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  • Writer's pictureCKapke

Chapter 1: The Diagnosis

“I can’t see anything in your uterus.” Her words still ring in my ears. Where’s my baby? Maybe it’s just difficult to see her? I’m sure they’ll find her if they just keep looking.

‘Her,’ I kept doing that. I kept calling the baby, ‘her.’

“You don’t know if it’s a her,” Daniel would say. “She feels like a her,” I would tell him. Daniel called her Poppy. That would never be her name, we had a girl’s name and a boy’s name picked out already. We were so ready for this. But he called her Poppy, because when we found out I was pregnant, an app told me she (or he) was the size of a poppy seed. So, I would say, ‘she,’ ‘her’ or ‘baby,’ and Daniel called her ‘Poppy.’ She felt like a girl, but I didn’t care if we had a girl or a boy… I was just so excited to become a mummy. Daniel would say he wanted it to be a boy, because he needed someone else to mow the lawn. But truthfully, he didn’t mind what we had either, he was excited and terrified to be a father either way.

I had been having pains in my right side for weeks. Google told me I was too early to be having ‘round ligament pains’ but I believed I was just getting them early. And boy did they hurt. But I didn’t complain, because I just felt so blessed to be pregnant. We had been trying for this baby. She was already so loved. It’s so weird to say, but I even found the pains comforting. Like I knew that was my baby. Any time the pain would go away, I missed it, because I couldn’t feel my baby anymore. Now I know how right I was, that was my baby, but I could feel her there because she was in the wrong place.

I think deep down I knew I was ectopic. Google had mentioned it every time I googled the pain. My HCG levels had been lower than they should be too, but they were doubling and tripling (like they were supposed to), so I told myself everything was going to be ok. Ectopic pregnancies are rare, only 1 in 80 pregnancies are ectopic. I made myself stay positive, ‘worrying isn’t good for the baby, so I have to stay positive.’

On May 22nd 2020 we went for my 7-week scan. Baby was the size of a blueberry, and I was so excited and nervous to finally know for sure if everything was alright. Daniel wasn’t allowed to come in, because it was in the middle of a pandemic and ‘guests’ weren’t allowed in, so I was going to video it for him. I even had to wear a mask to the scan.

I lay there with my phone ready to record. But I waited… I just needed to know everything was ok first. I didn’t want to record bad news. I waited… she looked… I kept looking at the screen hoping to see something… I waited…

“I can’t see anything in your uterus,” she said as she kept looking. Her words still ring in my ears. I thought maybe it was just difficult to see her? I kept thinking they’ll find her if they just keep looking. Please just find her. Sometimes I go back to that moment in my mind; I remember exactly what the doctor said, I remember her concerned face, and I remember desperately searching that screen for some sign of my baby… and it never coming. But when I go back in my mind, I change it. She says the same words, and has the same concerned face, but then her face changes as she says, “oh there it is!” I see my baby, and I hear her heartbeat, and everything is ok. Sometimes I stay in that moment, and just cry happy tears for a while, until; reality sinks in and the tears turn to tears of loss once again. The reality is that she didn’t find my baby.

The doctor told me she couldn’t find the baby anywhere, so she wanted the sonographer to come take a look. They asked me if I wanted my husband to come in, and I said yes. I called him and told him it wasn’t good, and they were coming to get him. I’m so thankful that he was able to come in with me. I had never needed him more than I did in that moment. As the sonographer looked, Daniel squeezed my hand. That hand squeeze told me I wasn’t alone, it told me that whatever happens, we’re in this together. No matter what, we have each other.

After the scan, the doctor told us that the pregnancy was ectopic, and they found the “cluster of cells” in my right tube. She told me she wanted to admit me to the hospital that night because my HCG levels were in the range for a rupture. I would get a methotrexate injection, and it would “break down” the “cluster of cells.”

You see, something I learned very quickly; once you’re diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, they stop saying, ‘baby.’ They say, ‘cluster of cells’ or ‘ectopic,’ but never ‘baby.’ I think they think it’ll make it easier on us. Like it’ll help to stop thinking of it as a baby. But it actually made it harder for me. It felt disrespectful, because that was MY baby. My baby that I’ve been talking to for three weeks. My baby that was already loved. My baby that was so wanted. My body betrayed her, that’s why she was in the wrong place. But she was still my baby, no matter where she was. She was growing fast; she was my blueberry sized baby. And I had to say goodbye.

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