Scary

Ectopic Pregnancy

Yesterday I had my one week follow up appointment with the OBGYN who did my ectopic pregnancy surgery (called a salpingectomy), Dr. Deborah Sherman.  I was looking forward to this appointment because of all the complications I had post-surgery and was really looking forward to getting some reassurance that things were going to improve from here on out.  Physically, things have been much better.  My bleeding has slowed down substantially (I bet the bleeding will stop in two or three days), and my pain level is only at a 2 or a 3.  I still have to be really careful picking anything up over 20lbs (including my 21-month old daughter), but the incisions do not really hurt unless one of my kids hit them or I sneeze/laugh/etc.  My swelling and bloating has gone way, way down since my last post and my stomach almost looks back to normal.  It still hurts to flex my stomach muscles though where the incisions are and i imagine it will be that way for another month or so until it fully heals.  I am not allowed to workout for another 3-4 weeks, although I have been going for walks outside with my kids or on the treadmill at my gym.  Here is a picture I took tonight when my aunt asked me how the bloating was:

9 Days Post Surgery

9 Days Post Surgery

I was really worried this week because my husband had to go back to work.  His boss was wonderful and really understanding last week and let him work from home, but for the rest of the month his hours are extremely long.  He leaves around 7am and doesn't get home until 9pm each day.  I knew January was going to be a rough month and have been mentally preparing myself for this for the past few months, I just didn't know I was going to have all these physical issues pop up at the same time.  Without going into a lot of details, my mom and I haven't seen each other since my sister's wedding 2.5 years ago and she had never met my daughter yet.  When she heard of everything that happened she offered to fly down from LA and help me with the kids, and I thought it would be a great idea.  It has been so incredibly helpful to have a second set of hands, and it has been really great for us to get to spend time together and for my kids to get to know their grandma.

Lunch at Katherine and Co with my mom. We look alike, huh?

Lunch at Katherine and Co with my mom. We look alike, huh?

So my mom watched my kids for me while I went to my follow up appoint, which I was really grateful for.  It was so nice to not have to stress about entertaining my kids in the waiting room and to really be able to focus and listen on what the doctor was telling me during my appointment.

The appointment went fine and the doctor looked at my incisions and did a pelvic exam.  Both checked out great.  It was a fairly quick appointment (maybe 8 minutes long) and as the doctor was getting ready to walk out the door I asked her about something I was nervous about admitting.  I told her that this past weekend I kept getting anxiety attacks over even the smallest things.  I tried to explain that this isn't my normal personality, that usually I am a very calm, even keel, happy person....but that since the surgery little things like: both my kids crying at the same time, or the gas light popping up when I was driving on the freeway, or seeing too much blood when going to the bathroom have been giving me anxiety attacks.  My heart starts racing and my throat tightens up and I start to feel like I just need to plug my ears and walk in the other room until I can calm myself down.  This is something I've never really experience in my life, and I started tearing up as I was explaining this to her, because I just hate that this keeps happening and I feel like I don't have control over my body's response when this happens.  She told me that there is a good chance I could be suffering from some PTSD after this whole experience and suggested meditation and yoga when my body is physically able to do yoga.  She also encouraged me to talk to a counselor.  I've since found out that the insurance we have through my husband's employer will pay for eight free counseling sessions each year and so I am considering using that service.  I've never talked with a counselor before, and in some strange way it makes me feel a little weak to think that I might need to, but my rational side knows it is silly to feel that way and that talking to someone could be a really good thing.

The end of the appointment was the part that really makes me feel scared and sad.  Dr. Sherman said that if we do want to try for another baby we will need to wait at least 3-4 months, and then she went on to tell me that I have around a 40% chance of having another ectopic pregnancy.  She said they don't really know why someone like me who doesn't have endometriosis or fertility issues has it happen, but statistics show that once you have one ectopic pregnancy you are likely to have another one around 40% of the time.  She also said that part of the reason I probably was in so much pain was because she tried to save the tube first which likely caused a lot of bruising internally.  If she would have just gone in and taken the tube out immediately, my pain afterwards probably wouldn't have been so bad.  She also said the pregnancy was in the middle of the Fallopian tube which is harder to get out than if it is on the end of the Fallopian tube.  I know so many people have commented that they were able to have a normal pregnancy after having an ectopic, but it makes me wonder if people who had a bad experience just wouldn't be the ones to comment.  The commenters are probably people who fall in the 60% range, but there are still 40% of those who had previous ectopic pregnancies who had another one afterwards.

I don't know why I took this silly picture, but I was waiting for the doctor for what seemed like forever and sent this picture to my husband. I think this is the first time I have worn makeup since the surgery, and it felt good to get ready for the day and feel pretty again.

I don't know why I took this silly picture, but I was waiting for the doctor for what seemed like forever and sent this picture to my husband. I think this is the first time I have worn makeup since the surgery, and it felt good to get ready for the day and feel pretty again.

