Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ectopic Confessions

Meet, Kellen Lee Whipple

The day after my surgery, my doctor had told me he had gotten a few pictures of the baby. I waited anxiously for two weeks to receive the pictures. I had no clue what I was going to see... In my mind I pictured a small baby... with arms and legs. At 8 weeks, the baby would be moving his/her arms and legs... he/she would have taste buds as well as every major organ. There is nothing precious or sweet about this picture... but in this picture is a very small person... this is my baby! 

I debated whether or not to share this photo... it is so personal... and raw. I was anxious to see the picture... I was scared about how I was going to feel. So I searched online for pictures of ectopic pregnancies... and found few... I wish their had been more. I don't like surprises at all... I wish I would have had an idea of what I was going to see... thus helping me decided to share this. This is my ectopic pregnancy and left tube removal at 8 weeks, after D&C and laparoscopy... (helping Google sort and list this blog) 

I have been dealing with grief insomnia for weeks now. In the quiet of the night my mind wanders... what-ifs and guilt plague my thoughts. 

What really gets me... what really just pains my soul, is being apart from my babies. I am so head over heals in love with my children... all of them. My heart beats for them... and to have to spend a life-time without them takes my breath away... it is literally hard to breath. 

This is nothing new... after each loss, I experience a tremendous amount of anxiety... but in time, I find myself functioning more and more... being able to see friends and spend time in non baby related thoughts. However, with each loss I would find myself deeper in this dark place... naturally mourning every single loss over again. 

Daniel and I have been relying heavily on each other as well as God for comfort. He is our refuge and our strength. In the nights I would lay awake with the darkness of my soul,  I would close my eyes and picture myself resting in the arms of God. I felt His presence... and my breathing would slow... every anxiety would leave... I would slowly drift off to sleep. A friend of mine had commented on my last blog... and what she said brought me tears of joy... and relief. She told me how God was holding my precious baby... something I had thought of before... you always imagine your angel baby being loved on by God. But thinking of God holding my baby... my babies... and God holding me as well. In the quiet of the night, when I am resting in the arms of my Lord and Savior, I am close to my babies too. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Late Night Thoughts

For the last week I have laid in bed and watched each minute turn into hour after hour. My body is exhausted but sleep just doesn't happen.

SO I lay in bed with my Kindle... and I Googled.

Google says "Grief Insomnia"...

ok... so I lay in bed annoyed at grief insomnia.

I think about my baby... my babies... all of them. I don't have any memories of my youngest baby... who we named Kellen. I don't know if my baby is a girl or a boy. I have no good memories at all. No joy of finding out we were pregnant. No excitement as we told our friends and family. Just total devastation... grief.

I replay the whole experience over and over again in my head. It is the only memory I have of my baby... a terrible memory... but I can't help but think about it... I need that connection.

I think about how different a hospital stay is when you had surgery to remove a baby from a fallopian tube versus delivering a term baby.

  • When you are in the hospital to deliver a baby (in my experience with 2 cesarean sections)---nurses check on you very often... before and after the baby arrives.
  • When you have a baby removed from your tubes--- your nurses don't visit as often... and you certainly don't get that tasty cranberry 7-up cocktail they so freely give in the OB ward.

  • When you are in the hospital to deliver a baby--- you get a private room... which is constantly full of nurses all hours of the night, hospital staff and visitors... you are never alone... and all you want is peace and quiet!
  • When your baby is removed simply because it grew in the wrong spot--- you get a noisy room, with flimsy drapes... and a room neighbor who snores, eats fried chicken, and walks around with their gown open in the back. You have no visitors... and despite your husband being there when he is allowed, you feel so very alone... and it hurts.

  • When you are in the hospital to deliver a baby that you get to take home and love on--- a lactation consultant comes to your room... and despite your best effort to shoo her away, she stays and makes sure you are fully aware of the changes your breast will endure.
  • When you are in the hospital to remove the growing baby from your tube because it is going to kill you--- no lactation consultant visits you... probably because the baby was not even 8 weeks gestation.... but two days later I got a painful reminder that I do not have a baby to nurse, when my milk came in.

  • When you are in the hospital to deliver a baby---you leave with that baby... you go home and kiss on that baby, and make sure that baby is safe from every bad thing imaginable... you make sure that baby knows it is loved and cherished.
  • When you are in the hospital to have a baby removed--- you go home with a pamphlet on 'Miscarriage', which ends up on the floor of your car... because you can't image holding on to anything that isn't your baby... and you pray that your baby, who is dead, somehow just KNOWS it is loved and cherished.

Despite the mood I am currently in, I am coping. I am healing. I have joy in my life. I laugh daily... often. That doesn't mean I am "over it" or "moving on". I don't know what the term is. I just -am-... and I -AM- a Mom... a Mother to many, on Earth and in Heaven. My babies here, need me to be ok... and to laugh and play with them. They know that "Mommy is sad"right now... it is good for them to know that. I am only human... God gave me emotions and it is ok to use them all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Story of my 'ectomy

This isn't going to sound very poetic... may not even make much sense... Hospitals give some pretty intense pain killers.

Monday night I woke up with some pretty intense pain on my lower left side... more then just cramping... the pain was something fierce... not normal.

Tuesday Daniel and I went in to my OBGYN office to get the results of the blood test I had done the previous day.

