“We’re praying for the ideal situation, but we’ll take whatever ‘good’ situation we can get at this point.”
2:00 am on April 7 was entirely too similar to that of 2:00 am on April 6. The doctor told me the baby was fine. We saw it wiggling around in there – there was no reason to believe anything was wrong. Yet here I was, again, hurling myself into the bathroom to quickly lose a revolting amount of blood.
I returned to bed, knowing full well I would not be sleeping anymore this night. Then at 6:00 am, my body had the audacity to make it happen again. This time, I wasn’t going to wait for another doctor’s appointment. I wasn’t going to believe this was just a fluke anymore. My sleep deprived self needed answers. I rounded the corner into our bedroom and said to my husband, “You have to get up, I need to go to the emergency room.”
We ate breakfast and drove down the road to the small, local hospital we’d imagined delivering our baby at some day. We walked through the revolving door of the emergency room where I uttered to the receptionist, “I’m pregnant, and I’m bleeding.” Tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks as we walked the long, empty hall to the last room on the right.
One by one, doctors, nurses, students, administrative assistants and whomever else, it seemed, was bored would peak their heads in, go through a similar list of questions, and leave without giving us any answers. After blood work and an ultrasound, finally our primary doctor returned with the news.
First, the baby was still fine.
Second, my blood levels were still fine as long as the blood loss would slow down – he feared I couldn’t afford to keep losing at the rate I was losing.
Third, I was diagnosed with placenta previa and showed signs of a marginal abruption. Before explaining these terms to us, the doctor warned us not to look them up online upon our departure. The amount of horror stories revolving around these terms is probably enough to scare a baby right out of you.
So what do these things mean? In laymen’s terms, the organ that was meant to nourish and maintain my baby in the womb, the placenta, was instead threatening our pregnancy. It was improperly placed, blocking the birth canal (referred to as placenta previa – a condition 1 in 200 women will experience into the third trimester) and, for some reason, tearing away from the uterine wall (referred to as an abruption), a condition that can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients.
In other words, 16 weeks ago, when I was worried about petty things like a pregnancy ruining my body, I had no idea that I would so soon be worried about my body ruining a pregnancy.
And no, the pregnancy wasn’t ruined yet, but its potential to become ruined greatly increased with these diagnoses. We needed the placenta to remain attached – to continue to nourish and maintain our baby for, ideally, 24 more weeks. And we needed it to move as my uterus would grow, or we would be facing a cesarian section for delivery.
But until delivery, one thing was certain, I would be put on bedrest, and I would remain on bedrest until the end.
When I went to bed on April 4, I didn’t know it would be my last full night of sleep for almost an entire year. On April 7, I laid on our living room couch through the night, a continuous drip of tears onto my pillow, my husband sleeping on the floor next to me as I patiently waited for my body to fail me again. And it did. Blood. Again.
We had answers as to what was wrong, but we still had so many questions as to what this would mean. And for those answers, only time could tell.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 16 weeks
Days of blood: 7
Days of bedrest: 3
Doctor’s Appointments: 4
P.S. Again, for those of you relying on Facebook to follow along, thank you for following. However, eventually I will become more selective as to what goes on Facebook as things become increasingly more personal. Feel free to subscribe via email by entering your email address in the Follow Along box to the right of this post. I’d love to share our story with you, but I don’t want to keep sharing it with those who’d rather not hear about it.
P.P.S. I do not have pictures from April 7 or 8. I cannot even begin to imagine what I might have taken a picture of on either of those days, hence the picture of my dog who snuggled me on April 6 after our first big scare.