Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's been happening

Most of you who read this will be aware that I had a miscarriage in December last year. Or so we thought. It turns out that I actually had an ectopic pregnancy which was only detected last week. I had to have emergency surgery last Friday to remove it. I am feeling very thankful to be sitting here today writing this because I came very close to losing my life. I didn't realise just how close until after I had the surgery.

Fast forward to a week ago, I had bad tummy pains so went to the emergency dept. Had a scan which showed I had a mass in my tummy (they couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was, somewhere near my ovaries and uterus but not attached). They did a urine pregnancy test which came up negative but didn't do a blood HCG (which would have shown up a very low level of HCG had they tested!) The Doctor got me an appt to see a gyn in two days time and sent me home. Had my appt with the gyn on the Tuesday. He wasn't sure what was going on, wasn't even sure if it was a gyn thing but he wanted me to have more blood tests and a specialist ultrasound. So I had my blood test and went in for my scan on Friday at 2.30pm. The doctor doing the scan picked up that it was an ectopic straight away. It looked like it was on my ovaries. He rang my gyn. My gyn had the results of the blood tests which showed that I still had HCG, albeit at a low level. The gyn gave me two options, wait until Monday and have another scan to see if the ectopic was moving down the tube by itself or have a laporoscopy straight away. He thought it was probably better to have a lap as the pain had increased that morning. It was a very difficult decision especially deciding to leave my kids for the night (Esme still breastfeeds a lot during the night so I was worried about her getting distraught) In the end we decided it wasn't worth the risk to my health if the ectopic ruptured so we decided I should have the surgery. By 6pm that night I was in theatre!

It turned out that the ectopic pregnancy was in my tube. It was starting to leak so I'm pretty darn lucky that I went in for the surgery when I did. The gyn also said that it was lucky that it was a very slow growing ectopic pregnancy. He told me he didn't think it was an ectopic in my first appt with him because I didn't seem like I was in enough pain and told me I had a very high pain threshold!! In the end I had to have my tube removed because the ectopic was so big. But the gyn has said that it will only reduce my fertility by about 5-10% and that people who don't have a tube on one side have still been known to get pregnant from the ovary on that side still (apparently the egg travels around to the other side - pretty amazing!) So I'm feeling very grateful to be alive and that I am still able to have more kids.

I guess I learnt a pretty important lesson about following up on things. My GP wanted me to have a specialist ultrasound quite early on, when they weren't able to see anything in my first ultrasound but I refused, thinking that my body was sorting things out itself. But I think I knew that things weren't right. I'd been having tummy pains on and off since the supposed 'miscarriage' but I keep brushing it off as normal.

Anyway, I can't dwell on the 'should have's'. I am alive and for that I am very grateful. Now I need to focus my energy on recovering and healing. I am glad to finally have an answer to everything that has been going on. It has been a very difficult four months and I've had to deal with a huge range of emotions. It's going to take me a while to process it all emotionally and mentally but I will get there.


S said...

I don't want to even begin to imagine your rainbow of emotions but i just wanted to share with you this little story from one of my favourite books - the baby catcher by Peggy Vincent - and also to let you know that i have a very dear friend who has had two babies and only has one ovary and tube. be kind to yourself.

The Mama. said...

Hey Narelle,

So sorry, I'm only just catching up on this! As S says (who by the way is a very dear friend and very wise woman!) please, be kind to yourself!


Narelle said...

That's such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. Thinking that my baby's spirit is still around, just waiting, definately helps to deal with the grief. I do tend to believe that things happen for a reason and as the days pass by I'm slowly starting to accept that. It's just so hard when in the midst of it all. I can now look forward to the day when I meet my baby again :)

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