" Transformation of a Junk Food Mom: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Me...

Ok, well maybe not a completely new me, but I did get my new "do".  Love it!!

My head feels so much lighter and my hair looks so much healthier. Not too mention, I look about 10 years younger. No more grays!! 

I'm still trying to get used to the color. It's a bit lighter than usual (you can't tell from the pics though). But, other than that, I'm so glad I made the change. Now on to shopping tomorrow. :)

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone has a fabulous night with family and friends. I'll be cozying up with the family watching the ball drop from the comfort of my home. I'm such a homebody!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Time for a Change...

The new year is almost upon us. I'm definitely looking forward to starting fresh next year. The end of this year was pretty much a downer.

I did get some good news today though. My HCG levels have returned to 0! My red blood cell count went up as well but it was still low - 9.2 - so my OB wants me to continue to take the Folgard. Hopefully, in a few weeks my Hgb and iron count will be back to normal.  We will start trying again in March. The plan is to schedule an HSG before we start trying to make sure my left tube is all clear. This should help our chances of conceiving. If we haven't gotten pregnant by May/June then I will see a specialist. Praying that we can avoid this though.

So, on to the fun stuff...

After two months of not being able to go to the salon, I finally have an appointment for tomorrow. I'm super excited!! You wouldn't believe the number of gray hairs that I have growing at my roots. If I let my hair grow out, half of my hair would be completely gray! Boo.

I've decided to make a change and go shorter. Currently my hair looks like this...

photo courtesy of pattijohnston.com

It's hard to tell from the pic, but my hair hits mid back (right at the bra line) when it's straight. More often than not it's straight except for special occasions.  

Here are some inspiration pics of what I'm going for:

Love it!! And hair color:

An interesting fact I learned while searching hair color is that you can tell if you have a "warm" or "cool" skin tone based on the color of the veins in your wrist. If the veins in your wrist have a green hue to them, then you have a "warm" skin tone. If the veins are bluish, then you are considered to have a "cool" skin tone. Pretty cool! Although, I still don't know what skin tone I have. My veins look both greenish and bluish. :) 

Oh, and I'm loving this cut. Maybe one day I'll get enough nerve to actually chop all my hair off! :)

If all turns out well, I'll post a pic of the new do. If I don't post a pic, well, then you know what happened. I'll be crying all afternoon. :)

Here's to a new me!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011 in Photos...and Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is our 8th anniversary. It's amazing how time flies! Unfortunately, the hubby is out of town on his yearly post-Christmas hunting trip. Normally I don't mind him going on his hunting trip this time of year, but this year I was pretty bummed. I think it has to do with the recent loss of our pregnancy. Well, at least he got a deer this morning so we'll have meat in the freezer for the coming year. Plus, we'll celebrate our Anniversary when he gets back.

So, in honor of my Anniversary, I am going to post Christmas pictures to make me feel better. :)

Christmas Eve...
Umm... Cheese?

Opening gifts...


Future DJ!!!

Cookies for Santa and his Reindeer...

Christmas Day....

Santa came!!

Ahoy, Matey!!

Holiday Decor... I'm a bit bummed because I didn't get to decorate my house as much as I wanted. Plus, I hardly took any pictures. I did take a few pics of the decor at my Grandmother's house though. :)

My house... centerpiece

My house... Dining Room Window

Grandmother's Tree...

Dining Room Table....

Our 2nd Annual Gingerbread House... 

And, my favorite gift of all!!

Overall, we had a great Christmas! Looking forward to the New Year!! I hope everyone had a great holiday season as well!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

I love Christmas! I love seeing Zachary's face light up when he wakes Christmas morning and runs out to see what Santa brought him. I love spending the morning in my PJs. And most important, I love spending time with my family. 

Although this holiday season has been tough for me both physically and emotionally, today was a great day to celebrate my blessings. I especially feel blessed to have my health back and to have such a wonderful support system surrounding me. 

