Ectopic - Here we Go

I went to the OB appointment and had to see a different doctor, which turned into a huge blessing. My appointment was at 4, and I went back around 4:30. I heard them discussing that I needed another ultrasound, and a few minutes later the tech came to get me. She didn't say a word to me when I asked, but I knew it when I saw it on the big screen.  (This is my 5th pregnancy after all!)

 I sat back in a little waiting room for about 3 minutes, see the ultrasound tech talking to the doctor and nurse,  then immediately I see a doctor. When they find out it's ectopic, they move pretty quick, thankfully. He doesn't know how much I know since it's my first meeting with him, but starts explaining the dangers and prognosis. (Scary stuff!) 

Then come the Junkin tears. The tears weren't really from the loss, because I already had a good sense of peace from that. They were from the sheer relief that I wasn't going crazy and I knew my body. I'm not imagining this pain. (I also had a not so Christian like flash back of wanting to slap the insensitive ER doctor from last week who told me to relax and have a glass of wine, especially when my OB was telling me I've probably been in serious pain.) We've been dealing with this since November 28, with a LMP October 28. Should be 9 weeks pregnant. (But the HCG was wayyyy off from that, and I've studied enough about all this to have a good peace about what's going on.) With early pregnancy losses and blood and repeat ultrasound monitoring the days and weeks get excruciatingly long, because there are no answers until the voila moment when they have certainty.  I'm exhausted mentally from having to be my own advocate and researching all this, and forcing people to listen to what my body was telling me. (That whole I'm really not crazy moment. And yes, I said them outloud several times that day.) Of course I trust doctors, but they are so overworked and busy I believe it's my own responsibility to be prepared with questions and know what to ask. You can't do that by just showing up unprepared anymore. Especially when you are switching practices.

While I'm still in with the doctor, a nurse comes in to tell me the next process. I go to big DCH registration and check in as an outpatient. Then they take me to the Peds ward where they will do bloodwork and give me a chemo methotrexate infusion to start dissolving the ectopic pregnancy and the false pregnancy in my uterus.  I did not realize it was a several hour process, and my phone was almost dead, so I didn't call anyone to come to the hospital with me. AO was so much better in her routine with John, and truthfully, sometimes time by yourself is what you really need. 

The Peds nurses were also wonderful. It took several hours before the cancer center nurses came in decked in hazmat gear for my double shots. Quite an experience. And one I hope we don't have to repeat any time soon. 

First, I am extremely thankful that we have not had a rupture, and I'm still hopeful that it will not rupture. 

Second, I'm thankful that God uses every minute as a teaching tool. A lot of that comes from having a teacher as a Mama. Everything is always educational.  They gave me a chemo drug, and I am so very thankful this is my only time to ever see anything like that in action. It made me think repeatedly about our family and friends who fight big and very real cancer battles.  I was on the Peds floor, a place that we've never had to take Arleigh. Hearing those kids cry, I'm very thankful for a happy baby.  I had a tech who couldn't find my veins. Several sticks later, we were having a heart to heart about miscarriages and her late term loss of her son. I get to go home to my precious daughter.  Life and situations are most definitely what you make of it.

Part of me puts all this out as a record for myself.  

The other part just wants to shout from the roof tops that all types of miscarriages and losses are common. 

Our Pregnancies: 
BFP #1 - EDD March 4, 2011. MC. DNC August 2010.
BFP #2 - EDD March 4, 2012. Arleigh Olivia was born February 15, 2012.
BFP #3 - EDD January 17, 2014. MC at 7 Weeks.
BFP #4 - EDD December 27, 2014. MC at 6 Weeks

BFP #5 EDD August 4, 2015. Ectopic pregnancy discovered/registered on ultrasound at 9 weeks from LMP. 

We need to quit hiding ourselves in corners when we face losses. We lost part of ourself. It's ok to put it out there. It's ok to tell people you don't want to talk babies. You need new friends if they don't understand. It's ok not to want to hold newborns. It's ok to cry the first time you do hold a newborn.  It's ok to avoid the baby aisle and departments like the plague. It's ok to refuse to read the big sister/little sister book from the mail. It's ok to be at peace about it. It's ok to feel like crap. It's ok to pray and be happy for all the babies in heaven - or talk about your babies in heaven. Or want to avoid the topic.  It's ok if you need to stay in your pjs for a week. It's ok if you are like me and need to go back to work and your routine immediately. It's ok to talk. It's ok not to talk. 

What's not ok is thinking it's ok to face it alone. It's not ok to think that no one cares.  We live in an age where we stub our big toe and the world knows about it. Everyone always over shares!  Why not losses? 

My question----Why do we hide from the things that matter? 


Kinda-sorta Pregnant, Take 5

At some point, I would love to share the news of how our family keeps expanding. But it's not happening. This has happened so many times now, we have let Satan steal all our joy when we see those double lines or pregnant spelled out on a digital. Or a better way of thinking, God has us so guarded and protected that we are waiting on our joy. 

