December 4, 2015
Sometimes Real Life is Hard - Ectopic #2
I had surgery one week ago. It was definitely the worst Black Friday I've ever had. I'd rather stand in line at WalMart with the crazies. About a month ago we had a wonderful surprise in the form of a positive pregnancy test. (Don't get excited, this doesn't end well.) To fully understand this you need a bit of history.
Before AG, we had 3 failed pregnancies. Two miscarriages and an ectopic (located in my right tube) which was removed via laparoscopic surgery on the same date as the flood, 3 years prior. April 29 is not a good date for us. With AG, I was on clomid, estrogen, and progesterone and obviously this led to a healthy pregnancy. In the course of trying for number two, I've taken these medications (the "fertility cocktail" is what my midwife calls it) for quite a few cycles with no results. We discontinued the meds for several reasons. The main one being, they make me an actual crazy person. I called them my crazy pills. I believe progesterone is the main one that helped sustain our healthy pregnancy with AG so that's the one I kept on hand in case I became pregnant. I also use Progessence Plus from Young Living daily. This helps me maintain a normal level of progesterone. It's a fine line between lethargic and having other low progesterone symptoms and being a hormonal crazy person.
So after trying for months unsuccessfully then finally giving up we actually got pregnant. Just like people always say, which by the way, if you're talking to someone who's having fertility struggles, do not tell them that "it'll happen when you stop trying" or "it'll happen when you least expect it." We hate that. So we were both so surprised to see that positive test. When I told hubby he said "what? how?" Despite how this ends I still think that's really funny.
I felt good at first. We were cautiously optimistic. We told AG right away and she was delighted. She so wants to be a big sister. I want this for her too. So bad. Because of my history, I have blood work done immediately. My first test came back at HCG of 30. Which is extremely low. But, 72 hours later it was up to 91. That's a doubling time of 44ish hours. Which is perfect. We scheduled an ultrasound and carried on. The numbers were low but they were rising appropriately.
A week after that I was at work one day, a Wednesday, and I started feeling some discomfort. Then it rapidly evolved into pain. It became so severe I knew I needed to go home. At one point on my way out I was in the bathroom fighting the urge to get sick and I was literally on the bathroom floor because the pain and nausea were so severe. In hindsight, driving myself home was probably not my finest decision. The pain peaked as I was driving and arriving at home. I had some bleeding that seemed to correlate with the peak of the pain. The pain, nausea, and bleeding all tapered off. I spoke with my midwife and she told me to go to the hospital for stat lab work. My wonderful mother in law came to my house and drove me to the hospital for lab work. The results came back at HCG of 726 which was spot on for doubling every 48 hours. Based on past experience I know that with a miscarriage the HCG drops off rapidly and with an ectopic it doesn't double correctly. I felt normal again for the next couple days.
Over the weekend, I had more light bleeding. I went in Monday for more stat blood work and my HCG was 1134. Which means it was not doubling correctly. I knew right then. Ectopic. But without further testing we couldn't be sure. The next step was more bloods after 48 hours. That one came back at 1400ish. This pretty much sealed the deal. Plus during the ultrasound process we saw what looked like a gestational sac right beside my left ovary. That pain from the previous Wednesday, was radiating down my left leg. Ugh. I knew. I knew it had to be ectopic. A phone call later from the doctor who had performed my previous ectopic surgery made everything very real. I told him I didn't want the methotrexate shot. Last time my tube was very close to rupturing and if I'd taken the shot I would've lost my tube. That put a fear in me. I'd rather risk general anesthesia and laparoscopy than risk losing my tube. Plus with the MTX shot you have to wait at least 3 months to conceive again due to the risks to a future baby. While I have my doubts that we would conceive that quickly anyway, that risk just scares me.
So the day after Thanksgiving, my sweet doctor came into the hospital on his weekend off and did the laparoscopy to remove my ectopic pregnancy. It was a rough couple days. I hate the whole process. It's a tough pill to swallow when you've been trying to conceive for about a year and you finally do as a surprise and then it sticks in the wrong place and has to be removed. And no, there is no way to relocate it. Trust me, I asked the first time we went through this.
This past week has been a thankfully uneventful recovery time. AG and hubby have been great helps. My mom came for surgery day and again on Sunday when hubby had to go to work. She was a wonderful help and even made us a delicious pot roast. It's Thursday night now and I'm finally off of my strong pain medication. At this point I'm only sore when moving and not so sore that I need to take anything. I am however, so so itchy. Instead of stitches, he used some kind of magic medical glue to seal up my incisions. And as a bonus, when it's healing, it's crazy itchy.
So now I've had an ectopic in both my right and left tubes. According to my vast internet research this puts me at a 50% chance for future pregnancies to be ectopic. We will know more after I have a dye test done in 5 weeks. It's called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG test. Should be tons of fun. Or invasive and uncomfortable. But I'll be glad to have the answers it provides. From there we will know if it's even safe for us to try and conceive naturally or if we need to explore IVF. IVF would be the only way for an embryo to avoid the apparently dangerous journey that is my tubes. It's both scary and appealing. Now that I've gotten this first post out there I'll continue to keep you updated on our journey. This will be a good outlet for me and a way to keep everyone updated at the same time.