Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Ultrasound, The Doctor and The Grave Truth

I went to work the Monday after the test was positive.  A few coworkers I was close with had known my battle with fertility, so I was ecstatic to share the news with them.  We decided to go out to lunch to celebrate.

Finally, after all this time, I was getting what I wanted... to be a mother.  I felt like God had entrusted me with a mission that far outshone any other... The most honorable of callings a woman could receive...  Like I had been given unprecedented favor despite the doctors' report that conceiving would be difficult for me, if even possible at all.  I felt fulfilled.

I ran to the restroom a few minutes before we planned to leave for lunch as I normally would have.


It wasn't much, but still. I called my doctor and she told me not to worry and to come in the next morning for an ultrasound.

We went to lunch.  I felt a heaviness steadily settling on my heart.  Impending tragedy slowly crushing the hope I had let thrive for 3 days.

I went through my day as normal, trying not to focus my mind on the blood I had seen and what I believed it was foretelling.

I was fine.  Until that evening.  The cramping began.  The bleeding increased.  Despair began drowning me, replacing the hope and joy that filled me with sorrow.  It seeped into every corner of me until I felt nothing else but sadness.

I took a bath that evening in  a feeble attempt to relieve the cramping momentarily.  I cried.  I laid there, soaking in water and tears, speaking to my unborn baby.  I knew it was the last time I'd be with it.  I told it I was sorry, but I knew it would be better where it was going anyway.  I said, "I love you" over and over, just to make sure it knew that what was going to happen the next day wasn't because I didn't.  I felt more love for that little blob of cells in my fallopian tube than I had any other creature I had ever cared for.  It was part of me, my spirit, my soul, my body. 

I barely slept that night.  Between the physical pain and the anxiety over what I knew was happening, there was no rest to be had. 

Morning came.  I could hardly find the fortitude to stand, let alone get dressed and make myself presentable for public speculation.  I didn't care.  Nothing mattered that day.  I threw on some of the grubbiest clothes I owned, pulled my hair back and did absolutely nothing to my swollen sobbing face. 

At the doctor's office, we were received with a sullen atmosphere. The medical assistant ushered us back immediately to the ultrasound room.  The technician was gentle, endearing, sympathetic.  She was surprisingly good at concealing her reaction to what she was seeing. I suppose that is from years of practice delivering awful news to hormonally imbalanced women. After 20 minutes of internal ultrasound and finding no semblance of a fetus, combined with the agony I was feeling physically, I was on the verge of breaking down.  The technician exited the room sweetly.  She gave us no indication of what was happening.  But, I knew.  I think women, mothers, always know these things. 

A short moment passed, the door opened and my doctor came in.  She sat quietly for a moment, offering a compassionate smile, then told us the news.

"You have an ectopic pregnancy.  The fetus is stuck inside your fallopian tubes.  You need to go to the hospital immediately.  If you wait any longer your fallopian tube could rupture and you could hemorrhage to death internally.  I am so sorry."

The weeping from my already swollen eyes started before she even had the chance to say she was sorry.  Tom and I cried together.  The doctor left us alone in the room to absorb the severity of what we were just told. 

I will never forget that room and the reality that struck me, wounding my spirit and altering my life. 

Either I am going to die or my baby is going to die. 

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