It all started last Sunday with the positive pregnancy test. No.... we had not been trying to get pregnant but over the course of the last weekend I was experiencing that all too familiar nausea that I knew from past experience means only one thing for me...so Sunday afternoon I took a test and sure enough... I was pregnant. I had no idea exactly how far along (my monthly cycle has not been normal since giving birth to Joey last year) so Monday morning I called my doctor and asked if I could come in for an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. I was concerned over the fact that I had become pregnant while on birth control and while taking other medications which I did not necessarily want to be taking while pregnant. But I was met with immediate resistance. Why the OBGYN is so reluctant to perform an ultrasound (when they have several of them in their office) I have no idea.... but I was told that they would not do an ultrasound and would not see me until at least 8 weeks after my last period. Well... after taking a closer look at my chart (and presumably seeing that I had difficulties with my last pregnancy and a history of miscarriages) they called me back within the hour and scheduled a "pre OB" appointment at what would have been six weeks since what I thought might have been my last period.
While I was not completely satisfied with this and continued to have a nagging feeling that I needed to have an ultrasound sooner, I reluctantly made an appointment for June 18 for a "pre OB" appointment with a nurse practitioner in my OB's office.
You see we had not been trying to get pregnant just yet. I had been on birth control pills ever since giving birth to Joey. At first they gave me a progestin only pill that would not interfere with breast feeding. I do not recall my doctor saying anything to me at the time she prescribed the pill, about needing to switch pills immediately when I stopped breastfeeding. I am pretty sure I would have remembered that. So when I stopped breastfeeding last October, I continued to take the Progestin only pills. It was not until my yearly exam on May 6 (yes a few weeks ago) that my doctor asked whether I was still breastfeeding. When I told her I was not, she switched me over to Seasonique, the pills I had been taking before we decided to have Joey. She told me to go ahead and finish the pack of pills I was taking and when I was done with those I could go ahead and start the new pills. Well three weeks later here I was nauseated and staring at a positive pregnancy test. Anyone who knows me knows that I have had baby fever for a while now. So while this was a bit sooner than we had planned, we quickly got excited about the prospect of having a sibling for Joey.
On Tuesday morning, however, I began spotting a little. While I knew that some spotting could be normal during the first trimester of pregnancy, it also made me nervous because I have had miscarriages in the past. Despite the spotting I continued to get ready for a trial I had been preparing to participate in at work. Tuesday afternoon I was in court arguing jury instructions for our case and I began experiencing some cramping. I knew this was not a good sign and accepted the fact that I might be having a miscarriage. That evening after court I went back to the office and told the managing partner (with whom I was preparing for trial the next day) that I thought I might be having a miscarriage and did not know whether or not I would be able to make it to court Wednesday morning. Overnight, however, the cramping and the spotting stopped. As a result, I decided to go ahead and go to court Wednesday morning.
On the way there the cramping returned with a vengeance. So I called the OBGYN's office again and asked if I could get an appointment for that afternoon. I told them I may be having a miscarriage but either way, I just needed to know. Again, I was met with resistance. They told me there was nothing that could be done and I should go home, lay down and put my feet up. Less than 10 minutes later they called me back and told me that someone could see me Thursday morning. I reluctantly made the appointment and continued to court in Woodland. About an hour into the proceedings the pain became so unbearable that I began to sweat. At that point, I leaned over and told the partner I was with that I had to go, and I drove home. The drive home was scary. The pain was starting to feel like labor pain and I felt a little dizzy. When I got home I laid on the couch for a while and then called the advice nurse again. I also called Tony and told him I needed him to come home from work because I thought I might need to go to the hospital and I did not think I could drive.
The advice nurse told me that I was probably just having a miscarriage and there was nothing they could do for me. I was advised to lay down and take some Tylenol. I protested and asked if someone could please see me today. The pain now was worse than what I remembered labor pain had been like. Although I was still spotting a little, there was still no bleeding. I had had a miscarriage before and this pain was way beyond what I had experienced previously. I informed her I was very concerned that something was wrong. A short while later the nurse called me back and said the nurse practitioner was willing to squeeze me in at 2:00 (in two and a half hours!).
When Tony and I got to the doctor's office and I explained that I had been taking progestin only pills but had stopped breast feeding 9 months ago, the nurse practitioner said "ooohh, you could be farther along than you think). According to her I should have switched pills immediately when I stopped breast feeding. Again, that would have been good to know. So she said lets take a look and pulled the ultrasound machine over. The first thing she noted was that my uterus did not look pregnant. She then pointed out that I had a large amount of fluid around my uterus and then she left to get a doctor because she was not sure exactly what we were seeing.
When the doctor came in, he took one look and said the only place I was going this evening was to surgery. He pointed out what looked like a donut in one of my fallopian tubes and said I had an ectopic pregnancy and it had burst my fallopian tube. The fluid around my uterus was blood. Basically, if I had waited a couple of more hours, my blood pressure would have dropped and I would have gone into shock. So it was a good thing I did not follow the advice nurse's "advice" of just taking some Tylenol and taking a nap on the couch.
What happened after that is somewhat of a blur. The doctor called over to the hospital and got a surgeon and O.R. lined up. Tony and I were sent over to the hospital and told to check into the ER. When we walked in the door they said "are you the girl with the ectopic pregnancy?" When I indicated I was, they whisked me into a room and within ten minutes had very large IV's in both arms. Within the hour I was in surgery. It was scary. But I was lucky. Although there was a pint of blood in my abdomen, the surgeon was able to remove the ectopic pregnancy and fix my ruptured fallopian tube. I am sporting three new scars on my belly as well...one around my belly button, one on the side where the fallopian tube burst and another scar just under the c-section scar. Good thing I was not planning on wearing a bikini any time soon! After I awoke from surgery (and much to our surprise) they sent me home with a bunch of pain medication. I have been ordered to take off work until the 21st of June. And I am definitely recovering. Sure we are sad that the pregnancy could not be saved, but thank God I still have all the parts and we will be able to try again soon.
The moral of the story here for all my friends and those who might read this blog is this... remember you know your body better than anyone else. The advice nurse's "advice" is not gospel and may not even be correct. If you know something is wrong by all means question them and be persistent. It scares me to think what might of happened if I had gone home and gone to sleep and ignored the pain.
As if all of that was not bad enough, Joey also got sick this week. After finishing a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection two weeks ago, his sinus infection had come back. He has had a fever since Friday of about 102 and has been miserable. We took him to the doctor Friday morning and were given another course of antibiotics, but this morning he still had the fever, so off to urgent care we went. He is now on a three day course of injectable antibiotics which we will take him each morning for the next three days to get. Poor baby. and poor Tony who has been taking care of both of us. Did I mention I am not supposed to lift more than 20 pounds for the next two weeks.
We look forward to getting back to normal. Because things have been so crazy around here I did not have a chance to post any of the pictures from last weekend when all was a little less crazy. So here they are:
Joey's first trip to the zoo was last Friday for the "dreamnight at the zoo" an event for families with children with special needs. Here he is feeding the giraffe
and eating some ice cream...
and signing more
As you can see, he is a huge fan.
Joey also had his first ride on the carousel
and then we ran into a few friends. Here Joey is with Delila Rose
And then on Saturday he had his first swim of the summer in the pool at our condo. Here he is ready to go (and excited about it!)
Joey loves the pool!
Check out that face!
I don't know...ya think he is happy?
Yes the past week was one heck of a week. But this baby...that face...just makes everything a little easier to deal with. Thank you to all my friends and family for the outpouring of support, prayers and love the last week.