So, this is where I really feel scared and conflicted right now.  Since that appointment yesterday, I have really had to think about just being ok with two healthy kids.  I never, ever, ever, ever want to have to go through that experience again.  Even if they catch the ectopic pregnancy early they can give me a pill (methotrexate) instead of doing surgery, but that pill is a cancer-killing pill and an abortion pill.  Then that brings on a whole new set of emotions.  Even though I know a baby in a Fallopian tube would die anyways (a baby cannot survive when implanted in a Fallopian tube instead of the uterus), the fact that I would take a pill to kill a baby is disturbing.  But then I think about never nursing another baby and never going through the birth experience again and it makes me really sad.  (You can read about my last two birth stories here and here).  My hope is that if I just give it time, that decision will be easier to make whichever way we decide.

So that is basically where things stand right now.  I am right now accepting the help that people offer me (something that I haven't been great at in the past) and hoping that with time I will find peace with the situation and things will start to heal both physically and emotionally.  The decision to have any children in the future isn't one that I feel comfortable making right now, and hopefully with time that answer will become more clear.  It's a tough decision to make and one that will take a lot of thought and prayer.  I am curious to hear your guys' opinions, if you were told that you had a 40% chance of having another ectopic pregnancy, would you take that chance?  Or would you be happy with having two healthy children and not try for any more?

I am so grateful to each of you for your comments, thoughts, and prayers.  I truly believe that being able to write about my feelings and emotions has helped me in so many ways.  If you are just now reading about my surgery, here are the other blog posts I wrote on this topic which you can read about here:

Your friend,
Natalie

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34 Comments

  1. Natalie, I’m so glad to see you are doing well given what you’ve experienced. I guess I am the last one to be commenting on such things since I don’t have children. I’m not sure if I want any. However, in response to your questions, I would say that if you and your husband want more children that you should try. No harm in trying. Even if there is a 40% chance of you having another ectopic pregnancy, there is a 60% chance of you having a successful one. 60% is greater than 40%, so……….. 🙂 And even if you aren’t blessed with another child, you have two adorable children, so I don’t think you lose either way. 🙂
    It would be great if we knew what the future holds, but we must take chances in order to have anything happen. I believe what is meant to happen will happen.

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  2. I think that decision would be very personal for each person and hard to relate to in your situation if they’ve never been through something similar. I understand the deep sadness that comes with the realization that you probably won’t have any more children, especially when you didnt go through your previous pregnancy thinking it would be your last. It is a time of mourning in some ways but there is also positives to everything, so you just have to look for them. For us the positive is that we will be more financially able to provide for the two kids, and we might even be able to take trips and do other fun stuff with just two that might not be as possible with 3. I think there will always be a part of me that feels like I missed out in having one more baby, but there is also a part of me that is fine with it, but that took time.

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  3. “Planning any sort of decision for the future when you’re still mourning the past isn’t conducive to healing” not a judgment just what I was told when I lost my baby by my counselor. Maybe it will resonate with you like it did with me. Glad you are on the mend and I’d do those 8 sessions to help get a different perspective. You’re still in my prayers.

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  4. I understand your pain. Until you experience such a loss it’s hard to understand not only the physical pain, but the mental torment you go through just pushing through another day. Time will ease some of this. Also, when you are able to get back in the gym, it will help. I was severely depressed after having an emergency hysterectomy 2 years ago. Once I got the clearance to hit the gym again, I became almost obsessive with it. It was the only thing I felt like I could do right though and it made me feel more positive about my outlook on life and the cards I had been dealt. I am lucky to have 2 wonderful children. I will always have the nagging question of “What if?”, in the back of my mind. I’ve learned to work through it. A counselor helped me learn different coping mechanisms so that was wonderful. You are strong beyond measure. Always remember that.

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  5. Natalie, I am continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I struggled with the decision to see a counselor after Emma died and it ended up being the best decision I could have made. I encourage you to give it a try–it’s the only way you’ll know if it’s right for you. It is so hard to process such traumatic events and having someone to talk to helped me so much. As far as getting pregnant again, you’ll know if it’s right. I was absolutely terrified but I knew I wanted a baby more than I was willing to let the fear control me, and it has been so worth it. xoxo

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    • Thank you for commenting sweet friend <3 I have thought of you quite a bit the past few weeks.

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  6. I had an eptopic that was caught early and was given the medication in shot form to dissolve the pregnancy. It was rough and I broke down in front of everyone in the office after they had given me the shot. And this was after almost 3 years of trying. I am 7 months pregnant currently and didn’t have another eptopic. Getting pregnant is a journey.

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  7. I’m sorry you are having anxiety attacks. What an awful feeling to experience I’m sure, especially for someone so used to feeling so even. You have been though so much and your mind is overwhelmed and the smallest things can just push you over the edge. I hope you felt like you got enough time with your doctor and that she really listened to you. Counseling is always helpful, I tell my patients (I’m a family nurse practitioner) all the time that EACH ONE OF US would benefit from counseling! We all have certain ways that we tick, and there are certainly some that need working on. Getting into a counselor will help you build better constructive ways to deal with certain things that you may need help with (excessive worry, dealing with anxiety, etc…). I am a big advocate for counseling, and hope that if you do go you find someone that is a good fit for you.

