Hi friends. A lot has transpired since my last post. You may remember that I was spotting and cramping two weekends ago and everything checked out fine when I visited my doctor the following Monday. Things went well all week until Friday. On Friday I was at the store picking up birthday presents for a few family members and I could tell something was wrong. I went to the bathroom and discovered blood. It was only a few spots, so I wasn’t too terribly concerned. I called my doctor’s office, but, as we know, the doctor doesn’t work on Friday. This baby sure does like to cause excitement when no one is working!
The nurse scheduled an appointment for Monday and told me to go to the hospital if it got worse. As soon as I got home and put my feet up the spotting stopped and Friday night came and went. Saturday morning I woke up to more blood. This time it wasn’t just spotting. Matt and I decided to go to the hospital just to be overly cautious. The doctor on call did a pelvic exam and found a little bit of blood on my cervix, but she didn’t think it was an alarming amount.
She took out the handheld doppler and quickly located the baby’s heartbeat (what a relief!). It was 170. She took some blood and came back to report that the blood work looked great and she wasn’t very concerned. Her main concern was that I am rh- and Matt is O+. Because she didn’t know the extent of the bleeding, she decided to play it safe and give me a Rhogam injection. If you are rh- and your baby has a positive blood type, your body can start producing antibodies that will kill the baby. Since Matt is O+, there is a strong chance that the baby will have a positive blood type as well. We waited a few hours while the blood bank mixed up the Rhogam injection and then they sent us on our way. They told us to come back if the bleeding worsened. I took it easy Saturday night and did not see any more bleeding.
Sunday was the scariest day of my life. When I woke up and got out of bed I looked down and noticed my pajama pants were soaked in blood and there was blood gushing down my legs. Talk about a heart stopping moment. I ran in the bathroom where Matt was showering and struggled to get words out. On the ride to the hospital, the tears streamed down my face and my mind raced. I had a pretty strong feeling that I was losing the baby and I just couldn’t bear the thought. How could I lose this little angel before I even got the chance to hold it in my arms? Why would God bring me this far just to end it all now? It just didn’t make sense. None of it made any sense.
By the time I got to the hospital the bleeding had stopped completely. The doctor did a pelvic exam and couldn’t find any blood. What?! How could that be? This time everyone seemed a little more serious. They called out the ultrasound tech immediately and started an IV in my arm to draw lots of blood. The ultrasound tech on call had to drive in from where she lived about 45 minutes away. Every moment seemed like an eternity. There’s nothing worse than sitting in your own blood and not knowing if your baby is alive or not.
When she finally arrived and wheeled me back I begged her to please tell me something. Anything! I told her I just wanted to know if she saw a heartbeat. She told me that it was against the rules to give me any information. I sat there clutching my St. Gerard medal and praying while she conducted the longest and most detailed ultrasound of my life. To my surprise, she turned the screen toward me and said, “Don’t tell anyone I showed you this, but I just can’t believe how cute it is. It looks like the baby is waving.”
Sure enough, my little troublemaker was moving the top half of his or her arm from the elbow joint and appeared to be saying, “Hi Mom. Sorry for all the trouble.” All I could do was laugh. This was my first true mom moment where I couldn’t even be mad at the unnecessary ruckus because I was just so damn glad to see that everything was OK. I felt such a great sense of relief as I got wheeled back to my room to wait on the doctor.
I thought everything had checked out perfectly until the doctor came back with a concerned look on his face. What the ultrasound tech failed to tell me was that she found blood behind the placenta. The doctor said he believed there was a tear in the placenta. He diagnosed me with a “threatened miscarriage.” He said that I might miscarry, but then again I might not. His guess was that I wouldn’t, but he really couldn’t be sure of that. I asked what they could do. Surely, I thought, there must be a solution to this problem. There must be a way to fix this or something I can take or do to hopefully prevent it.
He informed that at 13 weeks pregnant there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to prevent a miscarriage. NOTHING. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. That absolutely blew my mind. Coming from the world of infertility, I’m used to the doctor having solutions or at least suggestions for every problem that arises. If the uterine lining is too thin, progesterone will help. If you don’t ovulate, they can give you Femara. If you have hostile cervical mucus, they can circumvent the cervix all together with a procedure called IUI. If all else fails, they can do IVF.
How is it possible that in an age where doctors can operate on a baby’s heart inside of the womb no one can fix one tear in a placenta?! I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The doctor said all I could do was go home and lay in bed and follow up with my doctor in the morning. He said I would know if I was miscarrying if I soaked through 3 pads in an hour.
I left the hospital in tears and felt so desolate and confused. I’ve always heard that 12 weeks is the magic number. Lots of people don’t announce their pregnancy until 12 weeks when they feel they are in the “safe zone.” Everything is more stable at 12 weeks. My weekly app even went as far as to say that if you’ve reached 12 weeks and heard the heartbeat after 12 weeks, your chance of miscarriage is down to 1%. WAS I GOING TO BE THAT 1%? Was I going to make it to 13 weeks just to find out it had all been for nothing?
