I went straight to OB triage and told them I was pregnant with an IUD and that I was spotting. They took a blood test and checked my hCG level. (hCG is the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin)
The level was low. The way they were estimating my pregnancy, I could have been about 6 weeks pregnant, but my hCG was entirely too low. My hCG was 458. (It was determined later that I was probably 1-2 weeks along instead.)
I was told to make an appointment to see my OB on Wednesday. They would have to check my level again. An hCG is supposed to double every two days in a healthy pregnancy.
Monday morning I made the call to Paragon. I was very disappointed to find out they had just changed which Hospital they were affiliated with and I could no longer see them with my insurance. I don’t personally care for the other hospital anyway, but I was very disappointed to not have Paragon anymore since I went to them with both pregnancies and had great experiences there. Fortunately, they recommended another office where some of their own doctors were going to be moving to. So I made an appointment for Wednesday.
We went in and told the nurse and the new doctor everything that had been going on. They did another blood test and said they would call with the results. 756. It did not double, but it went up the bare minimum that they needed it to. There was hope!
At the appointment the Mirena (my IUD) was discussed but nothing was planned for removal yet. I was shocked that no one had been making a big deal about it yet. Later that day the doctor called and said she discussed my situation with a superior and was told to get the Mirena out right away. We scheduled for the next morning. I went in, had it removed quite easily. It was a stressful moment as I knew the little arms could injure the baby on the way out. There was nothing obvious on it but it was sent to be tested just in case.
That day the bleeding increased. It was no longer a light pink spotting. It was now red and heavy. It was expected that I’d have more bleeding after the Mirena was removed. There was no range of how long it would last so it was just something to watch and deal with. I had some cramping as well but it was gone within a few hours or so.
The next day, Friday, March 27th, I went back in for another blood test. When we left, we tried to do some quick shopping. We were in the middle of WalMart when the call came in. My hCG was 876. It only increased by 120. I bawled in the middle of the shoe aisle at WalMart while Dave took my phone and continued talking to the doctor. It was all over. It wasn’t going to last. We scheduled one more blood test for the following Monday. This would be the longest weekend of my life. I had already been sleeping as much as possible because my dreams were the only place I wasn’t haunted with real life. I planned to do as much of that as possible over the weekend too, but we did have some plans we weren’t canceling.
The kids went to my parent’s house for the weekend, as we had planned a month before. It was the start of Grace’s spring break and going to my parent’s house was the best start. Saturday morning we traveled to Youngstown for our friends’ vow renewal. That night we went out to Massillon where Dave performed along with a couple other solo acts we knew. It was nice to get out and it wasn’t that hard on me physically, with the exception of a few moments of overdoing it. On Sunday Dave did a lot of household work – laundry, dishes, general cleaning – on top of waiting on me as I took the day to rest on the couch and do nothing but nap and watch TV.
Monday morning we went to my appointment. I had to go to another office since the one I had been going to was moving to another building that day.
The day was aggravating from as soon as we tried to park. We had problems getting a ticket for the parking garage, I had to wait 25 minutes as the first appointment of the day, my doctor was negative the entire time, and I didn’t have what I needed right away for the lab since I wasn’t told that the new office operated differently. It was all so frustrating to have to deal with on top of the already stressful time we were going through.
I’ll get back to the part about the doctor being negative.
Over the weekend when emotions calmed down we realized that even though my hCG level did not increase by much at all, IT WAS STILL AN INCREASE! It meant that something was happening inside of me that could be good for us all! As Dave was saying the whole time, we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst of the situation.
My doctor was not a bit hopeful or encouraging during that visit on Monday. The only thing she could do was talk about the process of watching my levels go way down and then scheduling a D&C. She was all negative the entire time and I just wanted to get up and walk out of that appointment. It was worthless.
Later, we got the results of that day’s blood test. My hCG was 1357! YES! Things were really looking up now! It was still not doubling, but it was back to the minimum increase.
