Taking a Break After My Ectopic Pregnancy

ectopic pregnancy

In my blog I share why I’m taking a break after my miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

Sometimes you just need a break. Now is one of those times for me.


Following My Ectopic Pregnancy

My hormone values fell last week, meaning that my miscarriage is probably not another ectopic pregnancy. Saying that I’m relieved doesn’t seem to cover it. I mean, to think that I’m sitting here typing away on my computer instead of lying in a hospital bed in pain from a surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy absolutely overwhelms me with feelings of gratitude.

Except for a few more visits to the doctor – to make sure my HCG values return to zero – I consider this miscarriage to be behind me.


Why Take a Break From Trying to Conceive?

ectopic pregnancySo why take a break from the whole infertility topic and trying to conceive?

Well, first of all, we aren’t allowed to try and conceive this cycle. Yes, after three and a half years of infertility we are supposed to use a condom. The irony. But OK, my doctor said that it’s important because a fertilized egg wouldn’t find the right kind of environment in my uterus right now. Makes sense!

So, we have to wait until my next cycle (whenever that is) to try and conceive.


My Plan Whilst Recuperating from My Ectopic Pregnancy

But I also have to say that I don’t feel like diving into the infertility books right now to read or do research. I do need a break. I plan to read and write about digestive health (enzymes and probiotics) – not how they directly relate to fertility but how they relate to overall health.

This isn’t just a decision that my body and soul wants, but my life needs some serious organization at the moment since we just moved last Saturday (it would have been two weeks ago, but the miscarriage delayed it).

I love the new place, but the whole which-box-is-it-in phase is not one I want to be in permanently.


Gynecologist Visit

Today, I have a check-up appointment with my gynecologist for an ultrasound and to surrender my arm again to the prick of a needle. She said she wanted to discuss some infertility issues and procedures like checking again to see if my tubes are clear.

This doesn’t really fit into my taking a break from the topic plan, but I have to be there for the check-up anyway so what’s an extra ten to twenty minutes?

Experiencing a Miscarriage

miscarriage feeling of loss

Last week was a week like no other. Monday started off with mid-cycle mystery cramps and bleeding that sent me straight to the gynecologist. Turns out I was pregnant and I was experiencing a miscarriage.

Strangely enough this was all OK with me. A miscarriage stinks, yes, but emotionally, I was relieved to know what was wrong (since I didn’t even know I was pregnant) and happy that my body was showing it could get pregnant again.

That was Monday.


Experiencing Miscarriage Cramps

Being completely naïve about how a miscarriage can be, I planned my week with all the work and fun I usually plan. I mean, I’ve heard about women who hardly even noticed that they miscarried. And except for the sporadic cramping phases, I was feeling OK. I mean why would it be any different for me?

Ha ha. Because my body is special that’s why.

On Tuesday night I woke up with terrible cramps that left me in tears and rendered my husband feeling helpless.

He brought me a heating pad and sat down on the bedroom floor while I moaned in pain and sprawled catty-corner across the bed in the most contorted maybe-this-will-help position.


A Visit to My Gynecologist

The next morning I was ready to listen to the Doc- maybe this isn’t going to be easy process. So, I called my gynecologist and headed in to see her.

She prepared the ultrasound. But before I crawled up onto the chair, she asked me why I seemed so stressed?

She’s a very competent doctor and I like her, but what the hell kind of question is that?

I was too tired to reiterate all the pain that I had last night and to explain that the idea of having an ectopic pregnancy scares me. Being in her office for a miscarriage instead of a pregnancy sucks.

I’m such a chicken. I just want her to do her job. I don’t need her for emotional support; I need her to solve my physical problem. OK a few supportive words would be nice but, you can’t have everything.

She’s a totally career orientated woman – which I used to be – so I wasn’t about to explain my desire for children or my feelings, instead I tried to relax and gave her the short version, “I had a lot of pain last night, which concerns me.”

experiencing a miscarriage

The Ultrasound

On the ultrasound there was an empty uterus and something in the right tube.

“Nothing to be alarmed about at this point,” she said with certainty.

But something she said she’ll be watching. I headed home with a prescription for some pain medication and was told that I should rest.


Experiencing a Miscarriage- Rest, Cramps and Bleeding

I really didn’t have another option at this point. My body was tired. Each little task I tried to do became more and more exhausting. So, I found my place on the couch and wasn’t able to keep my eyes open for more than ten pages at a time of my good book.

The cramps were on some kind of schedule because each night around 9:30 they kicked in. They were muffled by the painkillers but the longer I stayed awake the more obnoxious they got.

So, my husband forced me to go from the couch to the bed and placed a hot water bottle under the covers with me, which was amazingly therapeutic.

By Friday, though, the bleeding had become bright red. Where is the blood coming from anyway, my uterus is empty?

My gynecologist had given me her cell phone number for the weekend in case, “The blood is red or the pain is constant.” Crap! I called her office to report the red blood.

She decided to have the lab go back and check my progesterone values from the two blood tests she had done earlier in the week. Turns out they fell, which is good for a miscarriage, meaning the ectopic pregnancy scenario is less likely. She told me to call her over the weekend if the bleeding exceeds how much I would bleed during a normal period or if the pain is constant.


My Miscarriage Climaxed

On Saturday the climax came. Not the good kind of climax, but the bad kind.

After breakfast, I was totally and utterly exhausted! I could do nothing more than lie on the couch. Before long I started bleeding heavily. I turned to my husband and asked, “Should I call her?” But before he could answer I thought aloud, “What’s she going to do about it?”

The only thing I could think of is that she’d decide to go ahead with a D&C (Dilation and Curettage). But I felt for some reason like my body wasn’t failing me, but doing what it needed to do. The cramps in my abdomen had disappeared and instead I had a pain near the lymph nodes of my groin – the same pain that I had after the surgery for my ectopic pregnancy and endometriosis.

I decided to ride it out.

I have almost no recollection of Saturday. I slept almost the whole day waking up occasionally in tears from the throbbing pain in my groin. I was bleeding a lot. But as the evening turned into night the bleeding began to slow and the painful abdominal cramps that came every night during the week never arrived. All I kept thinking is: Is this the end of the miscarriage?


Experiencing a Miscarriage- A Slow Recovery

On Sunday, I was back on my feet. My husband and I even went on a long winter walk – not to give the impression that it was an enjoyable Sunday though.

My emotions were completely out of whack.

I didn’t ponder the miscarriage, I was just irritated by everything: the fact that the snow was melting, the brown leaves on my house plants, the grey sky. You name it, it was irritating.

Perhaps these were just my hormones settling back down, maybe it was my way of being frustrated about experiencing a miscarriage and a lost week of my life, or maybe brown leaves and grey skies merit complete irritation. I’m going with hormones on this one.

My emotions are a bit better today – even though the skies haven’t turned blue.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting my HCG values tested again to make sure they are going down so we can turn off the ectopic pregnancy alarm. But I think it’s over. My body thinks it’s over. And I am ready to go back to my life. What is that again exactly?