Friday, July 15, 2011

Ectopic Rupture

     So, today I had a follow up with my Cardiologist.  "What in the world do you have a cardiologist for" is most peoples response to that.  On the 4th of July I ended up having emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.  I thought it was food poisoning, which is why we waited so long to go to the emergency room, which is why I came very close to not living through this seemingly trivial medical condition.  Anyway, at the cardiologist, they took my vitals, and everything looks good.  But I saw the nurse practitioner today who was not there for the surgery and had no clue what happened, so he asked me to explain what happened leading up to the surgery and my need for a cardiologist. 

     I explained: I thought I had food poisoning.  We realized it was probably something more serious when I was fainting every time I tried to stand up.  About at this point all my memories are fuzzy at best.  My husband managed to get me to the ER and when I did get there, my blood pressure was around 40/20.  All ER personnel flew into action in my room as they realized that I had internal bleeding in my abdomen.  When asked if I was pregnant, my immediate answer was no.  When asked if it was possible, I agreed that it could be possible, and a test was immediately done, confirming that I was in fact pregnant. 

     An ultrasound tech was standing by because she had the feeling she might be needed and when she was called upon, she rushed right in with all her portable equipment saving precious minutes.  It was confirmed that the pregnancy was in my fallopian tube and that was causing the bleeding, though they couldn't tell which tube because there was too much blood. Surgery was needed, and it was needed 10 minutes ago.  I started to go into full blown shock and started shivering violently and uncontrollably.  I looked over at the nurse next to me and saw him squeezing the heck out of a unit of blood they were transfusing into me to get it into me faster.  Turns out they would end up giving me 4 units of someone elses blood and two units of my own blood that they were able to salvage, clean, and put back into my own system.  A person my size has about 12 Units of blood in their body and I had lost half of that.  My kidneys also decided this might be a good time to think about giving up the good fight too.

     By this time, I had an I.V. in each arm, a needle in my neck...I really don't remember if that was to draw blood or put something into me, I just remember them putting the needle in... and I was being run down some hallway towards an operating room where they would eventually remove my left fallopian tube.  I had time to tell Rob I loved him as they reached the point they couldn't follow, and then I remember waking up in the ICU in this amazing suit of warmth that made me look like the marshmallow man.
     After this point, dozens of blood tests end up being done, one being for an enzyme that the heart produces in a heart attack, and I register positive for this enzyme.  It was then apologetically explained that this test really should not have been done given the stress my heart had been in and the lack of blood was most likely the reason for this, given I am young and in good shape.  However, since the test was done, they needed to follow through.  Hence the Cardiologist, hence the follow up.

     My nurse practitioner listened very kindly to everything, and then agreed that there was most likely nothing wrong with my heart, but they'll do a stress test just to make sure.  He then apologized for everything I went through.  He said the last thing someone wants to do is be thinking about things like their heart when they've just come through something like losing a pregnancy, and to just know that I have a little angel now, watching over me. 

     I hadnt really cried about that particular part of this at all, but when he told me that, my heart burst and it was really really hard not to let a tear fall.  I'm sure my eyes betrayed me and got all red though.  I hadn't really thought of it that way.  I counted it a blessing that we didn't know I was pregnant cause we didn't have the chance to get excited and hopeful, and I kinda acted like, we didn't know, so it didn't really count.  But it did count.  But I still feel like a fraud when I have to say that I was pregnant.  I didn't have any symptoms.  I didn't even know until it was already gone.  And then I think, was a little spirit there yet?  Theres no way the pregnancy ever could have progressed, it would have been flushed out due to its location.  Surely that little spirit would have known that.  Then I feel a bit like if a little spirit had been there, I let it down.  I didn't even know or get to acknowledge that I wasn't alone until it was already gone.

     Anyway, that is the story of how I came to have a cardiologist.  Now I am on Dr.s orders to be on birth control for the next 2-3 months to allow my body to heal.  Then its back to square one with all the infertility treatment.  Ugh! Literally, I have to start from scratch now!  Frustration!!!  Knowing my luck, I am going through all this, because its really going to make me appreciate having a child, and the reason I'm going to need a large amount of appreciation, is because that child will most likely be a extra large hell-raiser.  yup.  That seems about on par.


