Heterotopic Pregnancy Awareness 

Since my near death experience, and the loss of yet another pregnancy, I have been thinking about if there is some good that could come from it all (other than the beautiful life still inside of my uterus of course). 

Although I do not know the exact answer as to why it all happened to me, and likely never will, I do know that it is now my responsibility to bring awareness to this rare, dangerous condition.  

When I first started experiencing spotting that Thursday morning, I was just 1 day short of 5 weeks pregnant. It was initially light, and mostly brown. I didnt think much of it. I chalked it up to implantation bleeding since it was so early on.  

We had just transferred two beautiful embryos 14 days prior and had received the news it worked. Our betas that week came back very high. We all (doctor included) immediately thought twins. We were thrilled. 

The spotting continued and started to turn to pink and red bleeding. By Sunday, I was experiencing sharp, shooting pains on my left side (posterior) by my hip. I called the on call service at my clinic and they set me up an appointment for Monday morning. I was sure I was miscarrying again. 

Monday morning I went in for an ultrasound. My RE was on vacation so my nurse performed the scan. I was just 5 weeks and 3 days, so there was very well a possibility of seeing nothing. But she did see one gestational and yolk sac. I was initally surprised by only one, especially with my high numbers and transferring 2. She reminded me that by next week we could see the other sac since it was so early on. The scan was over with in a few minutes, and she reassured me that bleeding early on in pregnancy is common. 

I went on my way, grateful that I had a life growing inside of me and that I hadnt miscarried. The bleeding didnt stop though. Within 2 days it was gushing out of me. I went in for a blood test to make sure my levels werent dropping. They were perfect. 

Over the next few days, I bled, passing a few clots and just feeling off. Something didnt seem right. I was 6 weeks and 2 days when things took a turn for the worse. I woke up in the middle of the night to a sharp, stabbing, shooting pain like I had never felt before. Again, it was on my left posterior side by my hip. This time though, a week later, it was much more intense. I got up, and tried to make it to the bathroom as I was seeing stars. It felt as if I had too much to drink and the room was spinning. I was either miscarrying or dying in my mind. I puked in my mouth. It was awful. 

I called the doctor (who was now back in town) the next morning. By this time, I could barely move. It felt as if I was being crushed. I couldnt even take a deep breath. She told me to come in right away. 

Immediately she saw a beating heart. I was happy but knew something still was not right. This time, instead of telling me bleeding is common early on, she started to really scan me. She was in there for about 10 minutes at least, having me move certain ways and such. 

At that point it became clear-our other embryo had implanted into my left tube. It had now ruptured and I was bleeding internally. Blood was all thoughout my stomach, up to my liver. She gave it one more day and I would have been gone. 

The point of me sharing this is to help someone out there. Not once, did anyone, myself included, consider that I could have had a tubal pregnancy until it ruptured. Especially since I had a uterine pregnancy. I do believe if the uterine pregnancy wasnt there, it would have been found sooner. All the signs of a tubal pregnancy were there but we were all blinded. 

In my case, things worked out for the best. My RE was able to remove my tube and save me and my uterine pregnancy. Had my nurse found it when my RE was out of town, I dont know how it would have played out. I know my RE is the only one I wanted operating on me, hence God works in mysterious ways. 

Heterotopic pregnancies via IVF are a 1 in 10,000 occurrence. In natural pregnancies, I believe it is even more rare, not sure of the exact number, something like 1 in 30,000. Many are under the impression that IVF cannot result in a tubal pregnancy, which is simply not the case. When an IVF transfer is done, the embryos are placed into the uterus through a catheter. Hubby & I watched this happen on the screen as little white dots. Once in the uterus, they are basically floating around, looking for a spot to implant. They can go wherever they please. 

In no way am I a doctor, but here are some signs that I feel should not be ignored or accepted as common, especially after placing 2 embryos in the uterus and getting back extremely high betas-

  • Continous bleeding that starts as spotting, goes from brown to pink to red and back again 
  • Sharp shooting pains in the hips on the posterior side 
  • Vision obscured 
  • Having difficulty breathing
  • Feeling that something is just not right (listen to your body!) 

