Friday, November 29, 2013

Speaking from the Heart

Thanksgiving Day was supposed to be an exciting day - it was the day we planned to tell our families that we were expecting. But things don’t always turn out as planned. Just over one month ago, I was rushed into surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. It all happened so fast, but hearing the doctor say ‘We need to do surgery because this is a life-threatening situation’’ can stop you in your tracks.

Taking it back a little bit - October 7th was a beautiful day. It was our dog’s first birthday, and when I got home that evening, I was working on housewarming party invitations. It was also the night I found out I was pregnant. My husband was in class, and I was thrilled to share the news with him when he got home. That experience was so great, it’s hard to explain. I think one of the first feelings I had was hopefulness. There would be so much to look forward to, and we were both so excited for it all. The next two weeks were wonderful, and we had our first doctor appointment on a Wednesday, two weeks after we found out.. It was very brief, and it was ‘too early’ to do an ultrasound but the pregnancy was confirmed to be about 6 weeks along.

5 days later, I was in the emergency room, and I knew something was not right. What I was sure was a miscarriage soon turned into something more serious, an ectopic pregnancy. Did you know that there is only about a 1% risk of ectopic? How could that happen to me - I had zero risk factors, I’m healthy, and I took vitamins every single day. I really didn’t have time to think of why it was happening to me, because within an hour of hearing that I needed emergency surgery, I was under anesthesia on an operating table.

Leading up to all of this, I never had any symptoms that would have alerted me - the doctor said I should have been doubled over in pain by the time I walked in her office, but I felt fine and looked completely fine. She even said I looked absolutely fine. So it was not easy to hear that I needed surgery. I’ve never had any type of surgery before, so this was a big deal to me. While I wanted a second opinion, the fact that this was a serious health concern ultimately made me decide surgery was the best option.

The surgery itself wasn’t that bad and I only needed a few days at home to recover. We were not going to tell anyone, because no one even knew we were pregnant at that point. However, I needed to see my mom before surgery because I was really upset, so my parents ended up knowing the whole story. Until now, I’ve actively kept it a secret because it wasn’t even obvious that we were ever expecting, but the more days that go by, the more difficult it is to be silent about everything. I’m good at hiding my feelings, but some days are harder than others, and it’s difficult when no one knows what’s going on in your mind. Something that never bothered me before - seeing new babies, friends who are expecting, gender reveals, etc. - now feels like a punch right in the gut.

Yesterday was particularly difficult for me because we would have been about 12 weeks along, and would’ve been sharing the news with our families. Apparently everyone else had that same idea, because I saw no less than 4 pregnancies announced and 3 gender reveals throughout the day on social media. Up until yesterday, I had no plans to write about this entire experience, but then I realized that this is therapeutic for me - to write and share my feelings.

The main reason I was never going to write about it was because I didn’t want it to seem as though I’m asking for sympathy - because I’m not. However, throughout this experience, I’ve read some touching stories from others who have gone through similar situations, and it’s helped me to know that I’m not alone. So, if nothing else, I hope that if someone is going through the same situation I’ve gone through, that they will read this and know that they aren’t alone, either. It’s really easy to feel isolated during things like these, especially when you aren’t telling anyone what’s going on. Other than my family, my boss, and a close friend, no one else knew. While I originally felt this was a very personal issue (and still is) I just couldn’t let this go unmentioned, because down the road when we are pregnant and ready to announce it, to us, it won’t be our ‘first’ pregnancy. It will be our second.

I have days where I feel like I hate everything, which is not like me at all. Sometimes the smallest thing can irritate me or upset me, but I’m actively trying to overcome those feelings. Sometimes it’s things I hear people say; they don’t know the situation, so it’s not their fault that I get frustrated...and I don’t try to act like it bothers me, either.

I’m very grateful to have a fantastic support system: my husband, family, and even my company has been very supportive over the past month. Things like this are never easy, but having people who love and support you makes it easier to heal. I know there will be another really beautiful day for us, and I’m really looking forward to a fresh start.


  1. Brittany,
    I am so so sorry for your loss. My beautiful SIL had a similar issue but wasn't as severe. She was devestated and felt like it was her fault or there was something she could have done differently. You are going to be a wonderful mother when the time comes. And trust me when i say that the anger you feel will lessen and the dark cloud will disappear. Until then, take all the time you need to mourn and be with those closest to you. <3

    1. Thank you so much - I really appreciate your kind words. <3