Yesterday I wrote about the heartbreaking truth of my pregnancy. A lot has happened since then.
I spent Wednesday in hospital (Massive thank you to Sarah who blogs at Mum of Three World for looking after my twinningtons – you may have quite literally saved my life!). I went in for a scan to find out what gestation my pregnancy was, and if we were looking at one or two babies. The sonographer couldn’t find a foetus at all – on an external or an internal scan.
Another pregnancy test was taken and no surprise, it was still positive. So bloods were taken and my HCG levels were checked (pregnancy hormone). I was told that if they exceed 4000, then a foetus should be visible on the scan. I was called at home on Wednesday evening and told my HCG levels were just over 7000 and so I’d need to go back to hospital on Thursday for more tests.
They wanted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
Yesterday morning, after having a sonography probe up me for half an hour, the foetus was found in my right fallopian tube. This is an ectopic pregnancy. I was immediately admitted to hospital for surgery. In an ectopic pregnancy, if not removed, the fallopian tube can rupture, causing internal bleeding, severe pain and me to collapse. They wanted to prevent this from happening.
By 11am, I was nil by mouth and up on a ward. The doctors used my hands as pin cushions until they could finally get a cannula into one of my tiny, traumatised veins. At 2:30 I was given a bed in a ward with five other lovely ladies. Mum and Jonny came to visit me with the children at 4pm. The children couldn’t stay long, but my mum, who’d travelled two hours on a train to get to me, stayed with me until 8pm, when I was finally called down for my surgery. Mum and I, have spent a lot of time together in hospitals, and it’s always her I want to be with before I go into theatre.
I was the last one on the list, so I was lucky I wasn’t made to wait until morning.
I enjoyed a few minutes of deep relaxation under sedatives, before they put me to sleep under general anaesthetic. For once I wasn’t frightened. But then hospitals have become like a second home to me now and I’ve had more operations over the years, than I could count.
I was having a laparoscopy – which is keyhole surgery. They insert a camera in just below my belly button, and two probes in to move things around. They located the fallopian tube with the foetus in, and removed it (the tube and the baby). This meant I didn’t need to have any larger incisions made, but it’s still quite traumatic surgery. As well as the pain from the wounds and from my organs being moved around (and a bit cut out), I have horrendous pain in my shoulder, neck and chest. This is called “shoulder-tip pain” and is a result of them pumping my stomach full of gasses, to see more closely what they were doing.
I woke up in a nice peaceful, dark recovery room, with a lovely nurse looking after me. I was given pain relief, after pain releif, after pain releif. Until eventually, at midnight, I was okay to be taken back to the ward.
I’m writing this post from my hospital bed, drugged up on painkillers but still close to tears. I’m in pain, I feel sick, I can’t eat, I feel groggy and I’m frightened of going home. I’ve been in such a bad way today, that no doctor has even considered letting me go home.
When I do go home, the twins will want to sit on my lap, and Jonny will probably underestimate how poorly I feel. I can’t be touched right now. Anywhere. But especially not my tummy.
The painkillers are thankfully holding back some of my emotions, but I know that soon it will dawn on me, that I’ve just lost a baby. It hasn’t sunk in yet. The grief is on pause.
The hardest part of this operation, for me, was signing “consent for the cremation of foetus and foetal remains”. Why do they have to write it like that? Why do they have to make me sign it at all? Can’t they just do what they have to do, discreetly?
I keep telling myself, I’m lucky it was early. My baby didn’t have a heartbeat yet. It would have been tiny and not even resembled a baby. It was a foetus. But in my head… it still would have grown into a baby. My baby.
But nature took it’s course. A pregnancy becoming ectopic is nobody’s fault. There’s nothing I could have done to prevent it and I did nothing to cause it. This baby just wasn’t meant to be.
At the moment I just feel numb. The reality of this hasn’t sunk in. People on Twitter have said “I’m so sorry for your loss”, but my body still thinks it’s pregnant. I still have the bloating, the nausea, the cravings, the wind and the sore boobs. I still feel pregnant and that could still go on for a few days, maybe even a week or two. Somebody please tell my body to accept this… so that I can.
I’m going to continue hitting the pain killers hard, until I’m discharged from hospital, so at least I can be at home, when I crumble and grieve.