Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Didn't Miscarry. It Turned Out Ectopic

2 weeks ago I blogged about going through a miscarriage, my HCG number had dropped and the pregnancy was no longer viable. I was just waiting for my blood HCG levels to drop to zero, to signal the end of the pregnancy and I can start over again.

It never did drop. It started creeping up instead. Which was so perplexing and frustrating. It's like I waited so long to get pregnant and then I was waiting to be "un-pregnant". All that while, I kept thinking shit! Why can't my body complete the miscarriage. I was worried about a possible D&C.

Last week, my doctor scanned me and couldn't see anything amiss. So he gave me Cytotec... it's a drug that is supposed to make your uterus cramp and contract.. expelling the lining. Pretty much like an induced abortion. They use it for women who have had incomplete miscarriages. The nurse cautioned me that there would be bad cramping and heavy bleeding that would start a couple hours after the first dose.

So I went home, took the first dose, and waited worriedly for what might come. Nothing happened. So after a couple hours, I went out to run errands. Still nothing. I took the 2nd dose that night. The 3rd and 4th doses the next day. I didn't even have one cramp.

Today I went back to the clinic for my routine HCG blood test (I'm so tired of drawing blood all the time.. it's ok if like I'm happily expecting a baby... I'd gladly go through all the pain for that... but to have to go through all this and pay $, just to make sure the baby is gone... that sucked).

The HCG result turned out higher than last week. WTF, obviously the Cytotec didn't work. But today's scan also showed that my uterus lining was thin, meaning there was nothing to shed. There wasn't anything in there (so a D&C wouldn't have helped either). So he scanned my fallopian tubes again (last week there was still nothing that could be seen)... but today, there it was clearly nestled in my right tube.

Ectopic pregnancies have no chance of surviving, if the baby grows bigger, it will rupture the tube and the mother will need emergency surgery or she'll bleed to death. Plus she will lose a tube.

It was easier to accept a miscarriage (when we thought I was having a miscarriage that is), because 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage anyway, it's pretty common. But now it turns out I didn't have a miscarriage after all and my baby was growing in my right fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies are rare... something like 1 to 3 percent chance of it happening. Yet I managed to be that unlucky few. Why me? :(

My options were keyhole surgery to remove the baby or Methotrexate (MTX) jab. Both have their pros and cons. I opted for the MTX jab because I'm still early enough for it, it's less invasive and it has 99% success rate. The bad thing about it is because it's actually a chemotherapy drug (it kills rapidly growing cells, like a growing foetus), and because of its toxicity, we must not try to get pregnant for 3 to 4 months after (there is a very high chance of multiple birth defects if someone gets pregnant within 3 months of this drug).

Ok, so we won't be able to try to conceive until end April/ early May next year. Feels like forever. But I've taken the jab and this is the route we have to go down now.

When I went to the hospital to get the jab, I had to give the prescription to the pharmacist.. and when he saw what it was, he looked sad for me. At first I thought it was paranoia on my part. He told me they would send the vial to the treatment room and a nurse would administer it. And as I walked off, he said sympathetically, "So sorry, please take care."  What? Do pharmacists say that all the time when they issue medication?

Damn it! It was real nice of him, but that made me cry. I was doing so well, making my way down to the hospital to get this jab. So stoic.

I went to the toilet so I could have a proper cry.. but I had to make it fast cos I didn't want the nurse to think I disappeared. It's sad, having to do this. The injection hurt, because it's intramuscular, but as soon as she took the needle out, I actually felt lighter. Like a wave of relief came over me. It was done.

I am home now, waiting for my husband to get home from work. I feel fine. The MTX should do it's job over the next few days. I told my baby that it has to let go for now, but she can come back next year when we get pregnant again. And we will wait for her. I'm assuming she's a girl, but a boy is good too.

Now that we cannot try to conceive until April/May... I feel like I need to go on a fun holiday... I haven't drunk alcohol in like months because we were trying to get pregnant, and then when I was pregnant I was eating healthy (yuck!). I should just enjoy and let myself go for a while, to make this easier to deal with.

I guess I can take comfort in the fact that there wasn't anything wrong with the embryo in the first place. Because with an early miscarriage, the majority of the time it's because of an abnormality in the embryo. I kept worrying about having repeated miscarriages because of abnormalities. Now, it seems my eggs are okay and his sperm are okay, I was worrying for nothing. Just bad luck it had to implant in my tube (my tubes are not blocked btw, so it's like such slim odds that would happen, but it did).
Just want to thank everyone who shared their personal stories of miscarriages, ectopics and stillbirths with me. It's very reassuring because so many of you have gone on to have normal pregnancies after. And for those who shared with me very recent losses, I feel your pain and I'm very sorry to hear that happened to you. Hugs.

Everything is going to be ok. We just have to take some months off until this MTX is out of my system, just keep positive, and we can start trying again. Looking forward to the new year ahead.

6 comments:

  1. Don't give up hope ok? =)

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  2. Hugs. I'm sure the time will come and the good news will arrive. The more you want something the harder it is to get. The stress might get to you so instead, let things go for now and let it naturally come. You never know, a miracle might happen!
    Take care and much love. Hope you'll feel better soon.

    Jess

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  3. Anonymous6:06 am

    Don't drink alcohol yet. Wait a few weeks because the MTX jab affects your liver function since you just took the injection. But it's ok to drink about a week or two after the injection . I'm a med student. Take care holly.

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  4. Anonymous4:06 pm

    all the best, take care and do give urself a break from all the stress!

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  5. Anonymous11:22 pm

    Hi Holly, sorry for what you had to go thru. I recently heard of a sacred tree in Hakone that blesses couples with pregnancy and smooth delivery. Google hakone tree pregnant
    For future consideration since you are probably not in the mood now.

    ReplyDelete