How to scare the crap out of a woman who is pregnant (after a loss)…


This post may have some graphic content.  You’ve been warned.  Carry on.

If you have ever lost a child or pregnancy, you know where I’m coming from.  If you’ve ever known someone who has lost a child or pregnancy, you kind of know where I’m coming from.  If you’ve never experienced either of these, I’m about to enlighten you.  Bleeding during pregnancy is NEVER a good thing.  It should always be handled with caution.  You are not supposed to bleed when you’re pregnant and if you ever notice blood, you should contact your doctor immediately.  Now, I’m not talking about a scratch on your knee or slicing your finger in the kitchen (which I also did recently, but I digress…).  I’m referring to blood coming from your  I know all the books say bleeding is common, but that doesn’t make it normal or ok.  Bleeding can is usually indicative of a problem with the pregnancy.  It can also be indicative of the worst…miscarriage.  There are lots of reasons a woman may experience some bleeding during pregnancy but sadly, the only conclusion someone who is pregnant after a loss can come to is that she is miscarrying.

Hubs left town for work Monday afternoon.  He had to be gone for this to happen.  Nothing bad ever happens when he’s home.  We put A to bed at 8 at night.  I’d been feeling particularly bad all day and by 8 o’clock, I was beat.  I had just finished giving her a bath when I realized I needed to pee.  So I sat down and began inspecting my underwear as all pregnant women do.  I immediately noticed the dark spot and broke out into a sweat.  I wiped and inspected the toilet paper (again, as I always do) and saw the brownish color.  But it wasn’t much.  I was wearing dark underwear and thought maybe it wasn’t actually blood so there I sat blotting my undies with the toilet paper trying to determine if it was actually blood I was seeing.  After a few minutes I wiped again and this time, there was no mistaking the brown on the toilet paper.  I was bleeding.  And I freaked.  I frantically put A to bed, said quick prayers with her and called the Hubs.  I couldn’t stop the tears at this point.  I was panicked.  I felt sick, ill and completely hopeless.  You see, I’ve NEVER bled during any of my pregnancies.  I had no idea what was going on, I just knew it was bad.  I was also crampy and especially so in my back.  Now, I’ve been fairly crampy in the evenings during this whole ordeal, but it felt more intense on Monday evening.  Hubs wanted me to go to the ER.  I told him no, that there was nothing they could do, but I would call my doc and speak with the on-call nurse.  I left a message and got a return phone call almost immediately.  From Monica.  Sweet, calm, patient Monica.  (Note:  Send Monica a gift basket today)  In one of my earlier posts I discussed why I didn’t want to switch docs.  The care that I received Monday night and Tuesday is a perfect example of why.  She called me back, called me by my name and knew EXACTLY who I was.  My doc has a HUGE practice and to be known out of hundreds of women makes me feel well cared for.  She asked me to describe the bleeding, asked if I was having cramps, how intense they were, and asked if I’d recently had intercourse.  The answer was yes, but it had been 2 days.  Seemed like a long time to wait to see any bleeding from sex 2 days beforehand; and she agreed.  She told me she wanted to bring me in for a sonogram the next day.  It would make me feel better, it would make my doc feel better and they needed to know where the blood was coming from.  She asked me to call her if I didn’t hear from her by 8:30.  I spent the rest of the evening on the couch.  I googled bleeding in early pregnancy.  You should never google.  It’s never good news that you read.  I had been instructed by the Hubs to let him know whenever I peed.  He wanted to know if I was seeing anymore blood.  Thankfully, I never did, but I did have some pretty bad cramps so not seeing blood wasn’t much comfort.  I slept AWFUL Monday night.  I mean, I’m not sleeping well anyways, but it was AWFUL.  I was terrified.  I was panicked.  I just knew it was over, there was no way this was ending well.

I woke up Tuesday morning with a pounding headache and nausea that was absolutely raging.  I brushed my teeth, gagged on my toothbrush and spent 10 minutes over the toilet dry-heaving.  The phone rang at 8:15 and Monica let me know I had an appt at 10.  I called my mother in law who was going to come and sit with A, and then I called my mom.  I hadn’t called her beforehand.  It just wasn’t worth the conversation since I didn’t really know what was going on.  She was actually off work attending an appointment of her own.  I hung up with her crying on the other end.  Not because she was sad about the possible loss of a 3rd baby, but because she’s tired and frustrated of the pain and agony her own child is going through.  She called back 5 minutes later and told me she cancelled her own appointment and was headed my way.  She was going with me.  At first I refused, I had every intention of doing this alone.  But she insisted.  I told her fine, but she had to stop crying.  She was only allowed to go with me as support; I couldn’t deal with being HER emotional support should we get bad news.

