Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pregnancy After Salpingectomy

I am just going to continue with my pregnancy story and get it all out this week :)

I found out I was pregnant exactly 7 weeks after my surgery, and I had some pretty mixed reactions. I was, of course, extremely happy, but that was tempered with lots of anxiety. There was no way to know if this pregnancy was ectopic too (once you have an ectopic pregnancy, the likelihood of it happening again is much higher) or if there were complications from being so soon after surgery. My incisions were still sore! I made an appointment the next day with my OB, and due to my history they scheduled me for an immediate ultrasound. I cannot begin to describe the relief I felt when they found the embryo was in the right place! I was only about 4 weeks along, so we weren't able to see a heartbeat, but our baby was definitely there!

The doctor told me that now that we knew the embryo was in the right place, we were out of the woods. There was no reason that this pregnancy should not proceed like normal. This was wonderful to hear, but did nothing for the anxiety I was feeling. I could find very little on the internet about pregnancies after salpingectomies, and my imagination was running wild. I was so concerned that something would happen with the baby, since I felt like my insides were still scrambled eggs.

I was also very fragile emotionally, as I was still dealing with the loss of our second pregnancy and the feelings surrounding a "near death" experience. Add an influx of hormones to that, and the emotional upheaval of finding out you're pregnant, and just imagine the crazy that comes out.

I spent the first trimester in a haze. I was moody, nauseous, and depressed. It feels terrible to share this, but I was so angry about being pregnant again. I didn't have time to mourn my second baby, and already I was supposed to bond with a new one? This pregnancy felt like an impostor, sneaking in during the absence of what was supposed to be my "real" baby. This was a very difficult time for me, as most people can't possibly understand why you aren't happy about a pregnancy so soon after the loss of one. I'm sure I seemed ungrateful for this gift, but that was never the case. I clearly remember thinking that I wished we had a little time in between, so I could move on and be properly grateful for this blessing. But God's timing is perfect, as I have come to find out :)

15 weeks pregnant

We didn't share the news outside of immediate family members until I began my second trimester, and I am so happy we waited. By the second trimester, I was coming out of the fog a little bit and beginning to look forward with happy anticipation. I had a few weeks of feeling great, but then, I slowly began to feel depleted. I was just SO tired, I could barely make myself get out of bed, or go up stairs. There were days that lifting my arms felt like an impossible task.  Around this time, I had my first round of routine blood work at the OB/GYN, and it was discovered that I was extremely anemic. Getting pregnant so soon after such extreme blood loss had completely depleted my iron stores. My doctor prescribed iron supplements, which I immediately began taking. Within hours of taking the first dose, I started vomiting. This continued throughout the day, and happened every time I tried taking the oral supplement, so the doctor told me to discontinue it.

When my iron levels were checked again, they were even lower. The decision was made at this point to begin IV iron infusions. I went to the cancer center once a week for 20 minute infusions. Let me tell you something, friends. It is impossible to be depressed or ungrateful for your situation when you go and sit next to chemo patients once a week. This did so much to change my outlook during this time. These people were some of the bravest, and sickest, I have ever seen. They were amazing to me and made me feel so grateful and blessed for the life I'd been given, the good and the bad.

The iron infusions worked wonderfully, and I started to feel like a real person again. My energy returned, and I was able to truly enjoy my pregnancy for the third trimester. The last few weeks were, of course, interminable and uncomfortable, but that just goes with the territory.

I struggled so much with bonding with my unborn baby for most of the pregnancy. Towards the end, I was happy I was pregnant and looking forward to meeting the baby, but didn't feel that bond that I remember having with D's pregnancy. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised at my wonderful labor experience. I felt so energized after delivery, I was able to stay up all night staring at my beautiful baby. My husband went to sleep, and I just lay in the hospital bed, in the quiet stillness, with her in my arms, memorizing her face. Everything I had been through in the past year had led me to her. Of course, I remember thinking. Of course it's you. I know you. I knew you all along.


  1. Oh, those last words are just beautiful and completely made me tear up. You've been through so much, thank you for being brave enough to talk about it! I've really loved reading about your journey :-)

    1. Thank you! It was all worth it in the end :) And thanks for reading!

  2. Did you have both tubes removed ?