Waiting on God During an Ectopic Pregnancy

My first ectopic baby was such a blessing because she taught me to wait on God, even in the face of death. I think so many times about what would have happened if I had allowed fear to rule me. I would have missed out on seeing God work, and I would have always wondered why God allowed that to happen to me. I believe our faith grows when we witness God at work.

Think of how the Israelites must have felt before they crossed the Red Sea. Do you think they knew the Red Sea was about to open up? Could they have even imagined such a glorious escape?

No…they were terrified and expected to die soon, wondering why on earth they had come this far to die.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord…”

One moment all they can see is their certain death.  The next moment, the sea opened up to them and they walked through on dry land. On the other side, they watched as their enemies entered the corridor to pursue them, only to be swallowed up by the sea and disappear. How often do we miss out on seeing God work in our lives because we allow our fear to dictate our actions? I know I nearly did.


I thought I had faith, but I’d never had to wait on God while facing death. I’m not a brave person or even a calm person. I tend to panic when faced with danger. So it was not easy for me to keep refusing “treatment” when I was pregnant with my first ectopic baby. I literally trembled with fear. At nearly 10 weeks, my ectopic finally showed up on an ultrasound “on or near” my right ovary. All my hopes were dashed to pieces. They told me she had most likely died weeks before. There was no baby to be seen, just a mass, which looked a lot like an ovarian cyst to me.

I became like the Israelites before the sea opened up. God was being strangely silent, the pain was getting worse, and I felt I was out of time. I let my fears get the best of me. I told my doctor that I wanted surgery, and to ensure this didn’t happen again, I told him to remove both tubes. (As if that would really remove all risk of ectopic. I was playing God.) Relieved by my choice, he left the room to schedule my surgery. While he was gone, I started to have doubts, something that always seems to happen when I make a choice before I hear from God. While waiting, I called my husband to discuss my doubts with him. What if the doctor was wrong, and I inadvertently killed my child by having the surgery? What if God had other plans; I still didn’t know! My husband and I felt we needed to wait on an answer from God before we could proceed with anything. I had been this close to missing out on seeing the sea open up before me.

That very day, we prayed and God finally answered us. I learned that he had heard my cries, I would be healed, and that I would receive confirmation in 3 days. The next morning when I awoke, the pain was gone. On the third day, just as promised, I received confirmation of God’s salvation at my doctor’s appointment. I learned that that my beta levels had dropped by 30%. Sadly, my baby didn’t make it, but it was proof that I was being saved. The placenta was shrinking, relieving pressure and pain. Over the next several weeks my blood hormone levels were monitored to ensure that the placenta was indeed continuing to shrink. Meanwhile, I processed everything and came to understand why God had allowed this to happen. First of all, it was for his glory. In other words, everyone involved who saw what he did couldn’t help but come away thinking “God is loving. God is able.” It also taught me to wait on the Lord. In the past, if God didn’t work on my schedule, I doubted that he was working in my life at all. Now I know better.

God wants me to tell you that no matter what decisions you have to make in life, he can make them for you if you will trust him. Can you wait on his answer? He loves you and knows everything. Therefore, his ways are always best. We only have the peace we seek when we trust him.

I leave you with these words that God wants me to share with you today, “Be still and know that I am God.”

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After an Ectopic

I have had a hard time mustering the will to write this update on my ectopic pregnancy. We knew the dangers, yet we believed there was always hope.

My doctor, an older Christian man, was willing to take a more conservative watch and wait approach with me. He told me of a patient he once had who was found to be pregnant with twins. One twin was in the uterus; the other was an abdominal ectopic. He was reluctant to do surgery for fear it might endanger the uterine pregnancy. So they monitored her closely. As they had hoped, the ectopic baby passed away quietly and the other baby was eventually born without complications. He told this story to me and my husband as if that were a happy ending. There was still a child to mourn. But, like so many, he didn’t see it that way.

So when I went for my ultrasound January 4th, I was told the “good” news – my ectopic baby had died. It took me completely off guard, both the tragic news and my doctors attitude about it. I can understand, as a doctor, why he felt it was good news. But it was my BABY for Pete’s sake. Why can’t people seem to understand this?

It took me a month of dragging myself around before I could even begin to act normally. Even now, almost 2 months later, I’m still sad about it. Yes, life goes on. And yes, God is seeing me through this difficult time. But it is still hard to lose a child, no matter how small and no matter where it was implanted.

More Survival Stories

It is my prayer that I will have time to post about every survival story I can find in order to provide them all here together as a huge testimony of hope for parents of ectopic babies. But since we know not what a day may bring or how long we will be on this earth, I thought it best to go ahead and provide this link to the most comprehensive list of ectopic baby survival stories that I have found so far. Click here to see the list.

Joy During Ectopic

Today we went for our first ultrasound. I don’t know how far along I am for certain, but we guess 6, maybe 7 weeks at the most. My last ectopic pregnancy, 7 years ago, taught me to not expect much from ultrasounds. They are far from perfect. If they see a gestational sac in the uterus, that is pretty definitive. If they see tubal dilation, that may be pretty definitive as well, although I have never had a tubal pregnancy so I can’t know that for certain. But I can tell you that gestational sacs on the ovary can look a whole lot like cysts. That’s where they think they saw my baby’s gestational sac today, just like last time. Yet they really couldn’t honestly say for certain.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward, and Looking Up!

I have had one ectopic pregnancy. It was hard because there are no real treatment options. No mother should be asked to choose her own life over the life of her child. The risks are real and scary. I was in pain for about four weeks of my ectopic pregnancy. I had bleeding early on and my progesterone dropped very low. It was assumed that I lost the baby. But the placenta can continue to grow if it isn’t expelled. In retrospect I believe that is what happened to me, but at the time I didn’t want to make any assumptions about the life of my child. I was being monitored closely every two days and harassed to take the shot, and once that window of opportunity passed because of my higher HCG levels, to have surgery.

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Brazilian Ectopic Baby Carried Next to the Stomach

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Maria Benedita, a Brazilian woman, was over 40 years old and 5 months pregnant with her second child when she was told that her baby was developing outside of the uterus. Interestingly, doctors say that her baby boy was conceived in the fallopian tubes. Yet, he was carried in an area between the stomach and the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are risky and dangerous, and many doctors advise the mothers to terminate the prenancy. Maria didn’t.

“We overcame, thanks be to God. We never turned back,” she said of her decision not to abort.

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