My ectopic pregnancy - part 3/3

In the days which followed my surgery my family and friends rallied around me. Thoughtful gifts, fresh blooms, meal drop offs, gourmet doughnut deliveries and kind messages filled my days. I felt so very lucky to have been inundated with such wonderful support, both in person and on social media 😊 My wonderful mum, sister, in-laws and closest girlfriends all helped with the kids and housework, because for the first week I couldn’t drive or lift anything heavy, and as for my endearing husband, well he did absolutely everything in between. Pain wise, it was the gas pain from my abdomen being inflated to move my organs easily out of the way, which troubled me the most post-operatively. Thankfully I was sent home with pain relief which helped with the shoulder tip pain (from the trapped gas) and the constant ache where my right fallopian tube once was.

My distended gas-filled abdomen and three incision sites the day after surgery. 

My distended gas-filled abdomen and three incision sites the day after surgery. 

A couple of days after surgery, I sat having breaky at our dining table in my charcoal-grey terry towelling robe, Nespresso coffee in hand, when the bereavement of my experience finally hit. The catalyst; a flashback of the photo the doctor had shown me of my sweet babe. Tears welled in my eyes as the despair set in. I uncontrollably wailed for our innocent baby and the fact it was completely unaware he/she was in the wrong place. That photo was its last moments in the world and I felt grief stricken knowing our precious baby had no idea what was coming... As I type these words, I am again filled with overwhelming anguish over this notion and quite sure, I always will. When I miscarried my first baby I was devastated, but in time I did slowly accept it was nature’s way. This however feels very different. We had to say goodbye to a baby who was deeply loved, a baby I would have done anything to keep and this brings me more heartache than I’ll ever be able to accurately explain…

I have had my pregnancy hormone tracked for two weeks now. I am so happy to say it went from 1262, to 28 in a week. Last Monday 14th it was thankfully down to less than 2, which means I no longer need to continue the blood tests nor do I need any further intervention. YAY, YAY, YAY. Of everything that transpired, its this part of my story I am monumentally relieved about. 

At the end of the day, I was extremely lucky. My Fallopian tube didn’t rupture, because of where my baby was. This was why my obs remained stable that day and I was not rushed in for surgery the minute I arrived in ED. The internal bleeding I experienced was likely because my body was trying to miscarry and “flush” the pregnancy, knowing the baby was in the wrong place. How clever is that? Sadly, because most of my tube was blocked, this didn’t work and created the pooling of the blood in my abdomen. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy in the general population is 1-2%, having now had one, my risk in a future pregnancy is 10%. I have avoided getting overwhelmed thinking of the “what’s if’s” had this experience taken a scary turn, but it has certainly created fear in my mind around the idea of another pregnancy...

Possible causes of ectopic pregnancies are smoking, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, uterine infection or scar tissue from previous surgery. In my case I ticked the last box on previous surgery, having had a Caesarean with my first baby. Scar tissue from that Caesarean is the likely culprit and yet another reason Caesareans are rubbish... Scar tissue is a jerk. It affects subsequent pregnancies, placenta placement, placenta detachment post birth and for women later in life, can create adhesions to the bladder, bowel, etc causing a whole gamut of issues. Scar tissue is no joke and avoiding scenarios which create this are absolutely for the best. This is why I avoided a dilation and curette (D & C) with both my miscarriages and why I didn’t want my Caesarean scar reopened during this recent surgery. As for my Caesarean in 2013, well I would have moved heaven and earth to avoid that. In the end, my breech boy got stuck, but it didn’t make it any easier to stomach on the day, because nothing about major abdominal surgery is easy.

On this 21st day of August it has been three weeks since my surgery. Physically I am healing well and have been given the approval to start gentle exercise again. As for emotionally, that really depends what day you ask me... I am lucky to be in the midst of building this breastfeeding empire of mine, which in truth has been a most welcome distraction from the sadness. As always there are silver linings with times of sorrow. The best thing to come from this is the love I feel both from and for my husband, and a wonderful next-level sense of gratitude when I look at my two gorgeous children.