It was our second round of IVF. We were fresh off a month of rest and relaxation and thought for sure this would be the cycle we would get that positive pregnancy test. At our IVF clinic, they have you do two blood tests 48 hours apart before calling you with results. The call came and the patient director told us the news that something wasn’t right, but not to lose hope. My HCG number dropped just a little from the initial one. It was still early and all we could do was play the “wait and see” game.
This involved blood tests every 48 hours. My numbers were not normal at first, and then they started mimicking a normal pregnancy, and we thought we would be one of the few whose pregnancy numbers didn’t give the full story.
Then came the bleeding. Bleeding that definitely wasn’t normal, even though lots of people tried to reassure us everything could still be fine. This is when I knew something was wrong. I had never bled like this before. Then the localized, shooting pain began in my pelvic area. This was when my doctor starting using the phrase, ectopic pregnancy.
I was immediately sent to the ER and quickly googled what an ectopic pregnancy was. I thought to myself, “What the heck? How in the world did an embryo placed in the uterus find its way back to the tubes and implant there instead?”
Everything moved pretty quickly from there. The ultrasound tech was very somber, and I have had enough ultrasounds to know when there is no baby where a baby should be at this point in my pregnancy. No sac, no baby, my uterus was completely empty. The embryo implanted in no mans land where there was no chance of survival.
Ectopic pregnancies are really scary if you don’t catch them early. Thankfully mine was caught early. It still felt like an eternity going through the ups and downs of figuring out what kind of failed pregnancy it was. We felt like no one could give us the answers we longed for. The aftermath, like any miscarriage, was not pleasant. I needed a shot to end the pregnancy that we hoped and prayed would be normal so that my tube wouldn’t rupture and hospitalize me. Even after the shot, my numbers continued to rise for a few days as the shot took effect. Some days my body returning to normal seemed so far away.
After my numbers finally started to drop, I bled for 16 days straight. It was painful and unpleasant mentally and physically. By the end of the whole process I had gone in for blood work every 48 hours for 6 straight weeks. I went from rooting for my numbers to double and have a normal pregnancy to hoping they would drop as quickly as they could.
A loss is a loss no matter how it happens. I decided I wasn’t going to be silent about it because it was nothing to be ashamed of. I know my vocalizing made some uncomfortable because they didn’t know what to say, but people needed to know there are so many women out there silently enduring losses and we need to rally around them to help them through this difficult time.