 On November 28, we got our positive. One week later, December 5, we started bleeding like a regular period. I assumed another early misscarriage, so I didn't give it much more thought. God has my heart protected something fierce. 

 I retested on December 15th, thinking it should be null or getting close. It was brighter than before. Then a quick test using the clear blue weeks indicator, and I knew something was off.  My hcg was rising, not getting lower. I'm a constant charter - you have to be with this type stuff - so in my heart I immediately know it's not viable and something is majorly wrong.  

Typically with an early misscarriage, I don't always run and get 900 HCG draws done. They don't really take it seriously until you've had three in a row, and once your HCG is dropping there isn't anything they can do. I just test from home with sensitive tests and make sure it drops. I've unfortunately become an old pro. 

 So here we go - with pregnancy number FIVE, finally third in a row. In the middle of all this, I realize I have to change OBGYN offices. I'm now double covered with insurance - John's and with my work. However, our insurance plan with work changed, so I have to switch practices. (The joys of medical insurance.) 

I make my appointment, have two blood draws 48 hours apart, have an ultrasound. My HCG is rising, but it's certainly not where it should be. (I knew this already....please don't preach fake hope to the serial baby maker.) They think it's possibly ectopic, but there's no way to see yet.  Everyone keeps mentioning the ectopic word.  (Insert my mad google skills, and bingo. Ectopic - loosing your ovaries, internally bleeding - it's scary stuff.) The HCG is going up, so the doctor doesn't want to do anything until we know for certain it isn't viable. (Although in my heart I know that answer and have had my peace for a while, the doctors need their peace.) We'll keep drawing blood to check the hcg, and follow up after Christmas. 

Christmas Eve rolls around, and we are at my in-laws. We were suppose to be at John's grandparents, but with PawPaw and Uncle K in the hospital, it was canceled. I had just fixed AO's plate and started fixing my own, when I had the awful sharp stabbing pain in my lower left ovary area. This is coming from the very pain tollerant girl who was up with no pain meds after DNCs and a csection and fine.  I immediately start stripping (my poor inlaws) and crying. This hurt. Something was wrong. After trying to catch my breath I thought maybe it could be an ectopic rupture. Every doctor, nurse, and ultrasound tech had kept preaching to come in the minute I thought something was off or hurting. That's exactly what google said, too. I'm sure a lot was sheer panic  because I didn't want to loose an ovary. 

So John and I made the decision to leave AO at Judy's and head to the ER. (Thank goodness I had a set of pjs in the car from Polar Express! She at least slept in her monogrammed Christmas gown on Christmas Eve.) 

We haven't been in an ER in about 15 years. (Yes, we are counting our blessings.) Apparently at the ER ectopic is a fast way to be seen quickly. The check in, triage and see a doctor for the first time took about 30 minutes. (I should probably mention that I had no shoes, socks, pants..... The one night I get gussied up with a dress, leggings and boots! Some sweet nurse found me a pair of socks for my stay.)  No bleeding, and a long ultrasound didn't really show anything either. The tech even said that the OBGYN office would be better for this.  Christmas Day, 6 hours and morphine later, the verdict was to just follow up with your OB on Monday. (And per the not so sensitive ER doc, just have a glass of wine and relax a little. I'm hopeful I never have to see her again, because my sweet self may just slap her.) 

Needless to say, Christmas Eve and Day were not how I had it in my brain.  My baby girl wasn't at home to wake up to presents from Santa - on what should be her first excited year. There was no annual looking at Christmas lights or for Rudolph's nose flying in the sky on Christmas Eve.  This mama felt so crappy I didn't get a single picture. AO was so out of wack and grumpy she didn't even want birthday cake for Jesus. 
We've racked and racked our brain trying to figure out what is going on. Is this pain even related to the pregnancy? The ultrasound showed a cyst on Monday. Why wasn't it there Wednesday at the ER? Did the cyst rupture? Wouldn't something have shown on the ultrasound?  Why the period like bleeding with clots and cramping - just like my previous miscarriages so early? Is it ectopic? Where is it in me?  Was it two different pregnancies? Why is the HCG rising? And sometimes even rising correctly? And the list goes on and on.

So we're back to the waiting game. Another doctor appointment, hcg/progesterone test, and ultrasound today. :(  At this point, I'm convinced it's ectopic and I'm not crazy. But I need someone to figure this out before we have a rupture and a massive problem on our hands. I know - and have known that something wasn't right from the get go. Especially on that lower left side. 

The good news - same as every other time. We can get pregnant. We also know that our progesterone is too low, so once we move on from this, we will hopefully find some answers to why it keeps happening. Prayers are appreciated. 

In other news, we are getting ready to list our house in January and make the move to Gordo this spring. Our Christmas vacation "prep the house to sell" to-do list didn't get finished due to all this, but sometimes I think God makes you slow down and have all day PJ days with your kiddo.  At least He makes me!