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Apr 19, 2005



Please don't beat yourself up about feeling like you should have known better. Who would honestly think that you would have another ectopic pregnancy? I kind of know how you feel because during the very early stages of my pregnancy, the doctors suspected an ectopic, although it turned out not to be. My early warning signs of a pregnancy in trouble were irregular HCG doubling times. It was hell, to say the least, and just when I thought everything was going to be OK after seeing a heartbeat, all was not well. I have heard of success stories after having tubes removed because an ectopic is impossible, so I have a strong feeling things will be OK for you. Best of luck, I am crossing my fingers for you!


Very informative, thanks. Can you point me to the into on the HCG <1 being negative? Everything I read says <5 is negative.


I didn't realise how difficult ectopics were to spot. How awful for you to have gone through this twice. NB my email address was wrong - I've updated it now.


As an ectopic survivor, I'd like to thank you for this list. Especially the part about low beta numbers. With my ectopic, my first beta was 4.9. The nurse at my OB's office told me I didn't need to repeat the beta because, "its not a real pregnancy, your numbers should be in the 1000s by now" I know that I saved my tube and perhaps my life by insisting on repeat betas. Which, by the way, doubled appropriately for about 10 days, until they dropped then rose again.
Thanks again for writing this, and I'm very very sorry for your losses.


Thank you so much for providing this information. I have some questions and I will email you about them. My internet access is very limited here in S.C. but my email seems to be more reliable.


I just sent you a very paranoid and neurotic email. Thank you for helping.


I just wanted to say hi. I have also had two ectopic pregnancies in a row. My situation is different than yours, as we are using known donor sperm and inseminating at home. My first ectopic was in my left cornua and was treated with methotrexate successfully, the second was in my right tube, and although my beta dropped swiftly, I developed a large blood clot in my tube and needed surgery anyway. We can add that to your very good list: Just because you get methotrexate to treat an ectopic at 5wks 1day, and your beta was only 800, and drops to 68 in 5 days, doesn't mean you won't need surgery. If you have pain (I was cramping in a weird way and still bleeding), make them do an ultrasound no matter how many insurance folks you have to harrass. It probably saved my life. OH - and normal doubling doesn't mean you don't have an ectopic. Both mine had normal doubling and I never had particularly low beta levels. Anyway - it was actually a good thing that they ended up doing a laparoscopy, because they found mild endometriosis (which I had zero symptoms for) and removed it. Hopefully that was the cause of my ectopics, but I am seeing an RE in a couple weeks before we try again.

I'm 2 for 2 right now: two inseminations, two ectopics. If you read back through my livejournal you'll get more of the gory details, along with plenty of whining. I personally find it ridiculous that I conceive so easily, only to have them end up in the wrong spot. Since I am a lesbian, these were literally the only two times in my entire life that my body has encountered sperm. Totally ironic.

Best wishes and thanks for the great post. I linked here from your comment on Hardscrabble, just so you know.


I've also had two ectopics. In both cases after being a week late I had something that looked like a period or early miscarriage. Later I found out that I just lost the lining of the uturus. When HCG is < 100 levels are to low to sustain the lining, so it comes out.

First time I thought it was a normal early miscarriage although I didn't see a sac or embryo, but how should I know I am not a biologist!

I have been very lucky compared to Susan. #1 was treated with Meth succesfully and the other died of by itself before treatment.

I've never managed to get a 'real' pregnancy. The big difference between my ectopics and Susan's is I felt both my pregnancies at a very early stage. I've felt them hatch (around day 8 after ovulation) into parts that are not designed for that; a scratchy crampy feeling.

My HCG levels were only 25 at the day my period was expected. My doctors said there is no way you can feel pregnant with levels like that, but I did. And I looked very pregnant too at 1 day late.

For everybody it's different. Important is not to trust too much on HPT's because
they detect HCG levels from >50. And it can take quite a while before your ectopic develops to the size where it produces those levels.




2 weeks ago I had laproscopic surgery to remove what was thought to be a corpus leteum cyst that was bleeding into my abdomen and a D&C for a 5 week intra uterine pregnancy that was starting to Miscarry....
Well I came out of surgery having a hetertopic Pregnancy which is the existence of both an ectopic and uterine pregnancy at the same time. The bleeding was not from the "normal" corpus leteum cysts but in fact from the tubal baby. In the end I lost my right tube and both babies. This is MS # 4 or baby #4&5 lost.
I had normal HCG levels, no bleeding until I was admitted, just sharp pain in the right side, very tender abdomen (blood), right shoulder pain, and lots of rectal pressure.
Thank you for this site in helping woman to listen to there bodies.


