Alex and I have been going through a lot these past few months (to say the least). Trying to process changing information in regards to our baby’s outcome, medical mysteries, and having to wait to deliver has been difficult. The bleeding that started this week was just the cherry on top of this awful situation.
I don’t want to gross anyone out so stop reading if you don’t like medical details.
Last Sunday I woke up with a lot of bleeding and since my husband was out of town I naturally called my mom (a nurse) to ask her advice. Knowing that my pregnancy is already high-risk my mom advised I head to the hospital right away. I let the dog out and fed him, then quickly got into my car (in my pajamas) and drove myself to the hospital. I was admitted and monitored throughout the morning and luckily the bleeding decreased and I was discharged. The on-call OB doctor said, “We tend to get a bleeder once a year”. Lucky me!
Tuesday night, the bleeding started again but not wanting to go to the hospital just to be sent home I called my doctor and he reassured me that he would just check it out at my scheduled appointment the next morning. Once again the bleeding stopped and it wasn’t a big deal.
Saturday arrived and I woke up bleeding, nothing new at this point, but just in case I was to spend the day at the hospital I packed slippers, my charger, and a change of clothes. I left the door unlocked if I needed to call a friend to let Benny out. I went to work and while opening the store I felt a big “plop” as if I had laid an egg. It turned out to be a huge blood clot the size of my palm (sorry – gross) so I called the on-call doctor and she recommended I go to the hospital.
Once I arrived the situation was assessed and I had an ultrasound. Plans started picking up as the OB realized I was having contractions and was dilated 2cm. I was still losing a lot of blood so she called the hospital where I originally was scheduled to deliver and Sanford sent its plane immediately.
While preparing me for the flight I was stuck 10 times trying to get an IV started. Each person that came in to start my IV said, “I’m the person they call when it’s hard to get a vein going, I always find the vein”. On the 10th stick an IV was started, I was strapped to a gurney, and taken by ambulance to the airfield. In the ambulance the IV stopped working and I was stuck for an 11th time.
My gurney was transferred from the ambulance directly onto the plane. I felt like a crazy person strapped in with oxygen going but the nurses on the flight were incredibly nice and the 1 hour flight wasn’t bad at all. I have never had a private plane before. Meanwhile, I had called Alex, my mom, and my sister and they all started to caravan to meet me in Sioux Falls expecting I would go right into an emergency c-section to deliver that night.
I arrived at the hospital (just as my sister did – she lives the closest), had another ultrasound, and the OB came back with some unexpected news. Instead of delivering that night, the doctor wanted to keep me pregnant for as long as possible . . . another 4 weeks.
Obviously, this news was quite a shock. All the doctors and nurses that day had been prepping me for surgery – I didn’t get to eat a thing! I was transferred to a long-term high-risk OB room where I was to be put on hospital bed rest until my original scheduled c-section in four weeks.
My mom showed up and then finally my poor husband arrived that night having driven 10 hours from Chicago leaving right in the middle of a work conference. Alex was able to stay in my room but the rest of the gang (mom, sister, and even my sister’s fiancée) walked across the skywalk to stay in the connected hotel.
Over the next couple days my posse started to leave one by one as regular life needed to resume for them. Before my mom left she ran out and got me items I would need in the immediate future such as t-shirts, robe, brush, etc. My amazing husband took me out of the room in a wheelchair for a nice dinner date in the hospital cafeteria and bought me a coloring book and a puzzle book. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of texts, phone calls, and supportive emails I have received from everyone in my life. I have the absolute best friends and family a person could ever wish for.
I also can’t say enough about how wonderful the staff and accommodations have been here at Sanford in Sioux Falls. All the nurses constantly ask if I need anything and they couldn’t be sweeter. Before Alex left for Rapid City the staff made sure we got a tour of the NICU and met with the palliative care team that helped walk us through the tough decisions we will most likely have to make after the death of our baby. My room is very spacious with a couch the turns into a twin bed and two additional chairs, as well as a great bathroom featuring a deep jet tub.
I have started to settle into a routine. The baby monitors are placed on me for an hour three times a day, my vitals are taken multiple times a day, but other than that I have A LOT of free time. I order my meals by phone. I’m sure I will be through the entire list of items on the room service menu soon but all the food has been delicious. So far I have spent my free time watching movies, solving a variety of puzzles, coloring, and of course reading. I also plan on getting a head start planning my sister’s bridal shower and maybe using an app to start learning basic Spanish.
I am looking forward to visitors but I’m definitely ready for this pregnancy (that has put our emotions through the ringer) to be over.
P.S. For those curious, apparently the baby’s kidneys look normal. Alex and I are going to get genetic testing done but really the doctors haven’t seen this situation before in which the baby is so tiny, there is urine in the bladder, but still no amniotic fluid. We’re guessing now it is a placental issue but no one knows. Not knowing the cause really does make this whole thing so much worse.
(Originally published Nov. 11th, 2015)