Baby Stay In, Infection Stay Out!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has sent me thoughts and supportive comments – I sincerely cannot tell you how much that means to me.  They have been a bright spot in a difficult place, and I appreciate it so, so very much.

It was four o’clock Wednesday morning.

At first I thought I was dreaming. My copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife was laying beside the bed, where I’d dropped it a couple of days earlier, having forgotten when I started re-reading it about some of the miscarriage scenes in the novel. Surely reading that had pushed me into a nightmare.

My semi-conscious brain, however, told me that I needed to check the warm gush that had awakened me out, so I got up and walked into the bathroom. I felt something trickling down my leg. Sat, pulled down my pad, and gasped.

There was a waterfall of blood. My large, overnight pad was soaked, so saturated that I couldn’t pull it loose without blood dripping out of it. There were tiny dots of bright red across the bathroom floor and on the bathmat I hadn’t thought to kick out of the way. Sh*t, I thought.

I carefully cleaned myself up, then wiped away the drips on the floor. Yelled for Arthur to bring me a fresh pair of underwear. Arthur padded in, asking if I needed him to run a sink of cold water to soak the soiled pair. Yes, my husband now knows the trick to removing blood from clothing.

Despite the obscene amount of blood, I was pretty certain I hadn’t actually miscarried at that point. I’d gone in for an ultrasound Tuesday afternoon, which had shown a very healthy baby and the subchorionic hematoma fairly static. I changed my garments, and went back to bed.

For the next three hours, I lay awake, waiting for that telltale sort of pressure sensation that occurs just before a bleed. I got up each time so as not to get blood on everything, and waited for it to stop. I had three more large bleeds, all bright red.

By 7:15, I felt that the situation warranted a call to the on-call OB. He told me to come straight to the hospital. I was direct-admitted to the OB ward.

The baby’s heartbeat was fairly easy to pick up with a doppler, so that was a huge relief. I had blood drawn to check my hemoglobin level, which had dropped to 10.7. It wasn’t a life threatening or transfusion-necessary level, but it was low. I also had an IV so they could give me fluids to make up the volume I was losing. I had two more gushes while in the hospital, but thankfully, after that, the bleeding stopped.

I got to go home later that evening. I rested the next day, and then on Friday, had an appointment with the maternal-fetal-medicine specialist (MFM).

It was one of those good news/bad news scenarios. The MFM told me that the placenta looks great, the bleed isn’t detaching it, and the baby continues to grow right on target. He also noted that there are some large sections of the SCH that have gone from being liquid to being more solid clots, and didn’t think there would be any further fresh bleeding. He said that he did not think my life was in danger, which meant I could continue to carry the pregnancy.

The bad news? I still have a collection of liquid blood sitting right above my cervix. This is a problem because liquid, static, body temperature blood is an awesome medium for growing pathogens. The human vagina has a lot of natural bacteria, which puts me at risk for infection. An infection, he told me, would result in preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) and I’m not to the point of viability at just past 15 weeks.

The next 7-10 days, the MFM said, will be critical. Hopefully by that point, the SCH will either finish clotting up or the liquid portion will drain out (or a combination of both).

In some ways, this is nothing I didn’t know already. Thanks to my profession, I was fairly aware that infection was a risk at this point. However, there is something about hearing a doctor say it out loud that makes it all somehow more real.

So yeah, cue mental freak out that resulted in a crying jag on Saturday morning. After a little bit though, I pulled myself together and reminded myself that I’ve lived with this risk for about four or five weeks already. There’s really nothing to be done except to hope, pray, and continue to wait it out.

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8 thoughts on “Baby Stay In, Infection Stay Out!

  1. I am glad for your heartbeat and that the bleeding is non-life-threatening right now, but I am SO SORRY that this has just been one scary moment after another, to understate it completely. I hope that you do not develop an infection, I hope that things calm down in that uterus, and I hope that you can have some peace soon. I am so glad that the baby seems to be a strong fighter at this point, despite all the craziness surrounding him/her. Best to you at this difficult time!

  2. Omg, regardless of crying jags, you are managing this like a champ! This bleeding would send me over the edge to the looney bin. I’m crazy-happy that baby & stuff are growing and intact. I pray this resolves quietly soon so you can relax some. Hang in there, xo

  3. I’m adding your name and special intention to my church’s “prayer warriors” list. My immediate prayer for you is an infection-free, quiet and uneventful pregnancy from here on out. Sending you many virtual ((((hugs)))).

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