I very rarely make personal posts public, but I wanted to address something that affects 1:4.
December 1st I photographed Martina and Brandon’s wedding. I went home, took a shower, backed up my cards, and went to bed. Around 3am I rolled over onto my left side and woke up in excruciating pain. It felt like I was filled with gas and it hurt from my stomach to my clavical. I spent the remainder of the night feeling like maybe I had caught a terrible stomach flu, but after passing out in the hallway, I began to suspect that it might be something more.
*me at Martina and Brandon’s wedding less that 24 hours before all hell broke loose.
My husband took my son for a playdate to give me some peace and quiet so I could rest, but I couldn’t get comfortable. I was concerned about the amount of pain I was in, but also felt if I went to the ER they would tell me it was just gas or something else trivial. I started Googling my symptoms and came across something that seemed to match. Ectopic pregnancy. I happened to have an old test in my bathroom and took it. It came up positive immediately.
I called my husband saying that he needed to come home, we needed to go to urgent care or the hospital. I was still in disbelief that something could actually be critically wrong with me, I was just fine yesterday!
We live fairly close to South Nassau hospital, so off we went. At this point it just hurt to sit, stand and lay. I was quickly admitted and I was being tested for a variety of things. I was still 50% sure they were going to send me home with tums.
We were behind a curtain and I was trying to breath through the pain while also keeping my then 4 year old entertained and calm when suddenly 5 or 6 people came running through the curtain shouting all sorts of things I, at the time, didn’t understand.
Type A+, tachycardic, hypotensive, laparotomy…
I was put on 2 iv fluid bags as well as blood.
At this point I looked at my husband and said, call your parents and have them pick up Nathan. So a gigantic thank you to them for getting there in 10 minutes (East Meadow to Oceanside) and, calmly and quickly, taking Nate for a sleepover.
I was then rushed from my curtain in the ER to one in the general area. There was a lot of activity and shouting and people asking me and my husband a million questions, some of them the same, and lots of forms to sign.
I was told that I needed emergency surgery to repair damage done by ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Meaning that a fertilized egg implanted in my fallopian tube instead of my uterus, which is not where it’s supposed to go, and it ruptured filling my entire trunk with blood. Essentially, I was bleeding out internally.
Before I was even in the surgical wing I had received 3 blood transfusions.
Everything happened so fast, one moment I was in the ER the next I was in surgery.
I woke up and was moved to the maternity ward. At this point I still didn’t understand the gravity of my situation. I was just annoyed at the inconvenience it had caused in my life and all I could concentrate on was the fact that I had my final wedding of the season on December 9th.
I was told by 3 doctors that would not happen and I should tell the couple asap. But, I’m stubborn and didn’t want to let my clients down and was determined to try to make it even if it was just for prep.
I did, however, call my friend Marie one of the few trusted people I work with now, and booked her to shoot the wedding for me along side my second Leslie. I then called my lovely brides Ally and Meghan to let them know what was happening.
I’m so grateful that were incredibly understanding, but also that I have a good emergency backup plan in place, even if I thought I would never have to use it.
Come Monday, December 4th, I was begging to go home. I couldn’t rest in the hospital because they kept waking me up to check vitals or give me medication. My ob/gyn Dr. Bachman, knowing how strong willed I am, acquiesced and cleared me to go home with a long list of vitamins I am still take 3 months later.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was on track with my cycles and it never dawned on me that this could happen until it was too late. I know there are other blogs out there that talk about “ignoring their symptoms” and it cost them a fallopian tube, but that wasn’t the case here. This is also not my first loss. I have had 2 miscarriages previously, one before and one after I had my son. The first was devastating and took months to get over, the second I was upset but grateful that I had my son to focus on. This time, I was just happy to be alive.
Infertility Awareness Week is April 22nd, loss and infertility are more prevalent than people know so I wanted to use my platform to not only tell my story but also bring awareness to the fact that if this has happened to you, you are not alone. I also want to remind people to be mindful when speaking to people about pregnancy and fertility. You never know what someone is struggling with, and while it’s well meaning to hope people have babies, it might not always be possible.
I’m forever grateful to my husband for taking care of everything while I was out of commision for two weeks, my day job co-workers and clients for being so understanding and caring.
I’m working hard everyday to not take life too seriously, while also appreciating everything I’m blessed with.
Thank you to everyone who sent cards, flowers, and words of wellness. It all mattered to me ❤