My Ectopic Pregnancy

My Ectopic Pregnancy

Erin Burt

Editor's note: Trigger warning, discussion of miscarriage and loss

I have one Fallopian tube.

My other one burst on the night of July 3, 2015, because it couldn’t contain the growing baby inside who, for reasons unbeknownst to me, tried to grow in the wrong location.

I started the evening covered in paint from my living room. Providentially, my parents were over helping with the ambitious project of interior painting with toddlers afoot. After dinner, when I found myself slumped on the floor, a sharp pain radiating from my left side, my mother insisted on driving me to the hospital.

I should mention that I didn’t know I was pregnant.

We left our husbands and my sons and, upon arrival, I insisted to everyone I wasn’t pregnant and everyone agreed it was likely an ovarian cyst. The doctor decided on a whim to do a pregnancy test.

I called my husband to deliver the news. Another baby! We had been trying for our third baby and were ecstatic. Yet, as I reclined in the darkened room, the soft blue glow of the ultrasound illuminated the stoic face of the ultrasound tech, and I knew. She rubbed the cold goo across my belly, then the wand, and the smiling and chatty conversation came to a startling halt.

As I was wheeled down the long hallway, tears streaming down my cheeks, I told my mom.

“The baby is dead.”

“They didn’t say that!” She protested. “Let’s wait for the doctor.”

A few minutes later, the doctor entered. I had prepared myself for the news of a loss… a baby I would never meet, nurse, or hold. The excitement of the hour prior had swung to the opposite pole. What I had not prepared myself for was that I would be having emergency surgery for ectopic pregnancy; that I was bleeding internally, blood filling my stomach as I sat still covered in the gray paint I had chosen for our home.

My mom went home to exchange cars with my husband so he could be with me. He didn’t beat the ambulance so I rode alone. I am delivering my dead baby tonight. My dead baby is being cut out of me so I can live for my other children. Why did my sweet baby stop where it couldn’t grow to maturity?

I delivered my fourth child in the early morning of July Fourth. Others watched fireworks as I lay in an operating room, undergoing life-saving surgery and saying good-bye to my child.

I have since delivered a healthy baby, but I still think of the child I never met. Just as with my first loss, a miscarriage before my oldest son, I carry the scars of memories I’ll never have with children I will never meet. I still grieve these losses to this day, and I likely always will.

Kara Garis is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to two active boys and a baby girl. She lives with her husband in Oklahoma and loves running, cooking, traveling, reading and teaching herself how to braid. She blogs at

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