I hope I can turn our sadness to some good, and that this post can save someones life, their tube, their baby, whatever it might be. 

1 in 10,000

Well, yesterday was quite a day to say the least. As we all know by now, I had been spotting/bleeding/whatever you want to call it, for about 10 days. My betas all came back normal-805 at 10dpt6dt, 2500 at 12dpt6dt, 5100 at 14dpt6dt, and 23,000 at 19dpt6dt.  My progesterone levels always looked great at > 30.  We saw a gestational sac, yolk sac, & fetal pole at 5w3d. We also saw no evidence of a SCH, or any other reason for the blood. 

That brings us to Sunday night. Around 10 pm, I started experiencing sharp, stabbing pains on my left side. I got up and headed to the bathroom, sure I was losing our baby. I almost threw up on the way to the bathroom, and I literally saw stars and felt the room spinning. I wasnt bleeding heavily, so I tried to chalk it up and decided to deal with it in the morning. 

I barely slept because of the pain, and when morning came, I felt as if I had 200 pounds sitting on top of me. I couldnt even take a deep breath. My RE said to come in right away. My mom drove me down, and I was prepared once again to hear the worst. But to our lovely surprise, there was baby, with its little heart beating away, at just over 115 bpm. I couldnt believe my eyes or ears, I just thanked the Lord over & over.  


Shortly after the amazing news, the  investigation began. My RE wanted to search around a little and see if she could find where the source of the bleeding/pain was coming from. I knew something was wrong because her & the nurse kept looking, pointing, and talking, and the scan was taking much longer than it ever does (about 10 minutes).  

Finally, she told me the news. The other embryo we had transferred had implanted in my left tube. I had a heterotopic (uterine & tubal) pregnancy, a 1 in 10,000 occurrence. I sat in shock and disbelief as she showed us the screen.  Was this really happening???

She could see blood in my stomach, all the way up to my rib cage under my liver. It had ruptured and I was bleeding internally, hence the horrific pain and bleeding. She started talking crazy about maternal death, and saving my life, and by then, I was just zoning in and out.  She said I needed to go to the ER immediately for her to operate. I was losing my left tube, and another baby. 

At this point, there was no other option. My focus shifted solely to whether or not our other baby in utero would make it. There was a 5-10% chance it wouldnt survive the surgery. Its all I could think about, even though I was technically dying myself. We rushed over to the ER, and they started all the business. EKG, bloodwork, another ultrasound, paperwork of history, etc. 

They went over receiving a blood transfusion with me, should I need one. We discussed the safest anesthesia I could get pregnant. My husband and my mom prayed with me and I was wheeled off. Did I forget to mention it was to the same room I had my D & C from our last baby?? I was out pretty quick thankfully. 

The surgery lasted a good hour and a half. My RE went in through my stomach laprascopically, and made 3 incisions. She did have to remove my left tube entirely. They also removed 150 cc of blood from inside my stomach and other locations, saving my life. 

When I woke up, I heard the best news…baby in utero still had a strong heartbeat after the surgery!!  Thank you, Jesus! My RE informed us that the 48 hours following surgery would play a significant role in baby making it or not. We go back Thursday to see. 

I am surviving now. The pain is pretty intense, but its localized to the stomach area where I was cut. Peeing and moving are the worst. I have already stopped bleeding and have no pains or uterus cramps. I was so scared I would wake up with them from the surgery but I didnt. My RE said she never went near my uterus. Another miracle. 

I am taking vicodin only as needed, and I must be out of work for a week or so on bedrest.  Im really still in shock, but incredibly grateful for listening to my body, having a wonderful medical staff, & a fighting baby still inside of me.  

Our due date is set for 12-25-16. A Christmas miracle. Praying every minute  we make it. 

What Pregnancy After Loss is Like

A rollercoaster. Walking on eggshells, or perhaps even a tightrope. Being on pins & needles. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Get my drift? 

