Ectopic post-op update

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…

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32 thoughts on “Ectopic post-op update

  1. You are a strong woman. I am glad you got some of the answers you wanted and I am glad you are at home. I am continuing to send you so much love every day! Be kind to yourself. ❤

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  2. Definitely keep moving around. That will help the gas from surgery to dissipate. I remember that feeling in my shoulder area. Un-com-for-table!

    I am so very glad to hear how wonderful and concerned Dr. H is about you!! It definitely sounds like you are in great care.

    When you are healed and ready, may you become pregnant quickly and with a take home baby. Thinking of you and following your journey still.

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  3. I’m glad you have found such a compassionate and caring physician to guide you through this horrible experience. Sending you many peaceful, loving and healing thoughts.xx

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  4. Oh hon. I’m so sorry this was the final outcome, but thankful you have such a caring and compassionate doctor who is watching out for you. Sending you healing energy hon and lots of love. Big hug my friend.

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  5. I have so much to say but for now I am going to offer my gratitude to all involved that you are safe and on a path to recovery. I share Dr. H’s belief that you will have your babies and that gives me a sense of peace and hope. Right now, it’s time for you.

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  6. My heart breaks for you right now. I’m glad you’re on the mend physically but I can’t even to begin to understand what you and your husband are going through emotionally. I’m so glad to hear that you have a caring doctor who has been by your side during all of this. Take care. I’ll be thinking of you.

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  7. I’m so sorry this was the outcome of your first pregnancy, Lindsey. Praying for you tons! Hope you recover quickly from the surgery and are able to heal emotionally as well. You are so incredibly strong and I’m praying so hard that one day you will have your little one in your arms. Your RE sounds awesome…glad you’re under his care, love how he kept in constant touch through it all and also the analysis he gave you. Rest well. Hugs!

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  8. Your doctor sounds amazing. I’m glad you’re home and healing well, I think you need the 2 weeks. For me with my lap (even though it didn’t involve the removal of a tube) I always took more pain Meds before it was time….and I’m not “that kind of person”, but the pain was bad. I’m glad you got some answers, thinking of you both during this awful time. XOXO

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  9. Your RE sounds amazing and I’m so happy you have someone like that in your corner. I hope you feel better soon…that stupid gas pain was definitely the worse part of the laparoscopy for me but mine was to clean out endo. Take care and sending love and hugs your way!

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  10. So glad to hear the surgery went well and you’re on the mend. My heart goes out to you though, as losing a pregnancy is never easy. After no heartbeat was found at my 7 week ultrasound in early June my doctor told me, relax, now we know you can get pregnant. And honestly, it pissed me off, not making me feel any better about my current situation. But the truth is, now I understand how important a step that was in our infertility journey, and yours too. You will get pregnant again, this was just a very sad outcome for this pregnancy. I’ll be praying for you.

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  11. I am so glad you have a wonderful and compassionate doctor. I hope you continue to heal. I hate that you have to go through this but I hope you know that you are an inspiration to myself and others. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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  12. Dr H is a true gent and an amazingly good physician. I’m so unbelievably in awe of how well you’re doing through this process, and I’m sure you’re having the odd quiet wobbly emotional moment, but you’re entitled to them so take them! I honestly believe that with Dr H and his team at the helm of your care and your amazing attitude that all your dreams of parenthood can and will come true. HUGS

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  13. You are so strong. My tube was left in when it probably should have been removed. I didn’t give them permission to remove it before surgery so they left it in. I wish we would have had time to discuss that cause now I freak out every month! Take good care of yourself, rest lots, drink lots of fluids and allow yourself whatever you need, when you need it! Your RE/Doc sounds amazing! Much love and loads of hugs. XOX

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  14. So glad you’re doing better, at least physically at this point! It sounds like your Dr is awesome, and that’s great that he kept in touch with your hubby and gave you his cell number, and even talked to you about another person’s situation!! My new Dr seems like he would go to the same lengths, and I hope that if the time comes he will!
    I have a question about what you mentioned he said about women on ectopic watch. Is it really only about 2% that end up ectopic? I ask because I’m now on ectopic watch, and a number like that would be extremely calming to my frazzled nerves!
    Anyway, glad you’re healing, and have some time off of work to rest. Also glad there was no endo, and that your other tube is perfect!! Fingers crossed for you!

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  15. I don’t even know where to begin. You are honestly such an inspiration to me. I’m sending you lots of love, compassion, healing and hope.

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  16. You are my biggest inspiration in this journey so far. No matter what seems to cross your path you deal with it head on and with such poise and peacefulness. I’m sure you have your moments, but from what I can tell your one hell of a string woman. Christina Aguileras song ‘fighter’ comes to mind ☺. I really am in total awe of how you handles such heavy circumstances. I was talking with my doctor about you and your ectopic the other day in my IVF consult. He said that although it uncommon it is more common in IVF and also more common to have a second after your first, therefore removing the tube is actually beneficial. He has a patient who has had two ectopic back to back with IVF and FET, had both tubes removed and then got pregnant successfully on the third round. I hope to god that’s not the case for you. Your doctor sounds top notch! I’d hug him if I could cause doctors like that don’t come around often and in these situations it’s beyond helpful to have one like yours. What immune issue are you speaking of? I’ll tell you right now I’ve cried FOR you multiple times since you found out you were pregnant, I give my wife updates on you also cause she follows along with your blog via me. I’m just so upset for you that this had to be your experience. So I’m glad you can be peacefule, at least for now cause it will help you later on. I’ll be mad and sad for you I’ll take that burden for anyone of you ladies if it means peace for someone else. XO

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