For those who have recently experienced a loss of their pregnancy, especially during this holiday season, I hope that you were able to find at least a little bit of peace and happiness today.  I know how difficult the healing process can be. 

I'm super tired now so I'm headed to bed in my Christmas jingle bell jammies. I plan to post a few Christmas pics tomorrow. 

Here is one of my little guy enjoying the new headphones we got him. So cool! :)

Good Night!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


4 days since my surgery and I am feeling exhausted.  I can't seem to get my energy back, but I think that is because of my anemia due to the blood loss. It will probably take me a few weeks to fully recover from that. The pain has eased, and I'm not walking like a hunchback anymore which is good.  My incision sites are still a bit tender, but not near as bad as the past couple of days. I think the worst part of the whole recovery process has been the trapped gas.  Oh my gosh, talk about pain!

I was feeling good enough yesterday to get out of the house. My mom drove me and Z to my Aunt's house for a family Christmas Party yesterday.  I have to laugh though because on the way there we needed to stop at our local grocery store HEB to pick up a cheese ball (the Pesto Pine Nut cheese ball is to die for!) and to get gas for my car.  We decided that I would get down to get the cheese ball since I needed to use the restroom while my mom went to get gas (which is located across the parking lot of the grocery store).

A few minutes later, I get a call on my cell from my mom.  "Natalie, I parked on the wrong side of the pump and turned the car off.  Now the car won't start".  "Crap, I have the keys with me", I said (I have a keyless ignition sytem). So here we are, I'm in the store barely able to walk, and my mom is across the parking lot with my 4 year old son and 7 year old niece and the car won't start. How in the world am I gonna get the keys to mom? My mom and I both crack up at the situation because this is something that totally would happen to us! :)

So, I limp up to the manager and start off by saying, "I'm so sorry, but I feel so silly for asking you this." I proceed to explain the situation, that I just had surgery a few days ago, and is there any way that one of their sackers could walk the keys to my mom. The manager was so super nice. She said she would personally walk the keys to my mom. So kudos to HEB for going above and beyond in my time of need! I love that store!!

So, we finally make it to my Aunt's. Had a fun time seeing family. Played white elephant gift exchange. This is what I ended up with:

I think I'll be re-gifting this one next year! :)

Now, I'm just waiting for the troops (my mom, grandmother, and aunt) to come over later this afternoon to help me decorate for Christmas. With everything that has been going on the past couple of weeks, I have not even come close to finishing. Truthfully, I haven't even really started.  I'm looking forward to finally getting in the Christmas Spirit!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Saga Continues...

I have to apologize in advance. I am high on Vicodin right now, so I have no idea how this post is going to come out. :)

What I was hoping was going to be a day filled with positive news, ended up being one with not so great news.  Although, in the end, I am blessed that things worked out the way they did.

Yesterday morning I went to the clinic to have my HCG levels drawn again, and then I ran some errands - Target, Walgreen's, picked up lunch. I was a little fatigued, but other than that I was feeling pretty good. I was so confident that my numbers were going to be good, that I had planned on attending a work function that evening.

While waiting for the results of the blood work, I began to prep for work.  However, at about 2 PM I went to the restroom and Holy Pain, Batman! Since being diagnosed with the ectopic, I've always had some pain while using the restroom (sorry, TMI again), but this time was way, way worse.  The pain was not letting up and felt like cramping mixed with extreme pressure in my pelvic area.  I took some Tylenol and called my husband to tell him he needed to come home right away.  The pain was not letting up at this point. I called my doctor's office to see if the results had come back yet, thinking that if my levels had gone down, the pain may just be a normal part of the methotrexate process. Unfortunately, the results had not come back. I told the nurse that if the pain got worse or didn't let up, I would call them back.

