We got home yesterday. It helps to have nurse friends in Ob/Gyn as my wonderful friend gracious reminded the surgeon that I was waiting on 5E for him to discharge me. The surgeon came by around 11:30 am and we were home by 2:00 pm.
I’m sore but moving around much better today. My main issue is dealing with the post-laparoscopy gas build up. I’ve been walking around the house, then rotating between laying down and sitting up to ease some of the discomfort.
The outcome of the surgery is that I lost my entire left tube. Pre-op, I was adamant that the surgeon check for endo if he was going in. He said my left ovary is in tact, my right side looks perfect and there are no signs of endo. He wrote me a note for 2 weeks off work and advised me to take Naproxen and Extra Strength Tylenol to manage my pain. So far, I’m doing ok but I do notice an increase in pain a few hours before my next dose of Naproxen.
I have been super impressed with my fertility clinic. While I was in surgery and throughout the next day, Dr. H kept in continuous contact with my husband via phone calls and text. He asked this morning if I could call him on his cell and we chatted for a good while. He showed much compassion and concern for my condition. We discussed the surgery, recovery, my emotional state, my diet, next steps, etc. This man truly cares for his patients and I am so glad that we are under his care.
Dr. H said that often fresh IVF cycles can create harsh conditions for an embryo which could result in the embryo searching out better tissue (i.e. the tube) (I still have to discuss the potential immune issue with him, but I thought we would dig into that at a later date). Even though our 1st pregnancy ended tragically, Dr. H thinks it is proof that my body can achieve pregnancy and it will happen again in the future. He is positive we will have a successful pregnancy at some point.
He mentioned that on any given day they always have someone on ectopic watch as HCG levels are not always predictable. Unfortunately for me, he said the majority of these cases do end up in uterine pregnancies. I fit into that unlucky 2% who end up with an actual ectopic.
I was relieved to hear that we also shared similar sentiments about the Methotrexate drug. Dr. H said it is harsh for the body and he thinks that many women are unnecessarily prescribed it without proof of an ectopic (Yes Jen – we were talking about you here. I mentioned how crazy it was that I knew someone else going through this at the same time when the odds are so low. He asked if you had proof of your ectopic and I assured him you had an ultrasound that detected the tubal pregnancy before you took the drug. Another sign of how compassionate this man is – he showed care for MY FRIEND who isn’t even his patient).
Dr. H also mentioned that it’s kind of a good thing that my tube is gone. Yes, I know this sounds fucked up. He said often when the tube is left after an ectopic, it is scarred and can actually increase the risk of another ectopic. I get what he is saying. And in all honestly, do I really need my tubes if we know that IVF is our best chance to conceive a baby? Right now, my womb and my frozen embryos are the most important pieces of my infertility puzzle.
Even without my left tube, I’m still going to be high risk for a second ectopic. Dr. H made me promise that I would always pay close attention to my cycles. In the chance that we did conceive naturally, the clinic would arrange my Beta tests and monitor me to ensure it is not ectopic – and the same will happen if the pregnancy is achieved via embryo transfer.
In the end, I have no one to blame for my condition. At first, I was upset that the clinic did not get me in for an ultrasound sooner, but I honestly do not know if that would have changed the outcome. As much as surgery was a worst case scenario, I had no other choice – my life was at stake.
In the end, we got the proof we needed to find closure and slowly move forward. I’m glad the waiting game of uncertainty is over.
I haven’t spent much time feeling my emotions of loss and grief yet. I cried yesterday evening, but right now, I’m focused on healing physically.
One step at a time, one day at a time…