Not how we planned to end 2020 – My Ectopic Pregnancy story

This blog post originally started as a way for me to document my pregnancy but it didn’t turn out how we planned. This blog was planned to be posted this week as a pregnancy announcement as I would have been 13 weeks but sadly instead it’s a retelling of my story of my ectopic pregnancy.

On the 6th December is when it all started. My period was a few days late and I’m one of those people that is never late. Pretty weird. I promised myself I was going to wait to take a test but obviously my curiosity got the best of me. I mean I’m never late and it was weirding me out. So I bit the bullet.

I took the test and expected to instantly get my period. It tends to be the way it works. Pee on an expensive stick and minutes later my period turns up as if to say ‘Tricked you!’ I mean I was adamant it wasn’t going to happen. I don’t feel anything except painful boobs. With my previous pregnancy and early miscarriages I have been nauseous from about 3 weeks and this time nothing. Hence why I was weirded out.

So anyway I took the test not expecting anything. Now with Bella as soon as I took the test it practically screamed pregnant at me. So the whole waiting thing is weird. So I waited for the three minutes. And when I looked at the test I was shocked. There was a faint line. It may have been faint but it was definitely there. I couldn’t believe it. We had an chemical pregnancy last month so I expected it would take a few more months to happen but nope. We had a baby bean.

I was planning on waiting to tell Daly. I had already worked out how. I’ve had it planned since we first started talking about a second kid so I just needed to wait for some bits to tell him. The website said it would be two weeks before it turned up but I was hoping it would be here by the following weekend.

Wow is all I can say.

I planned on documenting my journey on here with little updates until I publish this and we officially announce it so you could join for our journey.

Oh man! I just realised it was gonna be a sober Christmas.

On 9th December I finally bit the bullet and self referred to the midwife. Funnily enough it was literally the exact same time I had self referred for Bella. I was a bit nervous I think because I was still not feeling pregnant. I mean with Bella I did feel pregnant early but this time I felt pretty normal. Just had some pretty sore boobs. Lol.

That evening however my anxiety was heighten. I had some spotting that evening. Man I felt ill. I never had any spotting with Bella so it scared me. I ended up curling up in bed for an hour or two trying to calm down and googling spotting in early pregnancy – not always the best thing to do. As well as google I messaged a close friend. I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant yet but I needed an experienced mums opinion and support. She was so helping and talking to her eased my anxiety slightly. I knew that spotting in pregnancy can happen and so having an actual person tell me that and not to freak out helped.

The following day there was no further spotting and I wondered if it was a one off. Maybe it was just implantation bleeding. Bella however said the cutest thing. She came up to me, pointed at my tummy and told me there was a baby in my tummy trying to get out. I was a little worried as I hadn’t said anything yet and I didn’t really want Liam to catch on before Daly.

On the 11th December, Daly ruined the way I was going to tell him. Grr. He did this with Bella lol. I had it all planned out, I was still waiting for some bits to turn up.

We had been getting ready to take Bella to nursery and Daly had my phone on his lap. As we were getting ?ready to leave I asked him do you have my phone? And he picked it up to show me and turned the screen on. Now I had several apps on my phone tracking the pregnancy at the time and one of those happened to flash up on my screen as Daly looked at it saying 5 weeks pregnant.

Daly looked at me and read it out ‘5 weeks pregnant, are you really?’ so I of course had to own up and to be honest. I’m glad I did with every that went on with this pregnancy. It’s so nice when your not keeping things completely to yourself.

I did have a bit of a rant at Daly because he ruined it again. I’d had planned how I was gonna tell him for like over a year so yeah I was a bit annoyed. But these things happen.

