I want to share my ectopic story in case it could help someone else. I know when I was going through it, I desperately searched the internet wanting to know that I wasn’t alone.
I got my BFP at 13 DPO and it was so faint I had to point the line out to my husband. It worried me because when I tested with my daughter at 13 DPO it was a dark line, but I tried to stay optimistic. At 14 DPO, I still had the same faint line and then began bleeding. I chalked it up to a chemical pregnancy. I saw my doctor three days after I started bleeding and she conducted a urine pregnancy test, which was negative. She also ran CD 3 bloodwork which all came back normal.
I bled for three days (my periods are usually five days) and then on the fourth day had EWCM and a positive OPK. I was baffled by this and thought that maybe I was already ovulating. I had no idea what was going on but my husband and I DTD anyways since the bleeding had stopped. I continued spotting on and off for the next week.
Eight days after the weird EWCM/OPK I had a nagging feeling that I should take a pregnancy test. It was positive immediately so I called my doctor’s nurse. She wasn’t sure what could be going on, so they wanted me to come in for a beta the next day. It came back at around 400.
My OB and her nurse were both perplexed and thought it was possible that it could be a new pregnancy, but not likely, so they repeated the beta 3 days later and it was 350. At this point I was still spotting brown and red. My OB suspected a natural miscarriage and wanted me to come back in a week for betas.
The next week my numbers hadn’t dropped much; I think it was still around 300. At this point I was still bleeding and it just didn’t feel right. If I was experiencing an early miscarriage, why was I bleeding for two weeks? I had also started to get a crampy and sometimes sharp pain on my left side. I finally decided to advocate for myself and called my OB and told her I wanted an ultrasound ASAP because something was wrong. They got me in the next day.
When I arrived for my ultrasound, the tech told me that she was just going to take some pictures and send them to my OB for review. She mentioned that she would only have to call my OB if she saw something “alarming”. She started her scan and the uterus was empty, as suspected. When she got to my left fallopian tube, she drew a circle around something and put a question mark to it and immediately printed the picture. Obviously she couldn’t tell me what it was but I immediately got very concerned. She got up and told me she was going to call my doctor. Cue freak out. When she returned, she said that my OB would be calling my cell phone in a few minutes and I was free to go. I knew then it was ectopic.
My OB confirmed my fear and said that I could wait it out, receive a methotrexate shot or have surgery. At this point, I had been bleeding for a month and having pain so waiting was out of the question. I didn’t want methotrexate because we would have had to wait 6 months to TTC again, so surgery it was.
The next day I had laparoscopic surgery where they removed the fetal tissue from my left tube and the corpus luteum from my right ovary. The worst part of recovery was the pain from the gas they pump into your abdomen to expand it. I bled for about 5 days and then my hCG was back to 0.
Emotionally, the experience was not that difficult because I had been detached from the very beginning when I thought it was just a chemical. I was just ready to feel normal again so the days following the surgery were very liberating.
Sorry for the novel here, but like I said above, I wanted to share my experience in case anyone else is ever going through something similar.
The morning of November 16 (10 DPO) I tested with a Wondfo. At first I thought it was negative, but the more it dried the more a shadow of a line appeared. I didn’t even go crossed eyed looking at it! When I was on my way to work shortly afterwards, the sunrise was more beautiful than I had seen it in a long time. I thought this was a sign that everything was going to be OK (I had an ectopic the month prior).
The next day at 11 DPO, I tested with a FRER and sure enough there was a faint pink line. I was officially excited. I tested the next few days and the line didn’t seem to be getting a whole lot darker, but it was still early. Around this time I also started having dreams about having a miscarriage. I figured it was due to my prior loss and the fear I had going into the current pregnancy.
I went in for a beta at 15 DPO, and it came back at 85. I was a little worried because it seemed low, but I knew that is was the doubling that mattered, not the level. I scheduled a repeat for 36 hours later.
The day before Thanksgiving, November 23, I went for my second beta feeling pretty confident. When it came back at 116, I was devastated. The nurse was very reassuring, but considering the doubling time was 90+ hours, I did not have a good feeling. I was so worried about an ectopic that I went to the ER that night to see if they could do anything (even though I knew they couldn’t). They did another beta at my request, which came back at exactly 116 – so it hadn’t risen in 10 hours. I went home that night and cried for hours.
Over the Thanksgiving break, I continued taking pregnancy tests which were finally getting darker. I got a glimmer of hope with each passing day and kept telling myself that since I had no bleeding and no cramping that everything was going to be fine.
When my OB’s office opened the following Monday, I went in for another beta which came back at 500. The doubling time was around 50 hours which is well within the “normal” range. I breathed a sigh of relief but still had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. I was 5 weeks and that seemed incredibly low.
They wanted to do another repeat in a few days, so four days later, on Thursday, I got another beta in at 905, putting my doubling time closer to 80 hours. They wanted to see me that same day for an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic.
The ultrasound confirmed an intrauterine pregnancy and a very tiny gestational sac was seen. I was relieved that it wasn’t ectopic but also sad that there was barely a sac and my numbers didn’t look good. They told me to come in for another beta the next Wednesday.
The next few days were uneventful until Tuesday, December 6. I was getting ready to take a shower before bed when I started spotting brown. My heart sunk but I was still clinging to hope. I took a shower, put a pad on and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and the pad was dry. Hope renewed. As soon as I started moving around, the spotting started again. Hope crushed.
I went to work and slowly started bleeding red. Since it was now Wednesday and I already had a beta scheduled, I went to my OB for the blood draw and then went home. I had started having cramps and I just knew what was coming.
Around 2, I started having actual contractions. They felt just like they did in early labor with my daughter. It was crazy to me that I was contractions. The bleeding was picking up and I just felt sick. After 15 minutes or so of contractions, I felt like I should just go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet. At this point, the blood was just pouring out so it seemed easier than changing a pad constantly. I sat down and started feeling the urge the push (crazy, right?!). I had a really strong cramp and my body pushed and the tissue came out. I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe and just panicking because I didn’t understand why my body was doing all of this. I felt like I had no control.
After I passed the tissue, the cramping ceased and the bleeding lessened. I had collected the tissue in a little dish and after saying goodbye, I flushed it. After another hour or so of crying and just feel like complete hell, there was a wave of relief that washed over me. All of the stress and anxiety of the past two weeks was over.
Later that afternoon my OB’s nurse called to give me my beta results, which were 1,800. I told her that I had passed everything a few hours prior so there was no need to continue monitoring my hCG.
This sucked so much. I really believed when I got that first positive that everything would be ok. I felt like my ectopic got my bad luck “out of the way”, which obviously wasn’t the case.
When I had my daughter, I was induced and never progressed past a 6 because my body just wasn’t ready. I still reflect on the day I miscarried with amazement that my body knew just what to do. It was amazing and sad all at the same time. When I do get pregnant again, I now want a natural birth because that feeling was truly powerful. I find peace in knowing that the baby wasn’t healthy, and am confident that when I do give birth again, the baby will be the one I was meant to have in my arms.