My husband and I decided to head down to the Medical Center as a precaution. I had to drop off some things for work that way, and if my HCG levels had not dropped, I would have to go to the hospital anyway.  If we headed that way early, we could beat traffic.  On the way there, the pain started to lift, but I was still feeling not quite right. We got to the hospital about 3:30 PM and decided to hang out in the cafeteria. I debated whether to go to the ER or to head back home as I was feeling somewhat better.  4 PM rolled around and still no news. I called the nurse back to check, but she said they still hadn't received the results. I decided to go to the ER at that point. I was still feeling quite a bit of pressure and tenderness upon pressing on my abdomen, and everything I read online said that if you feel pelvic/rectal pressure to call your physician. I figured better safe than sorry. Boy, was I glad I went.

After getting settled into a room at the ER, my hubby had to go back home to get our son from daycare. Normally, my mother-in-law will pick Z up if we are in a bind, but wouldn't you know, my father-in-law was admitted to the hospital that day. So, while I was alone in the ER, they send me to ultrasound. I knew something was wrong when I asked the sonographer how things were looking.  Of course she said, "you will have to wait for the radiologist to review the pictures and talk to you". Plus, the tenderness was so bad when she was moving the wand.  After about 20 minutes, the radiologist came back and told me what I already knew. There was blood in my abdominal cavity.  Not a good sign. I asked him if he thought my tube had ruptured, and he said with the amount of blood he saw that, yes, he did think it had ruptured.  I knew what was coming after that - surgery.

I was wheeled back to the ER, where the on-call OB came to talk to me.  She told me that she didn't quite believe I had ruptured like the radiologist had thought. She even mentioned that if she had initially seen me before I was sent to ultrasound by the ER doctor, she would have never ordered an ultrasound.  She would have reviewed my HCG levels (which came back as being down, good sign I guess) and my H&H (which was around 10) and sent me home based on the fact that my vitals were stable. Well, I count myself lucky that I saw the ER doc first and she pushed for an ultrasound. The on-call doctor then proceeded to say that since the ultrasound did show blood in the cavity, that they can't ignore it (even though it might reabsorb in its own time) especially from a medical malpractice standpoint. Geez, thanks lady!  So the wheels were put into motion. My husband, son, and my parents all made it to the ER before I was wheeled back to surgery.  I was scared and nervous. This was my first ever surgery. But, I was glad that I would finally be done with this whole experience and I could move forward. I told everyone I loved them and I would see them after surgery.

Apparently, surgery went well. The surgeon who performed the surgery made rounds this morning and came in to talk to me.  He said that luckily the tube hadn't yet ruptured, but that it had been leaking for at least a couple of days, if not a whole week.  He said he removed about a liter and half of blood from my pelvic cavity. "Wow", I thought, as I compared that to a bottle and a half of the liter sodas.  He couldn't believe that I was able to tolerate all of that blood in my belly up until yesterday. He proceeded to tell me that he did remove my entire right fallopian tube. It was malformed which is why I ended up with an ectopic pregnancy in the first place. He also told me I had extensive scarring and adhesions on my colon from endometriosis (which was the first time this had been discovered). He cleaned everything up the best he could.  He mentioned that even if I had not had the surgery last night, I would have eventually had to have that tube removed. Plus, my chances of having another ectopic would have been greatly increased if that tube was left in place.

So, looking back over this whole experience, the one thing I've learned is to listen to your body and your gut instinct.  I knew from early on that this was an ectopic pregnancy which was ultimately confirmed. I also knew that my body was telling me something yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I didn't ignore the signs because if I had, who knows, things may have been much worse - my tube may have actually ruptured instead of just leaking. To look at the pictures from surgery, I'm amazed that the tube actually did not rupture. It definitely looked like it was on the verge of doing so.  So, if you are going through an ectopic pregnancy, and happen upon this post, please, please listen to the signals your body is giving you. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it is better to be safe than sorry.

