Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scariest day of my life

A year ago today--Friday March 26th, 2009-- was the scariest day of my (and probably J's) life.  That was the day we thought we were losing our baby.  I was just shy of 7 weeks pregnant (6 weeks 5 days), and I started bleeding.

I remember going to my last school of the week and sitting in my car killing time until I had to go inside.  I was eating Doritos when I felt really crampy in my lower back (almost like menstrual cramps), and then I could feel the bleeding start.  I rushed inside at 3:45 (lessons started at 4), locked myself in the bathroom, and confirmed my fears.

I remember running to the car and calling J.  I was freaking out.  He wanted to make sure I could drive home in my frantic state.  It was a 15-20 minute ride home and I was crying the whole time.

I remember calling my student's dad to tell him I wasn't going to make the lesson.  I told him I had to get to a doctor right away.

I remember getting home and seeing J on the phone trying to figure out where to take me.  It was about 4:15 and the doctor closed at 4:30.  They told me to go to the office and the on call doctor would come over to look at me.

I remember going upstairs to the bathroom to put on a pad and to get a towel to sit on in the car.  J packed a small bag for me just in case we had to go to the hospital for the night.  Luckily, my doctor is right down the road, so it was only a 5 minute car ride.  I kept telling J the baby was gone and apologizing.

I remember walking in the doctor's office and how quiet it was.  No one was the but the receptionist (who was about to leave) and a nurse.  The doctor was still at the hospital (across the street), and it took him another 10 minutes to get in.  My family also met us there, so we all waited nervously in the empty waiting room.

I remember the nurse taking me and J back to an exam room.  She said, "Daddy, you can sit right here" and I thought that was a really insensitive comment to make considering our situation.  I told her "I don't think he's a daddy anymore" and she asked why I thought that.  I then said "because I'm bleeding a lot," and she became quiet.  She then said that blood doesn't always mean a miscarriage is taking place.  I started crying because I felt for sure that we had lost our baby.

I remember the doctor coming in the room and seeing that he was a male.  I didn't want to see a male doctor before, but at that time I didn't care who saw me--as long as my baby was okay.  The nurse brought in the ultrasound machine (their old one--a technician uses the state of the art new one, but since it was after hours she was gone), but the standard ultrasound wasn't done (like you always see in the movies).  I had a transvaginal ultrasound since I was still early in the pregnancy, and since I'd never had an ultrasound done before I had no idea about this kind.  Again, as long as they could tell me my baby was fine, I didn't care what he used.

I remember the doctor looking at the ultrasound image and saying the baby was still alive.  We could kind of make her out on the screen.  He then checked the heart rate and looked concerned, saying it was only 75 beats per minute or so.  It should have been double that.  That's when he said I was threatening miscarriage and had a 50/50 chance of carrying to term.

I remember him explaining that 50% of women stop bleeding and continue with a normal pregnancy, while the other 50% keep bleeding and it ends in miscarriage.  I had basically stopped bleeding in the exam room, so I was starting to become hopeful.  But I had bled a lot before I stopped.  It soaked my underwear and pad.

I remember the doctor looking at the heart rate again, and then he looked back at me and said, "I would like to see that heart rate a lot higher.  Based off of this low rate, I'm not too optimistic about your chances...."  He was patting me knee as he said this.  He was trying to prepare me for a strong possibility of miscarriage.  He was a nice man, but those final words were not what I wanted to hear.  My first and original OB appointment was set for March 10th, so he said I should come back then and they would use the state of the art machine to see how everything looked.  Until then, I had four days to think about those final words and expect the worst.

I remember going home, changing outfits, and laying on the couch the rest of the night.  J picked up Donatos Pizza, and I started watching Momma Mia to take my mind off things.  I thought it would be a good movie to cheer me up, but when the song "Slipping Through My Fingers" started playing, I completely lost it.  I kept thinking about how I might not get a chance to see my baby grow up.

The next 3.5 days were horrible.  I cried non stop and stayed in bed or on the couch 99% of the time (I didn't want to risk anything).  At my appointment on March 10th, I was so scared they would tell me my baby had died.  I was shaking and crying.  However, the ultrasound technician said the baby looked great.  And the heart rate was 150 bpm.  She could see the source of my bleeding was from a Subchorionic Hematoma (SCH).  The doctor couldn't see this on the old machine because the picture wasn't as clear.  As for the low heart rate days before?  We later found out from my main doctor that they don't even try to tell the heart rate on the old machine because it's not accurate.  I was infuriated when I heard that!  The on call doctor had me worrying almost needlessly for days.   There are still risks associated with a SCH, but it doesn't always lead to miscarriage.

After my main doctor reviewed the good ultrasounds, and after diagnosing my SCH, she said I was still at an increased risk of miscarriage, and that my chances of carrying to term were slightly higher than 50%.  That wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear, but it was better than I thought just days before.  I went back and had more ultrasounds done during the next couple of weeks to see if the SCH was shrinking, and a few weeks later it was completely gone.

Now we have a beautiful baby girl, and she's the best thing that's happened to us.  We love her like crazy!

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