Last week I had 2 of the Methotrexate/Cancer shots to be begin the process of dissolving our pregnancy. Now almost a week later there seems to be very little going on. Last week I noticed I had a high fever on Thursday afternoon and my shoulder/collar bone continues to hurt. On Friday when I had my first blood test since the injections I informed my Doctor of what’s going and she told me to basically keep an eye on it. They felt I was stable enough to at least make it through to this next blood test to see if anything is happening. I’m not in agony with my shoulder but it definitely hurts. The ultrasound showed some blood in my abdomen. And when you Google “Shoulder pain ectopic pregnancy” it doesn’t come up with good things to say! Regardless, my HCG hormone levels are suppose to start dropping. I have a blood test in the morning to confirm if that’s taking place. It’s making me nervous wondering what the next step will be if my HCG hormone levels aren’t starting to decrease. They may opt to give me another round of Cancer injections or they may opt to schedule surgery. Losing a baby is horrible for anyone but dragging it out like this makes it just so much worse, it’s heart-wrenching.
I haven’t been on the board much over the last couple of weeks because that Friday we were expecting my period and getting ready to move on to IVF we discovered that I was pregnant. By far the happiest day of my life. When that positive sign came up I felt totally complete. And what a great story! We just took the injection class, paid for IVF, ordered the meds, etc. All to then find out we were expecting and wouldn’t need to move on to IVF! Best story ever! Soooo happy! Just felt like such a wonderful new beginning.
My blood work has been rising as normal over the last couple of weeks. My stomach though had been very upset and painful at times. I’ve been on the medication Metformin and my dosage was recently increased which always leads to diarrhea so I didn’t think much of it. (Side note: I’m not on Metformin for PCOS, insulin regulation, etc. New studies have shown Metformin can be beneficial in general to women who are trying to get pregnant). Last Friday night though I got super sick after dinner. Diarrhea, vomiting, extreme pain and I fainted in our bathroom. I still just thought it was because we had eaten a heavy/rich meal and my medication wasn’t helping the situation.
However, at our first ultrasound appointment last Friday the doctor informed us the baby wasn’t as big as it should have been at 6 weeks. We went back in on Monday and a closer examination showed the baby was in my fallopian tube, an Ectopic Pregnancy. It’s impossible to save the pregnancy. As the baby grows it will burst the fallopian tube. The baby will die and my chance of survival is low as well due to internal bleeding.
Looking back on everything my stomach pains were a very big sign of something being wrong. (It’s not menstrual cramp pain, it’s like horrible stomach ache pain). In addition, later on that night after I fainted I started to have pain in my collar bone/shoulder area. I thought the pain was related to slumping over/falling during my fainting spell. But shoulder pain is a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
The treatment to end our pregnancy began yesterday. Due to the stability of my blood work and how early it is in the pregnancy, my team of doctors felt the termination could be achieved by using an injectable medication called Methotrexate instead of surgery to remove a potion of the fallopian tube. Methotrexate is a cancer medication and comes with side effects similar to Chemo (but on a much smaller scale). It could take a couple weeks for the process to be complete. Our clinic will monitor me with blood work every 4 days to make sure the HCG levels are dropping. If by chance they don’t begin to drop I will either have another round of Methotrexate injections or I will have surgery to remove the fallopian tube/pregnancy.
Yesterday I went back to the doctor where the nurse injected me with two shots on either side of my upper backside (for those wondering or getting ready to go through something similar- the shots to do not hurt/burn)
In that moment I felt such an overwhelming sense of sadness. I knew it was the start of ending our pregnancy, a pregnancy that we had been so hopeful of. I went down to my car and sat there for a long time crying. I said a special prayer for the baby and asked God to take care of it. I also apologized to the baby for not being able to protect it and bring him/her to full term.
I realize I didn’t have a choice but I can’t help but feel I’ve betrayed our child, like I’ve failed as a mother before things even started. It’s just a tremendous sense of sadness and grief. Seeing our baby on the monitor and knowing it was growing in the wrong spot just made feel I instantly couldn’t make it better. Being helpless for your child is the worst feeling in the world, even in the beginning stages.
On Friday I will be starting our first round of IVF treatment. I understand the process of IVF and what to expect but the “kick-off” of the actual treatment cycle has left me a bit confused. When do I start injectables? How quick does all my medication arrive? How long am I on birth control pills to put me into this “holding pattern”? When do we pay? What other tests to I need to have? And of course my awesome nurse assigned to me “Carla” is out on vacation right now (Nooooo! Carla I need you!). The nurse subbing for her is great too but Carla has really gotten me spoiled.