After ruling out all other options, the doctor finally said, “It’s probably the pregnancy.“ Eight hours after feeling the most horrible pain I have ever felt, and five hours of prodding and tests, this was the conclusion.
A few weeks before, I had been sitting in my bathroom anxiously looking at my watch, so sure that I was pregnant and that I would be bounding out into the living room with a smile on my face. Instead I came out confused. If these weren’t pregnancy symptoms, then what where they? A few days later I tried again. Nothing. A week after that, more nothing. I took five negative tests before deciding I would set an appointment anyway. By then, I was six weeks pregnant.
I don’t know why I waited. I don’t know why I thought that plastic stick meant so much. I knew that there was a baby in me. I knew my symptoms were real and not figments of my imagination. Unfortunately, knowing I was pregnant and going to an appointment right away would not have changed the outcome of my story. An ectopic pregnancy can’t be prevented, can’t be predicted and, most devastatingly, can’t be saved. I finally had the confirmation that I wanted only to be told in the same breath that this child would probably never be in my arms.
I feel guilty about a lot of things. Why didn’t I realize sooner that something was wrong? Why did I wait so long for an arbitrary piece of plastic to tell me what I already knew in my heart? Would that have changed the only six weeks I had with my baby? For weeks after my surgery I felt guilty because I had let them take him out of me. I consented for a surgeon to remove my baby from me. It didn’t really matter that Rylan was already gone. I felt like I should have treasured those early weeks instead of complaining about morning sickness. I felt like I should have celebrated the one little craving I had. I felt like I should have insisted on seeing the doctor right away when I first felt pain instead of waiting because of course it can’t be the baby.
It is heartbreaking to know that I could have avoided the trauma of surgery and recovery had I just gone with my gut, but also to feel guilty, because that would mean I had less time with him than I already had. At least I was sensitive enough to my body to notice the changes quickly. At least I have been surrounded by amazing friends and family who have supported me, held my hand at times, endured my anger at others. At least I had the time I did. Even though “at least“ will never truly be enough, I am so thankful he was here, and I don’t regret at all that his life existed.
♥ Kristian Doucette, Mommy to Rylan M.E.N.D.—SW Missouri