I knew all the signs, but the signs didn’t happen.
But the scars did. They happened.
For those of you that have followed along on my journey for the past several years, you know the hardest, most heartbreaking thing I have encountered was the loss of our pregnancy in October 2016 due to an ectopic rupture. It shattered my world.
Yesterday I took a pregnancy test. To my shock it was positive. The first positive test in years. A flood of emotions swept over me… joy… excitement… fear… sheer terror I would lose this one too.
I told Tim the moment I saw him and how his face beamed with excitement.
But minutes after taking the test, I started to feel off. There was a pain coming from my abdomen, the left side. I tried to shrug it off, blaming it on my excitement and nerves. I took a Tylenol, changed my clothes, and started helping at the shop.
But the pain didn’t go away. If anything it was getting worse.
I started not being able to stand up straight. There was no let up. And all at once I recognized this pain. This pain was familiar.
I had my sister take me to the ER and by the time I got there the pain was unimaginable. Mercifully they didn’t make me wait, escorted me quickly to triage, and then immediately into a room. They jumped into action, hooking up an IV as I threw up from the pain. Within moments morphine was coursing through my veins, offering some reprieve.
“I doubt it’s ectopic,” the doctor said as we discussed the possibilities. “It’s too early. You aren’t even five weeks. We’ll get an ultrasound and figure out what’s going on. But I highly doubt it’s ectopic.”
But I didn’t need an ultrasound to tell me that it was. I knew that pain. I’m intimately familiar with that pain. In 2016, the hospital I went to didn’t give me pain meds for about eight hours. Eight hours I writhed in bed with that pain. It’s unmistakeable.
They rolled me down to the ultrasound and when I came back the doctor came in almost immediately. “It’s ectopic, but it hasn’t ruptured yet. We are waiting for the OB to take a look at it. He will be here soon.”
They gave me fentanyl. Everything was quiet. I watched the bustle of the ER outside my room as I began to mourn my last biological child. Five hours I knew you. Five hours I loved you.
When the OB came in he informed me that it had indeed ruptured. I was filling with blood. Surgery was imminent.
I knew the drill. I’d been here before. But last time there were warning signs. This time there weren’t. This time happened so fast.
It wasn’t long before they wheeled me into pre-op and I got to meet the OR team. They were kind and comforting. They answered all my questions and encouraged me. My sister never left my side and soon Tim arrived to hold my hand until they rolled me away.
The surgery was successful. They stopped the bleeding. I lost the baby… again.
I woke up in recovery with two nurses watching over me, offering me crackers and ginger ale. As I got less groggy, they called back Tim and Julie. It was after midnight, but if I could get up and start walking I could go home. They guided me to the bathroom and when that was a success, they helped me get dressed in my street clothes- my dusty shop clothes. I was going home.
Today I have felt ok. My pain is minimal. The hospital acted so quickly that I ended up losing only a little blood (much better than last time when I lost a pint.) The recovery should be much faster. It hurts a little when I walk, and I tire easily so I have slept a lot today. I figure I will over the next few days.
I’m still mentally processing everything that has happened, but writing usually helps so I figured I’d share tonight and get the ball rolling. Surprisingly I am typing this with steady hands. I’m sad. I’m unbelievably sad. But I’ll be ok. We’ve walked this road before. I hate it, but at least I know how to walk it. I’ll cry when I need to, mourn as I can. But I know with confidence that I do not walk this road alone. My circumstances do not change the character of God. He is just as good today as He was yesterday morning. I can fall asleep tonight knowing He has entered my pain with me, that He will guide me through it, and protect me as I heal.
To Christ be all glory.
Thank you for all of your prayers, visits, and food!
4 thoughts on “11-21-19 A Familiar Pain”
I am so sorry Joanna. My heart aches you and your family. God has a bigger plan and a beautiful reunion in heaven soon. What joy that will be. Praying for you and Tim. Miss you all so much.
Thank you, Terry! Miss you guys too!
Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are very brave. I’m very sorry for your loss.
Thank you so much. You have been heavy on my heart as well. May the peace of Christ give you comfort during these difficult days. *hugs*