As the day went on I continued to have some spotting which was starting to worry me. So to ease my mind I ended up ringing the doctors just to see what they could say about it. As it was a Friday afternoon I highly doubted I was going to be able to actually speak to a doctor but maybe I’d be able to be pointed in the direction of someone who could talk to me or get an appointment for Monday. Instead the receptionist took my details and got the doctor to call me back. I was so grateful. I remember thinking as I was only 5 weeks pregnant they were going to just go oh it’s a miscarriage there’s nothing we can do, we’re only interested once your 8/10 weeks pregnant. But no they were amazing. The receptionist reassured me and when the doctor phoned she was lovely as well. She took all my concerns and offered support and reassurance. The doctor asked me a load of questions, if I had any pain, heavy bleeding etc. To which all the answers were no. So the doctor told me to see how it went. Spotting can happen in early pregnancy so isn’t always something to worry about but if I had any bad pain or heavy bleeding to go to A and E and if the spotting continued to ring for the doctor the following week and they would refer me to the Early Pregnancy Unit.

Once I got off the phone I felt so much better but I continued to document any spotting but having the doctor be so reassuring made me feel so much better and not feel like in early pregnancy you’re completely on your own. They are there to help.

On the Saturday I had a tiny bit of spotting but nothing major. I had noticed I was spotting when I was up on my feet for a while but nothing major and no pain. I finally had a bit of morning sickness and as much as that sucked it made me feel so much better. They always say morning sickness is the sign of a healthy pregnancy and all that and I was desperate to believe that. The morning sickness came in waves though out the day.

14th December was when things seriously went sideways. Well started to show us that maybe things weren’t all ok. I woke up and there was much more bleeding than the light little bit of spotting I had had. Obviously I freaked right out and instantly logged onto the 111 NHS website for advice. I always use the website to find out where I should go or who I should ring. Because of the bleeding I was offered a call back from a nurse as my GP wasn’t open to contact.

I received my call back and again had a lovely nurse. She again reassured me that because I was in no pain and the bleeding had stopped I should be Ok but talked me through everything including signs to look for a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy and thankfully I didn’t have any of the signs except a little bleeding. She talked to me about if I’d experienced any injuries and I explained I’d fallen down the stairs earlier in the week. She didn’t think it would have caused the bleeding but asked if I had any other injuries.

She spoke to me for ages trying to make me feel better and making sure I was ok not to go into the hospital. Again I was told to keep an eye on the bleeding and if it go any worse to go to A and E. She said I needed to be referred to the early pregnancy unit but unfortunately she wasn’t able to do it so instructed me to ring my doctor to get referred on Monday morning but if things got worse to head to A and E and then they would refer me.

Thankfully I didn’t have any further bleeding during the rest of Sunday. To keep an eye on the spotting my pregnancy app ended up looking like a chart of when I’d gone to the toilet. It was funny but I felt it’s a good way to keep an eye on the bleeding and how heavy it is.

Monday morning rolled around I rang the doctors to get an appointment to get referred. I actually managed to get through before I had to take Bella to nursery which was a miracle. Once I got back from nursery I received my call back and again the doctor was lovely. Reassuring me and she managed to get me an appointment at the Early Pregnancy Unit. Which made me feel so much better.

That afternoon to ease my mind I took another pregnancy test. The doctor had mentioned if I’d taken one since the bleeding started to which I hadn’t. I was terrified I’d take one and find out it came back negative. But nope. It was one strong positive. So at that time baby bean was still hanging on strong and I was just hoping to get some answers from the Early Pregnancy Unit the following day.

Now I know people may look at this and how taboo the subject is but to be honest if I was able to find something like this and read about the reassurance and that medical staff do take you serious even right at the beginning of your pregnancy I would have probably felt so much better about the whole thing. I think because no one talks about these things and the help and support there is us mums feel on our own until our booking in appointment with our midwives or even the first scan at 12 weeks. As I said I was always under the impression that if anything happens before 12 weeks your on your own and what will be will be. It’s such a hard lonely time and the reason I’m sharing this experience is because I don’t want people to feel as alone and scared as I did when all this started.

15th December was the day of my appointment at the Early Pregnancy Unit. I was a little nervous but I knew there was nothing I could really do, the outcome will be the outcome. I was trying to tell myself that because I’d taken a pregnancy test and it was a strong positive I was just hoping that I was going to go to the hospital and going to get to see baby bean early.

