Signs of a Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy, or Hope?

Before sharing with you my experience revisiting the doctor for more tests- the place where I had previously lost my pregnancy- let’s look at the main signs of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy… my greatest fear!

Signs of a Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

  • Sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain in lower back
  • Pain in the shoulder due to leakage of blood into the abdomen affecting the diaphragm
  • Dizziness or fainting

Our Appointment With the Doctor

Ectopic pregnancy hcg testA long weekend of crying and healing. We went into the doctor this morning. The tears tried to escape my swollen eyes.

My regular doctor wasn’t in so we saw another doctor. Although he was a little lost as to what my pregnancy situation was, he was attentive, asked questions and listened to what we had to say.

They drew my blood and took another ultrasound – that showed nothing.

Richard and I walked out exhausted. We weren’t expecting any good news, however, going through the motions and living the bad news was painful.

Was I Pregnant or Showing Signs of a Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy?

Coming home I felt closure. I sat down at my laptop and started to begin putting my life back on track. I called about a job interview, replied to some emails and made a phone call.

Later my cell rang, as it rang I remembered that the doctor offered to call personally to tell me what my new Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) values were.

I picked up the phone hoping that he would say that my values were going down as expected, which would mean we could get back to trying soon. He said nothing of the kind.

He took a long pause before telling me that my hCG values had doubled – exactly what they do for a healthy pregnancy! “What does this mean?” cried my brain.

What Does it Mean?

Since the values already went down it couldn’t possibly be a viable pregnancy. Could it?

After firing a few questions at him it became clear that he could not explain what was going on. It was strange: simply strange.

“I don’t want to make you hopeful, but we should not give up yet,” the words he uttered rang in my ear. Not listening, I missed the first part of what he began to say to me. I was in another world. Is this reality?

As I tuned back in and heard him go on to explain that it could be an ectopic pregnancy, it could be an unusual miscarriage, but it has the potential (tiny, but existent) of a viable pregnancy.

As soon as I got off the phone I jumped on the Internet. What does this mean? I typed in rising and falling HCG values. Hit after hit: ectopic pregnancy.

Just sit and wait to see if something happens. This was the advice I had received. What if my tube explodes before anything is done? It was clear I wanted a second opinion… now!

Hanging Onto a Tiny Bit of Hope

Richard called me on his way home and I told him the news that it could be an ectopic pregnancy.

We analyzed while he drove home and when he walked in the door we decided to call his sister, who is a surgeon. Shortly thereafter she gave us the phone number of a very good OB-GYN (a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and female reproductive health).

He reassured us that there was no immediate danger if I was not in pain. “Your values are strange, however, there is a tiny possibility that it could be a viable pregnancy. I have seen so many strange values that have gone on to be health pregnancies”.

“No!”, a voice inside my head screamed you can’t go through this again. I can’t cling to a needle in a haystack probability. Too late. My heart is known for not listening to reason. I lost it. I went to the other side. The side of hope.

Richard’s sister then made an appointment for us at a very well equipped prenatal center that would do an advanced ultrasound to see if they could find the pregnancy. This would be tomorrow.

An Ultrasound to See if I Had an Ectopic Pregnancy

Signs of a Ruptured Ectopic PregnancyI woke up in a light mood. Richard sang all morning. Against our will, hope had crept back in. We worked out, had a late breakfast and went to the prenatal center. Neither of us was directly stressed.

We went into the room and immediately noticed the projector and high quality ultrasound. I lay comfortably down on the bed and watched the ultrasound projected on the wall in front of me. The doctor seemed nervous.


She checked the uterus moving the wand inside my vagina to the left and right, up and down. Nothing. No visible pregnancy.

She then measured with Doppler my pulse in the area. We heard my pulse loud and clear. I couldn’t help but imagine that that was my baby’s heartbeat. Richard confessed afterward to having the same thought.


The search continued to the left and right ovaries. In case there was developing sac in my tubes. The tubes are too small to pick up on the ultrasound but if they are harboring a pregnancy then they could become visible.

We watched the black and white picture in front us. I couldn’t decipher anything.

Then doctor called in another doctor. My stomach sank. Is this good? Why does she need another doctor?

When he came in Richard and I were out of the loop. They whispered back and forth. We eavesdropped. Then I heard that they found a cyst on my left ovary. This seemed to be of concern. But it was not a pregnancy, or could not be determined to be one as of yet.

Still a Glimmer of Hope

Time to go home. Fancy equipment. Qualified people. No new information. It was time again to wait. The only factor that can shed light on the situation is my HCG value. The test is tomorrow. This is when we will know more.

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