I am trying to physically and emotionally heal from one of the most difficult things I’ve ever dealt with. I’m still trying to wrap my head around why it happened to me, how am I supposed to move on from this, how can I just go on like I haven’t just lost my baby.
Wednesday, July 15th, I started getting some menstrual cramps at work. As the night went on they quickly progressed to harsh cramps that felt like a balloon was expanding in my abdomen, making it hard for me to walk or sit. My supervisor suggested that I go to the hospital if the pain was so bad that I couldn’t walk properly. After several hours of waiting in the ER, a doctor came and took some history and then went to check my blood and urine results to make sure it wasn’t a UTI or something. When he came back I was told that I was pregnant. I was so incredibly excited, but mostly shocked. I was so sure that I wasn’t pregnant that before I went into the hospital I told my husband not to worry because I was DEFINITELY not pregnant. I had been off birth control for less than a week when I had apparently conceived. I’d stopped taking the pill because I was prescribed antibiotics when I got my wisdom teeth out. I just couldn’t believe it was even possible. My husband and I had planned on not having anymore children for now, so I wasn’t sure how my husband would take this news.
The doctor then did a quick ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay since I was experiencing so much pain. It was at that time that we realized that I had a large cyst on my left side. That was what was causing so much pain. It had hemorrhaged and the presence of blood was irritating my uterus. By this time it had been about 5 hours since the pain started and it had diminished to a very mild menstrual type cramp. I figured the cyst would go away soon and that everything would be okay. Now I just had to break the news to my husband and we could start planning for this new little addition to our family. I was so excited.
I told my family, doctor, midwife, doula, best friends, we tried to figure out our budget and how to make things work, we discussed if we should get a bigger vehicle or not, whether or not I should get a different job to have more hours for mat leave, I applied for several jobs, we talked with my ex sister in law about her watching the girls full time so I could work more. We were so hopeful and excited for all this change.
I went to see my doctor and he confirmed that I was definitely pregnant, it wasn’t just the cyst causing hormonal imbalances. There was really a little baby inside my belly:) He gave me a standing order for blood tests to make sure my levels were rising. I started getting blood tests on my days off. We’d walk to starbucks for my white hot chocolate and oat fudge bar and then we’d walk to the lifelabs down the street for my blood test. I was feeling really good about getting some exercise and getting the girls out. I was feeling really hopeful about having a healthy, active pregnancy.
But then my HCG levels weren’t looking good. In a healthy pregnancy, they should double every 48 hours or so, but mine were taking about 4 days to double. I called my doctor and asked if I could get another ultrasound or something, but of course I wouldn’t be able to even see my doctor for another few days. I felt like something was wrong. I was starting to feel really anxious, scared, and losing hope. I opened up to my friend about how I felt like I’d already lost the baby, like I was just waiting for the baby to pass through me. She told me to stay positive and that if I was thinking negative, that those thoughts would become reality.
That night I went to work and shortly after, the same pain started again. I drove myself to the hospital and the whole time I cried and talked out loud to the baby. I told him to stay with me, that everything was going to be okay because mommy’s here. I kept repeating the same thing over and over. By the time I got to the hospital it had gotten much worse than it had been a week and a half before when I was originally in the hospital. While waiting to see a doctor I started feeling nauseous and lightheaded. The pain was so bad I thought I might pass out, so a nurse helped me into a softer chair so I could lay down a little. As soon as I sat down I just started crying. I felt so helpless and sad. I was trying to keep positive that the pain was just from the cyst, but it was so bad I just assumed it couldn’t be, I had to be losing the baby. Once they had a room for me I tried to walk there, but it took a while since I could only walk very slowly and had to do so mostly bent over. The doctor did an internal exam and found that the pain was mostly on the left side. He told me that because it was only on the left and that because I didn’t have any bleeding that I wasn’t having a miscarriage. I was so happy and feeling hopeful again. I figured that this was Heavenly Father’s way of getting me an ultrasound, that this way I would get to see my baby and could stop worrying and stressing. I couldn’t wait for the ultrasound the next morning. My mother and father in law picked me up and drove me home. I still couldn’t walk very quickly because of the pain, but the pain was much better than before.
