Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Risking My Life to Give Life to Another

I am now 15 weeks into this second pregnancy and for the first time really understand how carrying our children,we risk our lives for our children before they even take their first breath.  With this little one living inside me, sharing my body, our lives are inextricably tied together; a privelage and a blessing despite how difficult it can be.  My first pregnancy was unbelievably easy, it had never occured to me that I was sacrificing my body or risking my life for him, and I entered this pregnancy with the naivete of thinking this one was going to be just as easy; I couldn't have been more wrong.  Starting things off with some unrelenting morning sickness, something I barely experienced with Caleb, a severe headache landing me in the ER for the first time during this pregnancy, then a bad head cold that lasted for two weeks.  At this point, already, I was asking Wes if it was too soon to "get it out." After recovering from the cold, I then started having some bleeding for about 5 days, taking me to the ER for the second time.  Resulting in several days of bed rest, which is not conducive to having a one year old, who was not happy about my inability to get down on the floor and play with him.

After recovering from the bleeding and praying daily for some reprieve from the morning sickness, I was completely blindsided by what was to come next.  After a bad bout of sickness one Saturday, I woke up the next day with some pain in my right leg.  I brushed it off as strained muscles from the day before and toughed it out.  After a week of the same pain, I began having severe pain in my groin area on the same leg.  I again thought that I had somehow just pulled a muscle and toughed it out for three more days.  It wasn't until I was sitting up at 3am crying from the pain that I googled other ideas of what it could be and made a decision to call my doctor the next morning.  They had me come in for an ultrasound on my leg and my pelvis.  They were going to check for blood clots and also anything that might be pressing on my pelvis that could be causing the pain.  They never had to do the second ultrasound as they found a large blood clot in my right thigh.  I was shocked, the farthest thing from my mind was a blood clot.  I imagined sciatica, round ligament issues, pelvic issues, or anything else.  I thought about all the things I had done the past few days, any of these activities could easily have dislogded the clot and caused a pulmonary embolism.  Scary, to say the least.  

My Dr. started me on an injectable blood thinner that I would have to remain on for the duration of the pregnancy.  I am probably one of the worst people to have this new responsibility added as I hate shots more than anything in the world and now have to give them to myself twice a day.  The medicine is the absolute worst, it feels like I am injecting acid directly into my flesh.  But I keep telling myself that short duration of instense pain each day is better than having a pulmonary embolism, so I manage to do it.  This leads to the scariest night of my whole life so far.  After spending the day at my in-laws, Caleb and I made our way home and I got him to bed.  I made some hot chocolate and sat down with some chocolate chip cookies, about to enjoy some me time before heading to bed myself.  I got on the phone with my Step-mom and was just relaxing when I felt something, brushing it off I kept on talking, then Caleb started screaming, so I put the phone down to go check on him and felt another something.  I went to the bathroom and saw the scariest amount of blood I have ever seen.  I was terrified.  My first thought was that I was loosing the baby, my second thought was I was going to bleed out.  To make the situation worse, I was alone with Caleb.  Wes was on a camping trip I insisted he go on, not thinking anything would happen.  I called my mother-in-law and 911.  The ambulance came and we waited for my in-laws to get there to keep an eye on Caleb.  The bleeding had stopped so I was not in immediate danger of bleeding out.

I took my first, and hopefully only, ride in an ambulance.  At the hospital they did an ultrasound and found a small hemhorrage in the placenta.  It had stopped bleeding and the baby was aboslutely fine, hearing the baby's heart beat was the point in which I was finally able to stop shaking.  After arriving home, and I mean my in-laws home, from the ER I had another gush of blood but it also stopped.  I was terrified to do anything.  That night, as I tried to sleep, I was afraid to turn over in the bed, to sit up, to get up to go to the bathroom.  Caleb was fussing off and on throughout the night and I was afraid to get up to comfort him, terrified if I did anything besides laying absolutely still would trigger more bleeding.  A huge blessing was my mother-in-law and father-in-law taking care of Caleb at 3am when he was crying and in the morning when he woke up.  My father-in-law, who had gotten very little sleep in the past two days, took care of Caleb all day until Wes got home and took over.  I got maybe 2 hours of sleep that whole night. I cried off and on for 24 hours.  Yesterday I followed up with my doctor.  The main points I took away from that conversation was that I have to stay on the blood thinners to avoid another dangerous blood clot but being on the blood thinners could cause more bleeding, which could be dangerous, throughout the pregnancy.  Also, that I could become very familiar with ER staff as each time I start bleeding like that, I need to come in, to ensure the baby is fine and that the bleeding will stop.  For all those who have ever had a 1 year old, it is not that easy to just go to the doctor or the hospital. 

The emotional and physical roller coaster this pregnancy has been has worn me out.  I am not even half way through and am already counting down the days to when this little one will be here.  I have made a little lighter of it all through my posts on FB and in conversation with others, but its all I can do to keep myself from worrying myself sick.  I am daily afraid of losing the baby and if I think too much about the rest of the pregnancy, I become afraid of what else could possibly happen.  I don't ask for help well and don't accept help well.  I have had to force myself to accept it when it is presented.  I feel guilty for not being able to take care of Caleb and Wes they way I want and feel guilty for Wes having to do more after working all day.  I have to keep reminding myself that I have another child I have to take care of and their situation is a little more precarious than Caleb's at this moment.  But a mother's guilt in unyeilding and I feel like I am choosing one child over another, which I know is irrational and I know that it doesn't mean I love Caleb any less. 

I don't know how this story is going to end it, but I am putting my hope and faith in knowing that God is watching over me and this little one.  And in 5 1/2 months or so I will get to meet this brave and strong little one who I already cherish as my miracle baby who has kept going on strong through everything.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for an uneventful remainder of this pregnancy for you and your new little one. Stay strong and know that the Lord holds you and baby in the palm of his hands.