Ectopic pregnancy is horrible. It’s every mother’s worst nightmare.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. Sadly, this means that there is no chance for a baby to mature and survive. I had heard of ectopic pregnancy before, but I never knew how dangerous it was until my close friend experienced it. I’ll call her Jane in this article to protect her privacy. Jane bravely agreed to let me share her story with other moms.
Jane’s pregnancy started typically.
She took a pregnancy test which came back positive. All of the usual pregnancy symptoms occurred, such as morning sickness. Jane was busy thinking about how her life was going to change completely with the addition of a sweet new baby. At eight weeks along, my friend went to her first prenatal appointment.
The ultrasound revealed that the pregnancy was ectopic.
The fertilized egg attached in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This news was completely unexpected and absolutely devastating. Jane is young and healthy, so she was expecting everything to be fine. In fact, she had gone to the appointment by herself, because she didn’t anticipate needing help or support. Now she was stuck all alone at the hospital while she waited for results from her bloodwork.
When the bloodwork came back, the doctors decided that Jane’s pregnancy was early enough to end with an injection of methotrexate. If it had not been so early, Jane would have required surgery.
Methotrexate is a drug that will stop the fertilized egg from developing and the body will absorb that tissue. This is a fairly simple treatment, but it can be mentally anguishing. Yes, the pregnancy has to end or else it will rupture the mother’s fallopian tube, which could be fatal. However, it’s still awful. All of my friend’s hopes and dreams for her baby ended abruptly with that injection of methotrexate.
Jane was sent home from the hospital with instructions to limit her activity.
Her body needed time to absorb the ectopic pregnancy. Her doctors also wanted to monitor her hormone levels to ensure that everything progressed as planned. Jane went to bed that night glad that the whole horrible ordeal was over. Unfortunately, she was wrong.
The very next evening, Jane experienced sharp pain and bleeding.
After calling her doctors, she rushed to the emergency room. Something had gone wrong and she was bleeding heavily. In the end, she lost 2.5 liters of blood. Jane’s fallopian tube was bleeding and her only option was emergency surgery. In the end, the surgeons removed the fallopian tube that was affected by the ectopic pregnancy. Now Jane faced a painful recovery from surgery on top of depression brought about by the ectopic pregnancy.
Luckily, Jane is now on the road to recovery, both physically and mentally.
Recovery is a very long process, though. Anyone who has ever lost a pregnancy knows that the heartbreak will never just disappear. It becomes part of your life. Seeing happy families with babies or young children is really difficult for Jane right now. She also told me that having one ectopic pregnancy increases your odds of experiencing another one. Her doctors told her that she has a 15 to 20% chance of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy the next time she gets pregnant. She will have to work closely with her doctors when she plans to become pregnant so they can monitor her health closely.
If you become pregnant, I urge you to make an appointment with a doctor right away.
Ectopic pregnancies are very dangerous to the mother if they are not detected early on in the pregnancy. Although doctors can’t save the life of the baby, they can easily save the life of the mother. I have one wish for my friend Jane and everyone else who has experienced the horrors of ectopic pregnancy. I wish that you will go on to experience the pure joy of welcoming a rainbow baby into this world.