The next morning I took a shower, got dressed up, did my makeup all nice, went for a walk(you know, wanting to make sure I keep fit this pregnancy), and then found a babysitter to watch the girls so that Steve could come with me to see the baby. Our ultrasound was at noon on July 25th. The first thing they saw was the cyst. It had almost doubled in size in the last 9 days. Then we saw the baby! But things didn’t look right… the baby was in a long sausage looking thing. Then the tech told us she was having a hard time seeing my “ovary” and that she was getting someone else to double check. I told my husband that that was our baby. They checked the heartbeat, but then informed us that they were suspicious that the baby was in my fallopian tube right behind the cyst. I said a quick prayer while in the washroom and was feeling very comforted and safe. When I got back in the room I was smiling and joking with my husband. They told us to go back to the ER so that they could read us the results. We waited for a quite a while, but then our parking meter was running out, so I figured that since we already knew the baby’s fate, that I might as well drop my husband off at home so that we didn’t leave the kids with my friend for too long.
I grabbed a white hot chocolate and oat fudge bar at starbucks, I felt it would make me feel a little better considering everything that had just happened, I deserved a little treat. A doctor came into the room right away, explained that he needed to talk to the surgeon to figure out exactly what route to take. The surgeon came in shortly after and explained that she would try her hardest to save the tube, but that she would most likely be cutting it out. I’d be getting 3 incisions, 1 in my belly button for the camera, one above my c section scar, and one on the left side above where my tube was.
I called my husband to let him know exactly what was going on. I told him that I would probably lose the tube, that I had to stay here until he surgery in case the tube ruptures, and that I would be in at least overnight. He then asked if the baby would be okay… I started crying for the first time I had cried since finding out the fate of my baby. I didn’t realize when I dropped him off that he didn’t understand what was going on. He said that he thought everything was okay because I wasn’t really upset when I heard the news at the ultrasound. I just kept saying I was so sorry, that this was not how I wanted him to find out. I assumed that he wasn’t noticeably upset before because having a baby right now was not really in our plans and would set us back in getting a house and me going back to school. Not that I thought he was happy that we were losing the baby, but that he might have been a little relieved. He cried on the phone with me and told me he loved me and that it would be okay. He asked if I was okay, but what was I supposed to say. There’s nothing okay about this situation.
But now it all just came crashing. I was sobbing uncontrollably. I started thinking that now I will never have another baby since my husband doesn’t want anymore, he’d decided he was getting snipped. Maybe Heavenly Father didn’t want me to have another because I’m not a good enough mom, maybe I deserve to go through this pain since it was so easy for me to get pregnant with my first two children. I kept thinking about how we saw the baby’s heart beating. My baby would be alive when they take him out of me. I’m killing my baby because my body wasn’t working properly. The baby didn’t do anything wrong and he would have to suffer because of me. It just felt so unfair. It was physically painful thinking about all of this. My baby was supposed to be due a couple days after what will be my 24th birthday. How am I supposed to feel when that day comes and I don’t have a baby. How am I suppose to tell my family and friends that we aren’t going to have this baby.
My husband made some calls and was able to come to the hospital to be with me. He was supposed to start sailing on Monday though, so he tried contacting anyone he could that would be able to take his spot but nobody could. Everyone was either tasked out for firefighting, on leave, or already sailing. He was feeling terrible about the fact that he may have to leave me just days after surgery and everything we’ve gone through because he has to sail. He was already feeling helpless because as it is, he can’t really do anything for me, just be there for me and if he couldn’t even do that… Just as he was feeling like there were no other options than to go, his friend volunteered to take his spot even though this was his week off in between 3 other weeks of sailing with REALLY crappy shifts. We were feeling so incredibly blessed. We have supportive family watching our kids so he could be with me, friends helping out where we couldn’t even possibly ask for that kind of help, and though I was sad I still felt incredibly comforted knowing that things would be okay.
