You can catch up here on Part 1 and 2.
After leaving my midwife’s clinic on Monday I was angry, I was confused and I was excited. I was angry at her lack of bedside manner and for her over the top antics when she really had no clue yet what was going on, I was confused that I had grieved a baby but now maybe it’s still happening and that made me excited.
I called Justin, my sweet amazing incurable optimist husband. Over my whole weekend of grieving he refused to give up hope, he was hell bent on holding on to that 2% chance I was still pregnant and we would be having a baby. It was completely annoying over the weekend but I was really excited to tell him ” You were right.” Even writing this now, I boil with anger that my midwife gave us a shred of hope.
I went on a goodwill haul that evening, I decided to buy a few maternity things just in case and I bought $50 worth of amazing prenatal. I created a secret board on pinterest for baby things. All the while I was trying to stay in limbo but reality was I was holding onto the hope I was pregnant. We didn’t say a word to the kids, I was not about to board them on this roller coaster.
Tuesday morning rolled around.My lower back was in excruciating pain and my stomach was extremely tender, I couldn’t even wear jeans because it hurt so bad. I was on edge waiting for my phone to ring with what the Monday blood results were. If I had doubled I was pregnant with a viable pregnancy, If I had decreased I was miscarrying and if I had only slightly increased there was a possibility it was an ectopic pregnancy. I waited and I waited and I waited……
Finally the phone rang. i walked out on our front porch, took a deep breath and answered the phone.
” Hi, Meghan. Bad news you aren’t pregnant with a viable pregnancy after all. You only went up 90 points in your HCG levels.”
I had prepared myself to the best of my ability to be ready for THAT phone call, I wasn’t ready. I sat down choking back tears. I needed to be strong. I needed to ask questions, and be my own advocate and take charge of my health and my baby. I asked her if it was ectopic because it only slightly increased. She said she wanted me to come back Thursday late afternoon for one more round of blood draw and then go see a OB the end of NEXT WEEK! Which would have been June 18th.
“Wait a second” I said. “If it’s ectopic, I need to be seen right away. I mean, this isn’t something you mess around with.” She ASSURED ME If I was ectopic, and she was seriously doubtful it was, I was still considered non-emergent because usually ectopics don’t cause issues until 7-8 weeks. We had time to figure this out.
I was not happy with that answer at all.
I got off the phone with her and made about a dozen phone calls to family and friends and sought out advice on what to do. I needed to figure out what was going on and if she wasn’t going to listen to me I was going to find someone who was. The consensus was to get a second opinion and fast and to also take myself to the ER.
Here is the kicker. My mom was flying in to visit us for 2 weeks the next day. This was a planned trip, she’s had the tickets since March. So in the midst of this roller coaster I was only a day away from my mom being here, I NEEDED her here and God was so beautifully gracious by having her at my house on the PERFECT day the perfect moment. There is NO WAY you can look at that and say God’s hand wasn’t moving in this situation. It brought such a tangible comfort to me, I knew God was taking care of me and this baby no matter the outcome. He knew. I had to rest in that. He knew.
I decided to try to wait one more day till my mom got here that way I had a 24/7 babysitter for my kids. We were heartbroken. My secret board on pinterest was quickly deleted. I took my clothes back to goodwill and just cried. We had a small group with our church that night. I wasn’t going to go, I was emotional and fragile and if anyone even touched me I felt like I would crumble. I did. I didn’t stop crying for 2 hours. They laid hands on us and prayed over us. I felt comforted in the midst of heartbreak, we had so many people praying for us. I was encouraged but still devastated. I asked that I would just miscarry and not have it be ectopic. That was my only prayer, as weird as it was. I was so scared of the possibility of what ectopic would mean, I just wanted to miscarry in the comfort of my home and have it be over. I knew my body was doing something. I was in so much pain. It hurt to even breathe in my back. I cried myself to sleep in my husbands arms that night all the while I was counting down the hours till my mom flew in. I had 10 hours.
Just make it 10 more hours…
I woke up at 5am on Wednesday in a lot of pain still. I took a warm epsom salt bath which usually gave me relief, this morning it didn’t. I told Justin that something was going to happen today. I could feel it. My body was aching in pain. I took him to work and decided I had ENOUGH with the dilly-dallying of my midwife. I called her office the minute they opened and told them that my back was in so much pain, and my stomach although it wasn’t in as much pain as my back it was so tender. wearing a seat belt felt like I had been sucker punched. She once again was trying to reassure me that I could just be getting ready to miscarry, ectopic isn’t an emergency yet. I put my foot down. I told her. I WILL NOT WAIT TILL NEXT WEEK TO SEE SOMEONE YOU GET ME IN TODAY OR I AM GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. YOU HAVE 30 MINUTES TO CALL AND GET ME IN.
I would have called the OB myself but she has way more pull to get me faster than if I just called to schedule an appointment. She called me 5 minutes later and said I had an appointment at 2:45, she was pissed at me I could tell, but my patience had run up, I am a birth doula and I tell people to have a super iron spine, not to be afraid to share how you are feeling, to stick up for yourself and not be afraid to step on toes that day I put that in practice.
I took Justin to work and headed to the airport with my kids to get my mom. I hadn’t seen my mom in 10 months, I missed her and seeing her for a moment made all my pain go away. I had told her when she had a layover in Seattle I was headed to the Doctor and she was pretty much pushing me out the door.