I’d been craving McDonalds hash browns this morning and now we can order from home on Just Eat and Uber Eats it’s a dangerous world. Liam had ordered us Costa Coffee and I ended up ordering myself two McDonalds hash browns to kill the craving. I took the view that if this was going to be my pregnancy craving I was very possibly going to end up broke and on first name terms with the Just Eat driver (their delivery charge is less than Ubers) We enjoyed a nice chilled out morning. I had had a little spotting but nothing major so wasn’t too worried.

Cathy was taking me to the hospital as I had no real way of getting up there. Daly needed the car for work and even though my appointment was at 2.40 we didn’t know how long I’d actually be at the hospital for and couldn’t guarantee that Daly would be home in time to go to work. I felt really guilty that Cathy had to sit in the car while I was at my appointment but being Covid hotspot no visitors or support was allowed in the hospital. Which really sucks if you’re about to be told bad news.

I went into the hospital and found the right ward, turns out I had ended up on that ward before when I was pregnant with Bella. I went in found a seat in the waiting room and chilled out still none the wiser. A little bit excited to see baby bean but a little worried about if they were going to say that it was a miscarriage. The nurse came into the room and asked if I was there for a blood test or a scan. I didn’t know as I hadn’t been told what the appointment was for. I was hoping a scan but told the nurse I wasn’t sure and that I’d just been referred by my doctor for an appointment at 2.40pm. Turns out it was a scan. The nurse returned with a form for me to fill in. I filled it in and handed it back and waited to be called into the room.

A few minutes after handing my form over I was called into the room. I sat down and they asked me about the symptoms I had been having and the usual question of when was your last period so they could work out how far along I was. I was about 5 and a half weeks along so they weren’t sure if they’d see anything on the scan but obviously they wanted to check. So on the bed I got ready for the scan.

The nurse was looking around on the scan for the baby. They checked my womb, my tubes and my ovarys. I wasn’t too concerned at this point. I had tried to prepare myself for the worse of a miscarriage. I was obviously praying that everything was ok but with the bleeding/spotting I had already kind of made my mind round to we were loosing the baby. I led on the bed watching the nurse and the doctor looking at the screen. I actually found it amusing they kept tilting their heads to either side to get a good look at the screen. After about 10 minutes of the scan and trying to scan so they could get a good overview they told me what they could see. They told me that my womb lining was very thick – you know pretty good news considering I was pregnant but then they showed me the scan. They had found the baby in my left tube. I was as prepared to be told that I was miscarrying not to be told the baby was in the wrong place. I didn’t know what that meant. What the next step was. The nurse and doctor told me it was an ectopic pregnancy and that there were three ways to managed it.

Expectant management – where I would be closely monitored to make sure the pregnancy was miscarried naturally but no medical intervention unless needed.

Medical management – I would be given an injection to miscarry the pregnancy and my blood levels would be checked every other day to make sure that I was miscarrying and no further medical intervention was needed

Surgical management – My left tube with the pregnancy would be removed.

They gave me a leaflet to read which explained all the different courses of treatment and told the gynaecologist would see me when she was free to discuss the course of action I wanted to choose. They said I could go and sit outside the ward while I waited so I could call Daly and let him know what was going on.

I sat outside and gave him a quick call to tell him what they had found and that I was just waiting to see the gynaecologist. While I was outside I read through all the details of the various treatments. To be honest I really wanted to go for expectant management and see what was going to happen but the fact an outcome of an ectopic is death to the mother I was terrified. And I was here all on my own trying to get my head around this information. I tried to pull myself together and headed back onto the ward to sit in the waiting room waiting for my turn with the gynaecologist.

I was eventually called in and things seemed to go even worse. They wanted to operate. They believed it was the best and safest option. They didn’t recommend the injection due to the monitoring and that we’d have to wait to try again but with the operation they said we would be able to try again immediately. They wanted me to have emergency surgery as soon as and straight after the talk with the gynaecologist they were taking my blood so I could have the surgery. I was so thrown by this wanted to have no medical intervention to emergency surgery. The gynaecologist told me to tell whoever I had come with to bring my bag up and they would try and find me a bed. I hadn’t prepared to stay overnight. I was hoping for a yep baby’s all good or we’re really sorry your having a miscarriage not we need to operate now!

