“Positive.” Interjected a nurse who had just popped her head into my ER room.
I was lying on my side and concentrating more on getting through my pain than her one-word interruption. Dr. D- was performing an ultrasound on my gallbladder. Just a week prior, severe abdominal pain had brought me to the ER where they discovered I likely had a burst cyst and my abdomen was filled with blood. While much of that lower abdominal pain had cleared up, I still had severe pain in my right upper quadrant. When I could no longer take the piercing pain that made it difficult to breathe deeply let alone laugh, cry, and cough, my husband kindly took me back to the ER. I desperately hoped they would find something they could fix.
Dr. D- asked, “What?
Her words momentarily echoed in my brain. I briefly wondered what they found in my blood. Perhaps my gallbladder was bad after all. How painful is gallbladder surgery? Would surgery be their only option?
My husband sat in the corner behind me observing it all in worried silence. Finally, I heard him muster up some courage and inquire, “What’s positive?”
A cold sensation flashed through my body. I’m what?! But that can’t be. Can it? Dr. D- began cleaning the lube from my side. “Is that a surprise?” He asked.
Uh, yes! Through choked tears I explained we had been trying to conceive for the past four years and had been scheduled to undergo IVF this month. Dr. D- said he would double-check the results but reassured us their urine test was pretty accurate.
I craned my neck over my shoulder to spy my husband. His face was a bit ashen and he forced a weak smile. He was clearly in shock. I couldn’t make heads or tails of his emotions. I didn’t know what to believe.
Two urine tests and one blood test later (HCG was 648), it was confirmed. We were pregnant! Our very first BFP and we found out about it in an ER room. They still didn’t know what was wrong with my side, but I was pregnant and they could not perform any further tests on me. I was sent home and told to find an OB/GYN.
My husband’s shock had worn off and he was now bursting with the exciting news. “We’ll flip a coin to see whose parents we call first.”
I was relieved to see him so excited. (While he had been supportive since we started trying, I was never completely convinced he was fully onboard the baby train.) I was more apprehensive about our BFP though. I had started birth control pills this cycle in preparation for the IVF and I could only be 3 weeks pregnant at most. After a brief discussion, he convinced me to share our news with our immediate family. (We have a lot of immediate family.)
Later that afternoon we were celebrating. Well, sort of. My husband was celebrating and I was doing my best to be excited while dealing with my side pain, which had started growing more severe. By that evening, I could no longer handle the pain and had my husband take me back to the hospital. All I was envisioning was nine more months of happiness dampened by excruciating pain.
Back at the ER, we explained our last two trips and I was growing more anxious. With each bathroom trip I took, I grew more disconcerting; I was spotting a little more heavily than I had been just that morning. (My period was due that day.)
After waiting a few hours already for further guidance, I was ready to give up and informed a nurse I wanted to be discharged if they couldn’t help me. But, I had to make another trip to the bathroom one last time. While I was gone, my husband asked the doctor not to discharge me and explained we were also concerned by my spotting. She took his cue and ordered a transvaginal ultrasound.
My ultrasound (and I’ve had many) was unusually painful. The technician grew quiet towards the end of the examination. Her brows furrowed and she was struggling to get a clear picture of something. It was already evident that nothing was showing up in my uterus. This could or could not be normal for such an early pregnancy.
I returned to my curtained area in the ER and waited with my husband. I already suspected what was wrong and when three doctors reappeared, my suspicions were confirmed. My very first pregnancy was ectopic.