I really thought our bad luck was over and we would see the back of hospital beds and saline drips for a while but unfortunately for us that wasn’t going to be our story. I was just getting back into posting all the normal “mum blogger” junk as well as planning some actual You Tube videos, and letting go of the painful year we have just started to get over.
I feel compelled to share with you the reason for my brief social media absence (if anyone has noticed!) and it wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t talk about the very thing which has consumed me and my family lately, and I also have a feeling you lot will have all sorts of words of kindness and positivity that I need right now. No pressure.
It started the Monday evening, after work, before dinner when I started to get the most indescribable and excruciating tummy pains. It was like a swelling sensation as well as feeling extremely faint and all together pretty rubbish. I had indulged in sashimi for lunch and instantly thought perhaps I had got food poisoning and just needed to “sit on the loo” so to speak. The longer I sat there the worse I felt and I eventually curled up in a ball on our very cold bathroom floor whilst Mr H administered some paracetamol and ibuprofen. I was then tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and the pain seemed to ease slightly. Before I had gone up to bed however I did notice that my stomach seemed to be hard and bloated but again this could have been my body reacting to a bad bit of fish. I spent the whole night curled tightly in a little ball with the hot water bottle pressed tightly against me, until morning.
The morning seemed better but not without pain so I decided that I would take a day sick from work and drop Harry with his childminder. Once Harry was settled in front of the TV I showered and kissed Mr H goodbye as he was late for his train.
The moment I stepped out of the shower was when the searing pain in my tummy returned and after a quick glance in the mirror my lips had turned totally purple. I staggered into the living room where I knew if I didn’t lay on the floor I was going to collapse! I called for Harry who immediately knew something was wrong and dropped to my side with the sweetest look of concern. I asked him to go and find my phone which miraculously he did so I could phone Mr H and tell him something was seriously wrong. Thank god he picked up, as his train was just pulling up to the platform and he sprinted home making a dozen phone calls on the way.
During this time my darling and clever baby boy sat stroking my arm, he fetched his little wooden doctors kit and “listened to my heart”. He gave me his absolute favourite comforter his stuffed elephant Ellie and signed to me not to cry. In such an awful painful moment it was one of the most proudest few minutes of my parenting life and I couldn’t have loved him any more.
What happened next was a bit of a blur but I was taken to A & E and seen pretty much immediately. I told them through gritted teeth all of my symptoms and as I was speaking I could feel the pain travel up through my right arm and shoulder. As soon as I told the nurse this symptom she wheeled me straight into an emergency room and asked me to gown up. I was asked a thousand questions at that point with the main one being “could you be pregnant?”
There was no way in my head that I was pregnant, I had just had a period, on the pill and we weren’t trying, I had felt completely normal before today. I did a sample for them anyway which they whisked away to test and in the meantime the doctor then proceeded to tell me that extreme pain like that travelling to your right shoulder is a strong indication that there is internal bleeding in the abdomen. This would usually be caused by appendicitis or more commonly ectopic pregnancy.
My test result was positive. I was pregnant. But was I.. Because in the same sentence they had told me I was pregnant they also told me I wouldn’t be within a few hours. I was having an ectopic pregnancy (fancy explanation here) which basically means the embryo attaches itself to your Fallopian tube which is about the width of a drinking straw and not a possible place for a baby to grow and is basically not good my friends.
I was high as a kite on morphine and confused, scared, angry at myself for not knowing when we had conceived and guilty because my body had failed me. Scott and I cried together and tried to make sense of what the doctors were telling us whilst a consent form was thrust my way and I signed my life into the hands of the surgical gods. Within 2 hours of arriving at the hospital I was taken into the operating theatre and put to sleep.
I can’t tell you how long I was in surgery but I was in recovery for almost 6 hours. I was in and out of sleep and weird conversation with the nurse attending to me. The next thing I remember is being wheeled up to the women’s health ward and seeing Scott’s face. The surgeon had been to see him and he really couldn’t believe I was still here. The Fallopian tube where the pregnancy had attached itself to had ruptured on the Monday night and my stomach had been bloated because it was filling up with blood. Somehow I hadn’t bled to death during the night otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post today.
There was over 2 pints of blood in my abdomen so my surgeon had made the decision to cut straight across under my bikini line instead of the usual key hole surgery commonly used in ectopic pregnancy to drain it out and I received a blood transfusion to replace what I had lost.
Due to the rupture my left Fallopian tube had to be removed completely but he saw that my right tube was in tact and healthy, as well as my ovaries being totally fine. This means that my future chances of conceiving are only very slightly reduced. I’m no scientist but the general consensus is that your egg and his sperm will find their way via your remaining tube and get down to it.. Or something like that anyway.
I was in the 1% club, that’s the risk percentage of your pregnancy being ectopic. The risk of a repeat ectopic pregnancy once you have had one does go up by around 5% which is a little scary but I have been reassured that I will be closely monitored/scanned in those early weeks next time.
I was allowed to come home to my boys just a couple of days after my surgery, it felt like Harry and I had been apart for weeks and his beaming smile when our eyes met was almost enough to take all the pain away.
I won’t lie, I’m in absolute agony! I can barely walk, I can’t lift more than a glass of water and I’m bloated like a Buddha. The cut is not dissimilar to a c section wound but instead of stitches I have staples which I can’t bear to look at right now. My surgeon was very polite in the fact he made sure the cut was super straight and neat and he managed to join it to 2 hernia scars I have from when I was little! It’s silly really to care about the cosmetic side of things when you’re life has just flashed before your eyes but it helps to know you won’t look like you’ve had a battle with a tiger once it’s all over
I’m one tube down with no backup but I’m doing OK. I have never felt so loved in my life, my house resembles a florists and I’ve got a cupboard full of chocolate and biscuits ready and waiting for me to pile back on the pounds when I’m up to it!
I couldn’t ask for a better nurse, flower arranger or chef in my partner Scott who, despite everything he has gone through, is doing m an amazing job as the mum and the dad!
I have yet again learnt that I am brave which isn’t a bad thing I suppose, and that the human body can be a confusing mess of failing you and then being a miracle worker all at the same time.
I’ve accepted that this experience is now a part of my life story as well as all the other struggles we have somehow managed to trudge through! I’m naturally a positive person and I won’t dwell on this or let it take me down, its just another path I can say I have walked down and I can tell you I will be a hell of a lot stronger for it
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