Monday, 26 November 2012

Meet Leigh!

Meet Leigh! Another story, another experience. Still so so fresh in Leigh's mind as it only happened days ago. She has a wonderful family support and the special comfort of her sister who experienced also an EP. Thank you so much for sharing Leigh.

What type of ectopic pregnancy did you experience?
I experienced an ectopic pregnancy in my right fallopian tube in November 2012. This was my second pregnancy and I was just under 6 weeks pregnant.

What were your symptoms?
I only discovered I was pregnant on 01 November, the day before I was due to have surgery on my leg after a fall. They assured me it was ok to have the anaesthetic although I was pregnant I started spotting 3 days after the surgery & I was also having cramping like bad period pains and was naturally concerned the anaesthetic had done some harm. I thought it was maybe implantation but decided I should probably have a scan to see everything was ok.

How was your experience with the doctor? And how where you treated?
I have to say overall that was the one positive thing in the whole experience. I rang the obstetrician and explained my symptoms. He said it could be a possible miscarriage or just implantation but arranged a scan for me on 07 Nov. They saw what looked like a tiny gestational sac in the uterus but no yolk sac. Also the uterine lining was thickened and they could see I ovulated from right side. All good signs. The sonographer felt it was most likely a very early pregnancy but without the yolk sac couldn't 100% rule out ectopic. She ordered bloods to measure HCG levels which were 841 and then in 48 hrs rose to 1758. So they more than doubled which I was told pretty much ruled out an ectopic. Feeling so positive that the pain and spotting was implantation I booked in for my first ante natal app on 31 Dec. That night I was doubled over with what felt like trapped wind and actually vomited. But I just went to bed with a hot water bottle on my tummy and put it out of my mind. Next morning I felt fine, the spotting which alternated between brown and dark red just stopped and I had little or no cramping. I was delighted! That was the weekend of 09 Nov. Then on 15th Nov I had another reassurance scan just so they could see the yolk sac and and be 100% sure all was ok, although I was told it was very routine and not even really necessary. My husband couldn't come due to work commitment but I told him not to worry as it was routine and probably too early even for a heartbeat! The whole way through the scan the sonographer said nothing to me and there was an eerie silence. I just knew something wasn't right. Then suddenly I heard the heartbeat and I smiled to myself, thinking my little baby was ok. Still no word from the sonographer and I started to think she was just rude. Then she said " I'll just show you what I found, that's your uterus but there is no gestational sac" I was so confused as I heard the heart beat!! Surely she was mistaken.... Then I'll never forget when she said "There's a gestational sac with a little baby with a beating heart, but it's outside your uterus in your tube" I sobbed so hard I nearly got sick. This couldn't be happening. I had to call my husband who rushed straight to the hospital. The OB came in to see us and said he would have to operate to remove the pregnancy and the right tube there was no other option. My tube hadn't actually ruptured but hey could see swelling on the scan and felt pretty sure it was inevitable any time soon. He was the doctor on call as my own doctor was away for 2 days. In hindsight he seemed almost a little cold but it was more just that he was very matter of fact. I needed surgery and there was no other option. I then had the agonising wait for 5 hrs as I hadn't been fasting and they needed to wait because of the anaesthetic. That was at 11 am. I then went in for surgery at 4pm where took my little baby away. The emptiness I felt when I came around will stay with me forever. The doctor came to see me the next morning and said he partially removed the right tube but what was left was non functional. The remaining tube and ovaries are perfect and he said I have a good chance of conceiving again. But that won't bring back the little one we've lost :( I'm also terrified having a partial tube puts me at higher risk of a repeat ectopic. I just don't understand enough of what they did. My head was too confused to take it all in. I guess my biggest fear is another ectopic and I have so many questions I didn't get a chance to ask.

