Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pregnancy Struggles


Bringing Hardy into this world was no easy feat.

In August of 2016, Cody and I decided we were ready to add to our family and I basically made an appointment to get my IUD out the next day. We got pregnant almost immediately and were so, so excited. I took like 50 pregnancy tests just to make sure I wasn't crazy.

I'll be honest though, seeing those two lines made me so nervous. My pregnancy with Grace was r.o.u.g.h...I lost 12 lbs and pretty much stayed in bed until I was 20 weeks along. I was not ready for that again. So I was surprised when a couple of weeks went by and I was still feeling great. But hey, every pregnancy is different right?

I was naive to think a miscarriage could never happen to me, but reality slapped me in the face on an October morning when I woke up to blood and cramps. Intense cramps.
I knew what was happening and my doctor recommended we head to the ER as I was passing tissue. Honestly, all we did was spend our Sunday getting blood tests, an ultrasound, and racking up a hefty bill...not sure it was worth it, but what do I know?

Miscarriages suck. They suck emotionally and physically and leave you asking, God 'why'?

Cody and I cried together and agreed that we wanted to wait awhile before we tried again. My period never returned on its own, so I was prescribed Provera to induce monthly visits from Aunt Flow. Each month I would go to the doctor, she would check me out to make sure nothing else was going on and write me a prescription.

Then January 2017 came and still no sign of my period, so I took a pregnancy test just in case.

I scheduled another doctor appointment for that week and my doctor said "Let's take a pregnancy just in case". I was all like "I'm not pregnant. Just took a test and we didn't do the dance when I was  'thought' I should be ovulating." She's all like "Whatever, just take it"

So I go pee in a cup and go back to the room. She comes in with the stick and said, "Well, I know why you're not getting your period. You're pregnant!" I looked at Cody and both of our jaws were on the floor. I was like how can I be pregnant, I just took a test and have zero symptoms?? She suspected it was very early and wanted my HCG levels tested because of the past miscarriage.
Talk about the nerves. A positive pregnancy test and no symptoms? I thought I was in for a repeat of our previous experience. Once you've experienced a miscarriage, there is so much fear/anxiety/worry that something will go wrong again.

So I got my levels tested and they continued to rise like they were supposed to. Yay!!!

I took pictures with Grace to have to look back on and remember her time as an only child.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, Cody and I are still on cloud nine (minus the nausea/vomiting). There weren't any signs that something was wrong until I woke up to blood. Are you serious?!!
I immediately started sobbing and woke Cody up to tell him what was going on.
He did his best to comfort me, but he was freaking out, too. It was different this time cramps. Just blood.

I called the doctor and she asked me to come in for an ultrasound. The news wasn't good. I was suspected to be roughly 6 weeks along and the heartbeat was less than 100 bpm with an abnormal shaped sac. She saw that the bleeding was coming from a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH - more on that below). I was handed miscarriage papers and she told me she was sorry, not because of the sch, but because things didn't look good with the low heartbeat and abnormal shaped sac.
I was a hot mess.
We made an appointment for a week later to see how things progressed and prayed. so. much.

It was such a long week, but the day came and we received some reassuring news. The heart rate was normal and the sac was shaped normally. However, the SCH was still a concern, so we continued the weekly doctor visits.

There are 3 main concerns that come with a SCH:
1. Miscarriage - the hemorrhage can cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall
2. Preterm labor and placental abruption after 20 weeks
3. Compromised placenta - the bleed can stop providing the oxygen and nutrients necessary, which can cause decreased fetal growth 

The doctor told me to limit activity and to only go to work and go home (easy, as my morning sickness was full blown at this point). I still bled each day, but it was brown blood which is considered old and not alarming at this point.

Then when I was roughly 8.5 weeks along, the bleed of all bleeds happened. Bright. Red. Blood.
EVERYWHERE. Pouring out of me.

I was at work, so I told my boss (she knew the situation and was great through everything) and left.

The doctor told me to stay in bed until our next visit that was scheduled in 4 days.
I'm serious when I say I prayed for four days straight.

Our appointment came and the news wasn't good. Basically the SCH was huge and I was placed on bedrest with a 50/50 chance of miscarriage. At this point, I was miserable with throwing up all the time and confined to a bed worrying about things that were out of my control.
Bed rest sucks.
I laid in bed staring at the same walls day after day. It was depressing and I was filled with anxiety. I finally had to give it to God and be okay with what was going to happen.
The song 'Thy Will' by Hillary Scott helped me so much during this period of waiting. 

We continued to have weekly visits with little change to the SCH, but the bleeding had stopped. It was reassuring to see a healthy baby growing inside of me on the ultrasounds and it was SO cool to see how much he changed each week.

I was into my second trimester when my doctor decided since the bleeding had stopped, I no longer needed to be on bedrest. And by week 20, the SCH had fully resolved! There was still a chance it could return, so I had to take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy (just walking, no stairs, etc). 
I continued to have ALL DAY sickness from hell until he was born and took Zofran the entire pregnancy to keep my vomiting under control.
I missed one pill when I was 37 weeks and paid for it dearly.
Hardy came via C-section and you know what? It was all SO worth it. When I saw him for the first time I forgot about the past 9 months, and all I could do was cry and thank God for giving me this beautiful gift. It truly has made me appreciate life so much more than I ever have before.
There is no way I could have made it through this without my faith and Cody's support.
God is GOOD!

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