It was my intention to post after Christmas with photos of knitting and spinning done over Christmas, and news of an impending bundle of joy. However, that was not meant to be. On the Friday that just passed, I had to join the queue in the emergency department of my local hospital with what I thought were terrible gas pains. I am now so relieved I got it checked out, eventhough I did think at the time that I'd really look the fool if they did turn out to be "just gas", as they found that the pregnancy was ectopic and it had ruptured my right fallopian tube.
It all went very quickly after they found the ruptured ectopic pregnancy in the ultrasounds. What I did not know when I was at home was that the aches and gas pains I was experiencing was from internal bleeding caused by the rupture. According to the obstetrics registrar on duty that day, if left too long, I could have died! I have never "nearly died" before. I had never, up till that time, had surgery before. I had never been under any sort of general anaesthetic before. It was all quite an experience, and not a very pleasant one.
I wanted my "regular" obstetrician to do the surgery and for that I would have had to transfer to the local private hospital which was about 10 minutes away. That would have been doable, but the private hospital did not have room for me. My "regular" was very good about it, though, and recommended an obstetrician in the hospital where I was and assured me I was in good hands. I was indeed. He turned out to be very nice, and in some ways reminded me of my "regular".
The surgery was successful and took less than an hour. It was minimally invasive (and that is not to say it was NOT invasive) as it was done via laparoscopy. I am now left with three tiny holes (stitched up, of course) in my belly and just some residual pain. I was lucky they caught it in time and managed to find the ruptured tube easily and removed it and the ectopic pregnancy and cleaned out what they could. Who knows what the outcome could have been had I waited. I was going to wait for Chris to finish work on Friday, and I am now glad I did not. He missed his office Christmas party. Had I waited, I would have been much more sick from the bleeding. In the 3 hours when we waited in the emergency department's waiting room, my blood pressure dove down to about 97/68 (or thereabouts). I started feeling a bit light-headed and a lot more pain. The pain that had started in my tummy had started to spread up my backto my shoulders. By the time they wheeled me into the theatre for the operation, the pain in my shoulder was quite unbearable.
This is not the most desirable outcome from a pregnancy. Far from it, in fact, but I am grateful to be alive. The staff at the hospital took great care of me and they were all very gentle and sympathetic. Even the nurse removing my catheter tried to distract me while she was doing it when she found out I had never had one before.
It was a scary time for all of us. Something I hope to not have to go through again.
I think not enough is said to pregnant women to encourage them to seek medical attention when they have aches and pains during the pregnancy. I have heard others tell me that they have been told, "You're pregnant, what do you expect?" Well, I thought that too. I was pregnant. gas is part of being pregnant, what did I expect? I was lucky, I think, because I have a GP who is vigilant. I had been spotting very lightly for about 2 weeks prior to the ectopic pregnancy being discovered. He was monitoring my HCG levels very closely, and they were going up satisfactorily. In fact, the last test, taken the day before, showed the HCG level to be at about 3700, an acceptable level for someone who was 6 weeks pregnant. I was meant to have another test this week and then a scan, but of course that is probably all unnecessary now. My GP emphsised to me every time he saw me or spoke to me that if I had any pain I needed to go to the emergency department and tell them that I was pregnant, spotting and had pain. It was because of him that I decided not to wait. Better safe than sorry, and this time, it was certainly much better safe as sorry would have been too late.
Aside from the recuperation that needs to happen physically, there's probably going to be a lot of emotional baggage that will come along. This pregnancy was never going to be a baby as such since it was ectopic, but for a few weeks, it was the promise of a baby. We were all excited. Alex had placed an order for a sister. In fact he was absolutely convinced it was a sister. When I told him I did not know whether it would be a boy or a girl, he retorted, "YOU don't know, but I know! It is a sister!" None of us have said anything to him about there being no more sister, but he has not mentioned her once since the operation. He knows that I am not feeling very well and I have "owies" on my tummy where he should not press on me, but we have not said anything about the sister being gone. He just seems to know. I wonder how. He has not asked to say goodnight to his sister since I came home from the hospital, but he used to say goodnight to my ytummy every night before that.
From now on, if we were to get pregnant again, we'll have to be ever so vigilant. I am sure my GP will be. He always is. I will have to be too. I am sure we will all be very nervous about a repeat of this happening and will probably not be able to rest till we get a scan showing the baby to be in the uterus. Oh, what a lot of stress!
On the bright side of things, I am glad it is Christmas and I am able to take the next couple of weeks off from work to rest and to enjoy my family.
Merry Christmas everyone! I will be back after Christmas (if not before!) with photos of more completed projects.
Labels: Alex, Christmas, ectopic