Can you tell us a bit about your emotions, family support (if shared) etc.
I was really heartbroken and felt such an immense grief. Although I was only 6 weeks pregnant this little baby was already a huge part of me. We had allowed ourselves to get excited. Also after the blood results it seemed the pregnancy was progressing normally. It was like a triple edged sword, the loss of our baby, the surgery and pain following it plus the fear for my future fertility. I cried non stop for the first few days and really started to wonder how I would cope. I also felt a degree of anger, why me? And angry also that the sonographer had the volume up on the ultrasound machine, knowing things were not as they should be, hearing that heartbeat will stay with me forever and made the pain all the more unbearable. Sadly my sister experienced the pain of an ectopic pregnancy only in April of last year. We cried together and she was a great comfort as she completely understood what I was going through and also allowed me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a wonderfully supportive family and friends and they are getting me through this difficult time. I'm the type of person that needs to talk about how I feel, it's one of my coping mechanisms. Also I have a very beautiful 22 month old daughter who I look at every day and thank God for her. My husband has been a tower of strength for both of us.

What has happened since?
Not an awful lot has happened since as it has only been a week since surgery.I am taking one day at a time and allowing myself to grieve. I think once the physical wounds have healed I will be emotionally a little stronger too. I will see the Obstetrician on 07th January for a follow up and hopefully get the answers I need. But I'm trying to stay positive and not give up on the idea that one day Georgia will have a little brother or sister to grow up with :)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Meet Little Miss Home Life!

Another story for our blog. Thank you so much for sharing it with us Little Miss Home Life, we are positive this is very therapeutic and above all will make you feel less alone.

What type of ectopic pregnancy did you experience?
April 2012 I had an Ectopic Pregnancy in my right tube and I was 6 weeks pregnant, this was my first pregnancy. We have been trying for over 3 years

What were your symptoms?
Within minutes of finding out I was pregnant I had stomach cramps, I thought it was shock.
The cramps started to get worse and were winding me under my ribs and around the side and back. Then the shoulder pain started which is called shoulder tip pain and is when you bleed internally. I didn’t have any spotting or bleeding, it was all internal. The pain came on in waves and I felt sick and dizzy.

How was your experience with the Doctor? How were you treated?
As I had just found out I was pregnant I knew this wasn't normal, I had a feeling something was wrong so we went to A&E. It was around 10pm so we pretty much got shown to a cubicle straight away. I told them my symptoms and that I might be pregnant. A couple of doctors came to see me but they wanted me to give a urine sample so they could see if I was pregnant before they could do anything else. I tried to go a couple of times but every time I got to the toilet I felt sick and thought I was going to faint. After awhile the pain was getting worse so the last thing I could think of doing was peeing in a cup. They drew some blood and came back to let me know, yes I am pregnant and they are going to admit me. They said I could either have a complication with the pregnancy or it was an ectopic but I couldn’t have a scan until 8am the next day. By this time I was a bit out of it because the pain was so bad, the shoulder tip pain was now unbearable. After now doing some research I had typical signs of an ectopic that had ruptured and internal bleeding so god knows why they didn’t spot it sooner, I think they were short staffed.
My husband had to go home as it was after visiting hours and was told to come back for the scan at 8am. They came and checked me every 15 minutes but it didn't come quick enough as I had to press the buzzer for them to give me morphine but it wasn't doing anything for the pain. By 4am my blood pressure went very low the nurse made the call to the registrar and I'm glad she did as she saved my life.  They did a bed side scan and realised I had a ruptured ectopic in my right tube and was bleeding internally, I was 6 weeks pregnant. I knew it was quite serious as they were shouting to prep surgery and they were all rushing around. The registrar told me what was going on and that I might lose my tube, all I wanted was the pain to stop. While in surgery they had to remove my right tube, I lost 6 pints of blood and had to have a blood transfusion.  In recovery the nurses said I was very lucky to be alive.
While back on the ward and in the 6 days of recovering they didn’t really tell me much in why it had happened, aftercare advice and where I go from here in trying to conceive. All they said was keep trying for a year and go to my GP if nothing happens after that.
Throughout my stay the nurses were very lovely and helpful with anything I needed.

What has happened since?
While in the hospital they told me to wait one cycle then I could start trying again.  I felt more than ever now that I wanted to get pregnant again.
A week after being discharged I was told I needed to have blood tests done to make sure everything was settling down, I think this was because of my blood transfusion. Everything came back normal apart from my liver levels which were high, after another week they had come down.
6 Months after the ectopic and still trying to conceive nothing had happened so I thought enough is enough. I went to my GP to have some tests for my fertility, they came back normal apart from my testosterone levels which were on the border line of normal and my liver levels again were high.  After an ultrasound scan they ruled out poly-cystic ovaries and said everything looked normal.  Next week my husband is getting some fertility test and we shall see what the Doctor says our next step is.
We are positive and feel like we are getting closer to starting our family but we just can’t wait to have that baby in our arms.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Meet Lynn!