My head was reeling. Would God really bring me this far just to leave me now? Was this my fault? When I went through infertility, I always struggled with this horrible feeling that my body was failing me. Every time my body was supposed to do something or produce something naturally, it didn’t or it couldn’t. Most of the time it continued to fail me even with medical intervention. It was the most frustrating feeling of my life, and I thought those days were finally behind me.
But here I was 13 weeks pregnant and all of those feelings came rushing back. We had created this perfect little baby who had been unbelievably healthy and excelled at every turn. The first hcg levels were so high and healthy for this baby that the doctor initially thought it was twins. The hcg has continued to be one of the highest levels my doctor has seen. The baby has measured a week ahead at every ultrasound. Every time they look at the baby in depth everything looks perfectly beautiful so far. This baby is doing everything right to thrive and survive.
I have fallen so unbelievably in love with this adorable little angel by watching all of his or her antics every week on ultrasound. I didn’t even know it was possible to feel a love so strong so soon before I could even feel the baby kick. And I felt like my body was failing me once again, but this time my body was failing this perfect little baby. There’s such a sense of guilt associated with that when you don’t know if you will be able to hold onto your child. Not because there is something wrong with the baby, but because your body simply isn’t giving that child what it needs.
All of these thoughts were swirling around in my head all afternoon and then I had a pep talk with myself. I realized that I needed to start thinking positively for this child. Adding stress to the mixture wasn’t going to help anyone but that sure was easier said than done. I settled down and watched some TV and finally fell asleep.
All hell broke loose when I woke up in the middle of the night in another pool of blood. How could this be happening? Why did I go to sleep? Now I had to see if I soaked through 3 pads in the next hour. That was the only way to know if I miscarried the baby or not. What a horrible freaking feeling. All you can do is count pads to know if the life inside of you is still thriving or not. If you read my earlier posts during all of the dreaded two week waits to find out if I was pregnant, you’ll know that I thought those were the longest and most torturous waits anyone could endure. I retract that statement. Waiting to see if you soak through 3 pads or waiting to see if the bleeding stops to know if your child is alive is the WORST wait of your life.
I couldn’t go back to the sleep the rest of the night. I had the worst anxiety of my life. What if I feel back asleep and woke up covered in blood with no baby? I had to stay awake. Matt is out of town this week, so I came home with my mom when I was released from the hospital. I ran into her room last night in hysterics. I needed to be with someone. I had never felt so terrified in all my life.
All I wanted to do was protect my child and make sure it was safe, but I couldn’t do anything. All I could do was lay there like a dummy and wait to see how many pads I soaked through. It was the most helpless and panic-inducing situation I have ever encountered. I laid next to my mom and my dogs with my eyes wide open for the rest of the night and prayed.
When morning came I couldn’t wait to get to my doctor. Luckily, he painted a much better picture than the emergency room physician. After 2 ultrasounds, he determined that the area in question did not look like a tear or bleed in the placenta. He believed that it was actually a uterine contraction the tech at the hospital had seen. Since the uterus is a muscle, small contractions are completely normal at any time. While he could not assure me with 100% certainty that it was not a bleed or a tear, he was strongly convinced that it wasn’t. He said the baby and the placenta looked great.
The tech showed me my sweet little angel bee bopping around in the womb and told me that this baby was “clearly not bothered” by anything that was going on. We listened to the heartbeat on the ultrasound and the doctor remarked that it “sounds like a girl but don’t paint the room pink just yet.” I told him that I figured only a girl could bring this much drama with her. Either that or she is determined to have her picture taken every week until she makes her debut. We had a good laugh about that.
All of that was great news. The only problem is that I am still bleeding and we do not have a cause or a source of the bleeding. The doctor informed me that while it isn’t common, he has seen many patients throughout the years who just happen to bleed on and off throughout pregnancy for unexplained reasons. He said that some pregnant patients even come in at the same time every month with a full blown 5 day period. Talk about a mental breakdown!
He assured me that nearly all of these patients go on to deliver healthy babies and even told me about a recent patient in a similar situation who had just delivered a beautiful 8.5 pound baby. He put me on strict bed rest (I can only get up to potty) and told me that he feels confident that with proper rest this issue will resolve itself.
While he couldn’t completely rule out a miscarriage, he highly doubts that will happen in this case. He believes this baby will have a healthy delivery and go on to worry me every day for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. For now, you can find me laying flat for the foreseeable future. I have a follow up appointment a week from today. Let’s hope we don’t have any heart stopping moments between now and then. Prayers for a healthy, full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby are incredibly appreciated. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout all of this it’s that God will always carry us through. Even when we are at our absolute lowest, He is hard at work in the background. I know, without a doubt, that this is someone special growing inside of me and God has bigger plans for us.