I am home recovering now.  I count my blessings that I can now move forward without as much worry and anxiety. I'm on vicodin for pain and Folgard for anemia (my H&H ended up dropping to 7).  The pain has subsided some and I should be back to normal in a few days. I'm looking forward to March when we will get the all clear to try to conceive again. All of the physicians told me that my fertility has greatly increased since my damaged tube is now out of the picture. I pray to God they are right. I'm not getting any younger and would love nothing more than to have one more child.  I truly believe that God helped me through this experience and there was a reason for my ectopic pregnancy and surgery. It was to help remove the barriers that was preventing us from conceiving for so many years.  I firmly believe the saying is true, "the Lord works in mysterious ways".

Sorry this was so long. I had lots to tell. :)  I'm off to pop a vicodin and get a good night's rest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tomorrow is the Day....

Two weeks after my initial methotrexate shot and one week after my second dose, I'm headed back to the clinic tomorrow to get my HCG levels checked again. I've felt pretty good since my last post. I've had periods of minimal to moderate cramping, especially last Friday and Saturday. Not sure if it was the methotrexate or the fact that I may have been been too active. I was rushing around trying to get prepared to host a Christmas Favorite Things party for a few of my friends.

I'm praying that my levels have dropped significantly from last Wednesday's result in the 600s. I'm ready to be done with this so I can move forward and not worry that my tube may rupture. My gut is telling me that the methotrexate is working, but that is what I thought last week and my hcg results had actually increased. We shall see what the lucky number is tomorrow. If the number doesn't look good, then off to surgery I'll go.

I'm blessed at this point that my tube hasn't ruptured. I've also been off of work for the past week and a half which has been a nice break, but I need to get back to work. I count myself lucky that my work has been understanding about all of this. However, if I'm not in front of my accounts, business starts to go down which ultimately affects my pocketbook (and that is no bueno).

One last thing, it's amazing how many of my friends have told me they have had an ectopic pregnancy or know someone who has. Although each story is a bit different, they have all told me it was a very scary experience. I can definitely attest to this now. Every little twinge or pain makes me concerned. I know this journey is out of my hands, and I try to remember that, but it is hard not to worry. I've done the best I can facing my loss and the recovery process. I truly feel that tomorrow will be a good day and my HCG levels will be down. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Round... Methotrexate Day #6 (TMI Warning)

Yesterday was pretty tough emotionally. I awoke that morning to what I thought was the passing of the fetal tissue (sorry, TMI for sure). I won't go into graphic details, but I was very much saddened by what I saw (or thought I saw). Once I decided on what to do with the tissue, I said a quick prayer asking for God to watch over my angel and to give me strength to get through the day.

Thinking that the worst was over, I felt relief knowing we could now move forward with a normal life. I still needed to get my HCG levels drawn, but I was confident that my levels would be dropping. How could they not be after this morning? My Dad and I drove to the clinic for the blood draw, we ran a few errands, and then we met my Mom and Grandparents for lunch. It was turning out to be a pretty good afternoon.

After lunch, I came home to wait for my Mom to come back to my house. She had to go pick up my niece and nephew from school and then she was going to swing by my house to pick up my grandparents. At about 4 PM, I got a call from my OB's office. I was anxious to hear how much my levels had dropped... The only problem was they didn't drop. No, they actually went up a couple of hundred points. What?! I thought this nightmare was over. It never occurred to me that my numbers would go up (well, I knew it was a possibility, but I just knew they were coming down). "Head to the emergency room", the nurse told me. "The doctor will be calling you shortly".

My head was spinning at this point. I felt sick to my stomach and lightheaded. I needed fresh air. I went outside to clear my head and to make sure my reaction was from anxiety and not due to a sudden rupture. The cold air hit my lungs and immediately I started to feel better. I called my husband and told him he needed to come pick me up right away so we could head back to the hospital. I made arrangements for my son and packed a bag for myself because I wasn't sure if I would be undergoing surgery in a few hours.

