Through a mother's eyes
Sometimes I find myself thinking about a child I never met.
I wonder if he (or she) would have looked more like my husband, Bob, or more like me.
I wonder if she (or he) would have been athletic or an honor student in school.
Sometimes I think about how old he (or she) would have been on the holidays.
None of these questions will ever have answers because I am one of the many women who lost a child to an ectopic pregnancy.
My hellish journey of love and loss began in early April 2012.
I had been feeling under the weather with abdominal cramping, spotting and exhaustion.
After nearly a week of going through my normal routines despite the pain and playing doctor by Googling my symptoms I decided that maybe, just maybe, I should take a pregnancy test.
I woke Bob up that morning after I learned that I was, in fact, pregnant.
In cases like this, you think you would be over the moon with excitement; but the knowledge of this pregnancy, coupled with the symptoms I was having, scared us both and we decided not to get excited until we found out the cause of my pain and bleeding. I set up an appointment with my family doctor.
On Monday, April 9, I underwent tests to see if my doctor could find out if I was having a miscarriage or if my symptoms were implantation bleeding or something completely unrelated.
Our worst fear comes true
I never had a chance to get the results from the blood work.
On Tuesday, as I was out on an assignment, my world came crashing down around me.
As I packed my camera, now alone in the conference room where I had just covered a meeting, I doubled over in pain, as if someone had just stabbed me in the abdomen. I felt cold, yet I was sweating. I lost all color in my face. My vision blurred. My hearing disappeared and I couldn't move or call out.
Somehow I managed to make it to my car and call Bob to tell him that something was terribly wrong.
He insisted on taking me to the hospital and reluctantly, I agreed.
We went to the emergency room at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and as I shuffled up to the reception desk, I managed to utter that I thought I was having a miscarriage.
Immediately, the nurse ushered me through the ER doors and back to a room where I underwent a slew of tests and ultrasounds. Nobody told us what was going on at first, but I could tell by the hushed tones and looks that something was not right.
Finally, after four ultrasounds, a urine sample and blood work, a doctor came in and told me I would not be going home because I had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and would require immediate laparoscopic surgery.
After that announcement, the room was alive with nurses sticking me with needles and having me sign forms. All while Bob watched helplessly next to my bed.
In a matter of hours, I had gone from walking around in pain to sitting in a hospital bed waiting to go into the operating room.
When the effects of the anesthesia wore off and I was settled in my hospital room, I realized that I had been playing with my life by not getting there sooner.
Maybe it was because I am stubborn and don't like running to the doctor every time I feel sick; or maybe it was because I was in disbelief that something was horribly wrong with the pregnancy.
I sat there listening as the doctor who performed my surgery told me just what happened — the pregnancy had ruptured in my fallopian tube, damaging it beyond repair; and had caused me to hemorrhage so much that there was the equivalent of three soda cans of blood in my abdomen. Had I not gotten there that day, I would have died from internal bleeding.
They asked me how I was handling the news and surprisingly, I was OK, realizing that this incident was merely a speed bump to becoming a mom and not a complete road block.
To this day, I still have no trouble telling my story and reliving my nightmare.
I find that maybe hearing what I went through will help another who is having similar symptoms or trying to deal with their own loss of a child.
Our happy ending
Four months after this whole ordeal, we found out that we were pregnant again — this time with no complications.
On April 12, 2013, we welcomed our first son, Logan, into this world.
We have counted our blessings every day since then.