The past week has been intense to say the least. We started out week 5 on a great note, with very high betas, doubling as they should. After the second one, I started spotting brown. Within 3 days, that turned to pink and then red spotting. I got an ultrasound to reassure us that our worst fears werent coming true. And they werent- we saw exactly what we should have at this point in our pregnancy, a gestational sac, a yolk sac, & the start of a fetal pole. Beautiful! 

A day after that reassurance, not only was I spotting, but now I was bleeding heavily. And it was red. I passed 2 clots. I was sure it was over. I left work & headed to the RE for the 5th time in 10 days. They drew my beta and I went home & waited for what felt like an eternity (they did not want to do another ultra just 2 days from the first, especially since the bleeding had increased after). I was sure my beta had dropped from just a few days earlier. It felt like deja vu to say the least. I was pretty numb.

The phone rang & my nurse sounded chipper. My beta was 26,000 and some change. It had increased just as it should have. I was in utter disbelief at the good news. I thanked God. We didnt miscarry. We went to dinner & celebrated the news. 

The bleeding has now completely stopped. Im praying it stays that way. We are by no means out of the woods, and I dont think we have ever thought we were to begin with, even prior to the bleed. But we are extremely happy today & we are also pregnant today. Thats all we can ask for right?

Our goal now is to make it to our regularly scheduled ultra next week when Im 7 weeks. My RE said if I have another bad bleed before then, I can head in sooner. Ive been taking it super easy, thanks to all the wonderful people in my life. My co-workers have gone above & beyond to help me get through my days with my students-they walk them to lunch, take them to recess & resource, make me copies, etc. Im so incredibly grateful for them. My husband is a saint. He has been cooking breakfast & dinner everynight, running all our errands at night, & feeding, walking, & caring for our dogs. Anything to keep me off my feet. Im so blessed to have him. And my mom, she has kept up with our cleaning and listens to me vent…constantly. God bless her. 

Symptoms/Medications?

I have been nauseous on & off, with both aversions & cravings, and swollen boobs. No complaints, Ill take all the symptoms I can get! My progesterone has been increased from 1cc to 1.5cc, even though my level was still in normal range (30). We figure it cant hurt. Well, I take that back, it does hurt…it hurts my ass! We have run out of spots to inject and Ive had a few welts here and there. Ouch!

Heres to an uneventful week ahead…

A Scare 

As I mentioned in my last post, I started spotting brown on Thursday. I didnt think too much of it, because brown is old blood and I know many women spot during their pregnancies. In addition, I didnt have any cramps and our beta increased from Wednesday to Friday. 

Well, the spotting continued, and on Saturday, it turned from brown to pink to red. And more than it had been. It was still only when I used the bathroom, but the amount on the toiletpaper had definitely increased. I basically put myself on bedrest for 2 days and started to think the worst. 

Then I had the worst night possible. I woke up to excruciating pains in my left hip bone in the back. I was in tears. I didnt know if this was related or not to the bleeding, or if perhaps we had hit a siatic nerve from the daily PIO shots.

When morning came, my mom came over and comforted me since Hubby had to work. She brought me food, cleaned the house, and prayed with me. I dont know what Id do without her. Seriously. 

Anyways, on Sunday I called the on call doctor. I was still spotting, but no cramps. They said they would get me in Monday morning. I assumed they would just be doing another beta, as I am only 5 weeks and 3 days along, and I know how early this is to see anything on a scan. 

When I got to the RE this morning, they asked me to do a UTI test (results back in a few days), and draw my progesterone (still above 30). Then my nurse said there isnt really a point to doing betas now, instead lets do an ultrasound and hopefully we can confirm the pregnancy is in the uterus and rule out ectopic. 

I asked her what she hoped to see this early on. She informed me that a gestational sac would be great, but even if we didnt it was okay. She said she didnt think she would see a yolk sac this early. I prepared myself again for the worst. I knew how upset Id be if she saw nothing, especially after the weekend Id had. 

When she put in the wand she immediately said she saw a gestational sac! And then with a surprised voice, a yolk sac too! I blurted out loud, “thank you, Jesus!” She turned the screen so I could see and she pointed to the little spec where the fetal pole is starting to form. By next week we should be able to see the heartbeat. She printed out the pic for us to keep. 


