Sunday, June 03, 2007

Red Herring

Turns out, that whole Fifth Disease thing turned out to be a red herring. It didn't hurt the baby at all. When we got our ultrasound yesterday, it revealed a healthy baby, heart happily beating along as it nestled there in my freaking fallopian tube.

I guess I should back up. After I posted yesterday, we took M to the doctor again. They confirmed that she did indeed have Fifth, and I proceeded to give them a (polite, rational and pissed off) piece of my mind. I told them that their PNP's mistake could have cost two potential lives, and that I was really, really unhappy about it. The doctor apologized profusely and promised to make sure that the proper people were notified of the problem. Mollified, we headed out to the car to hit a few local garage sales.

No sooner had we exited the parking lot, though, than I started getting what I thought were wicked gas pains. My entire abdomen felt like it was exploding. I assumed it'd get better, so we decided to proceed with our day. But by the time we got to the first yard sale, I could barely get out of the car. I made the Boy take me home, and spent the next hour writhing around on the sofa. It finally occurred to me to take some tylenol, and we decided to call the OB, just in case.

To her credit, the doctor called back immediately. When I described the pain I'd been having, she told me soberly that I could be having a miscarriage, and that I could either wait to start bleeding, or go to the ER and get checked out. As patience has never been one of my virtues, I decided to go to the hospital (smartest decision I made all day).

Of course, by the time we got to the hospital, the Tylenol had kicked in and I was feeling much better. So much better, in fact, that I was afraid maybe the pain had been psychosomatic in the first place, because I've been so worried about this Fifth disease thing. I told the triage nurse that I hoped that this would just turn out to be a really embarrassing case of gas.

Regardless, they took me in, gave me an IV, took some blood and examined me. From the outside, everything looked fine -- no blood, no signs of a miscarriage. At that point, I made the Boy take M home, as it looked like I'd be waiting there for a while before the ultrasound. As luck would have it, my MIL was planning on visiting us today on her way to pick the Boys' grandmother up at the airport, so he was able to get home to meet her at the house, leave M, and come back to be with me for the ultrasound.

Apparently, when you have an ultrasound at the hospital, it's not the cheerful, informal affair that it is at the doctor's office. The technician isn't allowed to give any information at all, not even a hint as to how things look. So I made the Boy stand where he could see the screen. Within minutes, he signaled that he had seen the heartbeat, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But she continued to poke around in there for a good half hour more. At that point, I started to assume that the baby was fine, but that she'd found something else terribly wrong. I tried not to panic or jump to conclusions (CANCER) as I sent the Boy home to relieve his mom so she could get to the airport.

They wheeled me back to the ER, and about a half hour later, the doctor came by. "Well, there is a pregnancy, and there is a heartbeat, but it's not in your uterus." I've heard of ectopic pregnancy, so I knew where this was going, but she continued "it's a condition that is incompatible with life, either your's or the baby's." I'd be having surgery immediately to remove the baby.

So here I am, missing one baby and one fallopian tube, doped up on percocet, in a fair amount of pain and still bleeding through the incision in my belly button. I can't pick my daughter up for the next five days, and the doctor is concerned that I will never be able to carry another normal pregnancy, as the ectopic was apparently caused by scarring in that fallopian tube and she's worried that the other one is scarred, too. God only knows how they got that way, since I'd never had a single health problem before my c-section with M in 2005.

Still, I know I have a couple of things to be grateful for. If M hadn't gotten sick, and we hadn't been paranoid, I'd have been in California this weekend. If M hadn't turned out to have Fifth Disease, I probably would have kept assuming the pain I felt was gas, and like a good little girl, would have waited for my official appointment before seeing a doctor. And in the meantime, according to my OB, that fallopian tube would have ruptured and I'd have been in way worse shape than I am now.

But for right now, those blessings are hard to cling to. I'm angry, and sad and worried and bitter beyond measure. I can't let myself spiral into the same depression as last time, but I don't know if I know how to stop it. So I'll probably be whining a lot here, trying to work these things out. Consider this your warning.

Update: The Boy just told me that the doctor told him that I'm pretty screwed up, and have a small chance of ever getting and staying pregnant normally again. Somehow, both of my fallopian tubes had come to resemble quasimodo after a terrible car accident, which is why they had to remove the one. I don't know how it happened, so I'm now searching for a fertility doctor to help figure out the whys, whens and where we go from heres. Any input from the peanut gallery would be much appreciated.


chris said...

Hey. I'm sorry about your loss. This is really a terrible thing to go through. Maybe we should talk (re comment on my blog). Send me an email and I'll send you my phone number.

Take care

Jennifer said...

Read your comment on Chris's blog and I live in Wake and did IFT at Carolina though not successful. I do have info on many clinics, including a split off from UNC.

I am very sorry for your loss and please feel free to contact me for info or an ear if you need it. I had emergency surgery that cost me my fertility and can relate.

Take care---Jenny

bringmemia at yahoo dot com

K&M said...

Oh gosh, I had no idea your ectopic was so recent! Huge hugs, as I know that pain of waking to sucky news. I replied to your email, I just hate that you're now part of this club. At least the membership has great big hearts...

meh said...

THis totally sucks and I am so sorry - beyond belief. My issues are so NOTHING compared to this. I wish I could do more than offer lame condolences. You know I love you so much and wish you only all the best.