Thursday, January 24, 2013


After Benjamin was born, Mark and I agreed that our two boys were plenty enough to complete our family. We decided that we would wait a year to make sure that Benjamin was healthy before we took steps to ensure that our family of four remained that way. A week after Benjamin turned one, I had a tubal ligation. End of story, right?


Just before Christmas, Mark and I learned that I was pregnant. We had only two days to adjust to that idea before we found out that I was miscarrying. Can you imagine the emotions you go through in a situation like this? I certainly couldn't. Toss in the whacky hormones you experience in early pregnancy and you have a recipe for emotional disaster. (Oh, Laurie. You're so dramatic).

Fast forward to the New Year. I've miscarried. End of story, right?



The Thursday afer New Years, I had another blood test done to make sure my pregnancy hormones were still falling (they need to track it back to 0, and I was at 105 mlU/ml). They weren't. The hormone level had more than doubled (to 305), over-reaching my original level (of 220). Two ultrasounds were negative for ectopic pregnancy and tumors. But my hormone level kept rising.

The doctors told me that the general assumption was that this was an ectopic pregnancy, but one that couldn't be seen on ultrasound. Mark and I decided that I would take a treatment of methotrexate to end the pregnancy. That was another punch in the gut to me. I know that the ectopic pregnancy wasn't viable, but it was still life, and everything I have been raised to believe as a Catholic states that ending life is wrong. It wasn't a good time for me emotionally.

I had that treatment on Thursday, January 10 and returned to my doctor's office the following Monday for another blood test. At that point, my hormone level had gone up, more than doubling again. My doctor then told me that this was a (slim) possibility after the methotrexate treatment, but that if it didn't fall again by the following recheck on Thursday (January 17th), I would be referred to oncology to begin looking for "other causes".

Please. "Other causes"? In ONCOLOGY? That's not going to freak me out! My doctor tossed out a long (scary) medical term (postpartum trophoblastic disease) that I instantly decided not to Google until I was faced with it as a diagnosis. And then I caved and asked one of the medical directors at my office who is an OBGYN what postpartum trophoblastic disease is, and he explained it to me. It's NOT classified as cancer (yet), but it can metastasize, requires chemotherapy treatments that are no fun, etc etc. Yikes.

Fast forward to Thursday (although the time between Monday and Thursday literally DRAGGED), and my hormone level DROPPED! Finally! It fell to 361 mlU/ml and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I had another round of labs today, and it fell further to 75 mlU/ml. So at this point, it seems as though I did suffer an ectopic pregnancy and I'm not facing scary treatments.


I'm telling this now because I felt so alone during all of this. I had my family, and Mark (of course), and they were GREAT. But none of them had ever experienced this and I think it was hard for them to really understand the whacky hormonal lady and her whacky hormonal crazies. If I had known of someone who had been through something remotely similar, I think I might have felt better about it all. But at the same time, I didn't want to talk about it to just anyone. I really kind of wanted that someone to magically find me (see above: whacky hormonal crazies). So if someone out there one day reads this, maybe they'll feel comfortable reaching out to me just to get some validation about the whacky hormonal roller coaster they get to ride.

Upside: it's not even the end of January and we've already met our $2600 deductible for the year. SCORE!


Anonymous said...

So glad to hear everything is ok. I was worried after I saw you the other week at the doctor, but didn't want to pry. I fortunately haven't been through anything like that, but my patients always tell me I'm a good listener if you ever need someone to talk to. :)


Renee D said...

Oh my gosh, Laurie! I still wasn't over the first part about you getting pregnant after the tubal ligation, by the time I got to the really scary part. So happy to hear everything is okay. Is there anything that can be done to prevent another tubal pregnancy?

Laurie said...'s called a vasectomy! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow-----you have been through it. Sure miss seeing you but I am so glad you are okay. Call me one day at my office to catch up 246-9913