Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A pregnancy scare, and relief

Scare is an understatement. It was more like a nightmare. But all's well that ends well, so in hindsight is was only a scare. 

I had my first prenatal appointment one week ago today, at 15 weeks pregnancy. Everything was picture perfect - strong heart beat, baby kicked the Doppler a few times, lab work all came back perfect, my own health was excellent. Today's world makes a big deal about a) moms of many, and b) 'older' moms (over age 35). In medical terms, I am a 'geriatric grand multigravida' because at the ripe old age of 38, I am pregnant with my 10th child.




Personally, I think that moms in general live healthier lives than teens and single young people. Consequently, my health and finances with our first were not anywhere near as ideal as they are now, after 17 years of marriage and the health and stability that brings. God has marvelously designed it in such a way that women stop being able to get pregnant well in time to see even their youngest into adulthood. Of course, catastrophe can strike anyone at any time, but that has nothing to do with age. 



Anyhow, on Sunday afternoon I was alarmed to notice I had some spotting (brown, which means old, blood). I know this is very common for many moms. In fact, I had a full-on period this pregnancy around the time I was 4 weeks pregnant. Still, anytime I had seen blood in past pregnancies, they had ended in miscarriage. I have had five miscarriages, all around week 5/6, and the 20-week loss of Boaz' twin brother, Jachin. But I had never had a miscarriage this late into a pregnancy. Seeing blood was highly alarming, no matter how common or normal it is considered for others. 

My midwife was 2 hours away, and sent one of the midwives she works with (who has been to my previous births) to check on baby. After ten minutes of listening all over my easily palpable uterus, she had not been able to find heart tones. She hung around for a little bit, giving baby a chance to move into a different position, and checked for several minutes more. Still nothing. We heard what we thought was blood pumping through the placenta (it sounds distinctly different from the cord, mom, or the baby), but it was in time to my own pulse and not the baby's (which would be about twice as fast), indicating the worst - baby had died and was no longer showing a heartbeat.

No matter how many kids a mom has, losing one is a devastating tragedy. My husband was at church, preaching the evening service during this time. He had not stayed home with me because we figured chances were everything was fine. Now I had nobody to share the heartbreaking news with. 

The midwife spoke to me about what to expect. Due to the size and age of the baby, I would actually have to go through labor and delivery. There might be excessive blood loss. I was remembering back to all the steps necessary to obtain a burial permit and make arrangements with the cemetery.

It was a nightmare indeed. I hardly slept that first night, expecting labor to start. Hoping, actually, that it would be soon. My husband had a trip planned for Mon/Tue which he canceled, and another to Canada later this week that he could not back out of without major financial losses for tickets that had been purchased months earlier. I myself have a pastor's wives retreat later next week for which PW's are flying in for from out of state. There's never a good time to lose a baby, but this certainly was about the worst timing possible. 


I got up yesterday determined to spend the day doing something other than sitting at home with everyone all day, tending to their unending needs, and waiting for the inevitable. I packed up Anna, Stephen, and Boaz and took them to a kiddie pool to play and have fun while I sat watching and just resting. My husband and older kids stayed home taking care of the baby and household. 

As I sat there, I noticed I still 'felt' pregnant. And by 'felt pregnant', I mean I was still starving hungry 24/7 and craving nothing but fry bread, Mexican food, steak, and pizza - the themes this pregnancy. Normally, my pregnancy symptoms and appetite subside immediately after a loss. In fact, sometimes that is my first indication that something is wrong. Here I was sitting pool-side, stuffing my face with disgusting chili cheese fries and wanting more yet. 

I started texting with my midwife and she said there was a chance baby might be alive after all. She had slept on it and woken up doubting the results from the previous day. She didn't think a full ultrasound was a good idea because though not very invasive, it might aggravate whatever issue had caused the spotting. But she did want to check me herself with a stronger Doppler than the other midwife had used. I did not want to go in and listen to a dead womb again. I thought she was just overly hopeful and I would be setting myself up to relive the previous day's nightmare. But my husband really wanted to make sure because of his trip later this week so I agreed to go.

I took the kids home in the early afternoon and laid them down to naps, then my husband, Chloe, and I went to see the midwife. 

 15 weeks pregnant


No joke, not five seconds in, we heard the familiar little clop-clop-clop of the baby's heart beat. You can imagine our relief! I wanted to keep listening to it just because it was such a beautiful sound after 24 hours of agony. We were so happy and relieved we all went out to dinner afterward to celebrate. 

And yes, I'm still starving hungry today. I just had a second breakfast of steak after my usual oatmeal this morning, and am already planning on hitting up a super-good local taco truck during nap time. I suddenly have a whole new appreciation for my ravenous appetite! 

