I spent my Wednesday night in the ER due to complications in my pregnancy. This was the first time in my memory I’ve even been to the ER as a patient and I was there for worst possible reason – fear of my baby’s life. I want to share my story with you and I will be giving some details, so if girl things gross you out (guys!) you may not want to read (it’s not too bad). This will also be very long and I understand if you don’t want to read it. I will say now, Baby is doing fine – Thank God!
On Wednesday afternoon, I had some cramping on my lower left side. It didn’t alarm me as some cramping is normal in pregnancy because of a stretching uterus and things moving around. But this time was a little more severe than normal and I did take note of it. I got up and walked around a little and drank some water and the cramping went away, as well as any trace of worry.
So I finished my homework and went to my 4p-6p class. About 20 minutes into class I had to pee (not surprising as I’m pregnant and I feel like I’m peeing every 10 minutes!) Anyway, I bring up this pee trip just for a sense of time… there was nothing unusual about it. Class let out at about 5:45p and when I got to my office I could feel that my underwear were wet. I wasn’t too concerned as pregnancy has made things a little more moist than normal anyway, but I still had to check. Well, it’s a good thing I did… my underwear were bright red, and the blood had reached my jeans.
I started freaking out. Some women experience a little bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, but I have had zero so far and this wasn’t just a little blood, it was a lot in a fairly short amount of time. I immediately started calling my midwifery and rushed to get Dave. As I was on hold, I interrupted his conversation with a friend and said “where are we parked? We have to go”. He confusingly asked why and I just repeated “we have to go”. I didn’t want to announce the problem in front of our friends… they thought my reaction meant Dave was in trouble… Ha!
Midwife told us to go to the ER and let me tell you, I couldn’t believe how many times I was asked “this is a confirmed pregnancy, right?”. YES!! I’ve seen fingers! I’ve told you a billion times that we’ve had two ultrasounds showing a baby! I was getting impatient and just wanted to hurry and get an ultrasound to see if my baby was alive. But of course you have to answer several questions to multiple people (usually the same questions) and fill out paperwork before anything actually gets done. They took a blood sample and finally admitted me to a room.
Once I had a room, I asked for a pad so I wouldn’t bleed all over everything and when I went to the bathroom my underwear was already brown. This was a big relief as it meant the bleeding had already slowed way down and it was the first positive thing of the night. My pee didn’t really seem to be bloody either… good sign!
We waited in the room for what seemed like ages and spoke with two different people about the situation. One girl (I think a nurse?) explained that the worst case scenario was that I had an ectopic pregnancy. This means that the egg got implanted in a fallopian tube instead of my uterus. If this was the case, it was life threatening and I’d need surgery immediately. Um, yeah, thanks for more the reason to freak out! I noticed that all the possible scenarios she gave were bad ones with horrible endings. I was not feeling good at all. She explained that they’d get an ultrasound and do a pelvic exam. I asked that if it wasn’t completely necessary if I could have my midwife perform the pelvic exam instead and she agreed.
After more waiting, we were finally taken to the ultrasound tech. This woman wasn’t mean, but she wasn’t exactly nice, understanding, and nurturing. I was obviously extremely worried about my baby and in and out of tears, but she didn’t say a word during the ultrasound and wouldn’t let me see. I had to ask Dave if he could see the baby moving and a heartbeat. After like a minute of me thinking the worst, Dave tells me he sees that the heartbeat is at 151 bpm. THANK GOD! Why the ultrasound lady wouldn’t tell me, I have no idea. At one point she giggles because she has a cute shot of the feet, and she shows me. Wow, so she is indeed at least part human. And yes, the feet were adorable
But the main question was if my cervix was open or closed. An open cervix indicates that a miscarriage is happening. The topical ultrasound wasn’t showing a good view of my cervix and so we tried a vaginal ultrasound, but that too was inconclusive. By now, the bleeding had stopped, so this was a good sign that my cervix was actually closed. The lady did say the my uterus and Baby seemed to be in a good spot and wasn’t too low. This too is a good sign.
In the end, the ER doc diagnosed me with “threatened abortion”, said I did not have an ectopic pregnancy, and that my hCG levels were at about 34500. He required that I see my midwife within 2 days to see if my hCG levels go up, gave me some paperwork for my midwife, and sent me out the door. The whole experience took over 3 hours.
Now I want to talk about what was happening elsewhere while I was in the ER. I have amazing family and friends! When I got to the ER I text my mom and two good friends to tell them what was going on. I also posted a quick tweet. I had meant to crosspost to Facebook with #fb, but didn’t. But it didn’t matter, when Mom got my text she pulled over and posted to Facebook and made phone calls asking people to pray for Baby. It spread and other people started posting it to Facebook and making phone calls. One of my friends posted a thread in The Mommy Playbook forums explaining the situation. There were so many people praying for Baby (and non-religious people thinking positively for Baby) and I had no idea at the time. I am so grateful for all these people! There were people who I had no idea even followed me on Twitter letting me know that their family was praying for us. Amazing! If you were one of these people and reading this, thank you so so SO much.
I went to bed that night scared, but feeling much better than I did when I first saw the blood. I spoke with my midwife and she said seeing a healthy baby with a good heartbeat was the best indicator that everything was fine and that made me feel better.
The next morning I woke up to no bleeding which made me real happy. But when I got to school, I had a little bit of spotting. It wasn’t a lot and it was brown, so I didn’t freak out but I did go home. I put myself on bedrest for the day. The spotting only happened twice during the day and was never red.
Now today I had my appointment with a midwife. It went very well! She said a pelvic exam wasn’t necessary and she just felt where my uterus was from the outside and listened to the heartbeat. Everything was exactly as it should be Baby was even being a brat and moving around a lot so that the midwife had to chase the heartbeat… she called Baby a wiggle worm! But a wiggle worm means a healthy, active baby! She said at this point everything is pointing towards no problems. Some women experience some bleeding and have perfectly healthy pregnancies. Especially since I’m already 15 weeks along and not experiencing major cramping or contractions, there is a good chance there is nothing severe going on. She took a urine sample that will be sent to the lab to be cultured to see if I have an infection. A UTI or yeast infection could also explain the bleeding. There are other little minor things that can cause bleeding too, all of which propose no harm to Baby. She said that now we just need to focus on emotional healing and moving on. The experience was terrifying, but it’s over. She also recommend we treat ourselves to a nice dinner – yes! We will have an ultrasound in 4 weeks, and by then my cervix should be very easy to see (with a full bladder).
I am just so relieved that everything is ok and it was so lovely to hear Baby’s heartbeat again today. Dave said that he saw Baby’s toes and was able to tell that Baby has definitely grown since our ultrasound a couple weeks ago. I’m trusting the Lord that Baby will be perfectly healthy and that we will not be seeing Baby before we should. We only have 25 weeks to go!