Once we arrived at the hospital (which took almost an hour and a half due to traffic - remind me not to let my tube rupture or future labor happen during rush hour), the check in protocol ensued. My OB's partner who was on-call that night finally made it down to see me about an hour after I got there. We went through the options (surgery or another methotrexate shot) and the advantages and disadvantages of both. Part of me wanted to just have the surgery and get it over with, but I knew it was best to try to avoid surgery. I didn't have any bad side effects from the initial shot and I wasn't in much pain, so we decided to give the shot one more chance to work. I prayed that I was making the right decision.

I still don't know if the second shot is the right answer, but it did allow me to go home that night and be here today for my son's first ever Christmas Program. I admit that this was one reason why I chose the shot over surgery. I didn't want my son to miss seeing me in the audience. And I'm so glad I was there. As soon as he saw me, he waved and gave me the biggest, cutest smile ever.

Here is a pic of him during the show:

So the waiting continues. I'm scheduled to go back in a week to have blood levels drawn again. I am still confident that the medicine will work. I just can't wait for the numbers to confirm my confidence.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Purely Pinterest!

By now almost the entire world knows about Pinterest. Ok, well my neighbor had never heard of it, but you get the idea. If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you are definitely missing out. I love the virtual "corkboard" functionality of the site! If I come across a great home decor picture or a great recipe on the web, I just "pin" it to one of my boards for future reference. When I need to get back to the original site or blog, I just click on the picture on my board and presto! It redirects back to where I originally found the picture. Plus, I love the fact that I can follow my friends and search for other photos that users have already pinned.

One of my very first "pins" was this picture that was floating around Pinterest several months ago:

The photo was connected to this blog - a full measure of happiness,

I loved it! What better way to organize and display your necklaces. Especially since mine were all tangled and stuffed into a drawer. I could never remember what necklaces I had, and if I could remember, it took an act of congress to get them untangled.

So, I went out to Target and bought a towel rod and shower curtain hooks. I decided to hang the rod in my closet behind the door. This was the only available space I had. I recruited my husband to hang the rod, and viola! The end result:

"Wow, if only I could do this with my scarves", I thought.

My scarves and belts were a mess just hanging on a sad, solo hanger that was about to snap in half at any minute from the excess weight. Then the thought occurred to me. Why can't I do this with my scarves?! I will just use the closeable shower hooks. Genius! Ok, I know I'm not the first to think of this, but I thought it was a pretty clever idea. So off I went back to Target to buy the 24" towel rod and closeable shower hooks. My dad got the honor of putting up the rod this time. :)

Here is the end result (I wish I had a before pic of the sad hanger with all of my scarves precariously hanging from it):

And to show the two together:

I did run out of shower hooks, so another trip to Target is in order. I still need to hang the rest of my scarves and also my belts. Hopefully, I won't go in to Target for one thing and come out with twenty like I normally do. :)

I heart Pinterest!!

Tell me what you think? How do you organize your scarves and jewelry? A future project of mine will be to organize my earrings, so if you have any ideas or pics, please let me know. Thanks!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Methotrexate Day 3 and 4

Yesterday was probably the most painful so far, but it really wasn't too bad. I did have to take Tylenol once during the day. My mom went out and bought me a heating pad just in case, but I didn't end up using it. It is nice to have on standby though. :)

Today I hardly had any cramping. I feel pretty good physically and emotionally. The only thing I hate right now (well, maybe not the only thing) is the fact that I have to use a pad. It sucks. I feel like I'm walking around wearing a diaper and everyone can see it. Irrational, I know, but still freaks me out. I can't wait to get back to normal.

Tomorrow my dad is coming over to spend the day with me and I am going to put him to work. All those home projects on my husband's to do list that haven't been done...yep, I'm gonna have my dad do them. My husband is going to love it and so will I because they will FINALLY get done. I can't wait to post a pic of my first Pinterest home project once it's completed. I've already done half and it looks great, but I plan on doubling the fun. Come back and check it out in a few days!!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Methotrexate Day #2

Again, today has not been too bad. Emotionally, I am actually feeling pretty good. I'm still a bit anxious, but who wouldn't be? I woke up this morning feeling a little queasy, but it quickly went away. I did start to feel small twinges in my abdomen as the day progressed. They were more annoying then anything.