Praise the Lord for what I consider nothing short of a miracle! Please do pray for the little one if you think of it. The spotting was minimal and had stopped by Monday, but we don't know what caused it. I will go in for a full medical ultrasound in a couple of weeks to give everything a chance to settle down and stabilize, and see what's going on, if anything. Chances are, it was nothing. 

Now please excuse me while I chase down the Taco Truck...

22 comments:

  1. I can't help but cry tears of joy for you!

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  2. So happy and thankful for you! I have bled, spotted throughout all four of my pregnancies and all my babies came out fine and the doctors/midwives never could figure out why despite all the tests and ultrasounds. Still, it was always scary. I will definitely keep you and your little one in prayer. God bless you and your family!

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  3. God bless you, I'm so grateful your baby is OK! I know the heartache of an early loss too, even with many healthy living children myself also, but simply cannot begin to even imagine a mid pregnancy loss yet still. Your family is always in my prayers!

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  4. so glad that you didn't lose the precious babe

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  5. God is good, praise Him indeed! I do hope your next visit goes smoothly. We will continue praying for you and baby!

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  6. I am so glad for you. Like I told you yesterday, I have had two miscarriages...one at 12 wks and one at 5. The one at 12 was awful. I wanted to go through it naturally, and it took a week for my body to go into labor. Once I finally did go into labor, I dilated and had contractions and everything. I also hemorrhaged. I remember crying in the shower thinking, "All of this, and no baby to show for it." I had my blood drawn to check my hemoglobin, and it was about 6 points lower than it normally is. All that to say, going through a miscarriage as far along as you are is a nightmare, and not something I would wish on anyone. And I can't believe you had to wait that long in agony, not knowing. Waiting is the worst. I bet that 24 hours seemed liked a year. So glad you and little jumping bean are doing ok!! ~Cassandra McMurtry

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  7. So happy for you! You look absolutely beautiful!

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  8. If there is anything even more joyous than a new Anderson baby-on-the-way, it is the joy of this miracle. Praise God! We are so happy for you!!!

    Love,
    Diana

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  9. God is so good. I went thru a similar scare with my almost 18 year old son. The ER staff actually told me I had miscarried, but I did not believe them. I insisted on a vaginal ultrasound. They did one, and there he was. The doctor never did figure out what that mass of bloody tissue was I passed. I was put on bed rest and told I had abstain from relations with my husband, but that was fine to have a healthy baby. He came 3 weeks early at 8 lbs 11 oz and 20 inches. The day before,thanksgiving day at 11 :45 pm. We had thanksgiving dinner on Sunday.

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  10. Praise the Lord! So happy for you and family.

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  11. So happy for you! Miscarriage is awful, especially later along. I had to wait a week between finding out and going into "labor" with the baby I miscarried. It was horrifically painful and I bled very badly. Praise God that you and baby are safe!

    I'm currently 8 weeks with our sixth (on earth - one in heaven) and I am terrified of another miscarriage. Losing one truly changes how you view pregnancy. I am constantly analyzing symptoms. With my miscarriage I almost knew it happened before I found out because I just woke one day and didn't feel pregnant anymore. Now when I wake and have a nausea-free day I can't enjoy it because I get scared (then the next day I feel sick again and just want to kick myself for not enjoying the break). Lol

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  12. I'm glad to hear that all is well now, but that must have been a very difficult few days. Hopefully the rest of your pregnancy is boring :). I had similar bleeding scares twice in my current pregnancy (but they found heartbeats on the first tries).I too am a geriatric multigravida! I am sure that a woman did not come up with that name for a pregnant mother over 35, that's for sure! -Anne

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  13. Praise the Lord! Praying for a happy healthy pregnancy and delivery =)

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  14. Praise God! I was so nervous reading this, it broke my heart! We will be praying for your pregnancy! I am so happy the baby is ok!

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  15. So happy for you. Because my uterus is tipped backwards, it can be hard to find my babies heartbeat in very early pregnancy. I have had to have a ultrasound confirm the babies heartbeat on a few occasions. Those few minutes between the doppler and the ultrasound were scary enough, I can't imagine having to go an entire 24 hours. So glad that baby girl (just guessing) is doing well.

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  16. I agree moms live healthier lives than most single people! I see it with my own eyes! Congrats on baby and I love that you are a happy mom!

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  17. This made me tear up. Praise the Lord. I also had spotting this pregnancy for the first month and a half. It was so scary.

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  18. Praise The Lord! With my second I had a similar scare, I can remember the feelings of relief when everything turned out fine.

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  19. I think you posted the "multigravida" stuff last time. At least that's my memory.

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