I called my home teachers from church and asked for a blessing. When they arrived I had been crying again and everything just made me feel like crying at that time, so I couldn’t really just stop. It started just thinking about the new budget I’d made, one that included a baby bed, a swing, payment for the doula… and now we didn’t need to buy those things because we wouldn’t need them anymore. The blessing I was given was very comforting and I had hope that things would be okay, that maybe the baby might even move out of the tube before the surgery.
At 9:30 we were finally told it was time for surgery. I told my husband to stay because I wanted him there when I woke up. I knew that after waking I would already feel alone considering that I will have had my baby taken from me. It felt like I waited forever in the OR. Before putting me under they asked a few question like my name and birthdate, and then they asked what I was having done, I said they were taking my baby. They had a bit of nervous laughter and said “It’s ectopic”. I was put under and then I just remember being asked to wake up several times. I didn’t want to deal with what was happening, I just kept going back to sleep. In recovery I overheard the nurse saying something about tachycardia, apparently it happened to me during the surgery. Once I got to my room I kept looking and asking for my husband. When he finally came in they said he could only stay for a moment. He asked me how I was doing, helped me open my essential oils for my nausea and anxiety, gave me a kiss, told me he loved me, then he left. I fell asleep right away.
I woke up at 6am and felt great. I hadn’t slept that much in years. The pain was very minimal because they’d given me a local anesthetic during the surgery which had not worn off yet. I called my mom to tell her that everything had gone well. I guess they drained the cyst as well so that wouldn’t be causing anymore issues. They did have to take out my left tube though. The surgeon later told me that by the time they cut me open I had already lost some blood, the tube had already started to rupture. There wouldn’t have been any point in trying to save my fallopian tube. It’s lucky though that they got to it in time. It could have been a lot worse.
I just sat there thinking about everything that happened, trying to process. It all happened so fast. I started to think about how I wished I’d asked to keep my baby. I know it sounds weird, and not that I would have had a big burial or anything crazy. I just wish I knew where my baby was. The thought of them taking him out and then him being thrown in a garbage… makes me sick. My mom says they probably had to keep him to do testing, but I still wish I’d at least asked. I thought if I asked, that they would think I was crazy. I didn’t understand really why I wanted to keep him, so I didn’t expect anyone else to.
My best friend picked me up at the hospital around 10am. I ate as soon as I got home and then slept. I just felt numb. I feel like I’ve accepted that it was out of my control, that the baby is okay in heaven, that I still have a chance of having another baby even though I only have 1 fallopian tube. I still feel sad though. I was pregnant two days ago, I was excited and hopeful, I was trying to pick out maternity pants and which prenatal yoga class to take. Now I feel hopeful of nothing and motivated to do nothing. I just want to sleep. Anything I feel like doing I’m physically restricted from doing. I can barely get up without having a hard time breathing because of the pain. I have 2 open cuts on my stomach with no stitches and my belly button is stitched closed. And I have no baby anymore.
When you’re pregnant, you wake up every day and think “Wow! I’m pregnant. I still can’t believe it. How far along am I today?”. Now I wake up thinking “my baby’s gone” or I think “wow, that was a terrible nightmare” then I realize that it wasn’t a nightmare, it really happened to me. It seems silly being so attached to someone I never saw, never really felt, and only knew of for a short amount of time, but I find that I’m mourning the loss of what could have been. We were so sure it was a boy. We were deciding on names. I liked James Michael Spencer. I know life will go on, but with each day that I’m not pregnant, that’s one day closer to what was my due date, when I was supposed to have our little boy.
I’m hoping that putting this out there helps me process and move on. For right now I’ll just continue resting and praying. They seem to be the only things that help.