Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ectopic Pregnancy Loss.

November 30, 2012
I guess I should rewind a little back to the beginning of this month. Every since my baby was born I have been very cautious about not getting pregnant, to the point of being extremely stressed out if our timing was too close. Beginning this month however I had an epiphany that I really need to just put my trust in Allah because no matter what we do if we are not meant to conceive a baby then we won't. Allah is in control of everything. And after my last birth I know that I need to put more energy into trusting Allah and less energy into worrying about life and death. Two things out my control. And so that is what I did. I stopped worrying and stressing myself out about it and just let go.

I do fertility charting just because I like to know what my body is doing and when to expect my monthly friend. I had a usual temperature dip at 12 DPO and thought for sure my menses was on the way. At 13 DPO I started spotting and was convinced it was here....only the spotting stopped and I also had a significant temperature rise. Today is 14 DPO. My spotting has pretty much stopped and this morning my temperature was up even higher. I took a test and it came back positive!

And so this journey begins again. I am "due" August 9, 2013 based on when I ovulated. This will be the end of the month of Ramadan and also close to my husband's birthday.

January 14, 2013
Things took an unexpected turn of events. I guess having a blog about birth journeys wouldn't be complete without an ectopic pregnancy huh? I had planned to have an unassisted pregnancy this time and until I knew something was off I did not see anyone. The day I found out I was pregnant I wrote the above and my intention was to go unassisted so that I could tune into my on instincts. Part of this includes knowing when it is time to seek medical attention.

Let me start by saying that from the very beginning I knew this pregnancy was not typical. As stated above I do fertility charting and have for the last 2 (3 if you count this one) pregnancies. My normal pregnancies my temperature shift after ovulation was normal, then I had a dip and 3 days of high temps after this I got a positive pregnancy test. Once I got a positive my post ovulation temperatures stayed high. This time my temperatures were abnormal they were up and down the whole time. I thought I was pregnant but didn't get a positive test as early as usual. Then I started spotting and thought my period was coming because my temperature was also very low.  Then my temperatures went back up and I got a positive test finally.

None of my symptoms were normal for me. I tried to tell myself that every pregnancy is different but deep down I knew something wasn't right. For the next three weeks I spotted. The color was never consistent. I searched Google and asked anyone I knew was well versed in birth, what could cause me to spot for so long. I couldn't ever find a clear answer so I decided to let it be unless my instincts told me otherwise.

On December 22nd the spotting turned into more of a light flow and I was convinced I was miscarrying. I cried. I wasn't prepared for the emotion honestly. I was cramping a little but not much. I prepared myself to have heavy flow and horrible cramps. I was 7 weeks so I knew that it was going to be more intense than a regular period. Only it wasn't. This alarmed me. I also felt dizzy a lot and there was this odd ache in my uterus that I had never had before in any of my other pregnancies. My husband and I discussed things and decided at this point it would be best to see a doctor.

On December 23rd we went to the ER. I explained what was going on. I refused a pelvic exam because in my opinion at that time it was  unnecessary. An ultrasound and blood work would tell me what I needed to know. My HCG quant test came back at 1756 but that was on the low side for how far along I was.  We got an ultrasound and the tech asked me how I knew I was pregnant and I thought that was an odd question.  She also really struggled hard to locate blood flow to my right ovary which has never happened before. She would let us hear the blood flow to the ovaries sound, at one point while she was trying to hear it for my right ovary I thought I heard a fetal heartbeat. ( I have had 6 kids I know how they sound) She told us ahead of time though that if it was baby she would tell us so at the time I thought I was just trying too hard to hear it because I wanted to hear it. Once the doctor came to talk to us about the results he stated there was no evidence of pregnancy in my uterus at all so either I had a complete miscarriage already or they had a concern about ectopic but he mentioned that coupled with a cyst on my left ovary which is always there. Because I have so much anxiety about doctors I decided to just ride it out and accepted that I must have miscarried.

I bled for 10 days light bleeding with mild cramping the majority of those days. Not at all what I expected. Another 2 days of spotting occurred and I had a few bouts of nausea and still felt dizzy so I decided maybe I need to be checked again. I went to the doctor office this time on January 3rd. They did a urine test and it came back positive which I thought was weird but oddly I expected it. They did another HCG and instead of my number decreasing it went up to 1893 and my progesterone was also very low at 2.8. I got another ultrasound that again showed no pregnancy in my uterus but did show a small fluid filled sac. No ectopic was shown on ultrasound however this was a fear because I had all the symptoms otherwise.

I really struggled with the decision on what to do because I do not trust OBs near my reproductive organs. Really. I have massive anxiety about it. I spent several minutes in the office discussing risks benefits and even discussing my distrusts. After talking to some of my midwife friends and my husband I decided to agree to let them do a D and C first at which point they would test the cells to see if they could find fetal cells. If they found some then they would be finished if not then they would proceed to do a diagnostic laproscopic surgery to locate the pregnancy. I pleaded with them to not remove my tube if they could save it. Being sterilized has been one of my biggest fears since my second baby. I am so paranoid about it. So on January 4th we proceeded with the plan. No fetal cells were found in my uterus and an ectopic pregnancy was found in my right tube. I was 8 weeks 6 days.

I am still processing my loss. I still have questions that I hope to get answered at my follow up appointment. And while this did not turn out quite how I envisioned it to be it is still a testament to how much we know about our bodies if we listen. And it also is to show that even though I intended to have an unassisted pregnancy/birth I knew when it was time to seek medical care. That is what unassisted birth is about. It isn't about ignoring danger signs just to have the birth you want, it is about knowing yourself and trusting yourself enough to recognize danger signs and act accordingly.

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