    As for your thoughts on having another baby, the beauty in all of this mess is that you have time to figure out that one. Medically, you need to let your body heal and rest. As hard as it might be, place that worry on the back burner for now. Focus on what is right in front of you right now (resting, healing, your children). In time your focus can turn to that, and your body and mind will have better clarity to focus on it.

    Hugs.

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  8. I have been thinking about you and praying for you still.
    All these feelings, all these emotions are “normal”. From my experience, I feel the same anxiety, esp in the fact that I feel shorter patience with my kids. It has been a month for me, and all my symptoms and feelings have gotten better. I do feel more like my old self, so trust that time does begin to heal. I think it is great to go to a counselor. And also great that you are accepting and asking for help! That shows how very strong you are!
    When it comes to another pregnancy, you are right, time will tell where you and your husbands minds are.
    I honestly don’t know what I’d do with the 40% chance. The same thoughts came to my mind about never wanting to go through a miscarriage again. But like you said, to never go through pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding again is very sad. Then I’d weigh out pro and cons, ex. My living healthy three boys need a healthy mommy more than I need another birthed baby. That being said, we are open to adoption if that door opens.
    I hope you continue to feel all the love and support from everyone and although time does not heal all wounds, it does allow for brightness, joy and even hope. Xo

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  9. I’m so glad you are healing well and that your mom is there to help. Give yourself time to decide if you want another baby, I go back and forth but I think we are done after 2, I don’t know if you ever know for sure when you’re done. I hope you are back to your old self soon!

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  10. Natalie,

    I never had an ectopic nor a miscarriage, but I did suffer fertility issues and needed intervention to get pregnant with my first, my second was a blessed surprise although we planned her (we thought we would have to go another round of fertility, but God had another plan)…anyway,..what I want to say is I understand the inner turmoil you are going through with the thought of wanting or not being able to have another. A year ago my husband decided to have a vasectomy….I was not happy about it even though we only ever wanted 4 children (older two are adopted)…I felt like my body had FINALLY learned what to do and I didnt want to close that option in the future, again we only ever talked about 4 and between 3 and 4 we actually argued about a 4th because he changed his mind for a while about the fourth. He eventually came around and was very happy about the plan for the fourth, but it was a struggle for a while before he did. So my point is we knew for a fact we would not have a 5th. BUT his choice to alter HIS body was really hard on my emotions. I was starting nursing school too, so I knew there was no way I wanted any more either, but still the maternal side of me was mourning the loss of possibility. I eventually got over it. I talked to my OBGYN and she told me that she understood my concerns and emotions, but that I needed to focus on this next chapter in my married life. I said exactly, I was sad that the chapter of making babies was over for me when at one point I didn’t think it would ever be written. She agreed it is hard to think that chapter in our lives is finished, but there are many more sweet chapters still to be written. I completely agree to allow the decision to come to you, rather than you seek it out. PLUS you are still grieving your loss, and that’s ok. When you are at peace with what has happened you will be able to see clearer and it WILL come to you. If it be that you want to try again, the fear will be there, but not as strong as it is right now. Where there is a will there is a way. If your choice is to finish this chapter of your life and write the next, that will be sweet too. I also completely agree for you to see a counselor. Don’t be ashamed of it. If you were physically ill or felt a pain you were not sure what it was you would see a doctor, right? Mental health is no different. To feel sadness or anxiety that is interfering with your daily functions apart from what is normal is nothing to feel weak about, never never never…go talk to someone, I have done it in the past and it is wonderful, I really think you being as tuned into health and nutrition, you will gain insight into another form of what is healthy, not just for your self but in a broader sense as well. What is it you teach us ? OWNIT…its ok to need help…Own IT sweetie, you will feel liberated afterwards.. God Bless.

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  11. Hi Natalie,

    I am never one to really comment on these types of blogs, but I definitely relate to the feelings you have been going through. I had an ectopic pregnancy when I was just getting out of college about 13 years ago (wow, time flies). Anyways, it was my first pregnancy and I didn’t even know what an ectopic pregnancy was. In fact, I didn’t even know I was pregnant when I was to the point where it about ruptured. I think I was in denial about something being wrong (although the pain was very evident).

    Anyways, they were able to salvage the tube, but never really knew why it happened. Once I grew up a bit more, got married, and actually started trying to start a family, it was definitely always in the back of my mind. I knew that having one ectopic pregnancy increased my chances for another one, but I didn’t know the chances were so high. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I let my OB/GYN know. If you decide to try for another baby, I think you should try and not think about statistics. Everything happens for a reason. Child birth and labor also isn’t a piece of cake…I know my first wasn’t, BUT after it was over, I looked at my baby girl and said I would do it all over again in an instance. As long as you have the support of family and friends, you can get through anything!