We were praying my HCG level went down. The reason for the blood test, even though I my Doctor said we had miscarried, was to make sure the HCG levels were going down... if they were not going down, there was going to be concern of another ectopic pregnancy. (read here for previous ectopic experience)

We were told that my HCG level rose to 825, from 760 before the weekend. In a normal pregnancy, the HCG should have more then doubled over the weekend. So even though the hormone level was rising, the pregnancy was not normal or healthy. I tell the doctor about the pain. He gets concerned.

We wait for over an hour in the room... waiting for my doctor to get a few other opinions on what to do... Not sure if a laparoscopy should happen... or a dose of methotrexate (which is what we did for the previous ectopic). I was thinking that maybe we would do the methotrexate... maybe... if we were to do anything at all.

We start with another ultrasound... where nothing was found... again. I don't know why, but I just had this hope when we were walking to the ultrasound room. I imagined the ultrasound tech saying "and there is your baby right there" and Doctor Perry saying "a miracle".

We leave with admitting orders to the hospital. D&C at 8pm... laparoscopy with possible laparectomy after that.

I didn't really have time to process. I had to get home and get the kids packed... get myself packed and showered. I had to run to the grocery store and get Ana formula... my mind was total chaos.

We get to the hospital and even though I had admitting orders... I had NO BED... they tried to put me in the pediatric department. At first I thought "ok, no biggy"... but when I got there, my heart felt so heavy. Why would they give a women going though a pregnancy loss, a room surrounded by children and babies? Terribly cruel.

Daniel got them to give me a different room... that I shared with another women... who had an obsession with sucking on KFC chicken bones. It was disgusting.... anyways...

My Mommy comes up to wait with us while we are in the room before surgery. The waiting seems to take a lifetime.

I get an IV, some compression stockings to prevent a DVT, a hair net... some bright orange socks with rubber on the bottom... I felt like a Transformer or something.

Finally I give hugs and kisses and go into surgery. Only a few seconds seem to pass and then I am awake in a different room. For some reason I am screaming and crying... then I realize I am in horrendous pain... this is the worst pain I have ever been in... I start to vomit... I hear some guy talking to me. Trying to tell me something... it is important, but I can't hear him. I pray "Dear Jesus make it stop"... a nurse comes over and shoots some magic drugs in my IV. Almost instantly reality comes back. The crazy leaves... the pain subsides.

The guy starts talking again. "Sarah, your surgery went well. Your left tube was removed because the baby had punctured it. The baby seemed to be 6-8 weeks old. I am so sorry".

Numb... I start asking for Daniel... they keep telling me I have to wait.

Finally I get rolled back to my room, and I FINALLY get to be with Daniel. He only has time to tell me what the doctor told him. I share with him how much pain I am in. Then he has to leave because it is past visiting hours.

I felt so alone. I am so tired but I can't sleep. I tried to process the information I was given." The baby was with me all this time. They took it tonight. They took my tube tonight. I have one tube left. My baby was with me all this time. I have only one tube now. My baby was with me but is now gone. One tube." My thoughts are interrupted by the room-mate flipping the TV channels.

I try to sleep. but the room-mate is loud and obnoxious. I give up on sleep once the sun starts to come up... I watch some Downton Abbey on my Kindle... I surprise myself at how un-emotional I am. I attribute it to the pain killers. Everything is just so numb. When they wear off the pain is un-bearable... but I find myself sad... able to sort out these emotions.

I was discharged around noon. Daniel took me home... he hadn't slept all night either. We share a few moments. We cried and just were silent together for a long time. We are tired on so many levels.

This was a long and dull blog... its the pain killers.

We could really use prayer... and encouraging words... positive thoughts.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What is Savingstar?

SavingStar is the first national, fully digital, grocery eCoupon service, available for free at and on iPhone and Android mobile apps. There's nothing to clip, nothing to print.

Providing exclusive eCoupons redeemable at over 24,000 grocery and drug stores throughout the country, SavingStar’s eCoupons are linked to customers’ loyalty cards and offer a more convenient and eco-friendly way to save on groceries than paper coupons. SavingStar automatically adds the value of each eCoupon redeemed into users' SavingStar accounts, enabling them to pick their payout from cash to gift cards to charity donations. (info from

If you're an old pro at couponing but have steered clear of digital coupons, now is a great time to try them out on

The national e-coupon site just added several new offers that I've never seen on SavingStar before, including two coupons for Cheerios and one for Pillsbury rolls.

I like SavingStar for several reasons:

  • The site is easy to use. Once you click on the coupons you want, they're good at any of the supermarkets and drugstores that use loyalty cards to track customers' purchases. (You can only use each coupon once, however.) You can ad several cards from the same store. I have 3 CVS cards attached to my savingstar account.
  • You're done in seconds. No clipping or filing required.
  • It's eco-friendly. If you don't end up using the coupons, you haven't wasted any paper or ink.
  • You can stack these coupons with paper coupons and store-specific digital coupons to save even more.
  • Your savings are easy to track. When you log in, you'll see your savings tally in the top right corner.
  • Can't remember what coupons you selected? There's a free app for that. Download it to your smartphone and review your coupons or add new ones while you're in the store.

At the store register, SavingStar coupons are NOT automatically deducted from your grocery order. Instead, the savings accrue in your SavingStar account. Once you've saved $5, you can have the cash deposited directly into your bank or PayPal account. Or you can choose an Amazon gift card or donate the money to charity.

Read more here: