As I sat in the bathtub this morning thinking about the days activities and the actual date, I was jolted back into a terrifying time in Josh and I’s life. This day last year we had been told we were loosing our sweet baby at just 13 weeks pregnant. A gut-wrenching feeling overcame me as I looked back.
It all started in the early afternoon last year when I was laying in bed. I had just gotten off the phone with my doctor because I had been incredibly ill for weeks but it had gotten worse just the night before. She told me to take it easy and call back if things changed. I had gotten out of bed to go to the bathroom and as I sat down I noticed a huge gush of bright red blood. I automatically went into panic mode as my body started cramping up.
I automatically went into panic mode as my body started cramping up.
I immediately called my doctor back and was told to go to the ER. I then gathered my things, hurried to the car, and called my husband. He was in a work meeting and after three calls he finally realized something wasn’t right. He was clear across town so I drove myself to the ER as he drove to meet me.
Upon arrival at the hospital I felt like I was starting to have contractions as we waited for what felt like forever to even get to a room. Some of the details of what happened are still a blur as my baby and the discomfort was all I could think about.
Our ER experience was not one I would like to recreate. The doctor and resident first brought in a sono machine to see if baby still had a heartbeat. Neither knew how to work the machine properly but we did eventually hear a the lovely sound of a ‘thud thud thud’ coming from the machine. My husbands eyes lit up as he gazed at the screen and saw our sweet baby throw its arms and legs out as if doing a big stretch. It is still one of our favorite moments to tell people about. Our hearts were eased slightly knowing it was still going strong for the moment.
After ruling out a kidney infection and doing a speculum exam we were given discharge papers with no explanation as to what was going on. I felt completely helpless and just sick to my stomach knowing there was nothing I could do for my sweet baby. My husband was not going to let us leave without some kind of answer so he immediately called my OB. She sent down a OB resident to the ER (since I was not able to go to Labor and Delivery being only 13 weeks) who then proceeded to do another speculum exam.
She stated something we never wanted to hear. She thought I was leaking amniotic fluid which meant my water was slowly breaking. My cervix was already dilated and if this was the case we would most likely lose our sweet baby soon.
I remember sitting in the bed bawling in the residents arms as she cried with us. She wanted to send me down for a more in-depth sono that would give us more detail into what was going on and if my water had truly broken. As the resident left the room my husband came and hugged me so tight as we both broke down in each others arms. We had never felt more helpless than we did at that moment.
As we waited in that sterile room for them to come get us I did what felt right and called out to God. I specifically remember thanking him for these 13 wonderful weeks I had with my baby and that if he needed that baby more than me to let me feel His peace. I remember crying out for Him to wrap his arms around me. I am not one to say I have ever truly felt God’s presence in a physical way but in that moment I did. It is something that is hard to explain and something I will never forget. I felt Him physically wrap his arms around me and say I’ve got this, trust in Me. I immediately felt a sense of calm wash over me.
I felt Him physically wrap his arms around me and say I’ve got this, trust in Me.
Not long after we were taken to Ultrasound. While I could not see much on the screen Josh reassured me everything was looking good. The tech let us know that she did see my amniotic sac and that it appeared still in tact. She also found that the bleeding was coming from what looked like a blood clot. We went back to the room and waited for the radiologist and the ER doctor to confirm everything.
We finally were told I had a good size Subchorionic Hematoma and that I was to be on bed rest at least until I saw my doctor. I believe we went back that next Monday (this happened on a Thursday) to my OB where she scheduled me to see a Perinatologist or Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor.
My bleeding slowed over the next week or so with strict bed rest. I eventually went and saw the Perinatologist about a week after the initial incident and got a more in-depth sonogram. He confirmed the hematoma was large at around 5x4x8cm or 2x1x3 inches. That may not sound significant but it was as large as the baby growing inside of me. I had started having other symptoms as well such as a bruised sensation in my whole abdomen and an overall weak feeling.
I wasn’t allowed to cook dinner, walk, or anything for weeks. I lounged around in bed just worrying about all the things I could not control. It was a challenging time not only physically but mentally.
With all of this happening at the end of my first trimester there were significantly higher risks than if it happened at the beginning. There is a greater chance of further hemorrhaging, having a miscarriage, having placental abruption after 20 weeks, and going into preterm labor. Also because the SCH was large the chances we carried to term or even to viability (24 weeks) was slim. At around 20 weeks both doctors admitted they were not optimistic that we would even make it this far when this all first happened.
We kept pressing forward, praying, following bed rest rules and restrictions and keeping up with all our appointments. And baby was doing exactly what it was supposed to as well, growing and pressing the hematoma to keep the bleeding from returning. We were seeing a doctor about every week or every other week. Sonograms happened every 2 weeks to make sure baby was growing on track and to see if the hematoma was still present. Sometimes it is absorbed back into the body or expelled through bleeding. Every week we went back and it was still there and at times had even grown in size but luckily the bleeding had stopped.
I started setting milestones for myself to just make it a week, then make it to my next appointment, then make it to viability (24 weeks). It was a rough and tiresome journey to say the least but the constant supervision from the doctors, the never-ending prayers we received, and our willingness to do anything for this child kept us strong.
Every week made us (and the doctors) more excited to know we could do this and we would do this. With several other struggles mixed in between we were blessed enough to make it to 37 weeks!
After an induction with Pitocin for high blood pressure I had a unmedicated delivery to a sweet baby girl weighing in at 7lbs 11oz and measuring 19 inches long. It was the most beautiful moment of mine and my husband’s life. This girl we had worried about and prayed for had safely made her arrival.
After delivery I asked to see my placenta as I wanted to see the thing we had stressed over so much the past 7 months. The hematoma was there in all its glory like it had just become one with everything else.
The hematoma was there in all its glory like it had just become one with everything else.
While our journey was terrifying and stressful for 7 months, I would not trade it for the world. I feel absolutely blessed to have a sweet, healthy baby girl from this experience. We were told in the past it could be hard to even get pregnant because of my Endometriosis and when it happened on our honeymoon we knew God had us in His hands.
I share my story for three reasons:
- I hope that people will see Jesus through our story and know that He cares for us. To see His mercy and grace in all circumstances.
- That if you are struggling with a SCH you too can make it. There are tons of scary stories out there of pregnancies not lasting and not enough happy endings.
- And last how even in the rough trenches of motherhood we need to remember that we are truly blessed to be called into this crazy ride. There are tons of others who would give anything to go through the struggles we went through to know for sure in the end they would have a healthy baby.
I hope our story gives you peace if you too are suffering from a pregnancy complication.