When I was pregnant with Meredith I was told I had an Extra large Subcorionic hemorrhage and the outcome would likely be very bad. I was told she had a slim chance of even surviving and if she did she would be born early and have *insert huge list of problems*. I came home and searched the Internet for positive outcomes. Surely someone somewhere had a happy ending! If I was going to find a glimmer of hope anywhere it would be the Internet. So I searched and searched and searched. Not 1 happy ending. Not one. So I want to share mine. I want my story to be someone’s glimmer of hope.
A Subcorionic hemorrhage is a collection of blood near the placenta in the outer fetal membrane, or between the uterus and placenta itself. It is the most common abnormality found with ultrasound in the early weeks. Chances of the baby surviving depends on the size of the clot, and the age of the baby. The bigger the clot the less chance of survival. The smaller the baby the less chance of survival. My clot was 8cmx8cm extremely large and my baby was 8 weeks. Extremely small.
It started when I was was 8 weeks pregnant. I had not yet been to a doctor and I didn’t even know how far along I was, I thought I was closer to 6 weeks. (Later found out I was right and the doctor was wrong) The scariest thing a pregnant women can see is blood. It literally makes your heart sink. So, when I stood up from the couch and felt like my period had started, I instantly freaked out. I went to the bathroom to of course find blood. A lot of blood. My heart sank and I felt a million different emotions especially having just lost a baby. I got dressed and went to the hospital. After what seemed like an eternity they did an ultrasound and found a heartbeat. I really couldn’t understand how it was possible with so much blood but it was! I was relieved. They told me I had a Subcorionic Hemorrhage and to see my doctor in a week. The bleeding had slowed down and I went home.
Hours after being home I stood up from bed to pee and again I started bleeding. This time so much that you could hear the blood hitting the floor. I was scared and tired. Against my better judgement I laid down in bed and just thought to myself, “I don’t want to die, what about my kids, they can’t grow up without me. I can’t survive another miscarriage. How am I going to do this.” I was freezing cold and covered up with 3 blankets and a hoodie. I drifted off to sleep and woke 3 more times covered in blood. Luckily, the bleeding had slowed down by morning and I KNEW I lost the baby. I was so work out I just wanted it over. I called the doctor to tell her about the bleeding and she was very concerned about the blood loss and was also convinced I miscarried. She made me an emergency appointment an hour later and I went in. She did another ultrasound to see what was going on. She prepared me by telling me it was probable that the baby was gone, it was nothing I did etc. I prepared myself mentally to hear that there was no heartbeat again. Instead, there was the little bean and a nice strong heartbeat. I’m not sure who was more shocked, me, or her. She told me it was a good sign but not to get my hopes up. My SCH was huge and my baby was small. The odds definitely where not in my favor. She sent me home and told me to return in a week.
Through the following week I continued to bleed just like I had my period. Every day I was haunted with the fact that I would probably loose my baby. A week went by and we saw her heartbeat again. The bleeding continued… Week after week I bled. Week after week she lived.
By 14 weeks my doctor decided to give her a chance, she scheduled me an appointment with Maternal fetal medicine specialist and started treating me like a normal OB patient. I went to my MFM appointment to have another ultrasound and be faced with another odd against us. The clot was smack dab in the middle of her placenta. It was likely that it would cut off her nutrition and she would basically die from being deprived of nutrition. If by chance she didn’t die, she faced an early birth and lots of problems. I hated my body. I feared I would loose her every day, and now I feared it wouldn’t even be short and sweet for her.
I continued bleeding, as viability got closer I got more scared. I felt like there was no way I could hold my dead baby. I had researched how they would deliver her if she didn’t make it. I reserched what to expect. Time went by. I was hospitalized twice more with serious major bleeds. Like the kind where the bathroom looked like a slaughterhouse. Each time I was told there wasn’t anything they could do (because as long as the baby had a heartbeat I wasn’t letting them have her!!!) They warned me that the bigger she got, I was putting my own life on the line too. I was at risk for placental abruption. Placental abruption is when the placenta pulls away from the uterus. It could ultimately result in the baby suffocating and me bleeding to death. Living 30 minutes from any hospital that could perform immediate surgery meant that it was likely both of us would die in the event of a full abruption. I chose to take my chances. They gave me a few warning signs that would hopefully appear first and sent me on my way.