I drove to my appointment alone.  I don’t remember it.  It felt like I was alone, totally alone in the world.  Like there were no other cars on the road at all.  It never crossed my mind that everything could be ok.  Even though I specifically asked Monica that morning if these things ever turned out ok.  She said, absolutely, and the fact that I hadn’t seen any more blood was reassuring.  The truth is, life isn’t fair.  It’s not like, well, I lost the twins so that was my payment.  It doesn’t work that way.  And I was totally prepared to hear that God had taken another child from us.  I sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours.  My mom was stuck in traffic trying to get to me.  When they finally called me back, I thought I was going to throw up and pass out.  Thank God I was seen by a different tech than the one that had to tell me the twins had died.  It seems like a small thing, but even being in a different room gave me comfort.  The tech had me take off my pants and then we sat.  And waited.  It was a huge practice in patience.  The machine was RIGHT THERE.  I could have my answer in SECONDS, but the tech had to catch up on some paperwork and she was honestly giving my mom a few more minutes to arrive.  She asked if this was my first.  I said no, this is actually baby #4.  2 and 3 were twins that we lost around 19 weeks.  Then the sympathy started.  She knew.  I was honest with her that I was completely freaked.  We went ahead and started at this point.  Sonograms at this point are transvaginal.  She inserted the probe and I immediately saw the baby.  My eyes were frantically searching the screen for the flicker of a heartbeat or movement of any kind from the baby, but before I could find it she said, oh yeah, I see a heart beat!  Cue the tears, for the 2nd time.  I’m laying there, feet in stirrups, ultrasound probe still in me and I’m texting the Hubs.  He was stuck in training in Minnesota.  All I could get out was a text that said “Baby’s ok.”  The tech took some measurements, and then looked around for the source of the bleed.  Baby was measuring right on time (9 weeks, 4 days) and had a healthy (and steady) heart beat of 183!  She even pointed out tiny arms!  She said my cervix was nice and long and CLOSED.  Which is what they want to see.  I told her I was feeling more intense pain on my right side so she looked at my ovaries, but they were perfectly fine.  She couldn’t find any blood in my uterus, good news!  She noted, however, the placenta was completely covering the cervix.  This is something that normally corrects itself as the baby/uterus grows.  My mom showed up as soon as she was done.  It didn’t matter though since the baby was totally fine.  I gave Mary, the tech, a big hug before we left.  You see, she’s my new favorite person.

I headed downstairs to my docs office and since my doc does surgery and rounds on Tuesday’s, she wasn’t there.  So I saw Monica.  And gave her a big hug.  She took one look at the sono pics and diagnosed me with Placenta Previa.  Normally not a big deal, but since I’ve had bleeding (from the sex…because of the placenta previa) they want to avoid any further bleeding.  I’ve been placed on pelvic rest (no se.x) for the next 2 weeks at least when I have another appointment scheduled.  Monica said I’ll probably be on pelvic rest until 16 or 18 weeks, or until the placenta moves out of the way.  It kind of sucks, but it’s a small price to pay to get this baby here safely and healthy.  They went ahead and gave me a Rhogam shot since I’m Rh negative.  Just in case there’s any bleeding inside the uterus that may transfer to the baby; they don’t want to risk my body trying to abort the pregnancy since the 2 blood types aren’t compatible.  BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.  I spent the rest of the afternoon lying around.  I’ll probably spend the next 2 weeks lying around.  I’ll ask my doc for more specifics on restrictions when I see her in 2 weeks, but I’m not taking any chances.  The truth is, just because everything was fine yesterday, it doesn’t mean everything will be fine tomorrow.  I’m already considered high-risk and now I’ve had bleeding.  I’ll be monitored very closely.  Today I’m really thankful I’ve got great medical care and thankful for my uber-supportive family.  I was really thankful to have my mom here yesterday.  And she kept her promise, she wasn’t emotional at all.  I’ve ordered a fetal doppler which should arrive today.  It may seem slightly obsessive, but I’m looking forward to being able to listen to the heartbeat whenever I want.  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers that everything continues to progress normally!

WM US #2


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