In 2018, I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was 21 years old . . . but let me start from the beginning.
My boyfriend (now husband) and I lived in a little apartment together, my career was just starting to take off. We were happy. We weren’t trying to get pregnant, but in May 2018 after taking a pregnancy test due to a missed period, we got surprising news: We were going to have a baby!
I set up an appointment with my doctor for the following week, and we basked in our exciting news signifying a brand new chapter in our lives.
But then a few days later I started getting a sharp pain on the left side of my stomach. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but it continued to get worse and I felt like something might be wrong.
Since the pain wasn’t getting any better, I decided it would be best to go to the local ER and get it checked out.
At the ER, they ran tests and monitored me, but no conclusion was made. The doctor could not find the fetus on the ultrasounds but was convinced it was just too early for it to show up. I went home with no answers but was reassured everything was fine.
Another day or two went by and the pain became severe and uncontrollable. I returned to the ER again and finally received an answer as to what was wrong.
I had an ectopic pregnancy in my left fallopian tube.
When I was given this diagnosis, I had no idea what it meant. I had never heard of an ectopic pregnancy before. It was explained to me that the fetus was growing in my left fallopian tube instead of in the uterus like it was supposed to. It had not traveled far enough before it had gotten stuck in the tube and started growing there. There was nothing they could do to save my baby. There was nothing I could do or could have done differently.
I was in shock. My partner was in shock. I was then told the fetus needed to be removed or it would continue to grow and my tube couldn’t handle it and I could die.
Everything was happening so fast. I was scared, upset, and devastated. The next thing I knew, I was signing a paper to get injections that would stop the growth of my baby. I was heartbroken and destroyed. After receiving the injections and being monitored for a few hours, I was released to go home where I was expected to have a miscarriage. I crawled into bed and cried.
Later that night, I woke up screaming from the pain coming from my left side. I ran to the bathroom and began vomiting and felt disoriented and dizzy. I was rushed back to the ER. The injections the doctor was so sure would work—that normally do work—did not work for me. The fetus was still growing.
I was advised that the next course of action would be surgery. My left fallopian tube needed to be removed. And so it was.
Exactly one week after finding out I was pregnant, I was rushed into emergency surgery.
The weeks that followed were the darkest of my life. I had lost my baby, I had lost one of my fallopian tubes, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to have children in the future. I blamed my body for not working right, for not doing what it was created to do . . . and at the time, I even blamed God. I had to fight through the pain and the darkness and go through the motions of feeling angry, blaming myself, and feeling numb to everything. With time, as my body healed, my heart slowly started to heal, too.
Then something amazing happened, friends and family members started to come forward and share their stories of miscarriages and loss.
I took great comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone. I also met a beautiful nurse who, after hearing my story, whispered, “I had an ectopic pregnancy, too,” as she broke down and cried. She was just one of the many women like me who share a similar story.
I can’t say the pain of loss ever goes away, it’s always with me. I believe because of that loss, I cherish my amazing rainbow daughter even more and never take a moment with her for granted. I also believe sharing my story will help others who have gone through the same.
I see you, mama. I hear you, mama. I’m here for you, mama. Sending love.