot of pain, felt so nauseous and had just found out I lost a tube which at the time I thought had halved my chances of conceiving, which is not the case. After I completely flipped out they moved me to a private room, eeeek a bit embarrassing. My parents and Jonathan were there by this time. It took most of the day to get my nausea under control which was when I could calm down and process what had happened.
This experience really scared me, we waited about 6 months before trying again. What I learnt from this is trust your instincts, you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel something isn’t right push until you feel comfortable that all the necessary tests are performed.