Saturday, January 17, 2009

And Now We Can't Go Back to Gattitown...

On and off for the last couple of weeks, I've struggled with pretty constant spotting. It's primarily been the brownish-colored spotting that's often attributed to residual implantation bleeding, so there wasn't a great deal of concern on the part of my care team. Additionally, I'd had ultrasounds while the spotting was ongoing, and since the baby was always growing well and seemed stable, and since there were often signs of blood around the deteriorating ectopic twin, my doctors felt that the spotting was normal and not worrisome.

When the spotting began, my OB/GYN suggested doubling my progesterone supplement as a precaution, and my MFM prescribed an antibiotic to ward off bacterial infection. Despite these additions, the spotting continued and I became used to it. We just decided I was a "spotter," as some women are.

On Tuesday, when I hit ten weeks gestation, my OB's nurse instructed me on the plan to begin weaning me off of the progesterone supplements. Hormone supplements have to be reduced slowly, so I was told, beginning Tuesday, to move from two tablets per day to one tablet per day for three days. On Friday, I wasn't to take anything. Saturday, take one a day for three more days, skip, take it for two days, skip, and so on. I began following the instructions with minimal stress and noticed as my supplements decreased, so did my spotting.

On Thursday, I went to the lab for my last blood draw to monitor my progesterone levels. I stopped at a bakery on the way to bring cookies to the women who've taken such good care of me. They celebrated the milestone of my last test with me and seemed excited that I'd made it as far as I had. One woman even shouted, "Thank you, Jesus!" there in the lab with other clients waiting to be drawn. On Thursday evening and all day on Friday, I experienced no spotting at all. It felt like things were continuing to come together for me -- that I was "normal" after all!

I still had no spotting this morning, and this afternoon at Bub's basketball game, I jokingly mentioned to James that because of the lack of the spotting, something must certainly be wrong. Again, I was absolutely kidding, but I'd grown so accustomed to what would be abnormal in another woman's pregnancy being acceptable in my own.

After the game, we spent some time running a few errands and went to dinner at Gattitown. We thought it'd be fun to take the kids to a pizza buffet and let them go willy-nilly on the video games. We ate our crummy, overpriced pizza and watched a little Kung Fu Panda in the Theatre Room. After we finished our dinner, we stood to head to the arcade and a really good day suddenly went bad.

When I stood, I knew I was passing a large clot. Everything felt very similar to my experience losing Ainsley -- when I passed clot after clot and pools of blood until I lost consciousness and was told I was close to not making it through. There we were in a child wonderland far from my doctor and chosen hospital and I knew my uterus was about to explode.

As I was rushing to the bathroom, and I thought I made it clear to James that something was very wrong. I guess I didn't. By the time I made it 40 feet from the Theatre Room into the bathroom, I'd passed two large clots and was absolutely covered in blood.

I stood there shaking in the bathroom stall, wondering if I should scream for James to call an ambulance, or if I was okay to make it to the hospital in our car. I decided against an ambulance. The clots weren't coming as quickly as they had with Ainsley, so I thought I could make it in the car a few miles. I stepped out of the bathroom, obviously in distress, clothes covered in blood, to find James lounging on a bench with the kids nowhere to be found.

James immediately recognized my distress, jumped up, and began rounding up the the children. I was afraid to move, afraid to leave a pool of blood where I stood, afraid to be noticed, afraid to get worse. Gracie accidentally locked herself in a bathroom stall, Bub was full of questions, the manager noticed me and thought all the blood meant a certain lawsuit, and James ran to the parking lot to get the car, leaving us all behind. I huddled the children out the door to find James actually running through the lot, having forgotten that we'd parked right in the front.

Because we were east of my Mom's Home Depot heading west to the hospital, we called her to keep the kids. At the hospital, they took me into Triage right away, and when my pulse rate went from 100 resting to 140 standing, they rushed me back to a room to push IV fluids. They drew a large vial of blood and had me wait two hours for the sonographer. I noticed as I waited that the bleeding didn't continue, but I dismissed it, sure the plum-sized clots meant I'd already miscarried.

When the sonographer arrived, I updated her on the whole heterotopic thing and asked her to not only check my uterus, but also that crazy left ovary. She began her exam, and right away, we noticed my uterus wasn't as empty as we convinced ourselves it would be. Still, all we saw at that moment was a shadow and a spine, so though there was a body, there surely couldn't be a heartbeat... could there?

She rolled around, checking out the environment, and returned to my uterus. Not only was there a baby there in my uterus, there was a baby with a heartbeat. There was a baby with a heartbeat dancing around so vigorously it was nearly doing the Cabbage Patch. A baby who at 10 weeks 4 days measured in at 11 weeks. My uterus looked fine with no evidence of fluid. My cervix was long and closed with no fluid inside.

The clotting is officially unexplainable, but there is no evidence of it coming from my uterus. I have theories about the release of the blood from the ectopic being delayed by my high levels of supplementation, but really, it could have come from any old thing. My pulse rate regulated after the IV fluids, and I was sent home to follow-up with the doctor on Monday. Since arriving home, the bleeding has begun again, but it's lighter and likely related to the aggressive exam today. I've not passed any more clots, and I have no pain or cramping or any other sign often associated with miscarriage. On this side of today, I really feel very little concern.

I'm taking it easy tomorrow, planning a day at home on my left side. Unless my symptoms change significantly, I'll connect with my OB/GYN on Monday for a repeat ultrasound. Fortunately, mercifully, miraculously, our big, exciting day was all for naught -- I'm still pregnant and my baby is still growing. Though we may never be able to go back to Gattitown again, I can't thank God enough.


Randi said...

I'm bawling reading that. I need to argue over this with God today ... how much stress can one woman take? I'm filled with unbelievable relief for you that your sweet baby is resting comfortably in there and growing so well. Still praying for that super boring pregnancy ... starting now. Rest today - especially your mind.

taralynn819 said...

Oh Amanda!!!!

Karen said...

i am praying for you sweet friend. I am so glad your sweet baby is growing & dancing all around. I am believing God has this situation all under control. Just rest in His grace. Please let me know what I can do to help.
On a lighter note.....sometime I will share the many places i can no longer show my face because of severe all day sickness.

Karen said...

i am praying for you sweet friend. I am so glad your sweet baby is growing & dancing all around. I am believing God has this situation all under control. Just rest in His grace. Please let me know what I can do to help.
On a lighter note.....sometime I will share the many places i can no longer show my face because of severe all day sickness.

Emily said...

I was crying last night when Amy called and I am crying again hearing all the details. I HATE that you had to go through this!
I am also SO thankful that you still have a healthy baby and that although they may never know what exactly happened all is well. I can't wait for you to go to the doctor on Monday. I will continue to pray for you guys!! Let me know if you need anything- really!

In His Grip said...

Amanda, I am so thankful that it turned out ok. I am so sorry and hope that nothing else happens. You are so brave. I will pray for your appointment tomorrow. M-

Jenny said...

Oh, girl! So sorry this happened to you, but so thankful that all turned out fine.

Emily said...

Oh My! I was in tears reading this! I am so glad that everything is okay. Please don't go back there again :p I'm so sorry, but so very thankful that your lil one is still growing and looking good. Take it easy on yourself. Love you much!

Someone Being Me said...

So scary. I am so glad everything is ok. Yay for babies doing the cabbage patch.

Stacy said...

Wow. I have no words, but only prayers and thankfulness your sweet baby is still ok. Love you!