An "abrupt" complicationI haven't talked much about my pregnancy here on the blog. I've been posting baby bump pics every so often on Instagram and have mentioned a few milestones on my Facebook page - like feeling baby's first kicks. Other than some moderate morning sickness in the first trimester, things had been going relatively well. Then I had some upsetting news at my appointment today. All is okay with baby right now, but at 23 weeks and 1 day I heard those two ugly words way earlier than I have in my other pregnancies...bed rest.
But let me rewind a bit...
I found out I was pregnant on Father's Day. The week before was spent packing up the house to make our official move from Texas. We had already planned an extended trip back to Kentucky for the summer and the first part of it was a road trip from KY to our family home in Michigan for a week. Ricky took some vacation time and came along - and we celebrated birthdays (my niece Lilly's, my aunt's and Hudson's), went to the beach, made s'mores around the fire pit and more. We so love our time spent there. Towards the end of the week, I started feeling a little funny and my womanly intuition told me to take a pregnancy test. I'll be honest, I was extremely nervous for the results...not because I thought it might be negative, but instead at the thought of it being positive. Here we were, embarking on a huge move across the country, splitting our family in two, starting the boys at a new school, living with my parents. Could we possibly add anything to our already jam packed plate? Well, God thought so. Two little pink lines proved it.
After taking the test, I woke Ricky from his nap on the couch. "Let's go for a walk," I suggested. He resisted. "Later," he said. There was no way I could keep the news in any longer so I pushed. "No, let's go now." After hemming and hawing he finally agreed. "I have one last present to give you for Father's Day," I said.
Still unsure how I felt about it, I needed to get it out there to him so I could begin to process it. I mean was I happy? Of course. Ricky and I had mutually decided that perhaps we weren't finished building our family after Hudson was born, a decision that took both of us by surprise. We chose to leave it in God's hands - if it was meant to happen, it would happen. Months went by and I didn't get pregnant. I had submitted to the fact that perhaps it wasn't in the cards for us...and then boom. Out of the blue. It happened. So I was a bit taken back for sure.
We got a whole 10 feet from the house when I spilled the beans. "So there's something I'd like to give you" and I pulled the positive test from the front pocket of my hoodie. "Happy Father's Day!" My voice trembled as I told him the news. I think he said something along the lines of "Are you serious?" and then swallowed me up in a hug. As I shook my head yes, I burst into tears. He was so confused, asking why I was crying. "I don't know! I'm just so surprised. It's hard to process. I can't believe it happened and we are doing this all over again!" The emotion was too much to hold back. We both cried and laughed through our tears. I felt guilty for not immediately being overcome with joy. For letting the stress of what we had going on in our lives take precedence over the happiness of realizing this was God's plan and it would all work out. We spent the next few days in disbelief - exchanging smiles and head shakes across the room. We went ahead and shared the news with our family and with that the excitement started to build.
Like I said, the first trimester brought about a pretty long bout of morning sickness. Every car ride, plate of food and sip of water made me throw up. It was a bit worse than the first 3 times so of course everyone's initial thought was "this one has got to be a girl". But at just 13 weeks along I had some genetic testing done where the fetal cells were actually extracted from my blood stream which not only told us that we were in the lowest risk group for certain birth defects like Trisomy-13, 18 and 21, but it also allowed us to find out the gender. The phone call came with the results and I merged the call with Ricky who was back in Texas at the time. It was a bit strange doing it this way, not hearing the news in person as we looked at an ultrasound screen. When the genetic counselor said "It's a boy", Ricky and I both began to laugh. Deep down I knew it would be.
For several weeks things were going really well. I even allowed myself to wonder what it would be like to make it the entire pregnancy without a single "complication". Wouldn't that be nice?
At around 15 weeks I was snapped back into reality. I started having a bit of bleeding and of course began to worry. I phoned the doctors office, who had put me under the care of their high-risk nurse for any and all issues because of my history. The amount was not worrisome and it didn't last long so they just told me not to sweat it. A few days went by and it happened again. And then again. I went in for a regular visit and an ultrasound and both exams showed baby, placenta and fluid was fine. A huge relief yet they had no explanation for the bleeding.
A few weeks ago there was an episode of bleeding that was much more than any of the others. I called the doctor and they asked me to come in first thing the next morning. As I laid there, I began feeling crampy and achy so I didn't want to wait. I made the decision to go to the hospital to have things checked out that night. They kept me for a while to monitor things, but because I was no longer actively bleeding, I was sent home. At just 18 weeks they said that even if something was going on that was detrimental to the pregnancy, there really wasn't anything they could do to try to save it. I worried I was miscarrying or was about to.
The appointment the next morning again showed no signs of anything out of the ordinary. Fetal movement was good. No other symptoms. While the doctor said sometimes bleeding happens in normal pregnancies, he admitted that with my prior history it made him a little nervous. He asked me to try to take it easy and hopefully things would calm down.
The bleeding never went away - in fact, what started out happening once every few days, began occurring every other day, then every day. Again, not a lot. And not all day long. Just enough to make me worry.
At my monthly appointment today I got some sobering news. While it has not been confirmed by ultrasound, the doctor believes the bleeding is caused by a placental abruption - which is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall. It can be a partial or total detachment and may or may not cause bleeding, ranging from mild to extreme. Often times it is hard to detect using ultrasound imaging. She said she isn't sure about the diagnosis but wants to treat me as if this is the case.
The risks from a placental abruption are serious. Depending on the severity, it can cause problems with the amount of nutrients that get through the placenta to the baby, which can in turn affect the baby's growth. A lot of women with this condition end up on hospital bed rest so they can monitor the situation around the clock. Luckily at this point I'm able to avoid that. Instead, my doctor called for "modified bed rest" which means "eliminating all unnecessary activity." I could feel the lump in my throat as she was saying all of this but held it together until I got in my car and called Ricky.
Then the waterworks started. So many emotions. I immediately fear for the safety of the baby. What if it gets worse and we lose him? What if it's already affecting his growth? Then I am upset at the thought of missing out on things because of bed rest. I've been there done that and believe me, it isn't fun. Sure I might get out of some cleaning and errand running. But what about Ethan's first basketball game and taking the kids trick-or-treating? And what about lifting and holding my 15-month old? Are those "unnecessary activities" for a mom of 3?
While I might pout a bit about my situation and I might be bummed about losing a bit of independence, I am going to do everything I can to take care of myself and this little boy growing inside of me. In the end, it's all that matters.
I have an ultrasound tomorrow afternoon to check on the baby - to make sure he is growing okay and to see if they can confirm the abruption. Please say some prayers that everything is on track.
I should have more time on my hands to sit down and write now that I'm being told to get off my feet and rest more, however if you're on Facebook, be sure to like More Skees Please for more frequent updates.