01 Feb My Ectopic Pregnancy Part 1/3
Nine days ago, I awoke at sunrise to severe right sided abdominal pain. Thankfully Prince Charming was working from home that day and already had the kids making their way to the breakfast table, so I hoped straight in the shower thinking the heat would help. With every minute, the pain seemed to get worst and when I brought my right knee up to my chest to loather my lower leg with soap, it was like an excruciating electric shock zapped me from the inside. When I repeated this with my other knee and felt no pain, I immediately knew this localised pain I was experiencing was very worrisome. I cut my shower short and started drying myself, thinking I just needed to lie down so I could regroup. I immediately started to experience shortness of breath and was doubled over trying my best to guard my abdomen. Suddenly standing was no longer an option, so I crawled out of the bathroom, through our walk-in-robe and made it to the base of our bed. I called out to my love and he found me on all fours with a towel partially draped across my back. I breathlessly said “Something is wrong. We need to go straight to hospital”. Tears rushed down my cheeks from the agony, while I breathlessly explained to my man my panicked suspicions. “I think it’s an ectopic pregnancy.” “Oh my gosh!” I said, as I winced in pain. “These can be fatal”. Peak hour traffic made for an anxiety filled car ride where I prayed I would get to the hospital in time. My Prince did so well to keep a calm facade, while I grappled with both the mind-blowing pain and the worst-case scenarios in my head. All I could think of was my two darling cherubs riding in the back seat, hysterically telling my love over and over again “I have to be ok. I just have to”.
We arrived at the hospital where my mother in law met us and took Lawson and Avery back to her place. I was taken straight into a resus bay in Emergency. A blood test reflected my pregnancy hormone, which was 462 only five days prior, had gone up to 1232, indicating I had not miscarried last week like I thought. A pelvic ultrasound found a collection along my right fallopian tube, supporting my fearful theory; I had an ectopic pregnancy. My abdomen was filled with free fluid, which the Consultant Obstetrician explained was likely as I was haemorrhaging internally. My situation was explained to me, being that although my obs were currently stable (BP and heart rate), my fallopian tube could potentially rupture at any minute. The non-surgical option (treatment using a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate) did not apply to me because my ectopic pregnancy was too advanced, so surgery to remove my fallopian tube was strongly recommended. I asked the Consultant did I have any other options, to which he gently but urgently explained, “Amber, surgery is your only option”. The Consultant hoped to perform the surgery laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) but because of the blood in my abdomen, there was the potential he would need to open up my Caesarean scar, from my son’s birth. I loathed the idea of my Caesar scar being reopened, most worried of the creation of more scar tissue. If my left fallopian tube was damaged, the Consultant would remove this as well (in order to avoid the chance of another ectopic pregnancy in my future) which would also eliminate my chances of conceiving naturally again. I asked if they could keep my Fallopian tube for me to see post surgery, but was sadly told this was not an option, but they would take photos for me to view after. I was prepped for surgery but lost track how many times I was bumped for an emergency Caesarean over the day. Thankfully I remained stable (which was why this happened) but it made for a most scary day because I felt like a ticking time bomb, grief stricken on that hospital trolley, that at any point my tube was going to burst.
Finally, after fasting for 27 hours (which left me feeling utterly lousy!) my time came at 10pm that night. I was wheeled into the brightly lit theatre with my hubby’s hand in mine as tears rolled down my cheeks. I cried for many reasons in that moment but mostly for not knowing what exactly was going to happened to my cherished reproductive organs while I was under. Would I lose one or both fallopian tubes? Would it be done laparoscopically? Would my Caesarean scar be used? And then finally would I be ok? The anaesthetist gave me something to make me “relax” through my IV and this is the last I remember…