I had texted my lift to let them know what was going on and that they would need to come up to the ward to pick up the parking ticket. I had taken it with me thinking I would pay for it on my way out not that I wasn’t going to be leaving. As I finished with the gynaecologist a nurse came in to tell me my mum was outside. I had to laugh at that seeing as I always call her my adopted mum. I went out and talked to her letting her know what was going on and how it had gone from 0 to 100 really quick. She’d also been talking to Daly and I found he was coming up to the hospital.

I messaged Liam to tell him what I needed in my overnight bag and of all things it turned out I’d forgotten my charger – I realised this much later. Liam had sorted the bag out and it was ready for Daly to pick up and Daly’s parents were also going to have Bella for them while I was in hospital so we didn’t need to worry about her.

I sat in the waiting room with a pair of women who were also waiting for a bed. We sat chatting to each other and discussing while we were in there. Turns out I was the only one there for pregnancy reasons. We were a bit gutted thought the TV in the waiting room didn’t work so we were all bored.

Daly soon arrived with my bag and we stood outside the ward chatting and have hugs. It was funny because the whole time I was talking to him I didn’t get upset but sitting on my own I found my moods went from logical to depressed really quick and back. After a while Daly headed back home and I headed back to the waiting room.

At about 11.30pm I was called into the gynaecologist for them to update me. They hadn’t managed to find a bed yet so my operation was being moved to first thing in the morning so I was allowed to eat and drink. I also had a bit of a breakdown to them. They had asked me if I had any questions and how I was and I explained it was a roller coaster because of how quickly things had changed but also because I felt like I was making the decision to get rid of my baby. They had to reassure me that the pregnancy had no way of surviving and if they left it, it could kill me too but it still felt like I was making that choice. It’s a really hard one to get your head around. That seems to be what I struggle with the most. We wanted this baby but I was allowing them to remove it even though there was no choice.

I returned again to the waiting room (which ended up turning into my own private room with no beds available. The staff were lovely though and went on the hunt for some blankets and pillows for me. Unfortunately they weren’t able to find me a pillow but I managed to make one out of my bag, they brought me two blankets though. They tried to convince me to eat something but due to the stress and worry I just couldn’t eat. I ended up making a make shift bed on the floor with the blankets and spent the night there. The staff sweetly dimmed the lights in the corridor and turned off the lights in the waiting room for me and I tried to get some sleep.

I managed to get a couple of hours and the floor was far more comfortable than sleeping on the stupid plastic waiting room chairs. In the morning the ward sister was a bit annoyed I’d been made to sleep on the floor all night but I didn’t mind too bad. I understand we’re in the middle of a pandemic and they couldn’t help it if they didn’t have the bed. I mean what are they suppose to do. Kick someone out.

That morning it was all stations go. The nurse came in and did my obs and then prepared me for surgery. She asked all the usual questions and fitted me with my sexy socks. Next up was the anesthetis. They explained what was going to happen and went through the process of putting me to sleep. The biggest shock to me was they mentioned a breathing tube. Now as far as I know in previous operations I hadn’t had a tube so that freaked me out causing the next emotional breakdown.

Eventually it was time to go down and they wheeled in a bed onto the ward for me to go be cut open. However we had an issue before we went. They hadn’t done a pregnancy test so the male porter was refusing to take me down to surgery with out one. The female porter completely understood when she read what type of operation it was but the male one was having none of it. Cue a 10 minute argument with the male porter from the ward sister, nurses and female porter that I didn’t need a pregnancy test because I was pregnant and it was an operation to remove an ectopic pregnancy. It was exhausting listening to it. The gynaecologist even came up to join in. In the end he was only satisfied when he was shown the ultra sound scans. Finally the show was on the road.

As daft as it sounded I was looking forward to the operation purely so I could get a decent sleep. I went down to surgery about 9.30am and ended up on the ward about 1.30pm. I’m guessing I was in recovery for about an hour. When I woke up I was freezing and couldn’t get warm. I ended up with this really cool plastic bag sleeping bag thing with warm arm being blown though it to keep me warm.

