Friday night I had the scare of a lifetime. Sam and I were waiting for Husband to come home from work so we could have our big family-Friday night out. At 5:15pm or so, I got up from the recliner, where I had been sitting for a half hour, to get an apple. (I had been resting because I had some cramping that was stronger than the normal pregnancy aches and pains.)
When I reached the refrigerator, I felt something leaking out of me, which caught me by surprise but that which I had quickly dismissed as typical pregnancy stuff. A few seconds later I felt another gush of fluid and I immediately closed the fridge door and headed for the bathroom. When I reached the hall bath, I pulled my pants down, sat down on the toilet and looked in horror as my underwear and shorts were soaked with blood. I continued to bleed into the toilet while I tried to wipe away the nightmare. I broke into sobs and cried over and over, “No, God, no. Please no.” Sam heard me crying and he yelled from the other room, “Mama laugh!” He happily ran into the bathroom to see what all the fun was and he stopped short when he saw the blood on my shorts and that Mama was indeed crying. My sweet son came over to me and gently rubbed my arm and softly corrected himself, “Mama cry.”
After a few minutes I was able to get up and reach the phone. I called Husband at work and told him through hysterical sobs that I was bleeding. He hung up after telling me he’d be right home. I then called my parents and told my father that I was bleeding heavily and that I was afraid I was having a miscarriage. My mom got on the phone and tried to talk me through my horrible ordeal. My mom’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and I was asking her what had happened to her. I could barely talk. I was so upset and scared. This couldn’t be happening.
Husband called me from the road and we quickly negotiated arrangements for Sam so he and I could go to the hospital. Husband called his parents, who live 4 miles away, and his mother was over in minutes. We left the house by 6pm and headed for triage. Husband and I held hands in the car and rode in silence, struggling with our own thoughts of what might be happening.
When we arrived at the hospital, the bleeding had slowed but not stopped. We signed in and were told we would likely be there for a few hours. To us, this was an emergency for which I should be seen immediately. The triage nurse told me that, unfortunately, if I am miscarrying there is nothing they can do to stop it. I still hadn’t stopped crying.
I was called back for bloodwork and the ultrasound relatively quickly. The ultrasound technician settled down for her work when I asked her if she would turn the monitor so I could see as well. She nicely told me that she can’t do that and quickly got to work. Husband could see the monitor, so I laid there and watched his face for signs of relief. Twenty minutes passed and the ultrasound tech was still measuring and reviewing. After what seemed like an eternity, Husband squeezed my hand as his eyes filled up with tears. He saw the baby and his/her beating heart. At the end of the exam, the tech finally turned the monitor so I could see our baby. The heartbeat was beating strong at 186 beats per minute. A wave of relief rushed over me and I began to cry again – this time happy tears.
We still had to wait for the doctor to review the scan. I went to the bathroom to clean up and change and found I was still bleeding. I still had a sick feeling in my stomach but I was enormously relieved that the baby was still alive.
My parents had arrived at the hospital right as my ultrasound was over. Husband met them in the lobby when he told them that we saw a heartbeat. All three of them welled up with tears (my Mom did more than well) and came to meet me in triage. We all waited for the doctor’s report.
An hour later, Husband and I were called back to discuss the results with the triage nurse. She informed us that the ultrasound results were completely normal. She explained the placenta is fine and placed in a good spot in my uterus. The baby is fine and all is well. The nurse explained that the uterus is an extremely vascular area and bleeding can happen for a number of reasons. It could have been caused from a blood clot, a broken blood vessel or a tear from the placenta growing up the uterus. I was advised to go home and rest, avoid walking, standing and lifting.
Everything was fine. Thank God, everything was fine.
Today, two days later, we are still reeling from our experience. We are so deeply grateful that everything is fine. I will follow up with my obstetrician on Monday. I think we will all take a collective sigh of relief when this first trimester is over.
As I was typing this blog, I laughed out loud at a funny commercial. Sam came running from his play room and said, “Mama! What’s wrong?” I told him that I was just laughing and he gently rubbed my belly and said, “Mama, be happy.” When I go to the bathroom he follows me and checks to make sure “Mama’s pants all clean.” It amazes me how much this experience affected him – what he saw and how it made him feel. On Friday, Husband and I talked about our night as we laid in bed. Husband said, “God forbid that something might have happened, Shan. I understand why they tell you to wait until 12 weeks to tell people of your pregnancy. But for us, so many people supported us, so we let it out. But how would we have told Sam?” That question brought silence between us again. My husband held me that night as we fell asleep. He is my protector. Sam is following close in his footsteps.