After getting the results, we went to my parent’s house. I was going to stay there with the kids while Dave went in to work so that I wouldn’t be alone and I’d have my parents’ help.
Up to this point, only our immediate family knew what was going on, as we told them as soon as everything started. We were continuously posting on Facebook asking for prayers from all of our friends and family. We are very thankful for the response we had throughout the days and weeks despite everyone not knowing what was going on. We didn’t want to share what we were going through until things were a little less up and down. We had considered making it public so everyone would know what they were and would be continuing to pray about. We were going to on Friday until we got that low number. Some close friends started to worry something serious was happening with our two children. Once that was brought to our attention, we chose a select few of those close to us to let in on what was happening.
Now back to that Monday, with the good increase…
We decided that since things were looking up, we’d go ahead and share publicly what our family was dealing with. We made a public post to those who were following all the prayer requests on Facebook. Then we went to my parent’s house again. On the way there we debated on whether or not to tell our kids about the baby. I hated that they were going to be the last ones to know about their own sibling but we were holding back for good reasons. We decided not to say anything yet because we were still not out of the woods.
When we got there, we discovered that they overheard a phone call and thought it was silly that someone said I was pregnant. Well, we HAD to tell them at that point! So, we told our 6 and 4 year old that I was pregnant. They were instantly excited and couldn’t wait to meet the baby!
Through everything up to this point, I tried to not let myself imagine everything with the baby in our lives because I knew that could make things much harder if things didn’t continue the way we hoped. But, I already had a newborn in my arms at Christmas and I thought about the mornings I’d have about two hours just me and baby. Now that the kids knew, that’s all they talked about. Grace talked about sharing her bed with the baby and Darren talked about helping change diapers and they were both excited to have another sibling to play with! It broke my heart quite a bit to hear all of their plans while I knew something could still go wrong.
Monday night I noticed the bleeding stop. I woke up the next day and was scared to check but it was still gone. I hoped and prayed all morning that it was gone for good and this was the necessary progress to help me and my baby be alright. Unfortunately, it came back.
On Tuesday, Dave went to work. Our friends came over to help me with the kids through the day. I wasn’t babysitting because of everything going on, but with Spring Break I had both my kiddos home all day. I felt decently good that day. But, I made myself stay in the recliner as much as possible. I had a hard time having someone else doing things for me such as making my sandwich for lunch. However, I know I would not have made it all day on my own without some pain.
Through the night the bleeding stopped again. As before, I hoped and prayed over and over that it was gone for good so that the baby could survive and be healthy.
I had another blood test on Wednesday, April 1st. This time I went to the lab only for the blood draw and did not see a doctor or nurse. Dave had been missing so much work, he had to go right in so I dropped him off and the kids and I went to stay with my mom for the day. I was not going to be alone when the results call came in, in case it was bad.
We got the call and my level had gone up to 1902!! This meant that I was finally to the point that I could get an ultrasound and check on the baby! The soonest I could be seen was going to be the following Tuesday because my office wanted me to go to a high risk doctor for this. In the meantime, we’d have another blood test on Friday and I was continuing with resting as much as I could because of intermittent pain. Dave was scheduled for an outpatient procedure for Friday but he called to reschedule that. He did not want the stress of anesthesia and waiting on another results call. I admit I was upset because I wanted his health concerns to be taken care of it, but I understood. Later it proved to be necessary so I was glad he did this in the end.
That afternoon my kids got to play with one of their cousins who was also on spring break. They played outside and we even did a midday bonfire and my mom roasted marshmallows for them. I was feeling pretty good so I decided I was up for taking the kids out that evening for our church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. I had even gone out to the grocery store earlier in the day, alone, which was an amazing feeling. I felt normal! I was so happy about the evenings plans and to be able to do something Easter related as our usual plans had been canceled due to Dave’s procedure originally scheduled for Good Friday.
My mom decided to go to the church too and took my nephew along since I didn’t have room for him to ride with us.
Well, that ended up being a very good thing.
*This is Part 2 of a 4 part series.
You can continue to Part 3 here: Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 3