Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seeing the Big Picture


I've been debating about whether to write this post for weeks. It's a difficult subject to put into words, but I've decided it's important. Another blogger friend, Kiersten White, wrote a post last September that really stuck with me. I'm glad it did, because it educated me, helped me understand what was happening, and saved my life.

Last October, after two years of trying, we found out I was pregnant. We were ecstatic. Unfortunately, just before Thanksgiving they told me I was having a miscarriage. At the time, it was excruciating. A personal pain that is impossible to describe. I didn't understand. We didn't deserve this. How could this have happened?

A few weeks later, my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels hadn't dropped like they should. They decided to perform a D&C and make sure everything was all right. It wasn't.

Days later, the levels still hadn't dropped and I was having pain on my right side. They did an ultrasound and found an ectopic pregnancy inside my right ovary. 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic, of those only 1 in 6,000 is in the ovary. They gave me a shot of methotrexate, essentially a chemotherapy drug, in hopes of avoiding surgery.

My levels dropped, it was working, and yet the pain still persisted. My OB/GYN ignored it, but it was only getting worse. Finally, my family doctor decided I needed another ultrasound. There was a significant amount of blood in my abdomen and a tear in my ovary. I was put on strict bedrest while we determined if it would heal itself or if I would need surgery to fix it.

Luckily, it healed and I've made a full recovery.

I wanted to share my story for two reasons: to share what I learned, and to direct everyone to Kiersten's post. If you are a woman, or you care about a woman, you should read it. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial.

This taught me an important lesson. Although the miscarriage was emotionally and physically agonizing, if it hadn't happened as early as it did, the baby would have kept growing and my ovary would have ruptured. I would have lost my ovary and my tube at the very least, at the most--it could easily have killed me.

In the rough times in life, always remember the big picture. In life, as in art and literature, some of the darkest shades are what bring out the depth and beauty of the whole.

22 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're able to see the positive. That's the most important part, imo, of being able to heal. Hope you're doing better now.

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  2. It's times like these that we can't help but see the hand of God in our lives. So many blessings come hidden in trials.

    Your perspective is refreshing.

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  3. Jenn, I'm glad you're healing. I've now had three friends who've experienced ectopic pregnancy, and it's not something to ignore. I'm so glad that you're okay!

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  4. Sending love and healing thoughts your way. Miracles are everywhere. We just have to open our eyes to see them. So glad you're okay.
    My blog

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  5. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, Jenn. The agony and heartache of losing a pregnancy combined with scary medical complications is devastating, and I hope you're taking good care of yourself (and letting others help, too). I'm so glad that this was caught early enough to avoid permanent damage, and thank you for posting your story.

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  6. Stina - Thank you, I'm doing much better. I think posting this was important to really healing.

    Tess - I absolutely agree. Thanks for commenting.

    Natalie - Thanks. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who have had an ectopic pregnancy. It could really happen to anyone, that's why it is so important to know the signs.


    Karen - Thanks for the support. Experiences like this make you really appreciate all your friends.

    Kiersten - Thank you, both for the post and the comment. I can't tell you how much I appreciate both. :)

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  7. Jenn, I so agree... sometimes what seems to be our hardest trials, are really there to save us.

    You are one awesome woman and friend and I'm so glad to know you.

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  8. I cannot imagine the pain and agony you must have felt and still feel. My prayers are with you.

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  9. Jenni - I know you understand. I'm glad to have such wonderful friends.

    Vicky - Thank you very much.

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  10. Jenn, I appreciate you writing all of this. I'm sure it is very hard for you. More importantly, I'm very glad to see that you are doing well again. I'm so far from parenthood, that I know I can't really begin to understand the pain involved in this, but for what it's worth, I'm glad you are okay.

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  11. Davin - thank you. It is worth a lot.

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  12. I'm so thankful that you didn't have a rupture, but I'm sorry for the pain and heartache you've been experiencing and all those horrible medical treatments you had to go through. You know I love you!

    *I would tell you to take it easy, but I think we both know how likely that is. :)

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  13. I'm sorry you had to go through this, but very happy to read that you made a full recovery, although I'm sure the emotional recovery is much longer. Between yours and Kiersten's posts I am much more aware of ectopic pregnancies.

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  14. So glad you're feeling better. It's amazing to me that we can help each other in ways other than writing. Thank heavens for Kiersten's post.

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  15. *hug* I am glad you are healing, in and out . . . *hug again*

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  16. Candi - You know me too well, girly. ;)

    Jessie - I'm so glad to hear you are more aware. That was the reason I wrote this post. Thanks for letting me know it worked.

    Patti - Absolutely. It's that darn ripple effect. You never know how you might effect others.

    Kat - Thank you for the hugs. I really appreciate them, and you. :)

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  17. Jenn, I'm glad you decided to post this. I think you're right, your experience can and will help others. I know, because of who you are, that you will always find the positive in a situation, but also remember that it's okay to mourn. I love you. I can't wait to see you.

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  18. Kasie - Thank you, that means a lot. *hugs* Can't wait to see you too! :)

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  19. I'm glad you posted this because it was Kiersten's post that spurred me to see a doctor when I miscarried in October. Your post will likely do the same for someone else. It's heartbreaking, losing a child, and scary to open yourself up--but you may have just saved a life. Thank you for being brave.

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  20. L.T. - thank you for your comment and support. I am sorry for your loss as well. I hope my post does help others.

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  21. Thanks for sharing your story. It's good for all of us to know how important it is to catch it early. I'm glad you're on the mend and that there hasn't been any permanent damage.

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  22. Lois - Yes, I was really lucky. Thanks for commenting.

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