I am a 38 year old mother of 2 remarried to a 45 year old father of 3. We both wanted desperately to have a child of our own, but after the birth of my last child I had laproscopic surgery to sever my tubes. 3 years ago we found ourselves living in Chile and found a wonderful Specialist that promised he could reunite one of my tubes. This cost about $2100 canadian. During surgery he and his son, also an obgyn decided to do both tubes. This was Jan 6, 2006. June 28th was the first day of my last period. The doctor then gave me pills to release more than one egg. He did not speak english and I very little spanish, hence my husband translated. Still a very nice doctor who assured us that this was standard procedure and nothing to be concerned about. 13th of July he injected me with 10000 of Pregnyl to stimulate ovulation. In 36 hours I would be ready for sex.I asked the doctor about the pregnyl and the posssibilities of tubal pregnancy. He said not to worry as it is only a hormone shot ansd absolutely safe. I had hesitations but because this was such a large fertility clinic with such a great reputation, took the advice of the doctor. July 22 had brown spotting all day and the next. Saw the doctor who confirmed that this was absolutely normal and is known as implantation bleeding. I had not experienced this with my other pregnancies. I also complained of cramping and numbness in my right leg. I forgot to mention that the right tube was the only tube that was successfuly operated. I continued to have pain nausea, and vomitting and was assured that this was absolutely normal and beginning to feel absolutely stupid for the number of visits tothis specialist. The doc prescribed on two separate occasions, pain killers for the pain on my right side. I found this unusual. I had two hcg tests done the first indicated that my level was 79. I was unable to get excited as I knew that something was wrong. The second three days later read 185. The doctor told me that this was absolutely normal and everyhting would be fine. Slightly implying to my husband that the hormones were working on me and I should try and relax. August 6th I began bleeding and again went to the doctor who told my husband and me that this was normal implantation bleeding as the sac gets adjusted to its new position in the uterus. I did not believe him. He ordered me on strict bed rest which I followed until the 16th when an interuterine ultra was preformed in the am showing no bleeding and no gestational sac. I also had one preformed the week prior but the doctor said that it was too early to see anything and that the tubes looked good. This time 2 docs looked at the ultra and one commented that there was a gestational sac forming and that the uterus was enlarging but he couldn't see my baby as I was just under 5 weeks or 7 weeks depending on the calculation method. Another blood test was done which revealed a level of 601. The doctors finally agreed that this was not a normal pregnancy. I think the doc belived that I was miscarrying and said not to worry, that I could always have another in 3 to 4 months. They sent me home to try and misscarry on my own. I f not a d and c would be performed. Finally The late afternoon of the 16th my husband telephoned the clinic which also has a 24hr emergency and asked if I could see the doctor. My left leg was completely numb as well as the back of my head and I couldn't retain my balance.I was in a lot of pain and thought I was going to die. We drove the 45 min to the clinic where the doctor and his son both performed another interuterine ultra. This time I was bleeding quite heavily. They decided to keep me in the hospital for "observation" if it made me feel better. As I was getting dressed, the father and son seemed confused amongst themselves with one wanting to do exploratory surgery. He then left the room to consult with his father. We were then escorted by an unsympathetic and unfriendly matrona who talked nothing but money and how we were going to pay and what method we would be using etc. She took us to the emergency room where I was to fill out paers for payment. $1000000 pesos or about $2400 Canadian. Who at the time of emergency carries that kind of money in their pockets. First they made us wait in the waiting room, in agony for approx. 30 min. We had no idea what was going on. Some personal of the hospital came to get us and took us to the maternity ward where I asked not to be and put me in a room with 3 other women with babies. My husband was furious at the lack of sympathy as we had asked for a double room with not babies. They then made me walk down 2 flights of stairs to the floor below and started preping me for surgery. At this point we had never been told that I was having surgery only that I was coming in for observation. The doctors still had not to mine nor my husbands knowledge diagnosed an ectopic pregnancy. My husband went in search for the doctor and he then said that I required emergency surgery. My husband was allowed to attend the surgery where the elder doctor commented, "Looks like the Gringa was right after all." I have to say as I have not mentioned so far, that from the earliest on I had insisted to the doctor that I had a tubal preganancy, even before the blood test confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I contantly insisted this and was ignored. Maybe things would have turned out differently in terms of the surgery if the doctors wouldn´t have treated me like a foolish, dare I say woman. I now require an additional surgery for a n umbilical heria formed during the operation. Please comment on this incredible injustice. I have benn severely depressed since this and spend most of the day crying at how horribly I was treated. I have refused to pay the hospital bill. Stephanie. I might add that my husband attened every apointment, exam ect. and he also feels that an incredible injustice was done me. I have 5 children at home that need their mother well emotionally and physically and I am, with my hernia limited again. Stephanie


I am 21 yrs old and had an Ectopic pregnancy. I had laproscopic surgery and removed my right tube and right ovary. I was told that everything was ok.. Blood work was normal then 2 days later did an ultrasound and there was no baby in my uterus.. They advd me that the baby was in my tubes and that it had to be removed i was shocked but scared to have surgery again I had a C-section w/ my First. I am now trying to conceive again and seems like it is hard and complicated...

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Adoption To-Do's


    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!