When you are pregnant, you are acutely aware of anything that might cause harm to the pregnancy. Knowing that my mom had several miscarriages before me has made me overly cautious. When I found out I was pregnant, I was excited, but there was naturally an underlying worry of losing the baby. This fear came to a summit when I hit my 8 week mark.
Rob and I were enjoying the evening one Sunday while eating dinner out on our deck. It was peaceful and beautiful out. We remarked what wonderful weather we were having and how we wished we had more evenings like this throughout the year. We also reminded ourselves that this time next year, it won’t be so quiet when we eat outside because there will be a little one demanding our attention – but of course we welcome that and look forward to it.
At about 8:00pm, we got up and started bringing everything inside. Something didn’t feel quite right, so I excused myself to the restroom. When I saw the bright red blood and how much of it was there, I completely lost all control. I came out already sobbing and told Rob he needed to take me to the ER. He tried his best to be reassuring and comforting, but, in my mind, I had lost this child.
After a few frantic moments, he convinced me to call my doctor’s office. I got the after hour’s nurse and explained what was going on. Within 5 minutes, the doctor on call had called me back. I was sobbing so hysterically that Rob tried his best to take the call and explain what was going on. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t get enough information from him and I was put on the phone. Between sobs and gasps of air, the doctor told me that I had two options: 1. I could wait until the next day and they could work me in, or 2. I could go to the ER. Knowing that I would not be able to rest until I knew for sure what had happened, Rob and I got in the truck and headed for Park West.
We arrived just after 8:30pm. I was dismayed to see that the waiting room was so full. I thought that because I was pregnant and the blood was more than I should have, I might get priority placement and be taken back sooner. I was wrong. We spent the next 2 hours waiting in that waiting room. As if the wait wasn’t torturous enough, there happened to be a really cute baby girl in the waiting room too. Why I am drawn toward creating more misery for myself, I have no idea, but I could not stop watching her. She was an example of what I might have lost that evening. Her coos and cries broke my heart and made fresh tears flow constantly. It was so bad, that an older man sitting across from us got up to get me some tissues. I must have looked pretty pitiful.
We were finally taken back to a room around 10:45pm. We were both physically and emotionally exhausted at this point. The doctor came in and explained that I would have two ultrasounds done (one intravaginal and the other on my belly). I would also have some blood drawn and urine taken. After all the tests came back, he would come back in to discuss the results with us. Great – more waiting.
When the ultrasound technician came in, she was very aloof and not at all comforting. When she started the ultrasound, she kept the machine turned away from our view. I tried to explain to her that this was our first ultrasound and I asked her to turn the machine so we could see our baby. She declined. I was furious, but tried to hide my anger the best I could. I understand that she wasn’t sure what would show up and she didn’t want to cause us more pain than we were already experiencing. I really get that. But at that moment, I wanted to yell at her that it was MY CHILD and I have a RIGHT to see the ultrasound. Deep breaths….I get all worked up just thinking about it.
My frustration wasn’t meant to last for long. During the second ultrasound, she apparently saw what she needed to see and decided it was time we got to see too. She turned the machine around and my eyes immediately fell on the heartbeat of our little one. Only after I noticed the heartbeat did I notice the rest of the baby. It took Rob a few moments before he could see the heartbeat. That technician even let us hear the heartbeat for a few seconds. Bless her! I now knew that my baby was alive and had a heartbeat. That is all I needed to feel relief.
Around 1:30am, the doctor came into the room and discussed the results of the scan. He had been waiting on all the bloodwork to come back, but decided that since it was so late, he should let us go home. For all he knew, it could be another hour before my HCG levels were reported. So what did the doctor say? He said I had what is called a subchorionic hemorrhage. He explained that I have a blood clot between the placenta and uterine wall. If the clot were to release itself, it could cause the placenta to detach and result in instant death of the fetus. That was one possible outcome. He also said that it could bleed itself out or my body could just absorb it. Both of these would be preferable because it would mean my body would have healed and the pregnancy would be safe. As of that moment, I was not considered to have a ‘threatened pregnancy’. That relief I had been feeling just a while ago had now vanished. Luckily, I had my first prenatal visit scheduled for the following Tuesday afternoon, so the doctor ordered me to go on bedrest and follow up with my doctor.
As soon as we got home, I logged in and requested a sub for Monday. I sent a quick email to a colleague requesting her help with the sub since I would not be able to come in and create sub plans. It was around 2:30am when Rob and I finally went to bed.
The next morning, Rob went into work a little later than usual and I spent the day snuggled on the couch watching TV with Bear. I cannot tell you how incredibly lucky I was to have him with me that weekend/week. Bear stayed right by my side and was more attentive than usual. I think he sensed that I needed his comfort that day. It’s completely amazing to me how animals seem to know when something isn’t right and they provide all the love and affection they can just when you need it most.
Tuesday’s appointment could not come fast enough. After another two ultrasounds (we got pictures this time!), we were told that there was no longer any hematoma present. I could not believe that it had vanished that fast. I kept asking, “Are you sure it’s gone?” They smiled as they assured me that they could not find any evidence on either scan. On the contrary, everything looked great. Whew! Another bullet dodged. Here’s praying for a healthy pregnancy for the remainder of this journey! Lord, please keep this baby safe!