Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Hospital: Part 1

I mentioned in my last post that I ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pain (especially on the right side) and a few other symptoms.  After spending a very emotional day at home, we went in for our appointment at the hospital's early pregnancy unit.  Although it was in the same building as the maternity ward, I was really grateful that it was on the other side of the building so that we weren't surrounded by happy couples sporting huge bumps or new babies.  I just couldn't have handled it then.

First they looked at my blood work.  For 6 weeks pregnant, my hormone level (Hcg) was about 4x what they are looking for.  Otherwise, although no single thing was glaringly dangerous, everything was slightly off.  Although it didn't give an obvious answer as to what, my blood test results showed that something was definitely wrong.

Then I had a vaginal scan.  I'd never had a vaginal ultrasound before, but it was the best way to see exactly what was happening at this stage of pregnancy.  I had to lie back in a chair with stirrups.  My husband sat next to me holding my hand.  The sonographer spoke the whole time, explaining what she was doing and what she could see.  When she started, she could immediately see a thick endometrius.  This means that the lining of the womb was very thick, as would be expected during pregnancy.  However, it was also empty.  She couldn't see any signs of pregnancy: either there or recently miscarried.

As she moved the wand, she saw more things that worried her.  By this point the screen was turned so that I couldn't see what was happening during the scan, and she had the clearest view.  She found the pregnancy, but in the right fallopian tube.  My baby was still alive, but in the wrong place.  She also found another worrying area on my right tube.  She could also see signs of fluid. 

At this point, she wanted a second opinion (or verifications of the seriousness of what she was seeing).  She left for a minute and then came back with another experienced sonographer.  Together they confirmed that I had an ectopic pregnancy in my right fallopian tube that had grown to the point of rupturing my tube.  This was causing significant internal bleeding.  My abdomen was basically filling up with blood.  They said it was common to see some signs of fluid around the tube itself during an ectopic pregnancy, but that they could see it pretty much everywhere they looked with me.  They took pictures and measurements on the ultrasound machine the whole time.

At this point I was able to get up, wipe off all of the jelly they use for scans, and get re-dressed.  Then my husband and I were ushered into a private office to wait to speak with a specialist.

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