Friday, December 16, 2011

A Little Bit Pregnant

They say you can't be a "little bit pregnant". But I totally was. Yes - me. You know... the one who got her tubes tied in June? {Read this for a refresher on that situation: http://sweetleighmama.blogspot.com/2011/07/all-tied-up.html } Here's what happened...

The week before Deacon's surgery, I started to feel a little funny. Nauseous. Sore boobs. Exhausted. The only times I had all three of those symptoms at the same time was right before I found out I was prego with Miss Paige, and then D. So of course I got a little worried. But because of the enormous amount of stress I was under, I chalked it up to a fluke. I mean - seriously - there is a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant after a tubal ligation procedure. That is pretty much impossible. Or so I thought...

My period was scheduled to come before I went to the hospital with Deacon. But it didn't. So I packed my "supplies" in my hospital bag. But it never came. And so on the day we were scheduled to bring Deacon home after his surgery, I finally fessed up to Daniel - I was over a week late. He reached out for anything to hold on to so he wouldn't pass out. I told him it was probably just stress and stuff because - again, SERIOUSLY - it was pretty much impossible. We decided to see what happened when we went home.

Thursday. Friday. Saturday. NOTHING. So on Sunday I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test just to rule that out. I bought the digital kind - I didn't want any mis-reading of lines or plus signs. I peed. I waited. And in a shocking turn of events - PREGNANT popped up on the screen. WHAT?!?! I gasped and called for my mom (because, in this situation, my mom was the only one who could think rationally and explain how this could happen). We stood there staring at the stick for 30 minutes. Then I called up Daniel and showed him. His reaction? Laughter. Hysterical laughter. As if I told him the funniest joke in the world. He told me I better call the doctor ASAP and figure out what was going on.

At this point everything was running through my mind. Did they forget to cut my tubes? Did they decide I was too young for the procedure and refuse to do it? Did they cut the wrong thing? My mom finally brought up the very real possibility that it could be an ectopic (or tubal) pregnancy. Oh great.

So I called my OB's answering service and got a call back almost immediately. I needed to go in first thing the next morning for an ultrasound to determine where exactly the embryo was - in my uterus? in my fallopian tubes? somewhere else?!

Of course by this point I was getting excited that there may be another baby on the way. I was thinking of names, figuring out how we were going to fit another baby in our home, texting my BFFs with the shocking news. Obviously if I had my tubes tied we didn't want any more biological children. BUT - if I somehow ended up pregnant - I knew this would be a miracle baby and that idea was exciting to me. I was hoping that if there was really an embryo - a baby - forming in my body, that it had somehow made it to my uterus. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

The ultrasound showed there was nothing visible inside my uterus. But it was still so early, they said it was a possibility we just couldn't see it yet. But more than likely the embryo was attached in my fallopian tubes or somewhere else. My urine test at the OB came back positive. They had me take a blood test so they could look at my quantitative and qualitative hCG. My OB checked the paperwork to make sure my fallopian tubes had indeed been "tied" (come to find out they tie them, cut them, remove a small section AND then burn each end during the procedure). They had. I didn't know this, but after the tubal ligation they send a small piece from each fallopian tube to Pathology to confirm it was the fallopian tube that had been cut. At that point, the writing was pretty much on the wall - unless this was the most magical embryo ever formed, there was little to no chance it was in my uterus.

Ready for a quick biology lesson? See, the way a tubal ligation IS SUPPOSED TO work is that you still drop an egg each month, but there is no way for sperm to get to the egg to fertilize it because each fallopian tube has been severed into two separate pieces. Think of taking a hose, bending it in half, then cutting the loop off the top. Then burning each end so it melts together. You would now have two separate pieces of hose. So the unfertilized egg just "reabsorbs" into your body. In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg somehow gets through it's side of the fallopian tube (maybe through a small part that didn't heal properly or where scar tissue formed), the sperm gets through the other side (through something that didn't heal properly on that side), and they meet in the middle. Now you understand why the chances of this happening are less than 1%. So say all that happened - the egg and sperm BOTH busted out of tubes that were - for all intents and purposes - GLUED shut, magically met in the middle, and began to create a baby... Well that embryo could attach anywhere. For it to attach in the uterus, it would have to go back through the same hole in the fallopian tube the sperm snuck out of. And unless this embryo has a GPS unit strapped to it, you can see why this is pretty impossible. So the embryo floats around until it attaches somewhere - possibly your fallopian tube - or maybe your intestines, stomach. It really could end up anywhere.

So I was told I needed to be hyper-alert as to what my body was doing over the next few days. If I felt any pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, etc - I would need to call 911 and be rushed to the hospital immediately. My fallopian tube could be rupturing (because it couldn't handle the rapidly growing embryo) which would cause me to bleed out (and die) pretty quickly. Nice, right? Just what I needed to hear : )  But if the embryo wasn't attached to my fallopian tube, there was a good chance it would stop developing on it's own pretty quickly (due to lack of proper blood supply) and just reabsorb back into my body. And "luckily", that's what happened.

My hCG tests came back "negative" - meaning there wasn't enough hCG present by that point to demonstrate a viable pregnancy. About a week after that, I got my period. I was relieved my body took care of it on its own - if the embryo (baby) couldn't survive and thrive because it wasn't in my uterus, then I would rather have it naturally move through my body (as opposed to something rupturing). It sounds emotional, but it really wasn't too bad. Even though I let myself get excited for a hot second, my logical side figured out pretty quickly that it wasn't going to go anywhere.

And there you have it. For about three weeks, I was technically prego... AGAIN. I think they refer to it as a "chemical pregnancy". "But HOW did it happen?!" you ask? Well - I'll save that for my next post : )

1 comment:

  1. WOW, yes that would've been a "miracle" baby nicely put.

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