Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Fake the Perfect Life

Normally, I would be posting about some new arrivals or something I find inspirational.  In a complete 360, this post is going on the personal side. There were some complications we had with Sadie's pregnancy that were never shared.  At the time, we decided not to talk about it…I think somehow I felt like talking about it would jinx it, or it got 'too real' when mentioned.  Sadie is three weeks old today & I'm feeling everything today…complete gratitude & so much raw emotion, that what we could have lost is currently snuggled in my arms.  With the urge of a few friends, I've decided to share our story.  It gets pretty personal & a bit TMI, so proceed as you'd like...

November 11th, 2016 (11 weeks pregnant). I had just sat down with my cup of thrice-reheated coffee while Zoey was crawling around on her play mat.  That's when I felt it.  I ran to the washroom, hoping what I felt was not what I thought it was & there it was…endless amounts of bright, red blood.  Gush after gush.  Instantly I tried to reassure myself…'it's ok', 'the baby is fine'…out loud, over & over.  I called my husband at work, who said he'd meet me at the hospital.  I changed my clothes, I packed up sweet Zoey, & drove to emerg…still reassuring myself out loud.  

After hours of pricking & prodding, the Emerg doctor determined my cervix was still closed.   She ordered an ultrasound to determine the cause of bleeding, which had barely slowed down.  We were allowed to go back home & 'rest' for a few hours until the ultrasound appointment.  I was a wreck…I couldn't stop shaking, every time I looked at Zoey it got worse.  She is the biggest blessing in our lives, I couldn't help but think that we could, at that very moment, be losing a baby that could be just like her.  

We had a miscarriage before Zoey, another fact that not many know as it was never publicly shared.  We had lost my father-in-law, our first dog, & then a baby…it was all just too much, blow after blow.  All of which crossed my mind, all of which made me think I just couldn't handle another loss.  Any mama who has been to an ultrasound appointment knows that mixed feeling of excitement & pure terror…it could go any way, the baby could be fine, there could be no heartbeat, etc.  I always breathe a sigh of relief after I leave those appointments, never fully letting myself celebrate until I hear or see that heartbeat & know that everything is ok.  This particular appointment left me solely feeling terrified.  The techs aren't allowed to tell you much, as we all know, so we sat in silence for a few minutes as she rolled the wand over my belly.  Finally, I begged her,  if she could please just tell me if the baby had a heartbeat.  She said that giving me that information put her in a tough spot.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks.  More silence.  Finally, she hit the volume button & I heard the heartbeat.  It was strong, it was beating. I breathed a sigh of relief as we waited in emerg for two more hours.  We finally had a diagnosis- I had a subchorionic hemmorage (SCH), categorized as Large & was the culprit behind the bleeding.  The doctor explained what it was (I had a brief knowledge from school), that it could lead to a spontaneous abortion or absorb itself & disappear.  She said it was the largest she had ever seen, wished me luck, & said I should come back for another ultrasound in a months time & see my doctor as soon as possible, 
suggesting a referral to my OB as well.  I starred at the sheet she had printed me & all I saw was 9cm x 9cm x 3.4 cm in bold (the dimension of the SCH).  I hardly remember the rest of the night, I went through the motions of Zoey's routine & just lost it.  I knew our chances that this baby would make it were slim…at 11 weeks, this thing was larger than the entire pregnancy.  

My husband is the level-headed, go-with-the-flow one in our relationship, which I very much need because I'm the worst-case-scenario one.  He said to me that night that this was out of our hands & what was meant to be, would be.  We agreed to take it day by day & count our blessings.  I bled for six more weeks, had ultrasounds weekly (the only plus of this situation), & started seeing my OB at 13 weeks (normally you go at 20 weeks here).  We missed my brother's wedding, being in Iowa for Christmas, baby showers, birthdays, & countless other events for friends & family.  Add all of this to the stress of being on modified bed rest with an infant to take care of, learning that the company I was planning to return to in January had hit rock bottom (aka my position was no longer available), & that I required 600 hours to go back on mat leave...I was completely overwhelmed & have never felt so helpless.  At one scan, I was told the placenta was low & there was a chance I'd require a c-section.  Believe me when I say, this was probably the shittiest few months I've ever had. 

Week after week the SCH shrank & finally at 20 weeks, there was no sign of it. I was cleared to return to work...the Friday before the Monday I was to start. I worked 60 hour weeks while pregnant & chased a toddler around in between.  I completed my hours a few weeks ahead of my worst-case-scenario schedule & was able to travel home for Easter on the last weekend of suggested travel (34 weeks).  The point of all of this? There's not much information on SCHs because it's fairly unknown why they form & they differ from person to person. And don't you dare google it... there's so much doom & gloom that I wanted to share a happy scenario.  That even when the emerg doctor tells you it's the largest SCH she's encountered & when your OB waits two weeks to schedule an appointment because she's sure that it'll end in a miscarriage, that there's still hope.  Our Sadie was meant to be here & we were meant to be her parents... she's our little miracle.  

Thanks for Reading! 

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