My husband decided to go to a Christmas Party we had been invited to, so my sister came over to "babysit" me. I was hungry, so after searching fast food nutritional information online (definitely, not nutritious!), I had her bring me Jack In The Box tacos and curly fries (very low levels of folate). What a mistake! About an hour after I ate, I started to experience much worse cramping. Uh, oh. I was starting to get nervous. Was this the beginning of the medication kicking in?

Nope, it was just the nasty side effect of eating three tacos and a medium fry! Word to the wise, don't eat crappy food when you are expecting cramps to kick in any day now. It's hard to decipher Jack In The Box cramps from methotrexate cramps.

By the way, my sis and I watched Horrible Bosses to pass the time. So Funny!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Methotrexate Day #1

After reading about methotrexate stories online for the past day, I am starting to FREAK OUT!! Major cramping, nausea, vomiting. The CRAMPING, oh my gosh, please don't let this be how my experience is going to be. I can handle pain, but wowza! I just have to take comfort in knowing that I can always go to the ER if things get bad enough.

Well, today is day #1 after the shot. So far so good. This morning I had a little bit of nausea, but nothing too bad. I did get my appetite back, yay! The only problem is that I'm not supposed to eat anything with folic acid in it. Um, hello?! What am I supposed to eat? There is so much I can't eat. Trying to order lunch today was nearly impossible. The poor waiter probably thought I was crazy. I searched each food online to see how much folic acid was in it. I finally ordered beef fajitas with refried beans and corn tortillas. Hopefully, I made a good choice.

I still worry about my body's upcoming reaction to the shot. My OB said it would take approximately two days for the drug to really start to kick in. The ER doc said that day 5 will most likely be the worst. I'm dreading this day. :(

Keep you posted on the next day of my journey...


My Ectopic Pregnancy

Wow... Where do I start this post? The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. Happy, Excited, Worried, Scared, Sad, and now Patiently Waiting. This is the story of my ectopic pregnancy confirmed as of yesterday (TMI Warning Below).

On Tuesday, November 15th I had this feeling I might be pregnant. I had spotted several days ago, but my period never came. Yep, sure enough there was a faint line on the HPT. In disbelief, I told my husband who was also in shock. After we processed the fact we were having a baby, the excitement started. Where would we put the nursery? Are we having a boy or a girl? When should we tell our parents?

It was still way early, but we decided to tell our parents over Thanksgiving. I photoshopped a recent family photo of my son to announce the big news.

Unfortunately, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I started spotting. Nothing major, but enough to warrant a call to the OB. She had me come in the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to get my HCG levels checked, however, due to the holidays we would have to wait until Monday to get the results. I didn't think too much of it though, because I had the same symptoms with my first pregnancy and went on to deliver a healthy baby boy.

Thanksgiving came and we made the big announcement. Everyone was excited. We did make the disclaimer that it was still way early and that anything could happen. Boy, was that an understatement. Later that night, what was once scant spotting turned into mild bleeding. Nothing major, but enough to worry me. I was sure I was going to miscarry. But, after the weekend and no major cramping or signs of miscarriage (except for one episode where I almost fainted), I was confused. What could be causing the bleeding? After lots of crying and worrying, I came to peace that the pregnancy was not viable. I knew that this baby was not meant to be and that it was in God's hands at this point.

On Monday morning, I called the nurse and explained to her what had happened over the weekend. She looked up my HCG results from last week and said they were only 192 (very low for being 5 weeks along). She had me come in again to get another blood draw. While waiting for the results of Monday's blood draw, I began to do research on the internet about early pregnancy complications as well as successful pregnancy stories with low HCG levels. Although I prayed that the pregnancy was normal, deep down I had a gut feeling that this was an ectopic pregnancy. I'm not sure why I thought this, but I did.

