Unexpectedly Ectopic


This post was easy to write. I have been holding in my story for months. It wasn't so easy to publish. A feeling of shame and embarrassment is the best way to describe the difficulty...

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Let's start from the beginning...

It's Monday, June 17, 2019. I'm headed to the states for a few months. 6am I sit straight up in bed about to pee myself, panicked, after Luca joked "maybe you're pregnant" last night in response to my aching breasts. I thought, let me just pee in this cup. I'm two weeks from my period so it is kind of odd that my breasts are so achy and SO swollen. 

Instant. Instantly "pregnant". Isn't that funny...have you ever thought you might be pregnant and taken a test and you stare it?, watching the urine move along the screens just waiting for that second line to appear (either praying NONONO or hoping YESYESYES) - and the "your test is working" line appears but you just stare at the pregnant screen in anticipation? Well if you ARE pregnant, it's instant. There's no wondering or waiting. It's like BAM, it's happening!
I think my line showed up before the "your test is working" line! 

Holy am I really pregnant? The two sticks say I am and from what I’ve heard, these things are rarely wrong. My emotions ranged from hysterical laughter noooo, it’s joking! Good one EPT *wink wink*
To excitement: we did it! I'm standing in the bathroom, arms up, waiting for my gold medal!
To shit, fuck, all the curse words, what have we done, Kona! are these things even right?! Luca is going to FLIP! ... Oh my god we’re going to have a baby. Oh my god we’re going to have a baby!!!!! Uh oh, what are we going to do with a baby. <--- This is a normal reaction right!?
I'm laughing and crying. 

I quickly scroll through my MyDays app wondering how this could have happened. I mean, I’m aware of how it happened but we’ve been purposely trying NOT to get pregnant after one full year of actively trying to get pregnant <-- I know, another shocker. We were even in the beginning stages of working w/fertility docs (we hadn't gotten far!).
When we found out I’d compete in 2019 IM world championship - KONA!!!! though, we decided to take a break from our family goals. This is when it happens, right? Clearly!!

It's still early so no one is awake to freak out with. Luca is on a mission, on a ship but fortunately, this morning will be our final chat before he's too far out in the sea for service. I text him, good morning! Please video call me when you wake up. I get a text later, I'll call you soon. In which I reply, NOW. He eventually calls, concerned. But is quickly OVER THE MOON. I think I just made his entire world!! He didn't have a moment of freak out which made me feel SO MUCH BETTER! Later (at the airport), I'm finally through to mom and her tired, grumpy "what" soon turned to AHHH, we're gonna have a baby. But what about Kona!? Isn't it cute that this is our first concern - but what about KONA!?

Now I'm on the plane, plenty of time to take all this in.
I have this really odd feeling of chill. Like I’m in this super surreal zen cloud. And I’m either floating or just bobbing before the big drown! And I have this ridiculous secure feeling with my Luca. Like absolutely nothing could ever come between us. Not that anything ever could... but it’s like, our souls are rooted now. And I’m scared. Omg I’m so scared. Like IDEK how to describe this fear. I’m sure you know it if you’ve had kids. I’m not even sure that it’s fear. But it's something BIG.

Arriving in the states, I needed more proof:
Like over 99% accurate, digital proof! Two more positive tests. No doubts.
Time to schedule the 'how many weeks are we' blood tests. And what else? HOLY MOLY I have NO IDEA what to do. For real... what do you do when you find out you're pregnant? I need the instruction manual! And I still kind of feel like this is a joke. Where's the camera? Good one *wink wink*
And it might not even hold. A large % of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Especially in our late 30s. So there's that too. And still, what about Kona?! There's a lot of decisions to make. But first, I don't know what to do!? I bought some prenatal vitamins and started those. And I started eating a banana every day.

In the meantime, I only told mom and Savanna. I get through a couple of weeks before Luca joined me in Ohio. Again, we are crazy, madly, deeply happy. Being pregnant (and parents) with Luca is going to be the most joyful adventure of my life, I just know it! He was so attentive and calm. And so happy. He was glowing brighter than me! This is partly why the next part is even more heartbreaking...

