Saturday, August 15, 2020

Unknown Bleeding During Weeks 10-12 of Pregnancy

Carrying babies is not often a secure experience. It’s a journey that none of us understand or have much control over. To the loving mamas who are bleeding, hurting, doubting, fearful or mourning, your pain is valid. You are not to blame. If you’re sitting in anxiety right now and need prayer, please know that you’re getting it. I know how fortunate I am that my story did not result in miscarriage. I would never try to equate my story with that of loss. This account took me months to finish because re-living it was hard but so many of yall have messaged me asking or relating to this experience. Here is my experience with what I thought was a loss in my pregnancy journey.

My pregnancy was smooth sailing until week 10.

Week 10

I was at the “New Moms” class my church offered when I thought I felt something wet. As a new mom, I’m well aware of incontinence, but this felt different. I asked our table leader to watch my Swirl Girl and headed to the restroom to see what was going on. Bright red blood. That’s the first thing I noticed. I started breathing rapidly, repeating “no no no” and fumbled around for my cell phone in my pocket. I called the front desk of my OBGYNS office, and since nobody picked up, I left a message.

Back in the new mom’s class, I told one of the ladies I was bleeding a little, but she didn’t seem alarmed. Yet something in me felt unsettled, so I went back to the restroom and noticed substantially more blood this time. The tears started, my phone rang, and in that haze, I remember answering a rapid-fire of questions from my OBGYN’s office. I booked the next available appt, which was in an hour, and called my husband. He told me he was in the car, leaving work coming to get me ASAP.

After hanging up, I remember leaning against the bathroom stall, trying not to let worst-case scenarios run through my brain.

God’s Provision Even In Pain

I walked out of the bathroom to hear a voice behind me, asking me if I was okay.

She let me know she was part of the worship band and offered me the green room to process, rest, and wait on my hubby. Once in the green room, one of my friends, who is also a worship leader, came in, and she asked me how she could help. She helped me get all my things and baby girl, and bring them to the green room. After that, another worship leader came in and asked if he could pray over the situation. His wife had gone through a couple of miscarriages, so he understood the level of fear I was feeling. Even in my sheer panic, I did notice how God brought several people into my life in a matter of minutes to pray over baby, me, and the situation.

Hubby arrived and we three sat in the waiting room, praying desperately, sending texts to our people asking them to pray, and just waiting on the doctor to come back from her lunch break. The doctor immediately found a heartbeat. We were so thankful! She told me that she thought it was because of sex (??) and that my body was still healing from the first pregnancy. She told me it most likely wouldn’t happen again, to slow down and rest, and that I shouldn’t worry. Within a few days, I stopped bleeding, and we also found out the gender— boy! And then a week later, I started bleeding profusely. But this time, I also started cramping.

Week 12

I called my doctor’s office, and they said the earliest available appt was the following afternoon, or I could go to the emergency room. This was also the week hours were dramatically reduced, and spouses were not allowed into the appt because of COVID restrictions. We decided to wait till the next day rather than go to the ER because if it was a miscarriage, there was no stopping it. If it wasn’t, my doctor would be able to pinpoint the issue.

The next 24 hours were horrible, physically, and mentally. I was consistently bleeding and had such bad cramps. In the evening, the pain subsided enough for me to fall asleep only to wake up later to heavy clots passing. I used a whole roll of toilet paper that night and felt so drained, crying there on the toilet, asking, “GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING.” I remember texting my best friend who lived across the world and seeking her wisdom, prayers, and comfort because she had walked through actual pregnancy loss and could empathize with these out of control fears and feelings flooding my being.

This was a note I wrote in my journal when I couldn’t sleep that night:

‘I’m in my 12th week now and woke up at 2 to a lot of blood. I’m still cramping, so I’m guessing that’s what’s pushing out this blood. What blood is this? Is it mine or is it his? People say things are smooth sailing after the 12th week of pregnancy. All I feel is anxiety. I took things for granted in my first pregnancy, and here I am, just praying desperately for protection.”

The Next Morning

That next morning, hubby woke up to find me wide awake and sitting up. I had barely slept the night before due to all the bleeding and felt exhausted. I remember in my weakest moment telling hubby, “I doubt we hit our insurance deductible. This is going to be one expensive month.” He looked at me, a mixture of grave concern and pain, “Why are you talking like you’ve lost all hope?” We didn’t talk on our way to the appt. He tried to come into the app, but the front desk employee would not let him in because of COVID precautions, so I just sat there in the lobby, crying, afraid of the news we were about to hear.

At my appt, I FaceTimed hubs, and the doctor came in. Five seconds later, she found a heartbeat. I shouted, “WHAT?” The baby was measuring 12 weeks and five days and growing steadily! When we asked her why I kept bleeding, she thought I had placenta previa, a high-risk birth condition that happens in 1/200 women requiring a C-section and regular monitoring to see if the baby is growing. She ordered me to strict bed rest in the lying down position, no exercise, no sex, and a diet with a surplus of iron. From what I read about placenta previa, it’s a condition that causes bleeding throughout the pregnancy. She told me the real difficulty would be around weeks 18-22 and started talking about the earliest I could give birth to a healthy baby, how high-risk everything was, how great modern medicine was, etc.

The Specialist Appointment

I left that appt thankful but also in a whole new world of anxiety. My doctor scheduled a specialist appt for me the following week to confirm whether or not it was a placenta prévia causing the bleeding. The next week, I kept spotting bright red blood, but the cramps subsided.

At the specialist appt, the first thing they said was that my placenta was in the right place, and they couldn’t pinpoint the cause of bleeding. Everything I’d read online was telling me different. Bright red blood. Cramping. Consistent bleeding. Filling up pads. Spotting. But here we were at the specialist, and he didn’t see any cause for concern. He told me it was not a cause to worry and that there was a minor chance the baby would be affected. He told me not to continue bed-rest and to come back in eight weeks.

My husband will say it was God’s hand and miraculous healing. I will say it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever lost hope. Nobody could put a label on what the issue was. All I know is that I am so thankful for every day I carry this little one with me.

Cheers,

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