have you ever watched an opening scene of law & order? you know, when the unsuspecting person(s) walks into a room and suddenly is faced with a dead body lying in a pool of blood? ever wonder how you would react?
i always do. yesterday i (kind of) got to find out.
i opened my eyes and stood up from the bed only to find myself, my husband, and my bed covered in bright, red blood. panic immediately took hold of me, as shawn and i looked at each other in disbelief. i ran into the bathroom.
i was peeing blood.
shawn wasn’t far behind me. i don’t remember what we said to each other as we tried to wake up to the serious situation we had found ourselves in and were trying to make sense of… i washed up, got dressed, and called the doctor. no one answered. i didn’t even wait for shawn to finish dressing, i jumped into the car…the office is just down the street…they called back before i made it there and told me to go to the hospital. i called shawn and picked him up on my way downtown. traffic was heavy, shawn was trying talk normally to calm me down, i was freaking out inside. i knew something was really wrong.
we got to the hospital and went to the front desk. the lady couldn’t find my name or my file…i felt like i was going to burst into tears. shawn started rubbing my back. finally she located it and they ushered us into a room, where i was instructed to put on a gown and not flush the toilet if i peed so they could look at the amount and color of the blood. the midwife came in first and told me that i might be heading for an emergency c-section in a few minutes if the baby was in distress…the nurse came in and strapped a fetal monitor to my stomach. they both watched the print out for a few minutes and then told me that the baby was getting plenty of oxygen and his/her little heart rate was within the normal range. i saw the relief on their faces…i felt my anxiety come down about 50%. the baby kicked hard against the monitor and moved to the other side of my stomach…it gave us all pause to laugh a little.
they took my blood pressure, which was insanely high (not surprisingly). the midwife started to explain the possible reasons for bleeding. “you could have a ruptured vein or polyp on your cervix…that would be least concerning, so i will have to do a vaginal exam. want to real that out first. the other possibility is that your fibroids may be bleeding..so i will look around at those while i am in their with the scope. the other, more likely, reason for the bleeding is a tear in your placenta. now, this can be a really bad situation… if the tear was more than 30%, the baby would be showing obvious distress, and we would be rushing you off to an emergency c-section right now…its obvious if you have a tear it is smaller than that. so we can relax now…”
she went on to ask me if i was having contractions. “no” i said. she looked at the print out again… “you really aren’t feeling contractions?” “no” i said again. she proceeded to show me that i was, in fact, having decent sized contractions…which for some reason, i was not feeling. (perhaps that is a good sign about my pain tolerance? one can only hope!)
they started an IV…always fun…i have teeny, tiny veins and its always an adventure when i get stuck…the nurse did well and i tried not to look. shawn let me squeeze his hand pretty hard as he watched her work. luckily she got the vein to hold, although for a second blood was apparently squirting out of my arm. (glad i didn’t look over)
the ran a bunch of tests on my blood, which all came back normal. the i had the wonderfully pleasant exam (please detect the sarcasm). it showed that my fibroids weren’t bleeding and neither was my cervix. they took my blood pressure once again, and not it was back to normal. i went to the bathroom in my horrible hospital gown that had no back (why do they do that?!?!?) and carted the IV stand with me and when i was finished everyone had a good look. (hospitals are good for growing humility) the bleeding was slowing. the monitor said so were the contractions i had still yet to feel.
the midwife came back in. “you have a placental tear…a small one…its not the best news, but its much better than what we thought when you first came in.”
she went on to tell me that they don’t know what causes tearing and that although i am at risk to tear again, there is really nothing i can do to prevent it. its something with my body chemistry, not my activity level. which was a relief…i would have been horrified if they told my exercising caused it… so i finished what was in my IV and they sent me home.
i have to take it easy for a week or so while i pass the rest of the left over blood in my cervix. i have to watch closely for signs of pre-term labor, now that i am at a higher risk of having the baby early. if i start to bleed again, i have to call the ambulance to come and rush me to the hospital for an emergency c-section…but the more likely outcome is that i will just go into labor before 40 weeks. i guess as long as i can make it to week 37, they will consider the baby full term and just let me deliver him or her naturally.
the midwife reassured me that even if i had the baby now, it would certainly live…maybe have to stay in the hospital a week or so until it gained weight and could breathe on its own and breastfeed…but not a life threatening scenario.
so this morning as i am considering that i could be in the hospital recovering from a major surgery that i pray i don’t ever have to have and my baby could be lying in a little bed, weighing less than 4lbs and hooked up to machines…i am just thanking Jesus for his protection! and i am so thankful that this happened to be the week shawn was home…i couldn’t have gotten through yesterday nearly as well without his reassuring touch and his jokes once we knew everything was okay. it was great to see how strong he can be when i feel like i am falling apart. i had been a little worried about how he would do in the delivery room if i was emotional and weak (not normal states for me) but after yesterday i have every confidence in his ability to hold it together for us both…and to not pass out at the sight of blood! *grin*
please pray with us that my placenta (the baby’s food, blood, and oxygen supply) wil stay attached to the uterine wall and not tear further…and pray that i won’t go into labor until may, when shawn is home again.