“I’m so sorry Nikita, there was another baby. I had to remove your fallopian tube”.
I battled to open my eyes while hearing these words out of my gynaecologist’s mouth. I could not believe my ears, I kept thinking that I woke up in the wrong body like one of those crazy guests on Oprah’s couch all those years ago.
My body ached, it felt like a train rode over my body several times, chopping my body every time it passed. I was groggy, my throat was dry as I coughed and felt my body splitting as the doctors held down on my body. I did not expect to wake up like this.
How did this happen? Well, remember my miscarriage in December? I thought the D&C on Christmas Eve was the end of the ordeal so we could mourn the loss of what would’ve been our second baby.
On New Year’s Day, I awoke with a horrendous pain in my abdomen, it felt like an elastic band had snapped as I crawled to the bathroom. Every movement was agony, as the sweat dripped off my body. I knew something was seriously wrong.
My husband rushed me to the closest hospital. I was wheeled into the ER and the doctor on call wasn’t too perplexed about my symptoms. Perhaps, he thought I overindulged the night before.
I was upset that my husband had to wait for hours outside the ER as I laid in a bed waiting for blood results. I had explained to the doctor about the procedure I had had a few days prior and that I needed help. “Something in my body popped, something is not right”, I pleaded with him. “You need to check, maybe it’s my appendix or something from my procedure”.
He did not call the gynaecologist on duty. He brushed my comments aside and said, “Maybe it’s just gastro, you don’t look like you’re in enough pain so it’s not your appendix”. I was released with a script.
I felt like an idiot, I thought I knew that something was deeply wrong with my body. I started doubting whether I was being dramatic. Even my husband was shocked as I climbed into the car and told him, “it’s supposedly gastro”.
Days went by, the dull pain would flare up into a crippling pain and I tried to sleep it off. It continued and the bleeding from my D&C increased. I refused to go back to the closest hospital again. I wanted to see someone that I knew and trusted.I knew I had to call my regular gynaecologist, Dr M. The reason I had not seen her initially for my D&C was that unfortunately she wasn’t on call at her hospital on Christmas Eve so I stayed at the closest hospital.
After contacting, Dr M and explaining everything, she told me to come in ASAP. I climbed onto the examining bed at her rooms. She pointed out the free fluid floating behind my uterus. Dr M sat me down and calmly said, “We are going into theatre tonight. Go home and pack a bag”. The anxiety was slowly starting to bubble over in me. She explained that she would perform a laparoscopic procedure to see the source of the liquid in my abdomen and a D&C again as the uterus had not fully collapsed.
I quickly drove home while phoning my husband about the surgery. I had an hour to get everything done. I packed a pyjama bag for Adriana while she stayed at my mom and headed back to the hospital to admit myself. My husband arrived shortly from work.
Dr M has such a calm and comforting demeanour about her, I knew I was in safe hands. As I lay in the bed in the waiting area with my hubby, it felt like déjà vu. We waited at that same spot before I had Adriana. We never envisioned that the next time would be like this. Dr M could see the worry all over my face, she reassured me that all would be fine. A quick 45 minute procedure and it would all be over.
I was wheeled into the theatre room. “Do you recognise this room?” she asked. “Yes, this where I had Adriana”, I replied. “Well, let’s say it’s practice for your next baby”, she replied. I smiled back feeling a little calmer and I fell into the deep abyss of anaesthesia.
When Dr M performed the laparoscopy, she discovered that the free fluid was in fact blood. The elastic snap that I had felt was my right fallopian tube rapturing. Unbeknownst to all, there was a second egg. She had to perform a c-section to remove my fallopian tube and clean up the blood around my organs. The 45 minute procedure turned into a close 3 hour procedure.
In the recovery room, I struggled to grasp her words, “I’m so sorry Nikita, there was another baby. I had to remove your fallopian tube”. Anaesthesia erases all concept of time, I battled to comprehend the weight of her words, it hung heavier on my eyelids. I couldn’t open them as I was wheeled back to the maternity ward.
I remember telling my husband how wrong that other doctor at the ER was as I cried through the pain. How could he have dismissed my pain and now the emotional pain of thinking about a second baby?
During my stay at the hospital, the maternity staff were my pillar of strength. The gynaecologist explained to me rarity of heterotopic pregnancy, two fertilised eggs implanted in two different places. Sometimes this happens when there’s not enough hormones to push the second egg out of the fallopian tube. I was speechless and brokenhearted to think of the possibility of twins. All the “what ifs” floated around my mind.
As time has passed, I have learned to make peace with my body. I no longer blame or hate my body for betraying me. It did hurt seeing all the pregnancy announcements online. I do still wince sometimes when I see maternity clothing.
I so badly wanted to have a baby in 2020 so that the age-gap between Adriana wouldn’t be greater than 4 years. I was already anxious about the age-gap because of the delay due to my Graves’ Disease diagnosis. I had never planned so meticulously for a baby (or in this case babies) like I did this time around but this plan was not meant to be now.
To my little darlings in heaven, you were loved before we met you, until we meet again.