I have been pregnant 5 times now, and two of those pregnancies have given me my two beautiful boys. I have also had a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant a few weeks ago, and I was excited but also cautiously optimistic. When you have gone through pregnancy loss of any kind, a positive test can give you pregnancy anxiety… anxiety because you don’t want to get too excited knowing that your hopes may be dashed soon afterward.
I made an appointment with my OB office (I highly recommend Camelback Women’s Health), and they had me come in right away for bloodwork. Once you have an ectopic pregnancy, they want to monitor you closely as your risk of having another one is higher. While thinking and dreaming about whether or not the baby would be a girl or a boy and what it would be like to have 3 kids instead of 2, I also tried not to let my mind wander too far knowing the pain I would feel if this pregnancy wasn’t viable. I patiently waited for my OB to call me back the next day. When I got the call, I picked it up and listened to the nurse tell me that my numbers were lower than what they like to see and given my history, they wanted me to come back in the next day to repeat bloodwork. My heart sunk. I knew this was possible, but hearing it out loud was hard. I went in the next day and got bloodwork again. This time it was on a Friday, and I had to wait until Monday to find out the results. It was a long weekend of what if’s, and I tried to stay busy and not think too much about it.
I got the call after the weekend that my HCG didn’t increase and my progesterone went down, which is not good news. This meant that it could be another ectopic pregnancy or an eventual miscarriage. My nurse asked me to come in again and repeat bloodwork to see where I stood. Following the bloodwork, an ultrasound, and a visit to the OB office, my doctor was able to confirm that I had another ectopic pregnancy. I think the hardest part of an ectopic pregnancy (although all of it is hard) is that you have several rounds of bloodwork, tests, doctor’s visits, etc. until they can confirm that your HCG count goes back down to a non-pregnant level. This makes the pain and the grief that much more poignant.
In the past, I have waited to announce a pregnancy, but I have learned that sometimes it’s helpful to be vulnerable and real, even if I may have to explain down the road that I am no longer pregnant. Pregnancy loss happens to lots of women, and I think it’s important that we talk about it and talk about the pain that goes with it. It is hard and sad, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But there is power and peace in knowing that there is someone else out there going through what you are going through. If you have ever lost a pregnancy or are in the midst of pregnancy loss, my heart is with you and I grieve with you.