I hesitated to share this story, not because it was too personal because I am a very open person, but because I felt like my emotions through this journey were not what they “should” have been. After talking with a friend who also had an ectopic pregnancy though, I decided this is a very important thing to discuss and as a result have decided to share my story in the most real way that I can.
I was suppose to have a baby this month, but unfortunately I lost my baby on October 18, 2019 due to an ectopic pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant in late September. We were excited and terrified all at the same time. We had just had our second daughter in May 2019, so this would mean that I would have 3 kids under the age of three; however I had always wanted my kids close in age so it was exciting to me. A couple weeks after I found out that I was pregnant I started having some bleeding. I never experienced this with my other 2 kids, so my immediate thought was that I was having a miscarriage. After some phone calls to the doctor and an appointment that’s what we assumed. They told me all there was to do was wait.
A few days later we had plans to go to San Antonio Texas for a couples trip. 5 minutes before leaving for the airport I had severe pain in my lower abdomen. I have had stomach pain issues in the past, but this was different. I assumed it was part of the pain that comes from having a miscarriage and I still wanted to make our flight to Texas. My dad drove us to the airport and the pain did not go away. We debated staying, but I thought it would eventually stop and then we could enjoy our kid free vacation, so Waylon got a wheel chair for me and wheeled me through the airport. We got on a plane and arrived in Texas. The pain never completely stopped, but it became more tolerable and I was able to walk and be fine.
We met up with my sister and brother in law there because my husband and brother in law had both served there missions there. We enjoyed our trip the best we could and headed home. A few days after being home I woke up in the middle of the night in severe pain once again, this time we decided to go to the ER where they did several tests and came to the conclusion that I had a cyst on my Fallopian tube. They said that can cause pain and that I may have worse pain if it ruptures, but they assured me that with time it should resolve on its own.
A few days past with the same constant pain. Waylon’s brothers decided to come visit. We showed them around downtown, ate at Rocky Rococo’s, played a game of frisbee golf, and got pie shakes at Sharis. The pain started to get worse when we were playing frisbee golf and I started having bad diarrhea and more bleeding, but I was handling it. Later that night it only got worse until I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced. I layed on the ground curled up in a ball unable to move. At this point I thought the cyst was rupturing because they told me that that may happen. So I waited. My husband and brother in laws gave me a priesthood blessing and about an hour later the pain became tolerable again. But it was still different then it had been. I felt numb in some areas of my body and couldn’t sleep. I kept feeling like I needed to go back to the ER, but I didn’t want to show up just to have them tell me the same thing. I decided to call the on call nurse and she recommended that I go in. Around 3 am I woke Waylon up and told him that I think we should go in.
When we got to the hospital they did more tests including an internal ultrasound and after lots of waiting around we could hear the doctors talking outside by the nurses station about an ectopic pregnancy. I turned to Waylon and told him that I think they were talking about me. He said to just wait. My OB came in about 30 min later to tell me the news. I had an ectopic pregnancy. It was overwhelming in the sense that they were very rushed and said we need to get you into surgery right now. They also told me that they could see something in my uterus and that it could be a heterotopic pregnancy meaning I was pregnant with twins, but one was growing in my Fallopian tube and one was growing in my Uterus. I had had some feelings that I was pregnant with twins before this occurred, so I truly believe this was the case. He then told me that it is very unlikely the one in my Uterus would survive since I needed to have surgery and suggested that I got a D&C along with the surgery to remove the one in my Fallopian tube as to avoid going through another miscarriage right after surgery. But if there was a chance that the one in my Uterus would survive, I wanted to take that chance, so we told them no.
Ectopic pregnancy are very rare and can be fatal because they often burst your Fallopian tube and if that happens, you can bleed out in minutes. That is why they were in such a hurry. I didn’t have a lot of time to think and wasn’t totally sure what to think. Lots of questions ran through my head, the most worrisome being, “would I still be able to have kids?”. After my surgery I woke up super foggy not totally sure what was going on. The doctor informed me that they were unable to save my Fallopian tube and showed me photos of the incredible amount of blood that covered my insides. A few people had come to visit and check on me and then I was sent home with an incredibly sore abdomen. So many wonderful people showered me in love. I am a very open person so a lot of people new about it. People brought gifts and sent meals and visited me. I felt so so grateful.
2 days later I went back to the ER due to some pain in my stomach again and after everything that had happened and knowing there was a chance that I was still pregnant I wanted to make sure everything was okay. The wanted to give me a CT, but if you are pregnant it could harm the baby, so they took some test to see if that was the case and the results came back negative. This means what they saw was either a pseudo-gestational sac that my body created because I was pregnant OR I had already miscarried the second baby.
Losing a baby was sad, but to be completely transparent, I felt so much relief to no longer be in pain. I didn’t feel much, I still don’t feel much. and for awhile I felt ashamed for that. I had thoughts about what if I have another ectopic pregnancy and can no longer have kids or what if something happened and I can’t have kids anymore now. But besides that I wasn’t as wrecked as I expected. I had heard people talk about their miscarriages and how it was the hardest thing they had ever gone through, so I thought that was how I was “suppose” to feel. I felt like something was wrong with me. I am not a super emotional person to begin with, but Why don’t I feel like everyone else?! I mean, I just lost a baby. All the thoughts ran through my mind. So I hesitated to write this post. I didn’t want to come across as chalice or someone that doesn’t care because I know there are people that feel things very deeply and having a miscarriage destroyed them. But then I thought about all the people that may have felt the same way as I did and felt shame because you don’t hear anyone talk about it. Maybe because they are afraid of the same things I am. Or maybe they told people what they thought they were suppose to.
I talked with a friend who has had two ectopic pregnancies and she talked about how her first one was incredibly hard, but her second one she also felt nothing. It made me realize how important it is to remember that whatever our feelings may be, they are valid! We are allowed to feel what we feel. We have all had experiences and instincts that make us who we are and things affect every one of us differently. We need to give ourselves grace as we navigate through life and the trials we may face and we need give other people the same grace. Grief comes and goes and different experiences affect each of us in a different way and at different times. We don’t have to condone the actions people take because of their feelings, but we do have to allow them to feel things their own way. We are all doing our best with the information and experiences we have been given in this life. So let’s be kind to ourselves and others as we navigate to becoming the people we are meant to become.