I walked into the Women’s Clinic at the hospital and sat in the lobby. I was surrounded by massively pregnant women all flipping through baby magazines. I sat there for the first time Sad. I just wanted to wait in the bathroom for my appointment. I wasn’t jealous or angry that they were pregnant, after all I have had 3 beautiful healthy uncomplicated pregnancies. I was just sad, sad I wouldn’t get to sit at 38 weeks with Harper Rain rolling in my tummy anticipating counting her fingers and toes. The nurse called my name. I hopped up quickly and walked back.
I first got my blood drawn by the lab to see what my HCG was compared to Monday. The lab tech asked me what my plans were for the afternoon, I could have lied, I could have said something like shopping or my mom just came into town but instead my response was “I’m having a miscarriage that may or may not end in surgery, what are YOUR PLANS?” I said it in the most sarcastic mean response. I was angry and I took it out on her. *
This reminds me I need to write her an apology.
My Doctor walked in the room. A older man. My midwife told me he was weird and had an odd personality but on the “extremely rare chance” I was actually going to need surgery she would trust him. I wasn’t sure how any of this was going to go. I just knew I was on the edge of losing it, I took a deep breath, I didn’t want him to walk in and see me instantly fall apart. I sucked it up and just answered the questions as stagnant and unemotional as possible. I stared at these paper cranes he had in the office the entire time to keep me from falling apart. Focusing on the details and the bends of the paper more focused on stupid origami then what was happening to me.
He wanted to do a quick pelvic exam. I got undressed and the nurse held my hand, she could tell I was on the brink of turning into a puddle of tears. I laid back and was staring at the ceiling. I couldn’t hold it in, I started BALLING as he was doing his exam he saw me crying and stopped, he thought he was hurting me, he wasn’t my heart was just shattering. The nurse just held my hand and wiped away my tears. I was laying there and reality hit. There was no good outcome to this, either way I walk out of here without a living baby inside of me.
Justin works at the hospital so around 4:00 he joined me at the doctor’s office. I was alone the first hour for the exam and more blood draws. The doctor wanted to do an ultrasound. I told him my midwife said nothing could be seen on the ultrasound machine at 6 weeks and 4 days. I knew she was full of crap but he actually said it 🙂 As far as I could tell she was the one with the weird personality not him. I walked into the ultrasound room. I was going to have another abdominal one and an internal one. The tech isn’t allowed to tell you anything they see but I ask a lot of questions, some she could answer others she couldn’t. She did a blood ultrasound where the colors come on the screen. She got to my left side and it was a screen of red. Justin asked what that was, she didn’t answer but I just said. That’s blood. Not a good sign.
The internal ultrasound was excruciating for me. I asked the tech how long it would be till the Doctor would tell us what was going on, she said the radiologist sees it first and then him but that I was a STAT and first priority before anyone else, after all the other women were finding out genders and what color they would be painting the nursery I was finding out whether or not I was about to go into surgery to take out my dying baby.
We walked back into our room, We didn’t say a word to each other. I think we were both afraid one word would make the other come undone. We just held hands and waited. I clutched my bulging belly and the door opened.
Our doctor walked in, sat down and rolled the chair over to me where he grabbed both my hands. Never a good sign when a doctor wants to hold your hands. Justin put his arm around me and the Doctor said:
” It’s Ectopic, you are massively internally bleeding and we need to get you into surgery right now.”
He was flabbergasted I was sitting upright, he said usually women are passing out and writhing in pain with this kind of bleeding and pain, he wasn’t sure how I was even able to have a cognitive discussion with him. I should have been basically dying in front of him.
I was preparing myself for over a week for that scenario but I don’t think you are actually prepared to hear it. Especially when all that pain I had for 2 days was not the result of a miscarriage gearing up but because I was slowly bleeding to death inside my body. He gave us a few minutes to process and left. I shattered. We both shattered. The reality for my always positive husband came tumbling down, this was happening. We were going to lose our 4th baby. I just kept saying “this isn’t happening.” I called my mom. I wanted her with me but I knew she needed to be with the kids. I was terrified of surgery, I have never had it before. I was scared I would go to sleep and never wake up. Probably the result of seeing every single Grey’s Anatomy episode. Our room was right across from our Doctors desk, he was scrambling and making phone calls to the OR apparently they were booked because they weren’t going to be able to get me in till 11pm that night. When you hear your doctor screaming ” THAT’S BULLS***, you have 30 minutes to prep an Operating Room or I am carrying her over myself to do the surgery” You know you have a good Doctor and are in serious need of surgery.
I asked a million questions about the surgery. He was going to try to save my fallopian tube but it was not guaranteed. In an instant I would go from being 100% fertile myrtle the butt of every pregnancy joke to a 45% chance to ever having a baby without the help of IVF. We gathered up our things to make the short walk to the Emergency Room where they would get me checked in and prepped for the surgery. I took a step outside and Justin caught me. I was breaking, I was shattering. We just stood holding each other on the sidewalk crying, processing. I was so scared. I needed to pull myself together again. I give myself a lot of pep talks if you haven’t gathered that. I let the sun hit my face for a few moments and just prayed.
I thanked God for all he had done for us, for his blessing and protection over me, for my mom being here for the Doctors wisdom and determination to not give up till he could figure it out. I thanked him for my 3 beautiful children he had given us. For each of their beautiful spirits. I had so much to be thankful for in the midst of this.
I took a deep breath and walked through the Emergency Room doors and straight into Surgery Prep right past a giddy woman getting ready for her scheduled induction.
Talk about irony.