Two months ago I was having some pretty bad Cramps. This was actually right around election time because I was watching the results come in and tweeting that my Cramps were pretty intense. Long time readers, or those who have dug through the archives, may remember that I have a Mirena IUD. This is important because I should not have been experiencing Cramps because I should not have been menstruating. However, sporadically I do have some light spotting and sometimes it’s accompanied by minor cramping.
This was different. It felt like a good ol’ fashioned period. “Odd,” I thought but went along my merry way for a couple days. The Thursday after the election I was in a sh*t ton of pain and decided I should go see my doctor. Long story short by Friday I was feeling better and after checking that the IUD was still where it should be, my OB declared it was probably a cyst and that they take care of themselves.
24 hours later I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk. I was light headed whenever I stood up. Matt took me to the ER where after an hour of writhing in pain in the waiting room they did a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Turns out my Cramps were the result of an ectopic pregnancy in my left fallopian tube which had ruptured. The ultrasound tech, I was later told, had said she’d never seen so much blood in someone’s belly before. I was rushed into emergency surgery where the tube was removed, the blood taken out of my belly and my life was, generally speaking, saved.
Recovery was a b*tch. Took a few weeks before I was walking normally and didn’t have to take a moment to plan my entering and exiting of the bed. Then one day I felt fine. Walking! Bending! Holding my son! Wearing pants that were of the yoga variety!
This past week I’ve been hurting again. Muscle ache in the right side of my abdomen. Not cramping, just aching. Why? I don’t know. I’m assuming maybe I went a little too crazy with the whole walking around like an adult human female and getting in and out of bed and chairs like one as well. At my 6 week post-surgery check the doctor reiterated that what happened to me was very rare and if it happens again I should buy a lottery ticket. (I kept my snappy come back, “If I survive another one, I’ll go do that.” To myself.).Going to the doctor to get it checked out this Friday morning. If there’s a sudden spike in the pain, I’ll go to urgent care. I’m afraid of it being something and afraid of it being nothing and overreacting. Clearly the latter is preferred.
Before making the doctor’s appointment this morning I decided to hop online and see if there were any results for a quick “recovery period after [insert medical term for removing an exploded fallopian tube]” search. And there were, of course, many non-helpful results. There was one article I read that went through the procedure itself and showed illustrations of the little embryo inside the tube. It…well it got in my head. Suddenly I found myself trying not to cry at my desk, mind flashing through memories of carrying both my kids and other illustrations of growing fetuses that I’ve seen.
During the whole thing at the hospital, even though they referred to it as an ectopic pregnancy, it didn’t click in my head what that meant: I had had a baby growing inside of me again. Not until my Astronomy professor told me in an email that she was sorry for our loss. Even after it finally came together that I was pregnant and now I’m not, my only real feeling has been of guilt that I wasn’t sorry for our loss.
We don’t want any more kids, of that I’m sure. Matt had a vasectomy two days before I started feeling the Cramping. We know it was the right decision.
A few weeks ago I did the math and figured the baby would’ve been born in July. Seeing the illustrations of embryos in fallopian tubes, I thought again about that almost due date.
I guess you could call what I’m going through now part of the grieving process. But how can I grieve something I didn’t want?