Content Warning: pregnancy loss
At the end of July, I had an ectopic pregnancy and had to undergo emergency surgery.
*Ectopic Pregnancy is when the embryo doesn’t implant in the uterus like it should. The baby cannot develop properly but its growth in other places can damage organs and cause internal bleeding. It is the leading cause of death during the first trimester of pregnancy.
*There are two main treatments: surgery to remove the pregnancy or an injection of methotrexate (a special drug that dissolves the pregnancy). Surgery becomes necessary when there is internal bleeding.
In my case, the embryo had gotten stuck inside my right Fallopian tube. They don’t know why it lodged there. The surgeon explained that sometimes there are potholes inside the tubes that snag the embryo. There isn’t enough research as to why those potholes form or anything really. At five weeks and five days pregnant, my tube ruptured.
I was in a lot of pain and could barely walk. My husband, Nick, helped me to the ER and they referred us on to a bigger hospital where they could run an internal ultrasound to see what was going on. Of course they found the ruptured tube and had me in for surgery by five that morning. They removed my entire right Fallopian tube along with the baby.
They said it was a good thing Nick brought me in as quickly as he did.
It was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. It was also the saddest and very confusing. No one at the hospital explained that we would lose the baby. Just that I had to have the surgery. I was eager to stop the pain and was immensely grateful they could help me, but the fact that I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore only hit once I got home.
I want to share my story now as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week. I think it’s important to talk about these sad things. Anyone else who has gone through this, or anything similar, I want you to know you’re not alone.
I would also like to thank all the medical staff who helped save my life. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. Thank you also to those who reached out to me, sharing in the grief when it was so fresh and raw. You are my true family.
And a huge thank you to Nick for – well, EVERYTHING. Having you by my side through this has been my salvation.
Feelings of guilt and remorse
I know rationally that it wasn’t my fault and the doctors all said there was no way I could have caused this or even known it would happen. Yet there lingers a terrible sense of remorse, like my body killed my baby.
I wish I could undo it. I wish my parts functioned properly. I wish you were still with us, my little Sesame.
I drew this sketch the week following my emergency surgery.
Reconciling my “before self” and “after self”…
I started this self portrait when I found out I was pregnant. I was planning on giving it a cute, magical background, with tiny frogs and things floating around my head. I didn’t get very far with it when I had to go to the ER.
Trying to heal from surgery while processing the grief was overwhelming. I kept having nightmares full of blood. Eventually those stopped and my incisions healed. But emotionally I am far from okay.
Doing art about it helps me come to terms with what happened.
I went back to this drawing during my convalescence post-op. This is how it came out… I don’t think it’s really finished but I don’t want to work on it anymore so I thought I’d share it here.
Tonight, October 15th at 7 o’clock tonight, we will be lighting a candle as part of the Wave of Light to honor all the precious ones lost.