We have another story for our blog! I know it's been a while so please keep them coming! Sharing is a great way to reach out. And without further ado, meet Lynn!

What type of ectopic pregnancy did you experience?
I experienced my ectopic on my left fallopian tube in August 2012, this was my second pregnancy.
I was only 5 weeks gone.

How was your experience with the doctor? And how where you treated?
They where no help, I felt like a farm animal. It really started off as a confusing experience, I took my test but it was a very shy positive, for confirmation my doctor gave me a test also but it was still a very shy positive. He took some bloods to be sure I was indeed pregnant. I waited days for the results, but the day before I got them I got a horrible pain on the left side of my groin shooting down my leg and darting up to my shoulder, I was in agony and was faint and pumping sweat. I was terrified. Within the hour the pain had stopped. I thought nothing of it as I had experienced implantation cramping before. Two days later we got a phone call, the bloods where in and it was good news, I was without a doubt  pregnant.  The doctor didn't seem too concern with the pain I had a few days previous so neither was I. That was short lived, over the course of the next week and a half the pains would come and go and some more painful than others and some days not at all. Constant calls to the hospital were no help, the usual response was "too soon to do anything"  but no one seemed worried, but something just wasn't right. To make matters worse I started spotting, but it wasn't heavy enough to alarm the doctors. One night after dinner I felt the pain slowly start to come back, I just cried broken hearted and frustrated, I needed to know! My best friend put me and my hubby into the car and drove us from the house to the nearest maternity hospital in the city which was still about 25 km away, it felt like hours in the car and the pains got worse and worse! By the time we arrived I couldn't stand, my hubby Chris ran in for a wheelchair. I must have looked bad cause I was seen straight away.
The exam was excruciating, I screamed with the pain of it. I fainted on the bed twice.  When it was over the doctor came in with the nurse who examined me and told me it was an ectopic pregnancy. Things started happening so fast one nurse shoving an iv in my hand, the doctor getting me to sign a consent form and being put into a hospital gown by a second nurse. They allowed Chris as far as the OR doors. I just cried the whole time.
I woke up in a recovery room and my first words where "do I still have my tube" of course I didn't ! My tube and my baby where gone and honestly so was my hope.  Back in the room it was awful everyone was still pregnant, when ever I needed to use a bathroom it didn't matter how much I rang for a nurse, no one came.
The next morning the doctor told us I had been internally bleeding for a little over a week, the shoulder pain should have been a giveaway. A little over a litre . He said I didn't have 2 hours left in me when I got there, any longer and I wouldn't have survived the drive there! My tube had ruptured!!
How did I let it get that bad!?

Can you tell us a bit about your emotions, family support (if shared) etc.
The support of my friends and family was overwhelming and unfortunately underwhelming from some.
My mam and dad where great throughout it, they where emotional with me. My mother refused to leave the hospital when she was asked to, as the nurses where not answering the calls. My best friend Nikki looked after my daughter and kept her occupied while I was in hospital. And my hubby and two best friends Wendy and Andie never left my side even after I came home, cooking and cleaning and being good company for me all together. My friends Nicole and Lisa came to our place and spent the night cheering me up. My poor hubby Chris didn't know how to cope, tried staying strong for me and my daughter Zoe but it was taking its toll on him. Even friends from my school days and Facebook where so so loving and supportive to us.

What has happened since?
Losing the baby took its toll on me, I didn't get out of bed for weeks. At first because of the pain but somewhere down the line it stopped being about the pain and more about not facing the world. Despite gentle encouragement from friends and family I didn't even want to go downstairs. I'd just lay in bed thinking about the fact that I came so scarily close to dying but even worse the biggest wound was the baby I'd made so many plans for, that I would now never see, hold, name. I go about my day now. I get up and make my bed. It's been a very slow journey. It's only been 3 months and I still have my dark days and I still cry,  not as much and I don't sleep much at night but I am thinking much more positive now and that's a start.