Well, the next day we got the results - my HCG had risen but not like they should have. They only went up to 315. And that was after 5 days between tests. The nurse explained that I had most likely miscarried and that my numbers probably peaked over the weekend and now they were on the way down. At this point, I was super paranoid about ectopic pregnancy. I expressed my concern and she said I would need to come in to draw more blood work and that they won't do an ultrasound at this point because my HCG levels were so low.

That night, after doing more research online (damn google!), I just knew that it was an ectopic and my fear was that my tube would rupture before the ectopic was actually diagnosed. I was even more paranoid because my husband was leaving for out of the country for business. I was imagining the worst possible scenario - I would be home alone with my 4 year-old son and my tube would rupture and I wouldn't be able to get to the hospital in time to save me. Awful, I know. So after fretting about it all afternoon, I told my husband we were going to the ER to get checked out. It wasn't an emergency situation, I only had mild cramping and lower back ache, but I needed to see if they could confirm or rule out an ectopic for my peace of mind. So off we go with our 4 year-old in tow.

I decided to go to a local ER that I knew would not be crowded. In hindsight I probably should have gone to the other local hospital that has a decent L&D department, but I didn't want to spend all night in the ER. They got me in right away and the testing started. Cervix was closed, HCG 345, and ultrasound showed no signs of a gestational sac in the uterus (classic sign of ectopic). They also didn't see anything in my fallopian tubes. So, the ER doctor said things were still inconclusive and I would need to follow up with my OB. Here I was still in limbo with no answers. I was going crazy with worry at this point. Normally, I'm a very laid back person, but I just had this nagging feeling that would not go away. I HAD to find out if this pregnancy was ectopic before Brian took off for Africa.

That next morning, I called the OB office and spoke to the nurse. I explained I had gone to the ER and that my HCG results had risen and that the u/s showed no sac in the uterus, but not by much, and that I was sure that this was an ectopic pregnancy. I think she could sense the worry in my voice, so she had the OB call me. After talking to my OB, she had me come in for another stat HCG level - 471. Not going down, not a good sign. She scheduled me for an u/s at The Woman's Hospital for Friday and we would do another stat HCG level. At this point, all I could do was be a nervous wreck. I was so anxious that my tube was going to rupture before my appointment. I have never been so scared. I was afraid to even go to sleep.

The next day, I tried to remain calm and went in to work. I can remember that morning asking God for a sign that would let me know whether the pregnancy was in the uterus or ectopic. Well, during lunch I started to experience much stronger cramps and lower back pain. They began to localize on the right side and were getting stronger by the minute. I debated whether to call the doctor or try and wait it out. I broke down and called just in case my tube was rupturing. Again, after hearing the anxiety in my voice, the nurse sent me to the ER at Woman's Hospital for an emergency ultrasound. By the time I got there, my cramps were super bad. Not unbearable, but almost. Brian was about to leave for the airport, but I told him he needed to come meet me at the ER. I'm glad I did and he did not get on the flight. Things happen for a reason.

They gave me Dilaudid to help with the pain. Oh my gosh, it was such relief! They then sent me to ultrasound, where after a thorough imaging, the radiologist came in and said that it was definitely ectopic. Thank you!! I was so relieved. Not that it was ectopic, but that I got confirmation that my instinct was correct and we could now move forward with a plan of action. Plus, I was super grateful that we caught the pregnancy before it ruptured. So then the decision needed to be made whether I wanted to undergo surgery or take the methotrexate shot. At first, I was sure I wanted surgery. Just get this over with and know that the ectopic portion is removed. But, after talking with the doctor, she highly recommended the medication route. We ultimately agreed this was the best course of action. The ectopic was less than 3.5 cm in diameter, my HCG was less than 4,000, and there was no fetal cardiac activity. I prayed that this was the best course of action.

Two hours later and two shots in the butt, I was sent home to wait for the ectopic to resolve. I slept much better that night knowing what we were up against and that we would get through this. I was still nervous about possible rupture, but I am remaining positive. So the rest of the journey begins...