This is personal | My ectopic pregnancy | Part 1
Disclaimer: the information within this blog post and video are not to be considered a substitution for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek medical attention if you are concerned with any symptoms.
For months I had been struggling with post concussion life. Everyday it felt like there was another symptom to add to the list. I was exhausted and frankly becoming a little hysterical from the stress of meeting new doctors, fitting physical therapy into every spare minute and just trying to live life. I was a mess and nothing I did made any difference. I was beginning to think that I would never be myself again. I was slowly forgetting what the normal I missed so much even felt like. So with all that going on I can tell you I really didn't need another ailment placed on my shoulders, but it happened no matter if I needed it or not.
I had been struggling as I had mentioned, but this week a new symptom had come in the form of severe stomach pain, almost blinding pain. I had been gaining new symptoms for months and I just thought to myself “great, another pain to add to this horrifying list” then I pushed through and went on struggling. But by the end of the week, I had a new symptom, my breasts were extremely hard and I had been spotting for a few days. I had never experienced anything like that and it had me slightly worried. SO of course I did what everyone does; I called my mom and asked her what I should do. She asked when I had my last period and to my horror the last one I could remember was when I was in Europe. Four months prior! Now I hadn't been so Laissez-faire about this as you may think. I had asked all the doctors what they thought about my period and how the concussion and injury would affect it. They all answered the same way. “When your body and brain have gone through this much trauma it’s natural for your hormones to be out of whack”, so I was not expecting my period to arrive until more time had passed. So after I relayed all this to my mother and also pointed out the fact that I had an IUD that had been working for the past four years and it was impossible that I could be pregnant, she said “why don't you just take a test to be sure”.
So I did. I went to the drug store grabbed the cheapest test and went to go check out at the register. An older woman was running the register as I placed the package on the counter and she asked: “is this a good or a bad thing?” I replied “I am married and it would be fine, but I am not pregnant I just want the peace of mind.” Then I took my receipt shoved the box in my bright red purse and started to walk home. While I was walking I realized I only had a few minutes until I had to work and decided I would just go to work and worry about the test later. I went about my fairly normal day and I didn't think of the box in my purse at all.
After work, I went home opened the box and took the test.
Before I even pulled up my pants the result was in- It was positive. I thought I was going to be sick. This had never happened to me before. I had taken many test in my life, it was normal for women who have a regular sex life. But this time my “peace of mind” test came back with a new result; My first thought was “this is impossible” and then my second thought was “I can't have this baby right now, I am only 23. But I guess we are havin' a baby.” Then a third thought raced to the front of my brain and pushed everything else out it’s way and stuck like cement “There is no way this is a viable pregnancy.” Let me explain the third thought.
I had been in so much pain, excruciating pain and had irregular bleeding for almost a week. My heart knew there was no chance this was a baby, or more precisely it seemed to know that this baby wasn't going to be mine to hold. So the next thing I did was call my beloved friend who also happens to be my OBGYN and scream “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?????”
Calmly she said it is best to take a second test to make sure it's working, but I would most likely have to go to the hospital.
Grabbing my bag, I raced out the door in hot pursuit of another pregnancy test. I took the same route as I had that morning but with a much faster pace. I tore into the store and went to the aisle that makes everyone blush. Surrounded by feminine products I stared at the locked case of plastic sticks that tell you the most life changing news you can receive. I pressed the help button over and over and over until a young clerk came into view. He asked ”Can I help you ma’am?” and I replied “ I need a pregnancy test.” He opens the case and says “What one would you like?” I replied, “All of them.” I grabbed 5 boxes of the most expensive tests you could get, held them in my arms and walked to the front. Normally I would have tried to politely cover these boxes as to not make anyone uncomfortable, but my mind could only stay blank with a mind numbing buzz that was growing louder every second. I stepped forward, dropped the boxes on the counter, and saw the same older woman from that morning. This time she didn't say anything except “would you like a bag?” Since I couldn’t fit them all in my purse this time I quickly answered yes. She kindly double bagged it so no one could see what I was carrying home. I stepped out and made my way home on auto pilot. I had an ever increasing feeling of dread that things were about to change.
I still see that older woman at the drugstore and everytime it makes my stomach drop with the most disarming case of deja vu. Maybe I should change drugstores.
Anyhow, I stopped off at the market to buy all the supplies to pull a full Juno: Orange juice and lemonade. At home I drank an entire carton of juice while sitting on the toilet in my underwear, at the same time unboxing most recent purchase. I lined all the different tests up very carefully so that as soon as the urge hit I could quickly grab the tests and prove that the first test was wrong. 3 positive test later I call my OBGYN and she says “ I think the second test is all you needed Monica, but with your symptoms I think you have an ectopic pregnancy”. She continued by advising me to head to the hospital. I started gathering a few things, completely unsure what was needed in an instance like this. I babbled to Megan telling her I should be at the hospital in 30 minutes cause I was going to take the train and she emphatically said, “Take a damn uber Monica!” Before I left the house I called my husband and said “I’m pregnant. But we aren't having a baby. Meet me at the hospital.” He stuttered over the phone, confused and frantic. He was an hour outside the city on a video shoot and this was not the call he was expecting. To be fair, it wasn’t a call I was expecting to make.
I got into the uber and said “I am going to need to go to the ER.” That poor woman, it scared her to death. She drove as carefully as possible, like there was an explosive buckled in the back seat and as we pulled up to the hospital she looked back at me and smiled and said “Sorry.” I gave a slight smile of thanks, grabbed my bag, opened the car door and stepped out to check myself in.
To be continued.