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May 28, 2010

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time. But, I’ve wavered about whether it was blog worthy material.  Eh, oh well.  It was a big part of our first four years (year one).

Suzie is in there, though I don't know it

In January of 2009 I had an ectopic pregnancy that ended in emergency surgery at six weeks gestation. I learned I was pregnant an hour before the surgery.

How strange that was. I had been in incredible relentless pain for days and bleeding heavily. I google everything. I’m a google addict. Any twinge in my leg or three hour headache brings me straight to that search engine. Weird jaw clicking or goopy eyes and I am online. But when it comes to anything pregnancy related I am a hundred times more active. For nearly a year I had been monitoring every tiny symptom of my cycle/fertility/possible pregnancies.
And that month I did nothing.

On January 7, 2009 the pain was so I intense I nearly passed out at work and then again at the bus stop. I hobbled my way on board the commuter train and could barely breathe as every track switch left tears running down my cheeks.
I insisted to my husband that I did not need to go to the ER. That my period was had just come late and heavy so I must be having some side effect from that.  Why did I do that?  I love going to the doctor.
My husband had to practically carry me up the stairs to our apartment. He pressed on my stomach to check for a hernia and I screamed in pain. Literally.
He called his doctor sister. She thought it might be ovarian torsion but told us to take a pregnancy test just to rule out an ectopic.  I scoffed at that. You don’t get your period when you’re pregnant.  I didn’t even look at the test when I took it. My husband held it and asked, “what do two lines mean?”

My heart sank to my feet. I had two thoughts. The thing I had longed for had finally happened. And it wasn’t good.

My husband cursed himself for not recognizing the signs since he is a trained EMT. He flew me to the hospital but we only made it half way before he realized he was in no shape to drive. He flagged down a police officer who was writing someone a ticket and begged him to take me to the hospital because he couldn’t drive fast enough.

At the hospital they confirmed the pregnancy and whipped out an ultrasound. They told me my uterus was empty. They found the pregnancy along with much internal bleeding and told me i needed to get in surgery right away.

My husband was my rock as I cried in pain and sadness, but then they made him leave. They took me to pre-op. I was shivering all over, nurses put warm blankets on me but it didn’t help.

I kept my hands over my right side. Over our first child. I knew it was a girl** and I told her I loved her and that I was sorry. They were going to take her life for mine. I was given an iv of something that was supposed to relax me, but I was still shivering when they wheeled me into the operating room. I looked up at the bright lights and realized I hadn’t named my baby.

I panicked as the doctor said he was starting the anesthetic. The only name that came to mind was Suzie. I called her that before going under.

My fallopian tube was destroyed and had to be removed.  I cried for days.  I had lost my child and part of myself.  The hospital lab called me two days later and left a brief message saying all the pregnancy tissue had been removed.  Like a robot I replayed that message over and over.  My little Suzie was that pregnancy tissue.  I stopped crying.

My family was kind.  They sent me get-well-soon flowers and assured me that they knew people who had had children after ectopic pregnancies.  I felt guilty.  I didn’t want to talk about the pregnancy.  It seemed stupid.  What right did I have to grieve over something that was barely there?

Here I was, a firm believer that life begins at conception when two strings of DNA join and are granted an eternal soul, and I couldn’t even talk to my husband about our child without feeling like a drama queen.  Especially when I thought of people, like my mother, who lost children farther along to stillbirth or neonatal death.  Maybe I don’t deserve to grieve.

I don’t mention it to anyone.  Why? Is it too private? Embarrassing?  That to the world at large she was just “pregnancy tissue”? I don’t know.  But I love her and I’m so glad I was able to have her.  Maybe that’s why I wouldn’t research my crazy pain and bleeding.  Maybe I knew she was there and I was trying to hold onto her as long as possible.  I could have saved my fallopian tube.  (I mean, come on, I usually test for pregnancy at like 12DPO).

It’s been almost eighteen months and I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately.  I just had to acknowledge her short life publicly.

** I heard that mothers are usually something like 85% right when it comes to gender prediction.  I’m going with my gut on this one.  It didn’t fail me with the Barracuda.

Public Service Announcement: If you are ever having severe pain and bleeding.  Go to the hospital.  Just sayin’.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2010 10:26 am

    I have a friend who had an ectopic pregnancy, and shortly after she got pregnant again. And when that baby was 7 months old, she got pregnant with her second baby.

    Thanks for sharing your story! And I think you had every right to grieve that loss, because that life was there the moment Suzie was conceived.

  2. May 30, 2010 1:03 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. No matter how far along in pregnancy, the loss of a child is most devastating. My heart grieves for your loss of Suzie. The blessing of her life, even though it was short, is a great one 🙂

  3. Happy H permalink
    May 31, 2010 12:00 am

    Suzie is never just pregnancy tissue to me, either. I think about her all the time and what a wonderful big sister she would have been to Peter. I still think she’s with us, though. I don’t think you are ever truly gone until you’re forgotten (did I quote that from a movie? If so, sorry). Don’t worry – she will never be forgotten.

  4. Adriana permalink
    May 31, 2010 11:33 am

    hey, sorry im playing catch up with your blog posts! i think you are so strong for sharing this story, but also for going through that. I know that when life starts is a big issue for ppl, differing opinions, etc, but i think that you have every right to feel that she was alive, and that you grieve for her. i can’t imagine the pain of dealing with such a loss, even when she was so tiny and “barely there”, but she WAS there, and even if you didnt actually know it (since you say subconciously you think you may have known), she was still inside you. I think its wonderful you named her, but you also get to enjoy LPK, and know that you are still able to have the cutest kids in the world 🙂 also, i think everyone has a purpose in this world, and Suzie had one, even if she was just around for a really short time, she obviously had an impact and im not sure i know the reason she was sent here, but i think you and HH do, and God. ❤

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