    I was lucky enough to never have another ectopic pregnancy, however, I can completely understand your worry. It sounds like the experience has been traumatic for you.

    You’ve also mentioned going to see someone for counseling. I highly recommend doing this. I think it will help lead you to a confident decision about your future family plans. Although you feel somewhat weak admitting when you need help, it’s actually the brave people that overcome that fear and ask for the help they need. Talking things out is a very healthy way of dealing with emotions, and it fits right in with your beliefs of leading a healthy life.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best. Take care of yourself!

    Sincerely,

    Keely

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  12. Not having gone through an ectopic, but having endometriosis and having to go through fertility treatments to have 1 child, and then a miracle baby after that (my babies are 18 months apart lol, and by babies I mean they are 8 and 9 yrs old now :-(, i had made peace with my 2…but then 4 yrs ago I suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks, couldn’t even believe I was pregnant, and then having lost that child…well..it’s been 4 years…and …i try to make peace with my 2 I have now…..but yes, I get sad that I probably won’t have anymore….but I’m not willing to go through ivf and the financial strain……that being said…..perhaps you need to think if you did pursue another with your 40% risk of an ectopic, you are risking NOT being there for your children now….we are getting older..i am a nurse in the Nicu…..you might risk if we do have other child a special needs child, that would need you in more ways than you could ever imagine your world being…..it is hard to make peace , but, we are blessed to be mothers as it is……..any decision you make has to be what is best for your children presently here, not what could be…..or trying to feel better about a hole in our hearts…that will heal with the love of your children NOW…..love you!!!!!

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  13. i was just thinking about you this morning. Wondering how your belly is doing. And then I see on facebook that you’ve shared new pictures along with your latest post. I’m glad your physically doing much better but understand the emotional trauma you are still enduring. I couldn’t agree with your doctor more – counseling, meditation and yoga are the perfect remedies to overcome the anxiety and fears. Just keep hope at the forefront and it will happen! You will continue to be in my prayers!! God bless.

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  14. Hi Natalie,
    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. While I haven’t had an ectopic pregnancy myself, I just wanted to share that after a friend of mine had a similar experience to you (including loss of a fallopian tube), she and her husband did in-vitro fertilization to ensure that the baby would implant in the right place, and it was totally successful on the first try. Just thought you might find that option to be comforting if you decide you want to have a third. I hope you feel better soon.

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  15. Natalie –

    I have been following your story and have felt so much heartache for the pain you are going through. Your emotions and experience are all too familiar for me. I had fertility issues conceiving my daughter (PCOS). All the Doctor’s were shocked I had PCOS though because I had no physical signs that would indicate I should have PCOS. So when we decided to try for a second I was beyond elated when I got pregnant on the first try. At about 7 1/2 weeks I started having cramping and light bleeding only to find out it was ectopic. I had to have the methotrexate in a form of a shot. The guilt I still have from making that decision lingers with me. It wasn’t easy and I cried for days on end. I tried to find happiness in my beautiful daughter but there was a huge hole that had been ripped open from the experience. I was also full of a lot of anger and kept questioning why this had to happen to me. I already had to deal with PCOS now this. But time has definitely helped heal the wounds.

    I was petrified of another experience like that but for me I knew I wanted my daughter to have a sibling. So I took my chances. I don’t know what decision I would have made though if I’d already had two children.

    When I found out I was pregnant again I was beyond neurotic. Every cramp, twing, etc. sent me into tears convinced it was another ectopic. But in the end it turned out I was one of the lucky 60% and now have a beautiful healthy boy. We can’t tell the future and unforunately others cannot tell us what decisions to make 🙁

    I just wanted to let you know that I understand everything you are going through! I thank you so much for being so honest about your feelings and experience.

    In regards to counceling I would encourage it. I don’t see it at all as a sign of weakness instead I see it as a sign of strength and courage. I have such respect for people who know understand that we all need help and need someone to talk to sometimes. I didn’t go through counceling with my experience but I have at other points in my life and the difference it made in my life journey was amazing.

    Michelle

    PS I also want to let you know that I have been following you for much longer than just this recent experience and that you are an amazing woman who I really respect and admire! I have recommended your blog to so many of my friends 🙂

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  16. Hi Natalie,

    I have been reading about your experiences over the last couple of weeks and I want to tell you that I admire your strength in letting your feelings and thoughts be seen by so many. You never know who you might help someday with all of this. I wish you nothing but happiness and health for the rest of 2015.

    About therapy, it’s really hard to walk through that door and admit you need help. I did it about 4 years ago for the first time (I’m 44) and I’m so glad I did. It gave me many coping skills/tools to help deal with so many of the obstacles we face in every day life along with the big ones. If it wasn’t for my therapy sessions, I never would have lost over 100 pounds and kept it off. Sometimes we just need objective help unjumbling all of those thoughts/ideas/concepts in our head.

    And as far as having more kids, I really think that’s a decision to be made by you and your husband after you’ve gone through more of the grieving process. I am biologically childless by choice, and I didn’t come to that place easily or quickly. Take the time to grieve and start the healing process. I hope you’re feeling better and are back at it again soon!!!

