***Trigger Warning*** Please don’t read if you won’t feel comfortable. I speak quite only about my ectopic pregnancy, being in the hospital, surgery and recovery so please don’t read on if you’re not ready.
It’s been 1 month since I found out that I had an ectopic pregnancy and needed surgery to remove it. Recovery is still in progress but I have come a long way since that first week of being out of the hospital. Whilst I was there I headed to the internet to find some similar stories to mine but couldn’t find any so here I am. Hoping that if one person finds this at the right time then that’s good with me.
We had decided to tell our family the day before I went in to the hospital with pains. This in itself was the best and worst thing we could have done. Worst because they of course got excited and best because they knew the issues without having to explain why I was going to hospital. A lot of people say not to tell others too soon in case anything goes wrong and as much as I understand and agree to a certain extent there are some people that I would tell. In case of the worst happening you still want that support network.
As it was during a peak COVID time I had to go to the hospital on my own and it seemed like a long time I was sat (uncomfortably and painfully) on those plastic chairs. Of course I’ve never been in so much pain than I was and the evening before I actually thought it was IBS. That was the only explanation I had for the fact it was pain from my lower belly right up to my rib cage. I’d had no painkillers on the day I went into hospital until around 6pm on the ward so I am still amazed at how much pain the human body can actually take.
Once seen on the ward by the doctor I was admitted to a private room and after medication I was ready to eat the first thing I’d had since tea time the day before. I was dehydrated so they hooked my up to a drip and my husband was allowed to bring me an overnight bag to reception which someone would collect and bring to me. I wasn’t allowed to leave the room or have visitors and any of the medical team coming in had to put gloves, a mask and an apron on beforehand.
The next morning I went for my scan to be told, by lovely team members, that it was an ectopic. Even though I had been given a debrief from the doctor of what it could be this kind of news still takes you by surprise. You get nervous about what the next steps are and when you’re excited about having a baby it is upsetting but before my scan there was also hope as I had woke up that day with no pain whatsoever. I now realise that was from some excellent medication masking the worst.
The doctor visited again, ran me through the details and it was then I had to sign the paperwork and hear of the risks. This was probably the scariest part for me and this likely is because I’m somewhat of a control freak. The thought of being put to sleep, not knowing and giving someone else the control was terrifying to me but I realised as scared as I was that’s what they do. It’s what they’re trained extensively in and I wasn’t exactly going to do it myself was I? It was here too that the doctor said I didn’t have to be so brave but to me being upset wasn’t an option because I didn’t have another choice.
You get a few moments in life where you realise things about yourself that you don’t see or remember day to day; how strong you are, how capable you are or how brave you can be. There are some moments when you can look back and remember you are all of those things. Remember those times you were stronger than you thought you could be for a second. It’s a good feeling.
My husband was allowed to come in once I had been told I needed surgery as long as he didn’t leave the room. I didn’t realise how grateful I was of this until after the surgery when I woke up, came round properly and the quiet moments between the nurses coming in. I’m lucky we are able to laugh about my bossy behaviour as I woke up from the anaesthetic because there were definitely some moments.
The next day was painful. The surgeon visited and showed me images (I was having breakfast but it looked nothing like my cornflakes so I was ok). It turned out that by the time I had arrived in surgery the tube had already ruptured so I was in the right place at the right time. After a shower and plenty of tests the hospital were eager to send me home later that day all being well. I was surprised at the time but I get it. At home you’re relaxed, in comfortable surroundings and being well taken care of by family. Nurses are absolutely fantastic but you have to share them.
The few days that followed were uncomfortable and slow. (I would have given *nearly* anything to have a downstairs bathroom.) Some of my stitches became infected quite quickly so that needed sorting and I couldn’t concentrate for too long for about a week. My first car journey after the operation was so uncomfortable I cried. 20mph on a smooth road felt like I was on 2 different rollercoasters at the same time. One that drops and one that goes 0-60mph in quick time. During my first shower at home since coming from hospital I had to lie down half way through in fear of passing out. It’s amazing how much effort you use daily in things that you’d normally take for granted. I also couldn’t lie down and slept propped up with pillows. It has only been the last week or so that I can sleep on my side and I am not comfortable yet on my belly (my preferred sleeping position as it so happens). I can’t thank enough the friends and family that have visited, brought food, flowers and cards and messaged with kind words and gave me the support I didn’t know I needed during that time and even checking in now.
One month on and I’m back to walking up straight and doing things around the house. I still can’t bend forward or put any force into anything and the doctor gave another month before I’d be back to *feeling myself and 2 months before I would *actually be back to myself. Two different things that I’ve noticed as you may feel great but your body won’t have fully recovered inside.
You’ll notice there’s no photos on this post. Not because I didn’t take any, I did because I’m savage like that, but because I don’t want to remember or show the meek, cold colours in the room, I want to remember and recall the warmth of the people.
I’m always over on Instagram if you want a chat @lorenjessica_
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