Successful Pregnancy After Ectopic Pregnancy
What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
My Personal Journey From an Ectopic Pregnancy to a Successful Pregnancy
I am not an expert, but this is my unique story of heartbreak, resentment and finally pregnancy bliss! My story is more than just a unique set of circumstances. It is a story of relentless faith that allowed me to become the mother I always dreamed of becoming!
Ready to Have a Baby
I married my high school sweetheart when I was nineteen years old. So, at 22 and 24, we were ready to add to our family. Much to our delight, it only took a couple of months to become pregnant. In August 2002, we were ready to announce to our friends and family that we were expecting our first child.
I called the doctor, told my friends, and just relished in the fact that I was going to be a mommy. My first doctor's appointment was in September, and the days seemed to drag by. A few days before my 1st appointment, I woke up to find that I was spotting. A quick call to the ob/gyn reassured me this was normal. The nurse said to take it easy and call if the bleeding increased. Well ten hours later, I was in the emergency room.
After a few hours and endless tests, the doctors informed my husband and I that I had a "little miscarriage." My uterus was empty and there were signs that I had passed the fetus. Most likely I would not need a D&C. They reassured me that everything was going to be okay. They told me to keep my doctor's appointment and that I could start trying again in one month.
Although I was devastated, I was hopeful that my next pregnancy would be flawless.I visited my ob/gyn who comforted me and echoed the advice of his partner that had cared for me in the ER. My ultrasound was clear, but the doctor ordered follow-up HCG levels. It looked like I had a large ovarian cyst.
Not Feeling Well After Miscarriage
I woke up four days later feeling very ill and had a cramp in my lower abdomen. During the miscarriage, I lost a great deal of blood. I thought that the fact that I was feeling ill was contributed to everything I had been through in the last ten days. Two hours after waking up, I received a startling phone call from my ob/gyn.
The doctor had just seen my latest HCG levels and was alarmed. Instead, of continuing to decrease, the numbers had increased. He told me the numbers had not increased enough to convince him that I was still pregnant. Instead he told me he suspected I had an ectopic pregnancy.
The next few hours are a whirlwind that I don't remember well. I was rushed to the hospital, conferred with my doctor, and told t the doctor may have to remove my fallopian tube. The doctor went on to inform me that the removal of my fallopian tube, a salpingectomy, would result in a 30% chance that I would never conceive. I was devastated, but had no time to argue. My life was on the line.
My husband had gone four-wheeling and no one could reach him. So I went into surgery with my mother by my side, and a million unanswered questions. When I awoke from surgery, my first question was whether the doctor's had removed my tube. To my horror, I was told my tube had been destroyed by the ectopic pregnancy. I also had a great deal of internal bleeding, and had a long journey of healing ahead.
Mourning My Loss
The days following my miscarriage were dark. I was dealing with so much and I was only 22 years old. Several appointments and tests led the doctors to believe I would conceive again.
Unfortunately, it could not happen soon enough for me. Every month, I would hold my breath while I took a pregnancy test. But I was always disappointed when the test came up negative. Obsession sank in, and I started driving myself crazy!
In August of 2003, my husband and I decided to stop trying to have a baby. We realized the pressure of conceiving was affecting our relationship. We also knew we still had plenty of time to conceive in the future. To make sure I would not get pregnant until we were ready, I made an appointment with my ob/gyn to get birth control.
On the phone with the doctor's office the nurse asked if there was any chance I was pregnant. I laughed at the inquiry and said "no." Two days before the appointment, I started to get a familiar feeling. I was positive I was pregnant, but convinced myself it was in my head.
Against my better judgment, I went to the store, and bought a pregnancy test. To my complete disbelief, the test was immediately positive. I was so shocked that I didn't tell anyone for a few hours. Finally, I told my husband who was shocked as well.
Ectopic Pregnancy Prognosis
Because my fallopian tube had to be removed, my obstetrician was very honest with me about my fertility. The chances of having another baby after ectopic pregnancy depend on the following:
- Age of mother
- Whether the mother has other children
- Why the ectopic pregnancy occurred
Anxiously Waiting Confirmation
I wanted to jump for joy, and tell everyone I knew that we were finally pregnant again. Our previous experience prevented us from being happy until we knew this was a reality.
Our family doctor agreed to do the hcg blood test for us. The numbers came back good, but the real test was to see if they would double in 48 hours.
When the numbers doubled, my husband and I were relieved. My ob/gyn wanted to see us right away, instead of waiting for the traditional 8 to 10 week appointment. My first ultrasound of my daughter was at 5 weeks and 3 days, and her heart was BEATING.
The Complicated Pregnancy
My baby girl had an expected due date of July 4, 2004. My husband was ecstatic and so was the rest of my family. Me? I was terrified. I thought that all my reservations about pregnancy would be over, but my fears only increased.
Every visit to the doctor's office lead to more problems. I had horrible morning sickness, gestational diabetes and then spotting at 21 weeks. My worst fear was that I was going to lose the baby, which would have destroyed me. I wouldn't let myself imagine life with her because I was so afraid it was never going to happen.
At the beginning of June 2004, I developed toxemia and was on constant pins and needles. My due date, which had been moved from July 4th to June 29th looked like it was going to be even sooner.
My doctor was concerned that the baby may be too big for me to deliver and wanted to schedule a c-section. I didn't want this, but I agreed that I would consent only if necessary. On June 14, 2004, the doctor decided it was more dangerous for me to stay pregnant than for me to deliver. I was scheduled for induction on June 19, 2004. I was also put on complete bed rest for the next five days.
Welcome to the World, Baby Erica
My Anxious Wait Was Over
On June 15, 2004, I woke up uncomfortable. I tried setting up, lying on my side, standing up; nothing helped. I called my mom who came over immediately. I decided not to bother my husband at work just because I was uncomfortable.
My mom arrived and informed me that I was in labor. I didn't believe her. I had gone to birthing classes, so I was convinced my tight belly and crampy abdomen were not labor signs. I called the doctor and the nurse blew me off. My mother who had four children including triplets insisted we go to labor and delivery because the hospital was 45 minutes away.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital, I found out I was indeed in labor. I was amazed because I felt fine, just a tad uncomfortable. When the doctor informed us that I was 4 centimeters dilated, I knew I had to call my husband. My husband arrived at 1pm and the doctors told us to prepare for a long night of waiting. We told everyone to wait till the next day to come because I was going to be there awhile.
Even as I was in labor, I was still doubting the fact that I was going to be a mother. My anxiety and fears would not let me enjoy the moments right before I gave birth. Contrary to what everyone believed, and with no epidural the nurse insisted I have, my daughter was born at 7:17pm on June 15, 2004.
I held my breath while she was examined. When the nurses didn't move as quick as I thought they should I began shouting at them. Finally, I had confirmation. My seven pound, eleven ounce baby girl was completely healthy. When they handed her to me, I cried. All the fear and anxiety that I had carried around for the last two years was finally gone. I was a mommy!
Pregnancy After Ectopic Is Possible
I don't often share my story because it is painful. But, I want other people to know that pregnancy after ectopic is absolutely possible! Having faith and believing it would happen is the only way I survived my emotional ordeal. If I had given up, I probably would never have become a mother.