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  17. I am a stubborn stubborn woman so I think even with those odds I would still try again. I had a miscarriage at 3 months of pregnancy and actually had to take a pill to induce it since my body was not taking care of the baby that did not survive. It was very hard emotionally and physically – I didn’t realize my body was actually going to be put in a sort of labor and that it would be so painful. But after I felt better emotionally and physically, I was obsessed with having a child and I just put my hope and faith into the fact that everything would work out as it should!

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  18. I just want to say first of all that I am so very sorry for your loss! I can only imagine what emotional and physical pain you must be going through. Great big hugs to you!

    As for statistics, I say they are just that!! My first two births were via C-Sections due to “failure to progress”. I had complications with my surgeries and told myself I would never have a 3rd because of my fear of further surgeries. I always hoped for a VBAC but was told I had a 30% chance at best and quite frankly, that scared me. Still, I did become pregnant with my 3rd(and had a subchorionic hemmoraghe where I bled horribly and was told I would miscarry. I didn’t!) and guess what? I had a successful VBAC with no complications. I beat the 70% odds that were against me and I’m so glad I did. I know that our situations don’t really compare but I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you truly see yourself as a mommy of three, maybe focus on the 60% chance that all will result in a normal, healthy uterine pregnancy. Nothing in life is guaranteed, even waking up each day. Of course, if you decide that two children will complete your family, that is awesome, too! I just don’t see you as a person who will let fear hold them back from what they really want. You are a strong and amazing woman!!

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  19. Hey Nat, I don’t really know what I would do unless I was faced with those probabilities. I have an old friend who has been a person I was able to confide in many times, I don’t really open up to many people. He is a very spiritual person, wise and always gave me an overwhelming sense of calm after talking to him. When I was faced with a difficult decision, I turned to him and asked him to tell me what to do. He said that I already knew the answer to my question, to just look within myself. My fears were stopping me from accepting what I already knew to be the answer. Whether your fears are going to be trying for another baby and going through the same thing for a second time which may never happen or your fear of never nursing or giving birth again and accepting you were blessed with 2 beautiful children. Maybe having to wait 3-4 mths could be a good thing giving you time to really process what has happened, get back into the gym, giving yourself a clearer perspective. I really think the answers are within ourselves already, we just have to accept our fears and then run with it. I know it’s totally a different situation, I have gone back and forth about a 3rd child. One day when we were at soccer we both talked about having a 3rd child, it sticks in my mind because you said you were unsure, you were worried that you’d had 2 pregnancies and births just the way you wanted and you were worried about going for a third incase something went wrong. It stuck out in my mind because I had the same fears, this is something I could relate too. It also got me thinking whether our subconscious is aware of things before they happen. Like you, I have no family support here and with young boys and 2 stepsons, financially it would be tight, my husband doesn’t really want to have another but would if I wanted. I’ll be 35 here soon too which is another factor. I think I know the answer to my question but I’m really reluctant to accept I will never experience the gift of life, nursing or the chance of having a little girl which I really wanted.. Anyway, I’m going to give myself time, I think it really helps so that’s my opinion, that’s what I would do, I’d give myself time to process everything and go from there. Either way I’d be left with 2 beautiful children and a 60% chance of having another successful pregnancy. You’ll find the answer..one thing you do have, is time on your side..

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  20. Counseling is the most wonderful and validating experience. Having someone to listen and share tools for coping has gotten me through very tough times. I’m still daily using things I learned during my therapy sessions. Warm wishes and best of luck with what your future holds.

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  21. Natalie,

    Women are at risk during any pregnancy for postpartum depression. I had this with a miscarriage. I was devastated with the loss and that my body had let me down. I feel that since your mother is there counseling will be a great idea and maybe speak with your OBGYN and see if you can be given a small 10mg a day dose of Zoloft. I am not one to push meds but an ounce if prevention is worth a pound of cute. Zoloft has the least amount of risk to gain weight and I believe you would benefit from this medication. This would be short term and titrating off later is not risky as long as done appropriately. I was anxious and disturbed by every little thing after losing my pregnancy. I just kept saying I can run it off, distract my attention to my anxiety and get better. Eventually, I did get better… A year and a half later… My problem snowballed. If you have anxiety, and you have children this will help. It will just smooth the anxiety while waiting fof your hormones and stress resets after what you have been through. Thinking of you in Rhode Island. Get well soon my friend.. 🙂

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  22. Hi Natalie,
    I just wanted to say I appreciate how real and honest you are with your friends and fans. I feel connected to you, though we have never met. Even though we have different struggles (we are struggling with infertility), we can all relate in this crazy roller coaster we call life. Hoping and praying you have a fast recovery. I appreciate hearing about your experiences and have learned a lot from you. Give yourself time to heal before you make any decisions. Focus on things that you can control for now. 🙂
    Hugs!

