I recently experienced my first miscarriage. While this is usually a more private topic, I have chosen to make my situation public to inform others of abdominal pregnancies.
If you are squeamish, I suggest you stop reading now. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to hear the rest.
A couple weeks prior to going to the ER, I started having relentless pain when in the bathroom. (I know, not a classy topic to discuss, but the more information I provide, the more you will know in case you or a loved one are faced with this.) The best way to describe the pain would be severe pressure that is focused on the rectal area. My tummy was also bloated and tender.
One cold Tuesday became a very painful day, and instead of just feeling the pressure in the bathroom, I was feeling it wherever I went, especially when I walked or ate. That night I called a 24hour nurse-line that our insurance provides. She suggested that I go to the Urgent Care immediately, or to a family doctor in the morning.
Based on my previous experiences with Urgent Care, I decided to wait until the morning to get in with a regular doctor. So I asked some friends for a recommendation in the area and called that doctor in the morning. I was relieved to hear that she would see me at 2:30 in the afternoon.
My pain worsened through the day and I took an unexpected nap on the couch before getting myself together and driving to the appointment. The doctor ran urine tests and thought I may have the start of a urinary tract infection, so she wrote a prescription for that. She also suggested that I may have internal hemorrhoids, so she wrote a prescription for that too and said to come back in two weeks if I wasn’t better.
I was discouraged that I wouldn’t have immediate relief and was not convinced that I had a UTI or a hemorrhoid problem. However, I had no choice but to drop off my prescriptions and go home. It was about 4:30pm and I knew the kids would want dinner soon, so I made a lasagna and put it in the oven. I must have had angels helping me because the pain was getting worse. Especially after I ate a granola bar.
While it was baking, my husband got a call from the repair shop that was fixing our vehicle’s fender bender. I was writhing in pain in the bathroom when he came to tell me he would be back soon, and looked concerned as he asked, “Are you sure you’re ok?” I told him I was and to come back soon.
After he left, I spent most of the time on the floor crying, praying, and attempting to look brave and happy when my little girls approached me. When I heard the timer go off for the lasagna, I used every ounce of strength I had to retrieve it, then returned to the floor where I called my parents. I said through my tears, “Mom, I need you to send dad down here to stay with the girls so that Jesse can take me to the emergency room. I am in a lot of pain.”
Thankfully, Jesse walked in the door right then and I hung up the phone and told him what I had decided to do. Embarrassingly enough, we argued about this for a moment while he felt we should go immediately and take our kids with us. I felt the opposite. I wanted them to be able to eat dinner and stay home. The ER is not a fun place for children.
While he fed the kids, I laid on the couch and texted my best friend who offered to come stay with the girls until my dad arrived. I gladly took her up on her offer and was soon on my way to the hospital.
The drive felt like an eternity, and was excruciating. I honestly didn’t know how much more pain I could take. I tried drinking some ice water but that made the pain even worse if you could imagine that. Luckily once I checked in to the emergency room, they quickly admitted me and gave me an IV of heaven to relieve the pain. I could not have dreamed up a better feeling. Fortunately, I was sitting in a wheelchair and a male nurse apparently had to transfer me to the hospital bed.
Shortly after getting settled into a room, a doctor came in with the surprising and exciting news that we were pregnant! I was shocked because the timing didn’t match up right as I had just ended my period. We had been trying to conceive for the past couple of months and I was thrilled to hear that we had a baby on the way. The doctor sent me back for a ultrasound to find out more.
Eventually, the doctor came back to my room to discuss the results from the ultrasound. She thought that the baby had implanted in one of my Fallopian tubes, and that it would have to be removed surgically. I was devastated, but hopeful. When an OB/GYN became available, she came to discuss surgery with me and to perform a standard Pap Smear test. Unfortunately, she was not able to finish the pap because I was screaming in pain and clawing the table to retract from her. She said, “If you are in that much pain for a Pap Smear, then you just won yourself a ticket to the OR!”
She wanted to witness another ultrasound though since she wasn’t in the room for the first one, so they rolled me back to the ultrasound room. It seemed like she was speaking in code with the technician, and when I asked if she saw the baby in my Fallopian tube, she said she couldn’t see anything due to the amount of blood in my stomach. She was going into the surgery blind. Oh goodness I was nervous but so so anxious to make the pain stop.
I got sent back to my room to wait for the doctor to prepare the operating room. It felt like foooooor-eeeeeee-verrrrr. Suddenly the pain just took over my body and knocked me out. Everything is pretty blurry after that, and I couldn’t get words out except for grunts like, “uh huh” but there is one funny thing that happened. There was a middle aged male nurse who looked like he belonged in a biker bar that came and scooped me up out of the wheelchair and as he placed me on the hospital bed said, “You just wanted me to pick you up again!” If I had the strength to bust out in laughter, I would have because that was hilarious to me.
During my four hour surgery, they found a nine centimeter sack/fetus that had burrowed in my rectum. (My fallopian tubes were fine!) The doctors also removed a unit of blood from my stomach, and a small cyst from one of my ovaries. I lost a lot of blood, and received three units of blood in return. They also doubled my c-section scar and made it asymmetrical since, as the nurse said, “They were in a hurry.” I am very grateful I made it out of there alive. After surgery the doctor relayed the news to Jesse and said, “You are lucky she came in when she did. One more day and she wouldn’t have made it.”
Since the surgery, I have returned home to my family as I recover. It has been a painful recovery, emotionally as well as physically, but I am happy to be here with the children I was blessed to have, and a sincere husband. I am also thankful for wonderful family and friends that have provided childcare and meals for us.
I have come to find out that my miscarriage is considered an “abdominal pregnancy”. I had NEVER even heard of that type of pregnancy prior to my emergency surgery. This happens to ten out of 100,000 women. I don’t know that many women, so I think you are safe from this happening to you, but please listen to your body. Take care of your body and don’t put off going to the doctor when you feel something isn’t right. I had no idea I was pregnant, let alone that I would have a miscarriage. I thought my appendix ruptured or that I was having gallbladder problems. You just never know and I wish you all good health.
Have you or a loved one ever experienced an unexpected surgery? If you are comfortable, please share and inform us below. Also, you can find more information about abdominal pregnancies here.