…was in June 2010.
This is pretty graphic guys (I am referring to men here) so if you don’t want to know about lady business, maybe click away. But i genuinely think every person would benefit from reading this.
Actually, I get annoyed when anyone asks me this – when really, I shouldn’t, because they don’t know the whole story.
Paul and I had just moved into a share house – worst experience of my life. I was stressed out, working extremely long hours, and not taking as good a care of myself as I should have been.
At this point, Vegie Head didn’t exist. I had no outlet, no fun, no down-time.
It was work, work, work.
Mid-year, I really started to hit a brick wall.
I got my period, thinking it would last for the normal 3 days or so.
Instead it lasted for 4 weeks.
Not knowing what was going on, I went to my GP. (This story also ties in with my absolute repulsion with a lot of the medical industry-hence why it took me 4 weeks to see a GP).
He made me take a pregnancy test, and told me that I was going to be a mother, and ‘Congratulations!’.
I sat there, in shock, and he told me that bleeding was completely normal with a first pregnancy and I had nothing to worry about.
(He neglected to delve deeper and find out that I had been pregnant earlier that year and lost it very early on).
We weren’t trying, but Paul and I decided whatever happens, happens. We decided to leave it to the Universe.
So I went home, scared, excited, and a little bit in love with my tummy.
We lay there at night, reading pregnancy books, and looking at my stomach – as if it would reveal a little bump overnight.
I changed my lifestyle- got lots of sleep, ate incredible, clean food, and was starting to really believe that it was going to work this time.
But I was still bleeding.
I went to the Mercy Hospital for Women.
I had scan, after scan, after scan.
Blood tests galore.
All of them kept revealed I was pregnant – my hormones were raised, and I had really minor symptoms, but they were there.
They told me that it was ok to still bleed, but I needed to monitor it.
It wasn’t just a little bit- it was a lot.
We were starting to freak out, but the 4 Transvaginal Ultrasounds (undertaken by 4 different techs) revealed nothing- except that they weren’t sure where the baby was- this was ‘normal’.
My blood tests were all normal.
But I knew something was wrong.
I was about 9 weeks along.
I remember the days preceding so well.
I was visiting a health food store in Pakenham (about 45 minutes from where I lived) and was feeling really exhausted.
I thought I may have been coming down with the flu, so went home to bed and woke up 3 hours later in a pool of blood.
I went straight to the hospital, where, lo and behold
EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL.
“Miss McConnell, this is completely normal” was a phrase I had heard so much, that I wanted to slap anyone that said it to me.
This wasn’t normal. This wasn’t right.
The following Monday I was on the Peninsula.
I had a phone call from a specialist who had been reviewing some patient files there.
It was urgent, he said. You need to come back here now.
So I drove the 2 hours back to the hospital, where I was immediately checked in.
He performed another ultrasound, where he said after about one minute-
“Adele, you are having an ectopic pregnancy, and we need to operate right now”.
Paul rushed from work, and we were made to sit and wait until they could admit me.
My mum came later that night, and I just sat there, and cried.
She didn’t even know I was pregnant.
We were waiting to tell everyone until I was further along.
I was admitted late that night, my whole body shaking- I was petrified.
I was devastated at the loss of my baby, the fact that I could lose an ovary and a tube, and that I had never spent a night in hospital or had an operation.
The next morning, surgery came.
I just laid there, crying and crying, and the anaesthesiologist reassured me that this happens often, and that I would be ok.
Waking up post surgery, I was in agony.
The nurse said to the surgeon “She’s levitating off the table” (I was bucking my back so hard that I was actually rocking the bed), so they laced me with god knows what, and I passed out again.
I had severe shoulder splinting, but refused all other medication.
I wouldn’t touch a panandol or an anti-inflammatory.
It was marked on my charts “Refuses all meds”.
I was so blessed.
One of my nurses was a naturopath, so I had hot water bottles to ease the crippling pain, and my Australia Bush Flower Emergency Drops.
It kept running through my head;
“If they had of picked it up earlier, I would never have had to undergo surgery”.
For 3 days, I was in hospital. No one knew, just my mum, and one or two close friends and they were all sworn to secrecy.
Maybe I didn’t want their pity?
I didn’t want them worry?
Or maybe it was because I wasn’t married at this point and I didn’t want anyone to judge me?
(Because, you know, you HAVE to be married to have a kid! Disgraceful how so many women are made to believe this- society as a whole needs to change.)
I was discharged, and sent on my merry way.
We had every intention of taking legal action against the hospital (it was my rage talking), for my body and I had been screaming for an ‘expert’ to find what was going on, and they neglected to.
I had key hole surgery – 3 small scars on my stomach.
The place that used to hold my baby.
Now it was one fallopian tube down.
And there was no baby there.
I went back to work, put on a brave face, and made light of the situation.
But inside, I was grieving.
I never felt like it was ok for me to grieve, I mean, it was really just a little bean growing in my stomach. It wasn’t at that point where people start asking questions or wanting to know if it’s a boy or a girl.
So it kind of didn’t exist.
But in my heart, it did, and still does.
Charlie and Vegie Head came along about that time, and were the best therapy for me.
Cooking, writing, photographing, and cuddling Charlie were incredible.
Now you know why I love this dog so much hey? She is like my child, and I don’t even care if that is deemed ‘weird’. We needed each other and there she was.
I have now, about a 50% chance of falling pregnant, and a 75% chance an ectopic pregnancy happening again (because I have already had one).
And I am freaking petrified of it ever happening again.
So, back to my point.
When people ask me “When are you going to have kids?” I come back with “I don’t actually want any” (and right now, I 100% don’t).
But it is still a question that shouldn’t be asked by just anyone. Just because of my age and marital status, does not actually mean I NEED or WANT to have children. If I want them, it will be MY choice.
I took a few lessons out of all of this happening.
1: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Don’t take a second opinion either- get a third, fourth, even fifth.
2: Don’t take Doctors words as gospel.
(In some cases, of course, but I never will again.)
3: It’s ok to grieve.
I’m ok now Vegies. I still have a few moments where I will look at those three little scars, but I never regret what happened.
I sometimes think about that little baby- it was a boy, i know it – and that I’d be a mum now.
But I love my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
And I love you all,