And while we dont know the cause of the bleeding, we are SO relieved today. We are grateful this pregnancy is in my uterus. We are grateful the bleeding didnt equal a loss. We are grateful for such incredibly strong beta numbers with just 1 baby. We are grateful my uterus still looks great. So many things to be grateful for. 

We pray this little baby is a fighter. Our miracle, take home, rainbow baby. Please keep growing…we love you so much already! 

FET #3: Beta #3 

Today is a good day. We got back our results this afternoon and our beta did double since Wednesday. Thank God! 

  • Monday-805 HCG, Progesterone 40
  • Wednesday-2504
  • Friday-5134, Progesterone 37

Yesterday & today I had some dark brown spotting (NO cramps at all thankfully).  I know brown is old blood, so I was a little bit more at ease than when I have had bright red blood in past pregnancies. I know bleeds can be totally normal in pregnancy, but with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss its hard to keep that in mind. So, of course I began to think the worst last night. I prepared as much as I could to hear that it was all over & our numbers had dropped when they called today. Its happened before. I also requested to have my progesterone drawn with my beta to make sure it wasnt below what it should be, as I know this can cause a bleed.  

I really couldnt believe it when they called & said all is progressing as it should still. The brown blood is not a sign of harm. So incredibly grateful for this. Now the 2 week wait for the heartbeat or heartbeats begins. The waits are never ending as you all know. Praying for a really uneventful 2 weeks until then!! 

On a different note, I have to share with you some of my 3rd grade students handmade animal projects because they came out delightful & really put the cherry on top of my day! So proud of them…



FET #3: Beta 1 & 2

First, before I get into the numbers, I want to say thank you so much to everyone who commented on our positive HPT result post. You all are the best! 

Monday was beta #1 and today was beta #2. We were hoping for an initial result of 100 or so on Monday, and then of course for it to double from then (as it needs to) today.  

  • Beta 1-805 (10dp6dt)
  • Beta 2-2,520 (12dp6dt) 
  • Beta 3-Friday (14dp6dt)

In no way did we expect such high numbers, and whats more, a number that tripled in 2 days. Our numbers have never been this high, this early on. We are very grateful to God for getting us through this step in the long process ahead. We arent taking anything for granted. Not one single minute. We pray things continue to progress everyday. Our first ultrasound is scheduled in a few weeks. I am not even thinking that far out though, other than praying we get there. We are living day to day with this pregnancy and rejoicing in every milestone. 

As far as symptoms go, I have been having headaches in the evenings. My boobs are pretty swollen, not really sore. Some foods that normally sound great dont. Im 4w4d today. 

Keep us in your thoughts & prayers please! 

FET 3: Beta Eve

I debated for awhile on whether or not I would write this post right now. But then, I really got to thinking, which I will explain in more detail below, and decided I would. 

We found out a few days ago through a HPT that we are indeed pregnant. It is surreal to even type those words. Its been a long time. 7 years of trying, failed IUI’s, surgeries, 4 IVF’s, 3 miscarriages, and here we are again, pregnant. 

First, I should start off by saying that we are thrilled. I cant, and I wont deny or take away from that. We are thanking God every minute. And thats exactly why I am sharing this with all of our supporters so early on. 

The truth is, from the moment we saw those 2 pink lines show up, our lives forever changed again. We are beyond invested. We already have our hopes & dreams for this pregnancy, we share them with each other everyday. We want to celebrate every minute of this life or lives inside of me that we can. 

We know how quickly it all can change. And God forbid it does change, we want the support of those around us. That means more to us then keeping a secret. If our betas dont rise this week, or if there isnt a sac or heartbeat in a few weeks, we will need all the love and support we can get. We are trying not to think that way right now, but we know anything is possible.

We believe in the power of prayer. Please keep praying for us. We really believe this or these are our rainbow babies. We believe we will see them this winter. I have to believe because if I dont, I know thats a really dark place and I wont go there. So, we hope you can rejoice with us today in our news! Today is a good day, today we are pregnant!