  1. Oh Danica. I'm so sorry you went through such a scary experience. I'm glad you got the care you need and that you are now doing well.

    About the pregnancy... You are ABSOLUTELY entitled to saying you were pregnant. Don't feel like a fraud. If there was a spirit, then it was an extremely special one that Heavenly Father wanted back right away, without being soiled by this earthly existence.

    You are beautiful, amazing, and strong, so I know you'll get through all of this, but in the mean time, hang in there. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    (You're probably right about having a hell-raiser though!)

  2. Danica,

    I am so sad to hear this news. As one who understands the struggle to get pregnant I cannot imagine this happening to me. I know though that you will be, and it is true, you will cherish that pregnancy and baby like nothing else. Best wishes!

    i have a question, is one of your tubes blocked now?

  3. Thank you Sarah! And also, when that Hell-raiser is here, I'm coming to your house. lol

    Melody- They had to take out my left tube during surgery, but my Dr. says it shouldnt affect my chances of getting pregnant down the road.

  4. Danica, I am so sorry for what you have been through, what an unbelievably traumatic experience. Don't discount losing that baby, whether you knew about it or not. You have every right to mourn it. I hope you heal quickly.

  5. Wow, Danica. I had no idea it was this intense. I am glad I read this and I am glad you are okay. I love you and I can't wait to meet the baby you have one day.

  6. Danica, I am so sorry. I know exactly what you are going through. I have had 2 ectopic pregnancies and lost both tubes. It is awful but there is hope. If you ever need to talk message me and I will send you my phone number. I'm so sorry you had to experience that. Just know it is perfectly normal to mourn this loss. I had a hard time with that too and now looking back I wish I had someone to talk to about it. You and your hubby will be in my prayers.

  7. Danica,
    I am so sorry that you had to go through this experience. I experienced an ectopic pregnancy July of 2009, in which, I too, lost my left tube. I was lucky that my tube tore ever so slightly and it took all of the pressure off of the clotting blood, so I had very little chance of a rupture, but the recovery from surgery (both physical and emotional) sucks. Don't feel like a fraud in saying you were pregnant, because you were. In fact, when you get pregnant again, you need to make sure you let your doctors know about this so they do an ultrasound right away to make sure it's in the uterus. I was only 9 weeks when I found out I was and lost it immeadiately. I cried for weeks... months even. I still get a little emtional to this day when I think about it. My mom told me something that made me feel better. She told me that Heavenly Father never makes mistakes and that I will have that little spirit with me someday. Maybe he or she just wasn't meant for the body that would have developed. Maybe there would have been a complication with the body or something. It made me feel much better to know that Heavenly Father was taking such good care of my little ones.
    My doctor also told me it would take months before my body would be "normal" enough for me to get pregnant again. I was devastated! I wanted a baby more than anything. I wasn't ovualting regulary and it was for frustrating. About 3 months after my surgery, my doctor recommended a progesterone cream to help balance my hormones and hopefully restart the ovulation process. That was in January 2010. I had a normal period that month! The next month, I didn't start and was totally bummed... on March 18th , 2010, just for kicks, I took a pregnancy test. I was pregnant! We went to the doctor and had an ultrasound... long story short, as you know, my little Ronan was born perfect and healthy in November 2010. So, obviously, as well as my doctor meant, Heavenly Father had another plan for me and it didn't affect my fertility at all. Just keep your head up... you will have your own success story soon =) If you ever want to talk, I am here... =) I hope your recovery is speedy!

  8. I'm so sorry this happened to you! :(
    I had surgery for an ectopic on the 11th. It was my left tube, but they were able to save it. I had started bleeding and cramping that morning around 9. I called the doctor and they told me to come in at 2pm for an ultrasound. I had to wait 5 hours before they would even see me and I was bleeding. They did the ultrasound and the doctor cleared his schedule for that evening and I was in the OR in less than in hour after the ultrasound. I had known for a couple weeks that I was pregnant. Just because you didn't know doesn't mean you can't mourn for that little baby. Do what helps you get through. It's probably hanging out in heaven with my little one. My husband has been so positive and supportive for me to get better. He reminded me that Job in the bible lost all of his children and that God restored him double. So we have hope, it's just hard at this moment. Hope you feel better soon and heal well from your surgery. :) Message/email me anytime if you need to talk.