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Pregnancy, I wasn’t expecting this … (Part 3 of 3)

Posted Sep 11 2008 12:00am

Pregnant? It didn’t seem real after all these years of infertility. My primary-care doctor thought it was ectopic and sent me directly over to the gynecologist’s office. Only the office was closed and I was directed to the emergency room.

I needed to drive to the hospital. The doctor’s words ‘tubal pregnancy’ echoed in my head. They interrupted coherent thought about the location of the emergency room.

While driving, the street signs looked familiar and I was headed in the right direction – beyond that I was at a complete loss.

Come on brain, work. I’d been to this hospital. My sister’s daughters were born there. Just the month before I had my colonoscopy there. So it wasn’t like I was in new territory.

I felt a strong cramp. Damn, I couldn’t rupture a tube while driving. I needed help. I wanted Jimmy but didn’t dare call him like this. Who would be home?

The cards in my mental Rolodex were blank. I leaned over, grabbed my phone off the passenger seat and stabbed the first photo contact listed. My sister.

She didn’t answer.

What now? Oh, my dad was retired. If I couldn’t have Jimmy next to me, I absolutely wanted my dad.

I called and he picked up.

“Hey Sis, what’cha doing?”

“Hi Pop. I’m driving. … Are you busy?” I did my best to speak calmly.

“Well …” He used his teasing tone. “What is it you want?”

I tried to say I was pregnant, it was ectopic and I was headed to the E.R. — but I lost my composure. Instead I sobbed. This was my dad, and I was scared. I was really, really scared. As a kid he was my rock, the immovable force that could withstand any problem. Even if he couldn’t fix it, he’d stay strong and help me through it.

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong?”

I tried to speak again, but could only cry. Thankfully I was at a red light. I took a few deep breaths. “Dad, I’m pregnant. …” He made happy noises. “Oh no, Dad.” Oh, God no. Please don’t get excited. “It’s tubal. I have to go to the hospital.”

It took a few more moments before I could explain calmly enough for him to understand and ask directions. He told me all I had to do was drive straight. The street I was on would take me to the hospital entrance and he’d meet me there.

I’d regained numb composure by the time I parked the car, entered the emergency room and signed in. It wasn’t long before the triage nurse called my name.

I entered her small office, sat down and felt woozy. She asked general questions and I answered with my name, address and health insurance information.

“What brings you here?”

“My doctor sent me. He thinks I have a tubal pregnancy.”

“Oh, where does it hurt?”

I showed her and explained my symptoms.

“I think your doctor overreacted. They tend to do that especially if you can’t be seen by your OB/GYN.”


“If you hurt to one side or the other, that would concern me. Your pain is in the middle, right where a pregnancy should be. I think you’ll be fine.” She smiled and reassured me again. “You’ll be put on the fast track and probably get an ultrasound.”

I didn’t quite believe her, but I hung onto her words. I decided to call Jimmy. At this point he’d be mad at me if I didn’t.

I started talking fast when he answered.

“Listen, I’m OK. I’m going to be OK– but I’m in the E.R. right now. I’m so sorry to have to tell you this at work.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m pregnant.” I quickly followed it up with the bad news but softened it with the nurse’s words. “The folks here think I’m going to be fine. Right now I’m waiting for some tests. It’s probably going to be a few hours before we know anything.”

My dad arrived as I hung up. He hugged me, sat down and patted my knee. I relayed the latest news.

“It’ll be fine, Sis. You’ll see.” He grinned. “How’d Jimmy take the news?”

“He was quiet and didn’t say much. I told him I’d call him when I knew something else.”

I found out later Jimmy had been just as shocked as I was – and just as upset. After he hung up he put his head down and cried. His coworkers encouraged him to go straight over.

Jimmy’s response? It wouldn’t do me any good to see him so upset – so he waited.

He joined me about an hour later. I was alone, in a gown and trying to rest on the examination table. The nurse showed him in.

“Hey, how are you doing?” He kissed my forehead and rubbed my cheek. He looked stressed.

“I’m OK. I’m just so sorry I had to drop that bomb on you. I almost didn’t call – but if the situation was reversed I’d be so mad at you for not calling me.”

“Yeah, I would’ve been. Have they said anything yet?”

“No, they just took my blood and the ultrasound is next.”

Jimmy pulled up a chair, sat down and watched me. I knew he was worried about the pregnancy – but also about me. After all these years, if this baby didn’t stick – what would that do to me emotionally?

“Hey, it’s going to be OK. No matter what happens today, we’re going to be fine.”

A few minutes later a nurse arrived with a wheelchair. She pushed me to the X-ray area and Jimmy followed.

Amazingly, all the test results were good. My hormones were at the proper levels and the ultrasound showed the baby was, indeed, in the right spot.

It took six hours, three pregnancy tests, a blood test and an ultrasound to prove it – but I was pregnant.

The baby is expected to arrive mid-April.

Part: 1, 2, 3

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