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 :)


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