The Full Story

I'll start with a warning. I'm going to get detailed here. So if you are not comfortable with medical deets then just move along. Here's the full story...

This whole thing started in the beginning of May. I had been on what I thought was my period for almost two weeks so I went to the doctors. She told me that I was pregnant but most likely miscarrying. According to the gynecologist miscarriage in the first few weeks of pregnancy is pretty common (approx 1 in 3) but most women don't realize they were pregnant to begin with so it is not well documented.

 Around the middle of May, after a few ultrasounds and several blood tests, it was determined that I had in fact miscarried. But the doc wanted me to keeping coming back for blood tests until there was no sign of the pregnancy hormone in my system. Well, turns out the pregnancy hormone did not go down, it sky rocketed. While this was happening (and before I knew) I had some pretty intense cramping. From what I read about miscarriages cramping is just part of the deal. It is how you pass the tissue. The pain was somewhere between intense menstrual cramps and contractions. I experienced three rounds of the intense cramping. The first round of cramps wasn't that bad. The second round really sucked and my stomach muscles were super sore the next day. It felt like I had really overdone it at the gym. I couldn't even stand up straight but the pain didn't last long so I didn't think much of it. The third round was on Tuesday night and was by far the worst. It came on very suddenly and all I could do is walk and focus on my breathing or sit on the side of the tub and rock back and forth. If you read my pregnancy story you'll remember that I didn't actually experience any labor pains but I imagined that it felt similar to this.

The next day was not so good either. I felt after effects similar to the second round but to a higher degree. I had trouble walking, standing up straight, sitting, getting up. Everything hurt but I thought it was just due to the extreme pain from the previous night. (I was wrong.) Luckily Ben had the day off so I tried to relax. I even went and got my hair done in the morning.

I decided to take a nap when I got home. During my nap my phone kept buzzing and I tried to ignore it until about the 3rd time. It was my doc and she said that my hormones were going up not down and that I needed to go to the hospital to get a stat blood test, meaning I would get the results in a few hours instead of a few days. We dropped Lilly with my sister-in-law and headed to the hospital. We met with another doctor from my group who was at the hospital at the time. I explained to her what had happened the night before and told her that I was still not feeling well. She ordered an ultrasound just to check things out. When the ultrasound screen turned on my doctor and the tech gasped. Not a great sign. She said there was a lot of fluid in my pelvis (blood) and that it was most likely a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. And, if not taken care of, grows until it is too big for the space and basically explodes the tube. Turns out that wasn't normal cramping I had felt.

The next few hours were a blur of phone calls and surgery prep. I had a procedure called a laparoscopy which is a minimally invasive surgery where they cut 3 small holes in my belly. Through these holes they sucked out the blood and removed the blown out tube. It was a really weird experience because it's considered outpatient surgery so I could have gone home the same day if the surgery was in the morning but since it was evening/emergency surgery it felt more traumatic. I was completely put under and had to have my stomach pumped while I was out. (They prefer to wait 8 hours after you've eaten for surgery but they didn't think they had that much time.) I had a breathing tube, a catheter and two IVs.

The only other time I have been put completely under was when I had my wisdom teeth removed and that time I talked about Little House on the Prairie when the drugs started to take effect. This time I talked about the last time I had been knocked out... So both of my knock out surgeries include LHOTP now....

I don't even remember Ben leaving the prep room and felt like I was only out for a minute when they were waking me up. Talk about crazy. They brought Ben into see me, removed my catheter (luckily I was still out when they removed the breathing tube) and took me to my recovery room. A few of my friends (who went against my request of no visitors) and my pastor waited with Ben during the surgery so they came to say hi. I'm glad they came and that Ben wasn't alone. I was just so afraid to see the fear I felt in others faces. That is why I didn't want visitors before surgery. 

After surgery I felt way better. The bleeding I had been experiencing for almost a month had mostly stopped too. I slept, had a yummy breakfast, journaled and played lots of PVZ.

Before everything went down I was in a very loosely controlled state of panic. The worst part was thinking that if thing didn't go well that I would never see my little girl again. (I'm tearing up now even just admitting this!) Both my c-section and this surgery were at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and I have to say it was a great experience (aside from the fact that I had to have surgery, of course). They were kind, thorough and in this last case saved my life. I feel very lucky blessed. I can honestly say from the depths of my heart thank God I am alive and that my doctors noticed that something was wrong and that I can hold my little girl again (while sitting, no lifting yet).

And the silver lining: now I get a few days to just play online and knit! Almost makes this whole thing worthwhile. (yeah, right.)

edit: I just re-read this post. Today is May 3, 2012. I realize that I failed to mention that during the laprascopy they removed the exploded tube, the blood AND the deceased fetus. It makes me sad that I was in such denial about what had happened that I didn't even think to mention the baby. 


  1. Glad to hear you're okay Sara! Elisabeth and I will be praying for you.

  2. Thanks for sharing the story--so glad you are okay!!

  3. This is so scary. I'm glad you made it out ok though! I couldn't imagine having to deal with this!!!