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  23. Natalie,

    I’m so sorry for your loss and I have been thinking of you often a praying for you. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy 2 years ago. Like your situation, my dr tried to save my tube but it was too damaged and had to be removed. Our desire was to get pregnant again right away. Like you, I had no risk factors. My dr told me to keep taking my prenatals and that we could try again after 4 weeks of “pelvic rest”. When the 4 weeks was up, I just so happen to be ovulating and we got pregnant again on the first try. So I’m curious as to why your dr recommended waiting so long? For me personally, getting pregnant again quickly was the only thing that allowed me to heal and move forward. Although of course, I’m still very sad about it. But I now have a happy healthy 16 month old! My dr also told me that my chances of having another ectopic were about 25% since I had no other risk factors. She also had me come in for an ultrasound when I was barely 5 weeks pregnant again so she could confirm he was in my uterus. If I were you, I would consider getting a second opinion. When I was at the stage you’re at, being told I have to wait 4 more months to try again would have killed me.

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  24. Hi Natalie,

    You are so brave for sharing your stories and your struggles. I do not have children so please take my words with a grain of salt. On the other hand, I’ve gone through some traumatic experiences that have really challenged my beliefs, thought, and behavior patterns. I used to see counseling as a sign of weakness when I first went to counseling re: my parents’ divorce. I grew up thinking I had to figure out life and allowing “negative” emotions let alone not being able to handle them was a sign of wekness. Here is the thing – we are humans and God has provided us with many resources to be well and thrive. People are not meant to “tackle” life alone. perhaps looking at your future counselor as someone that journeys these hard times with you will help you move pass your resistance. The counselor will help you emotionally the same way you help all of us with out fitness and nutrition goals.

    Regarding having future children – I encourage to focus on your healing and mourning right now. Feeling the pressure to make a decision about your future fertility may add more emotional pressure now when that you need is time to heal. The answer will come to you and know that you will know in your heart what to do once you are physically and emotionally ready. I am very spiritual and see life challenges as opportunities to dig deep and show my strength in this journey we call life. Perhaps things are too raw to see pass your pain & fear. Allow yourself the time to heal. I know you will know what to do.

    Sending you much love and prayers for your recovery and peace of mind.

    Shirley

    Reply
  25. So, I haven’t commented much (I think once when you first blogged about this), but have been reading and following your emotional journey this past week. I have wanted to reach out and give you a virtual hug, but been a little apprehensive about commenting because I don’t know what it’s like to go through what you have just been through, and didn’t feel completely qualified to give any advice or anything. But more than anything I just want you to know that we all feel for you, and admire your strength and honesty.

    I can, however, relate a little to this post though. I’ve never been through an eptomic pregnancy or miscarried, but I do know what it’s like to have scars on your once-beautiful stomach, and to know that having another child would be extremely risky. I have had 3 Csections (and 3 beautiful babies), and I’ve also had gall bladder removal surgery which was done similarly with a scope with 4 incision points. So I have a scar right above my belly button, one on the side like you, and then 2 under my rib cage. That is in addition to my Csection scars on my bikini line as well.

    My 3rd baby is now 9 months old, and when I was first pregnant with him I started bleeding very heavily and thought I was miscarrying (around 8 weeks). I remember it happened on a Friday evening, and they told me there was nothing they could do and it would be best to wait it out and then come in for an ultrasound on Monday. LONGEST and most emotionally painful weekend of my life. Lots of sobbing, trips to the bathroom fearing what would come out, sadness over the possible loss of my baby and more. Luckily, the u/s sound showed a heartbeat the following Monday. But I went on bedrest for a few weeks and had weekly ultrasounds, and every single week I felt like it was a waiting game (since they told me I had a “threatened miscarriage due to an oblong sac”). Family and friends were praying for me and baby and I truly felt the love of God during that time. I was definitely in a depressed state during that time, but weeks went by and eventually, what I call a miracle, is what happened. The sac changed from oblong to circular and the bleeding stopped and the baby was perfectly healthy. I carried the baby to term.

    I only tell you that, because while I haven’t gone through what you have, I know the emotions of going through loss, and the feelings of failure over your body that it didn’t do what it was supposed to. I was so lucky and blessed with how my circumstance turned out, but I know it isn’t the case for everyone.

    My baby was born perfectly healthy 9 months later, and the pregnancy was very rough still. And being that it was my 3rd Csection, it was another surgery to recover from ( but so worth it, he is such a little angel in my life now!). During the surgery, my OB was taking particularly long to sew me up, and when I asked how things were going (while holding my new baby), she told me that my uterus was in such bad shape that it was like crepe paper and she was having a hard time sewing it back together. She was having the other doctors grab different tools and gadgets that were not the norm, and I could hear them commenting back and forth “shock and awe” sorts of things. She told me that in her career she had only ever had to tell 2 women that they shouldn’t have any more children, and I was now the 3rd. I knew this was a possibility since after my 2nd son was born, they told me my uterus had worn quite thin around the scar tissue. And now with a 3rd csection, the area was so worn and thin if I were to ever try for a 4th child, I would mostly likely have a uterine rupture and it would be possibly fatal for me and a future baby.

