Monday was a very very hard day. It didn’t start that way. It started happy, sending MrBeep off to work, grabbing my laptop and working on a writing project I promised for a friend. In the early afternoon I was nodding off in my chair and decided that a nap in bed would work better, so I meandered upstairs, flopped down and happily dreamed for an hour or so. I woke to a wet feeling and put my hand down. It was covered in blood. I got up and ran to the bathroom where the horror show began. I lost a lot of blood and passed big clots, then after a minute it stopped. I felt no cramping and no pain at all. I started shaking. I grabbed a towel and ran to the phone to call my husband. As soon as I heard his voice, I started crying and begging him to come home. “I think I lost one sweetie, maybe worse. I need you please please come home.” He asked me some quick questions and made sure I didn’t need to call 911, but it seemed that after the initial large loss that I wasn’t bleeding much more. I told him I was going to call the doctor after we got off the phone. He told me he was on his way. I got into an empty bathtub and closed the drain. I knew they would want me to save whatever material I could for analysis.
I had my cordless phone and knew my RE’s number by heart, so I called them for advice. The receptionist put me on hold and immediately ran to get a nurse. Nurse Sarah got on the phone, I told her in a shaky and crying voice what had happened and that I didn’t know what to do. She made sure that my symptoms didn’t seem to require calling 911 and then told me we need to call my ObDoc’s office. She asked if I knew the number, but I didn’t. She told me she would look it up and get it for me. She gave me the number and told me she would call me back in a few minutes to make sure I got through and they were able to see me. I hung up and got hold of my ObDoc’s office. I explained what happened and they immediately transferred me to Carolyn, my ObDoc’s nurse. She found out my current condition, confirmed I had someone who could drive me to their office. She told me to go to their ultrasound suite and I would be the next person helped and we would see how things were. I hung up with her and called my mom and dad’s house. My dad answered the phone.
“Daddy,” I said, “where’s Momma? I need Momma. I think I’m losing the babies, there’s blood everywhere.” He started to cry and told me he would get her. They stayed on the phone with me, made sure that MrBeep was on his way and comforted me. I thought of all my bloggidy friends who are having a hard time, thought of my own situation and asked, “Why Momma? Why can’t we catch a break?”
After a few minutes Sarah, the nurse from my RE’s office called back to check on me. She said the whole office was very upset and were all praying and sending good thoughts my way. When she told DocO he said, “Tell her that if the Ob can’t see her for an ultrasound, we’ll help her in any way we can.” I let them know that as soon as MrBeep arrived and drove me to the clinic/hospital (a 7-8 minute drive), we were going to be helped right away. I let Sarah know I was on the other line with my mom. She wished me well, told me to hang in there and that she would check on me tomorrow.
After about 10 minutes on the phone with my parents, MrBeep came home. I was sitting in the empty bathtub and asked him to stay back and not to look but to get me a plastic container. He came anyway and kissed and comforted me. He made sure I wasn’t in any immediate danger and then went to get a container and a paper bag to conceal it so we could bring everything to the ObDoc’s office. I rinsed off, dressed and we headed out.
Arriving at the Ob’s office, we were luckily in the reception area alone. The ultrasound tech was currently with a patient, but we were the very next to be helped after waiting about 5 minutes. I used the restroom, got my paper gown and we used a wand to see what was going on. She zoomed in and there was a little baby, lying on his back. “There’s one” she said and then pointed to his heartbeat, “heartbeat looks nice and strong, we’ll measure it in a sec.” Then she swung the wand around a bit and another little kiddo showed up, “here’s baby B and…there’s the heartbeat. Also looks very good.” She looked at me and smiled. Now let’s take some measurements and we’ll check the sacs and the placentas.
I was overcome with surprise and absolute wonder. While she was measuring, I was still scared and softly crying. MrBeep came up and kissed my forehead and said, “Be happy for now sweet girl. Look at that little guy.” He pointed to the TV where the ultrasound was displayed in duplicate for patients to have a clear view. Twin A was being mellow, just chillaxing, waving and twitching a little. Twin B was like, “Hey, don’t worry. Look what I can do. He wiggled and did a 360 spin on his back and then twirled around and faced us. Then he just looked straight out of the screen and sat there, seemingly staring right at MrBeep. “That little monster is mad dogging you,” I giggled, wiping away tears. My monsters. There they were, alive and with me. 3 monster hearts. Baby A, Baby B and the monster-sized one I grew right then.
She measured the babes and they were right on track. 11w5d for Baby A and 11w3d for Baby B. She closely examined the sacs and then said, “it appears that the gestational sacs are completely intact. That’s a good thing.” Then she scrutinized the placentas, and measured the heartbeat rates. We got a strong 140 on Baby A and every time she tried to get Baby B (the acrobat) kept wiggling out of the way. He would slide left, she would try to measure then he would slide right. We all chuckled a little bit and boy that kiddo sure cheered me up. I needed it. We eventually got Baby B too and he was also right about 140 so that was great. At the end of the scan she told me that everything that she could see looked good, but I had a total placenta previa. The placenta of Baby A is sitting right on top of my cervix and this can cause serious bleeding. “I want you to get dressed and head over to see your ObDoc. I’ll give her the sample you brought us. You didn’t overreact, this is a lot of material and you were absolutely correct to call. You ObDoc will explain more about the total previa and she’ll give you instructions for your care.” I went into the room to get dressed, washed my face and came back into the ultrasound room for MrBeep. The ultrasound tech looked at me and said, “oh honey, you look like you need a hug.” I did, I was still so nervous and shakey. She was so nice and gave me a great big hug.
I headed across the hall to my ObDoc’s office where I met her nurse in the hall. She smiled and told me I needed to the other suite for the ultrasound. I let her know that I just came from there and was told to come here now. She looked concerned.
“How are we doing?” she asked.
“Well, the babies are wiggling with good strong heartbeats, and what appears on ultrasound to be intact sacs, but she says I have a total previa,” I responded.
“Oh thank heavens,” said the nurse, “that we can handle. Come on back and we’ll take care of you.”
And they did. They explained my condition, what could have caused the big bleed, made me understand the severity and told me that I was required to be on complete bed rest from now until the two days after any type of spotting. Lying down. Bathroom breaks and that’s it. “You need to be absolutely clear of any spotting for two whole days. One smidge of red or brown counts and resets the clock. Absolutely clear?”
I was absolutely clear. I have been given an enormous gift from the universe on this one. I wasn’t going to screw it up. I have been in bed/lying on the couch since Monday night. Yesterday I got permission to sit up in bed, which is soooooo awesomepuss I can’t hardly express it…well other than to use the word awesomepuss. I’ve been trying my best to keep up on your blogs and now that I can sit up, I will get back to commenting. I had written half of a light-hearted post on prenatal vitamins, but I will delay that. Next, I will write more about placenta previa using my ObDoc’s excellent demonstration and will post links to useful medical sites. We are not totally out of the woods, there is still much to fear, but hopefully with care and luck, we’ll make it to the other side.
I wanted to say that even in my darkest hour I thought of you all, my friends, who have been so supportive and have shown such kindness, both to me and wherever I read any comments throughout the ALI community. It genuinely restores my faith in humankind. I was so scared, I was so worried, but at no time did I ever feel alone. Thank you from all of the places in my monster-sized heart.