July 3rd I wake up and there's blood. I won't get too detailed here, but not a lot, just a "wipe" of bright red blood. Coincidentally I had a VA doctors appointment that morning. I briefed them that I am a few weeks pregnant and worried about the blood. They don't do GYN/OB here but they order me a blood test to check hormone levels and prepare the authorization to see an OB. My cousin had already suggested the best OB and I was already scheduled with them in a few more weeks. However, I called them and insisted that something wasn't right and I need to be seen right away. Keep in mind this is the day before a holiday! They call me back and the doctor agrees to see me at the very end of the day. I'm nervous. But also excited hoping to see our little olive in my uterus...

He goes in with the ultrasound and says, "Okay, this is your uterus."
I'm looking at it, my heart sinks, and I say, "Uhhhh, it looks empty."
Yes. It. Does.
He starts "searching" around and there's our little blob stuck in a fallopian tube. OH NO!!
Definitely an ectopic pregnancy. Something we never would have expected and a situation that is rarely even talked about! An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. Most commonly it occurs in a fallopian tube. The "baby" never even develops but continues to grow in the fallopian tube which can rupture and ultimately kill the mother. There's no fix, there's no moving it, it's not a viable pregnancy, there's only removal.

With the most cool and calm disposition, the doctor expresses that this is a very dangerous situation and we need to act fast. He rushed me across the street to the main hospital for methotrexate. Chemo.
This is an alternative treatment to surgically removing the fallopian tube.
Reminder: it is July 3rd, the day before a holiday at 6:30/7pm. They called in the appropriate people to prepare the medication and Dr. Guy met me in the unit to administer the injections.

I think it all happened so fast, from learning of the pregnancy to what was happening in that moment, I didn't even have time to process it all. It just felt urgent... and over.
We agreed that we are, however, ecstatic to learn that we can get pregnant and for now, we would continue with our plan to conquer Kona and we'll get busy after! Distraction.

Throughout the summer, though, I was struck with pangs of disappointment.
I found myself grieving for a baby that I didn't even know I wanted.
It felt like the whole situation was shrugged off. Forgotten. By everyone. Well, it wasn't meant to be. Well, it just wasn't the right time. Well, you can try again later.
That pained me the most. Try again later. Like I struck out and will be up to bat again soon!?
It was as if I was forbidden to acknowledge it, to talk about it. Feel it. I wasn't asked.
And I didn't tell.
But I was crushed. I am crushed.

Having an ectopic pregnancy feels invalid. Like I wasn't pregnant. Like I didn't lose a baby. It is strange and heavy. It's as if it doesn't actually count as a loss or count at all.
I knew a miscarriage was possible but I NEVER considered this. I had never even heard of this. And to know that it could have killed me. In. An. Instant.

And the guilt. The guilt was unexpected: My body failed me. My body failed my baby. I felt so blemished. Flawed. Why did this happen? Did I somehow cause this? Can this happen again? And, terminating the pregnancy. Will I be able to get pregnant again?

My experience was shorter than most. I bled A LOT but recovered quickly. I was able to continue with my training right away and besides some hair loss from the chemo, had minimum side effects.
However, I became the girl who scrolls really fast, eyes rolling, past pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and welcome to the world announcements. And even a few weeks after our loss, Luca's sister became pregnant. My jaw hit the floor. I couldn't help but feel the salt in my wounds.
Don't get me wrong, I am crazy happy for you all! It’s just that my fragile soul still needs some time.
I can be honest now, I was jealous.

BUT, I'm recovering. It's going to happen, I have faith. Or it's not. And that will just be my story.
My jealousy is (mostly) joy and my fear of another ectopic has (mostly) subsided. And we are (mostly) trying again <-- it's hard when we're separated by missions every other month.
I had a lot of bit of loss in a little bit of time - and maybe that's another reason this crushed me so hard.
The disappointment lingers but I'm finding peace and I see the importance in talking about it.
In fact, if you're struggling with a loss, don't feel ashamed to reach out and talk about it!!

You guys want to know another crazy thing about all of this?
The baby would have been due February 16th - my brother's birthday.
I can't help but wonder if this was some sort of sick joke from up above... One last stab at your little sis?