Monday, March 5, 2018

My Scary Pregnancy Stuff - Part 1

I am a blob.

A pregnant, dizzy, pukey blob.

I've been hesitant to write anything here because none of it is particularly enjoyable or positive. But then again, this blog has been a useful outlet for me over the years so to not write is essentially defeating the purpose. Derp.

I wrote my last post around the difficulties I'm having with being pregnant. The plot has thickened further so I might as well keep going with it. Let's take a look back to see where my mind was and where it is at now.

If we go back, way back, way way back to after Baby D was born (4 weeks premature with a stint in the neonatal intensive care unit), I was in a significant amount of pain even 10 days after she was free of my belly. The public health nurse at the time told me that the amount of pain I was having didn't seem normal and that I should get checked out. My family doctor could not have given less fucks, and I ended up back at the hospital emergency department.

I waited for hours, still in pain, and the doctor I saw was very dismissive as well. He asked a few questions, squished my post-baby belly but did no exam. He said to come back the next day for an ultrasound, IF I WANTED TO BOTHER, and that was that.

When I had the ultrasound the next day, the tech's face went serious and she told me not to go home but to proceed back to the emergency department straight away. OH, GOOD, I thought. I'm sure they tell that to everyone that is healthy and normal. The panic started to set in.

I went back to emergency and explained the deal. I assumed the ultrasound report was already there, or at least on its way. After hours and hours of waiting in the waiting area, I finally called the on-call OB (obstetrician, aka baby doctor) number I was given pre-labour and left a message begging for some help. The pain was getting worse, and I was sitting in the waiting area seemingly forgotten.

A resident doctor called back and said she would be down to help me. She examined me and immediately noticed that I was still 4 cm dilated with a clot!! It was visually obvious. It was not good. And my body essentially thought I was trying to push out another baby! Nucking futs if you ask me!

From there, I needed a D&C to get rid of whatever squatters were hanging out in my uterus without a lease agreement. It's the post-delivery surgical equivalent to using a spatula to get all the cake batter out of the bowl when baking. It was awful. I was readmitted to the hospital while my 11-day old newborn and husband were left to fend for themselves. I needed to pump my ginormous milk-filled boobies but by the time I was actually brought to the ward, the lactation consultant wasn't on duty and apparently morphine is readily available, but the breast pumps are on goddamn lock and key. I hadn't eaten. I was alone. I cried myself to sleep that night in pain, scared, missing my family, wondering what was going to happen to me.

Though this type of procedure happens pretty often, I was really worried I would die. Labour was traumatic, Baby D's heart rate skyrocketed and she was whisked away to the NICU. I bled so much. I felt like she was going to die or I was going to die. I had just gotten over that emotional hurdle and then had to go under anesthetic and hope things went ok.

My Mom actually had to meet Baby D at the hospital. She flew in and everyone met up there so I could be a part of it. Not stressful AT ALL. Nope. Good times.

Anyway, fast forward a bit and I had infections post procedure, illness and all kinds of troubles. My OB at the time was a fucking moron and I ended up needing IV antibiotics in-hospital for over a week because she didn't culture anything and the 4 different oral antibiotics she put me on were ineffective. I was the lucky recipient of an infection that caused scarring in my Fallopian tubes. And who says being female isn't awesome?

When I finally saw a competent OB, he explained that I likely had scarring and I would need to be careful and monitor early if I were to get pregnant again because I was at greater risk for an ectopic pregnancy. That's where the fertilized egg gets stuck in one of the two Fallopian tubes and starts to grow, but eventually it runs out of room and bursts. An ectopic pregnancy can never survive, and it often results in serious blood loss and is potentially fatal for the mom. I know someone who nearly died from it a few years ago. You typically end up losing that tube and it can reduce the chances of getting pregnant in the future, too.

So once we found out I was really pregnant, I remembered that advice, and went to my family doctor. While it is almost impossible to see a 4-week embryo on an ultrasound, there is a possibility of seeing a 5 or 6 week embryo. Sometimes the ultrasound technician is able to rule out anything growing in the fallopian tubes, but usually the technician is looking to see is a tiny yolk sac in the uterus. At least then they know that it isn't dangerously growing in a Fallopian tube.

I had researched this and knew it was important. Often times if the tube bursts, mom can get incredibly weak and have a high volume of internal bleeding before she even knows to call for an ambulance. It is scary shit. It is time sensitive and some women don't know there is a problem until someone finds them passed out on their bathroom floor. There is absolutely no warning signs, and nothing that a mom can do to prevent or help an ectopic pregnancy.

So at my doctor's appointment, with my 4 year old in tow, that same family doctor once again gave zero fucks, despite what I told her the experienced, well-respected OB had told me years before. Her response?

"At 4 weeks they can't see anything anyway. Yes, it could burst and you could die, but what can you do?"

SERIOUSLY. I started crying immediately. My poor daughter looked so concerned and asked what was wrong, why I was crying. Ugh. It was just so cold and dismissive.

Luckily for me I had signed up with midwives while the pee was still drying on my positive pregnancy test, and they saved the day, sending me for a scan to be booked between 5-6 weeks. They hadn't even met me yet but they went above and beyond to help me out and relieve my fears of bleeding out and dying in the night.

The technician was able to see the yolk sac in a safe place. So I could breathe a sigh of relief instead of wondering if my tube was going to explode at some point between 4 weeks when I found out I was pregnant and my first dating ultrasound at 9 weeks.

And so it began, the wondering if my body would turn on me, not having any way to check or know for myself, relying solely on how seriously my care providers took the situation, and waiting for the scan to hopefully provide more information. It was a very stressful start to what should feel like an exciting time.

And then, the anatomy scan decided to turn things upside down again...

To Be Continued...


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