    It was decided during the surgery that she should go ahead with a tubal ligation to prevent the possibility of having any more children. It was surreal. Just like that, it was decided. But the thing is, in my situation the probability was so high – it really was a no brainer what needed to be done. It would have been too dangerous to risk getting pregnant again.

    The hard part now though, is I am learning of many women who still got pregnant after having tubal ligations and so I don’t feel 100% safe. And even though I would really love to have another baby, I know if by some VERY VERY small percentage of a possibility it somehow happened (even after a tubal), it would be too dangerous for me. I also have gone through the thought process of “What if I got pregnant, I wouldn’t be able to keep the baby and I would have to terminate the pregnancy.” I will say that, like you, the very thought is so emotionally painful for me, I don’t think I could bear it. I know I couldn’t. Even to save my own life, I know it would effect me forever to know that I had to terminate a pregnancy of a child that would have been our own. In fact, I actually start feeling ill inside when I start thinking about it too much. So I DO understand how you are feeling when you explain your thought process through everything you’ve been through. And I know others have told you this, but the only thing that will heal is TIME. And I know in time, it will get better and you will eventually feel in your heart what is the right thing for you to do. The key is to keep being grateful for your good health, your beautiful healthy children, your husband, your blessed life. And I really think that in time you will know what is the best thing to do, and you will feel good about it – whatever you decide.

    Keep being strong – and know that you are in a community of women who care about you, know your pain and are crying with you and we just want to do all we can to support you and buoy you up. Hang in there.
    – Jennifer

    Reply
    • Jennifer I don’t have time to write a long response right now, but please know how much your comment and words meant to me today. I am in tears reading your story and find comfort in knowing that someone else has gone through the exact same cycle of emotions I have in regards to future pregnancies. My heart goes out to you for your experiences. You are a strong and beautiful woman <3

      Reply
  26. I’m in a similar struggle Natalie in deciding to try for a third. I wish there was something that could help me decide and the more I look for that the harder my decision seems. We’ve prayed, talked and thought about this a lot. Ironically enough I had been wondering if you were going to have a third and thought about how it might help me maintain a healthy pregnancy if I followed you during a third pregnancy. The only light I can shed is this: after 2 miscarriages and 2 years of trying to get pregnant the risk of getting pregnant again and losing a baby was unbearable, but we did get pregnant again and that baby, 4 years old next month was worth the wait, heartache and pain. A second baby came much, much easier than the first. You have a 60% chance of not having another ectopic pregnancy, but ultimately your heart will make the best decision for you.

    Your friend in thinking of a third 🙂

    Reply
  27. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I know how you feel 100%!

    To put your mind at ease a bit, I believe your doctor is way off on your chances of it happening again! BOTH my OB and RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) told me the chance of having my first ectopic was just 1%, and then after having one, was increased to 20% for another. Not 40%! (You can research this and find roughly the same stats.) I prefer to think of it as 80% I won’t have another!

    I have spoken to many women that had an ectopic and went on to have 3 or more kids, without anymore ectopics!

    I got pregnant again 4 months after my ectopic/salpingectomy (lost my right tube), but it was a miscarriage…still, it was in my uterus! Which was all I really cared about, sad as I was to lose another.

    It has now been 14 months since my ectopic, and we are still trying. 3 of the biggest obstacles are: very long, irregular cycles now, where before they were very regular, and also, waiting to ovulate on my good side with my only tube, and low progesterone. I had it with the ectopic and MC….and now my RE thinks this might be what caused both. I now take progesterone suppositories the day after I confirm ovulation (based on my BBT).

    For getting pregnant again after an ectopic, I have found, for my sanity, it is easiest to work with a RE over an OB! I get an ultrasound each cycle to confirm what side I will ovulate on. When it is on my bad side, we pretty much just relax and don’t stress at all, since the likely hood is less than 5% I could get pregnant, we still try, but know it’s a long shot, we use that cycle to kinda just relax. When it is on my good side, it’s go time! We actually did an IUI this cycle, and hoping that did the trick! To battle my never ending cycles, I take Letrozole to help me ovulate on time. CD14 everytime. Works like a charm! Without the drug it could be CD25-50, I never know!

    Going forward, whenever you get pregnant again, as a precaution you will want to closely monitor your increasing beta level and progesterone levels from the day you get a positive HPT, this will be your first clue if something is wrong! You will also need to have several sonograms to determine ASAP where the baby is located, somewhere between 5-6 weeks. IF they watch you closely, were you to have another tubal (I pray you don’t), they could catch it in time to give you Methotrexate. This drug will end the pregnancy chemically, without surgery, but save your tube! It can only be given early, after the baby is too big, it is too late. I do not believe in abortion, but when a pregnancy is ectopic- it is doomed, so this drug is the only way to avoid surgery and tube loss later were another ectopic to happen.