I hit “viability” and was immediately given beta methadone shots to help the babies lungs and prepare for early delivery. Again and again I was warned that we could both die in the event of an abruption. I was warned that the baby was likely not to make it anyway because she would likely be born way too soon. Everyday I was convinced I was going to loose her. I tried to make peace with loosing her, I planned how her funeral would be, I planned that I would take a million pictures to remember her by and cut a lock of her hair. I thought of how I would tell her sisters and how I would let them meet her. I reserched how they would deliver her if she passed and tried to imagine how I could deal with holding her cold lifeless body. I began grieving her death before she was even born. I tried to plan what would happen if I died with her. It was so much for me to wrap my head around, too much really. Every single day until she was born.
I bled every single day but at 26 weeks on the dot, the bleeding got bad. The contractions started. I made the call to have my husband rush me the closest hospital that was capable of taking care of us. I prayed the entire way. When I arrived they hooked me up and confirmed that the baby was ok, that I was contracting, and I was also abrupting. Luckily they didn’t jump the gun. They decided to stabilize me and ship me out to a hospital with a NICU ASAP. They sent the head nurse with me for the ride.
When I arrived there, they checked me over and put me on bedrest. They got the bleeding and contractions under control and admitted me until farther notice. My placenta had not fully abrupted so the baby could stay in longer. Over the weeks I stayed there I had blood drawn every 3 days to be cross and matched so they would have blood on hand for me. I was given iron transfusions in preperation for the blood loss at delivery. The pediatricians came in to explain what problems she could face if she where to be born. I signed the concent for my emergency c section when the time came. I laid there and I waited. I was able to tour the NICU. Such a sad place. My room was right over top of the entrance to the children’s hospital, where day after day half full stretchers of sick kids where brought in. Day after day I would hear on the speakers the call for rapid response team on peds floor. I was able to hear the chatter in the hall on the maternity floor, fetal demise in the room down the hall. 24 weeker born too soon. Moms leaving without their babies. When I was allowed to walk, I went to the cafeteria, it was on the cancer unit. Another sad place to be. I missed my kids. I missed my husband. I felt like my heart was ripped out every 5 minutes. A hospital is so emotionally draining. Day after day.
They decided I was stable enough to go home for Christmas. That was even more worry. Again too far from a hospital. Again scared to death for my babies life and my own. I counted down the days and prayed for her to hang on just a little longer. I had my last round of betamethazone and finally at 32 weeks started to believe I might get a baby. MIGHT.
They set my induction for 37 weeks. All of them in shock that I even made it that far. All that bedrest I was dilated to zero. They did my cross and match. They had the blood bank prepare my blood. They placed me in the delivery room straight across from the OR and we got started. Cirvidil for 12 hours. Then my water broke. The blood gushed with every contraction. I had my epidural and pitocin in hopes we could get this over with soon. We didn’t tolerate the pitocin and I started to pass out. The baby’s heart rate started to bottom out so a team of nurses and doctors rushed in. They flushed my system and put oxygen on me. They started amnio ifusions (pumping water in to cushion the baby). My epidural stopped working and the pain was insane. The bleeding was insane. Hours of doctors standing over me. Finally it was time to push. One push and she was out. No crying. They quickly cut her cord and started to work on her. She had swallowed a lot of blood. They suctioned her and suctioned her until she finally started crying. I was so weak I shook for hours. I was in denial and I couldn’t believe she was finally here. She was alive. She proved everyone wrong. She was a happy ending. There are happy endings It was long and it was hard but it was worth it. My Miracle. I hope our story offers some hope. Sometimes the doctors leave us with very little, but God can pull us through.