When I went back up to the ward and was moved to a bed I knew the steps I needed to do to go home and I was determined to do them – pee, eat and drink. I managed to do all those things pretty soon after I made it onto the ward and then it was just time to wait for the doctor to go yeah you can go home. I wasn’t in much pain at all which was a bonus. The gynaecologist soon turned up to explain how the surgery went. When they opened me up they didn’t believe the baby in my tube was the baby as it looked too small so they thought it was a blood clot so they figured the baby was in my womb and that everything was actually ok – huge sigh of relief but that blood tests would confirm because it could be that my body was already reabsorbing the baby – creepy!

They took my bloods and then I was left to hum and ha until they could send me home once my bloods were back. It was a bit weird to go from your baby is trying to kill you to your baby could be fine and then the bloods came back. My HCG had dropped from 1195 to 878 so they came to the conclusion I was miscarrying naturally so it meant I could be managed using expectant management. So bit of a crazy 24 hours.

I ended up being discharged at 8pm but then had to hang around for my Anti D jab. Eventually I was able to leave and head home. But with an appointment to come back for a scan on the Monday.

By the time I got home my shoulder was starting to kill from the carbon dioxide they fill your tummy with when they perform a laparoscopy and I had started bleeding properly. I dosed myself up with painkillers and headed to bed. Bella was coming home tomorrow and I wanted to be feeling a bit better for her.

That night I slept with painkillers and a hot water bottle as I’m always willing to try anything to get rid of that pain. At least I wasn’t in as much pain as after my gallbladder removal. I didn’t sleep too well with the pain shifting from one shoulder to the other and not finding a comfortable position to sleep in.

The next day Daly’s parents dropped Bella back to us and she was not herself. She would not leave my side all day and just wanted to sleep. She knew there had been a baby and that was why I was in the hospital. She told me the baby was sick. I explained to her the baby was in the wrong place and so couldn’t grow and that the baby had died. She took that in her stride and just excepted it. She was scared to cuddle me as she thought she was going to hurt me. Once I reassured her that it was ok and just to be careful and from then Bella didn’t want to leave me. It was lovely to be back at home with my baby and just to relax.

Thankfully after one day back with mummy Bella was pretty much back to normal. I was so glad she was acting like herself and we could try to breathe easy before Christmas.

It took two days for my shoulder to go back to normal and I was so glad when it did. I absolutely hate that pain.

On Monday 21st December I had my scan nice and early in the morning. Thankfully there were no signs of a baby – which seems weird to say when we want a baby but that meant no more doctors prodding and poking me. Apart from blood tests. I wasn’t too happy with the doctor I had that did my scan, she told me maybe next time to wait until I was between 6 to 8 weeks to get in touch next time. Not very helpful because if it was such a big deal and I can wait until then why was I being rushed in to emergency surgery at 5 and a half weeks. So out of all the staff I had come across during this pregnancy journey she was the worst and most unhelpful. We did however get the all clear to try again as it was managed with expectant management. Everyone’s doctor is different though and I know some tell you to wait until your first period after, or 3 months or even 6 months but the biggest thing is when you feel ready to try again so we will see how we go.

After Mondays blood tests I needed to return on Wednesday for further blood tests and then the Tuesday after Christmas. On Monday my blood results were 190ish by Wednesday they were 90ish and by the Tuesday after Christmas I was discharged as my HCG had decreased to 20. I was so grateful to finally be discharged so we could start to move on. I’m a very practical person so HCG levels and dates I can work with and looking towards the next step.

Not how we were hoping this pregnancy went but I hope I’ve managed to help someone going through the same situation and ease their mind slightly. It is such a scary situation but there are people who have gone through the same thing and the medical professions are there to support you and help you no matter how early in your pregnancy you are. I feel comforted knowing that moving forward. As long as I help one person feel like they’re not alone in this situation I’m happy.

We’re looking to the future and hopefully we’ll have our rainbow baby soon. We wish you were still here baby bean, mummy and daddy love you. Hope you’re having a blast with Nanna and the cats.

Love CiCi x

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