    So far, I have not had that happen, but I am happy to know my doctors are on top of things to help me keep the one tube I have left.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, I promise healing happens pretty fast. I was nearly pain free about 2 weeks out, and totally pain free about a month out. However, now my periods are a bit more painful than they used to be….and sometimes I will get random pains on that side where my tube was removed, like a sharp stabbing pain. About 3 months after, my scar was nearly gone…looks like a pencil line, and I really have to hunt to find it!

    Emotional healing is another thing. Like you, I became very anxious about everything! Counseling was a big help, please consider it!

    Blessings and healing,

    Angie

    Reply
  28. Natalie,

    How Awesome is God?? He is the God of restoration. Your body and relationships are being restored. I admire your transparency as you have navigated through a physically and emotionally difficult period in your life. You look BEAUTIFUL!!! I’ll leave you with a great quote and greater scripture.

    You’re Braver than you believe, and STRONGER than you seem, and SMARTER than you think.
    Winnie the Pooh

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
    John 14:27

    Reply
  29. I never comment on your posts, but here I am.

    My first loss was at 12 weeks and traumatic. I suddenly miscarried publically in a coffee house. I was ambulanced to an ER while people threw buckets of water on the floor to clean up after me. I remember the horror on the customers faces. The pill was awful and I never wanted to go through it again. And yes, it has a lot of weird emotions attached to it. But I did have another loss, unfortunately…and statistically unlikely. After fertility drugs and treatments, I was losing. Hard. What I discovered about myself was that I didn’t want this to define me or own me. I didn’t want it to win and for me to not have the family I wanted because of some fertility issues that scared me. I just didn’t want it to win. For me, almost having something just made me want it more. And that’s an easy thing for me to say, two kids and numerous years after those losses. Sure it’s always in the back of my mind….I have anxiety I see someone for. And at the time, I sure as hell wasn’t sure I would come to feel this way. Counsellors are incredibly wonderful people and can help you sort through those emotions. I hope you find peace in your decision, whatever it may be, whenever you come to it. I’m so sorry for what you are going through

    Reply
  30. I am so sorry for what u have gone thru. I think you need to give yourself time to heal emotionally and physically before you can make a decision on whether you are going to have another baby.
    I too had 2 major losses. I lost my dtr at 37 weeks from a cord accident and exactly one year later I had to terminate a pregnancy I wanted so desperately due to trisomy 22 at 18 weeks( a condition that is not compatable w life) .
    I knew I wanted 2 children so In my heart there was no question I would try again. With much fear I tried again and My dtr was born 1 1/2 years later ( she is 2 1/2 now, and I just had a little boy 4 months ago. I too was also very very very very scared to be pregnant again, there wasn’t a moment in my pregnancies that I did not think about something bad happening. I must have gone to the emergency room once a month to make sure my babies heart was still beating.
    With all the heartache I endured after losing my baby girls and with the next 2 pregnancies , I would do it all over again for the beautiful family I have today.
    Although I don’t know you…my thoughts and prayers are w you that you find the peace and clarity to make a decision that’s best for you and your beautiful family.

    Reply
  31. Natalie, I have kept you in my prayers daily. I lost our first child at 17 wks and not a day goes by that I don’t think of our little boy. I have the Glow app on my phone and it has form where you can discuss/ grieve with other woman who know exactly what you are going through. This has defiantly helped me.

    -A

    Reply
  32. Oh Natalie, my heart breaks for you having to go through this. Every person is different and every person has to choose their own life. I will share the choice I had to make.

    When I was a day past my 19th birthday, I gave birth to an 8 pound baby girl who was perfect in every way, except that she never took a breath because of an intrauterine infection called Chorioamnioitis. I wasn’t told what caused it or what could make it happen again. It was awful and I wanted to die. I didn’t think I could ever choose to get pregnant again knowing that terrible things like that happen to actual people like me.

    I had to consciously choose to risk going through all that again if I wanted to raise any children. Three years later I chose to take that risk and now have a spectacular and wonderful 9 year old son. I found out during that pregnancy that I was a carrier of GBS and that was what caused the infection that killed my daughter. That pregnancy was so hard! I was scared all the time, and then knowing it could definitely happen again because I will forever be a carrier of GBS… I was terrified when I showed up to the hospital for his birth. But as you know, having a little person who is a part of you and you are forever a part of them is worth all the pain and stress and heartache we go through to bring them in to the world.
    I chose to do it all again another time, and my daughter will be three in March. I was scared to death that time too, and will be terrified during every pregnancy I ever choose to have. But you have to ask yourself, are willing to sacrifice all the joys of another child because of a fear that you may have to do this again? Maybe right now isn’t the time for you to make any decisions regarding this. It took me three years to work up the nerve, and another six the second time. Grieve this baby and decide later. Maybe there is another way to do it that won’t risk ectopic pregnancy? I don’t know if maybe IVF can guarantee uterine implantation? Either way, it’s your choice. Maybe your family is complete with the two you already have. Maybe it’s not. Only time and healing will reveal the answer to you.

    Reply

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