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Our first loss - an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy

Reid and I starting “trying” to get pregnant in August of 2014. We married in March of 2014. I was 28, going on 29 when I finally convinced Reid that it was time. Using the word “finally” here seems strange since we were only married for 5 months at that point, but I had been ready for kids since we started dating. Something in me told me that we would have some struggles. I knew my mom had troubles, and thought I would as well. Reid was afraid that we’d end up pregnant the first month we tried. Boy was he wrong (he loves when I remind him of that).
9 frustrating months later (April of 2015), we were so excited to have a positive pregnancy test. I don’t even want to tell you how much I spent on tests that first 9 months. Now I buy in bulk on Amazon. (If you’re trying, I highly recommend you order these, waaaayyyy cheaper) Anyways, I digress. The day before I took a test, I was getting a spray tan for a weekend on the lake. During the tanning session, I had to sit down several times because I got so light-headed and thought I was going to pass out. My friend, Amy, was with me and immediately said “you’re pregnant”. I thought surely not, but one can hope! Over the last 9 months, I had convinced myself so many times that I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to put myself through that total disappointment again. I waited until the next morning, and took a test. In my mind I kept saying “don’t get your hopes up, it will probably be negative again.” To my surprise, there was a line! It was faint, but dammit there was a line. I took 2 more tests that I had in the cabinet, then ran to CVS and bought 4 more. That’s right, I took a total of 7 tests. I couldn’t believe it. I called Reid and shared the news, then called my doctor. Reid will tell you that I called my friend Amy first (well, I had to tell her she was right!)… he’s still bitter about it.
I got into the doctor that day to take a test and do a pelvic exam. He and I sat down and he told me my estimated due date – December 25th. Great, a Christmas baby. Poor baby wouldn’t ever have a birthday party. But hey – we’re pregnant – who cares when the due date is?!? The doctor said his office would call me on Monday (this was a Friday, ugh the agony of waiting), to let me know my test results. But what would they have to tell me? That I’m pregnant? Duh, I knew that already! I was excited, and just wanted to share the news with the world! I mean, what could possibly go wrong? We are pregnant!

I had anticipated being pregnant for the last 9 months. I had a secret Pinterest board dedicated strictly to baby stuff, and ways to announce a pregnancy to family and friends. I had ordered gifts months ago for our parents. So I couldn’t wait to give them to them and share the great news! Reid’s parents had been at our house a couple months prior, and I had sent them home with their gift wrapped, letting them know I’d call and tell them when they could open it. So we called and had them open their gift. They were thrilled. We were going to a family wedding that evening and my dad would be there so I thought: perfect! I can give him the gift there! I had a shirt that said “This guys (with the thumbs up) is going to be a grandpa”. I wrapped it up, snuck him out to the car, and gave it to him during the reception. He cried so hard. Perfect response, and I’ll never forget it. We went by my mom’s house the next morning and gave her her gift. So all of my immediate family knew, and a couple close friends. We were just so excited that we were finally (that word seems ridiculous now) pregnant.

Fast forward to Monday. I got a call in the afternoon from my doctor’s office. Her exact words were “Your numbers are low. It could mean you’re really early in your pregnancy or it could mean something is wrong, like a miscarriage.” WHAT?! No way, this isn’t possible. Did she really say miscarriage?! I was on my way to a meeting and I immediately turned around and headed home. I was devastated. This can’t happen.

Over the next couple of weeks, I had tests run every other day and my numbers were increasing. So I started being more optimistic, and planning for this pregnancy. We had several weddings to go to that year, so I’d be pregnant for all of them. And then Christmas would obviously be spent at home, since I’d be at my due date. What can I say? I’m a planner. So I planned out the next 8 months. I spent a week and a half day dreaming about maternity clothes, baby names, a nursery, and how pregnant I would be at each of the events that we were going to.

A week and a half after we found out we were pregnant, we went in for our first ultrasound. The tech said she couldn’t see anything in the uterus, but saw a “cyst” in the fallopian tube, so it may just be too early to tell. I had been having some pains in my stomach, but chalked it up to (sorry, prepare for TMI) constipation. They had me on progesterone suppositories since the pregnancy was confirmed, and that is a side effect. The next day, I was at a client’s office and had pretty severe pain in my stomach, so I went home to rest. That night I was up all night, but still thought it was all the side effects of the progesterone. I called the Dr the next morning, he made some recommendations (I’ll spare you the details), all of which I tried, and said if that didn’t work to go to the emergency room. I was doubled over in pain, and decided it was time to go. So I called Reid and he met me there.

They ran all sorts of test, had me hooked up to all sorts of machines, and then finally the nurse came in and said the words I thought would be the hardest I’d ever hear – your pregnancy is ectopic. I immediately had a panic attack, as I knew what that meant. The heart monitor started beeping very loudly, a couple other nurses ran into the room, and I’m sobbing uncontrollably and can’t breathe. All the while, Reid has no idea what this means. I finally got the breath to say “tell him, tell him what it means”. The nurse explained (as I finally started to calm down to a point they realized I wasn’t having a heart attack) that the embryo is stuck in my fallopian tube, and the tube has ruptured. This can be life-threatening, as I am now bleeding internally. My doctor was on his way over, and I would be rushed into emergency surgery. They would have to remove the tube, and assess the damage internally to determine what, if anything else, they would need to remove. All of this meant the baby would not be viable, as it would be removed with the fallopian tube. And the implications of future pregnancies are unknown at this point.

Wow. What a thing to hear. I asked Reid to get on the phone with our family and closest friends, and into surgery I went. I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared in my life. I think that definitely goes for both of us.

Fortunately, they only had to take out one fallopian tube and there wasn’t more long-term damage done internally. The doctor explained that having one tube shouldn’t affect our fertility. But what it did mean is now our chances of having another ectopic pregnancy went up to 20%, instead of 2%.

I think this was my hardest recovery from one of the losses. Physically, I was out of commission for two full weeks. Emotionally, I think it took me over a full year to recover. I told you before how I had planned out the year, right? So each wedding that we went to, each event where I had planned to be x number of months pregnant, now reminded me that I was no longer pregnant. And during that time, two of my best friends (and everyone else it seemed) became pregnant. Which I was so happy for them, but it made me so sad for us. Which made me feel like a terrible person. I’ll go into this more on another post. I don’t think I’ve ever left so many happy events in tears. Each wedding we went to, I would try my best to have a good time, but would end up in tears at the end of the night because we weren’t pregnant, and someone unintentionally said something to remind me of that fact.

The next 14 months were a struggle. I felt like a crazy person… crying and mad at the drop of a hat, afraid to go to dinner with my friends for fear they’d tell us they were pregnant, having a total meltdown each month when the tests would again show negative and my period would show. I seriously thought I would never get through it. But I did. 


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