Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The day before Valentines Day - to the brink and back with a miscarriage gone wrong

This account is mainly for my record and to give praise to God for healing and help in my time of need.  Just so you know, there will be mention of blood and lots of it.  I don't want to forget.  Often medical professionals forget to tell us what is really going to happen when we miscarry or they sanitize it so we won't be afraid.  In both cases of my 2 miscarriages, they have forgotten to tell me what to watch for in case things go wrong.  This is my story of things going wrong.  Proceed with caution if you are squeamish.

I knew on the 3rd of February that this pregnancy was no longer viable.  I grieved.  I mourned.  I wrote.  I cried.  I felt ready for the miscarriage to begin.  I wanted it over with, but was grateful for the time I had to consider my lost girl without being in the throes of the actual loss.  I still am.  Yesterday would have been much harder if I was also mourning her still in the way I had been.

On Saturday night (the 11th) the miscarriage began with some spotting, but no cramping.  I went to pick up the meds that my Midwife had called in for me on Sunday morning and they had no record of a prescription on file for me right then.  I meant to check the other store nearby, but forgot.  This, in hindsight, was pretty crucial for me.

Sunday night, the cramping began and I was grateful that it was going to be over soon.  I sat in the tub letting the contractions come, but soon the water was deep red.  I emptied the tub and tried to get out, but the blood was running down my legs and I was making a mess of the bathroom.  I grabbed some old towels and one of those giant postpartum pads they gave me in the hospital when my son was born.  The ones that are literally a foot and a half long and 9 inches wide.  I went down to hang out with Matt while he watched Deep Space Nine on Netflix and then got ready for bed.  The pad was already halfway filled in half an hour.  I changed it to the last one I had and went to bed at 10:30pm.  I woke up at 3:45am and the pad was completely full, but not of dark red blood, just of fluid.  I went to the bathroom and a massive blood clot came out of me.  When I say massive, I mean it would have filled more than a pint sized bucket.  I got back in the tub, not realizing that this amount of blood loss was bad.  I had had lots of bleeding with my last miscarriage and though this was considerably more than that, I still felt like I was OK.  In hindsight that was wrong too.  I rinsed off and attempted to go back to sleep.  The only pads I had left were the huge overnight ones that they sell in the grocery store.  I put 4 of these side by side on the old pad to hold them in place and went back to bed.  More gushing.  More giant clots and in 20 minutes the 4 pads were full.  I figured I'd wait it out in the bathtub so I wouldn't make a mess.  It was nearly 5:30am by then and the children and hubs were still all asleep.

I began to get dizzy and I thought, "This can't be right.  I'd better wake up Matt and get him to call the midwife."  I made it to the bed and grabbed his leg and said "I need you." before the first wave of nausea hit me.  Let me just clarify and sat that I am one of those women who vomit easily.  I have a stomach like a rock so for this to happen to me was an unusual symptom.  I made it back to the toilet in time for another gush of blood and clotting and as I heaved into the sink I said, "Call 911!"  The baby woke up.  Hubs called 911.  My girl woke up and found me in the tub, full of questions which I tried to calmly answer.  The nausea and light headedness was passing and by the time the paramedics got there I was feeling better.  I rinsed all the blood away so Cora wouldn't see it and so neither did the paramedics.  I talked with the paramedics and my blood pressure seemed OK so I sent them away, promising to go in first thing to see the midwives.  Also a mistake.

Matt took the kids downstairs to feed them while I sat upstairs in the tub.  He had the baby monitor on so he could hear me.  Not 20 minutes later I found it hard to remain conscious and began to call for Matt.  He never heard me.  He heard a knocking sound on the bathtub that I have no recollection of making.  I'll just say the angel watching over me knocked.  By the time he came I was vomiting again and more clots and blood were coming out.  He called 911 again and the spell passed, again.  This time I went with them.  My 3 yr old girl watched with big eyes as they took her Mama away on a 'rolling bed' in nothing but a bloody nightshirt and Matt's coat thrown hastily on top of me, and into an ambulance while I yelled to Matt which hospital I would be at.  A kind friend came over and picked up the kids as I was being loaded up.

An ambulance ride.  2 bags of fluid.  More gushing bleeding and clots. My blood pressure was 90/50 in the ambulance.  Into the hospital.  More fluids.  More doctors.  More exams.  A huge clot again.  The doctor took a picture of it with her Iphone to send to OB for proof.  Matt found me.  They wanted to see how many pads I went through in an hour and handed me a large obstetric one.  It lasted less than 10 minutes.  Another pelvic exam by a resident that was possibly the most awful thing I've ever experienced.  She will be getting a letter from me about gentleness and talking to a patient.  I'm a person, not a cadaver. They talked to me about my options and  I opted for a D&C even though I had wanted to avoid it.  I knew I couldn't go home still bleeding like that, but I didn't know how bad I was.  I was still talking and not in much pain.  There was not a lot of cramping.  Some, but compared to labor, it was a 2 rather than a 10.  My BP wasn't recovering and they couldn't give me anything in the way of pain killers.

Upstairs to pre-op and I'm chatting with the nurses, asking where they are from and telling them about my family.  A friend came to see Matt for a moment and I chatted and joked with him.  I felt tired, but not in any pain.  I didn't realize that I was in bad shape.  My BP was low and they laid me flat.  I couldn't really lift my head, but I wasn't afraid.  Just tired.  The doctor started to talk to me about how I MIGHT need some blood.  She said they are careful about giving it since there is some risk, but how they only do it to save people's lives.  She then quickly reassured Matt who must have looked shocked at the news his wife was not gonna make it unless they gave me blood.  I told them "I am kinda seeing spots" and the doc rushed off to put in the order.  Within 10 minutes, I was receiving blood from some kind doner who had my universal blood donor type.  We can give to everybody, but only receive from each other.  Thank you, whomever you are!  I intend to donate when I am feeling better in thanks.

The operation and the first bits of recovery went by like a blur and suddenly it was after noon.  I was talking nonsense to the nurses and I'm pretty sure I started singing Three Little Birds by Bob Marley at one point...."Don't worry about a thing.  Cause every little thing's gonna be alright."   (Cora and I sing it a lot) I talked to Matt out of a drug haze and thought about how much I hate the drug haze and then little by little I am myself again.  My blood count came up.  My blood pressure came up.  I stopped bleeding, mostly.  The nurses were so glad to talk to me and telling me just how bad I had been and how they were pretty worried about me.  Apparently I had been white as a sheet.  By the time the doctor came in to see me, she was shocked!  I had color.  I was just coming back from the bathroom and she thought she had the wrong patent, I looked so good.  Needless to say, they thought my bloodwork and vitals were good enough to go home by 5pm.  So I did.  Grateful.  Alive.  And eager to remember that this day is a gift.  And that though I may not like lots of medical intervention, when it is necessary, it saved my life.  So did the angel who knocked on the tub.  Happy Valentine's Day.  Love well the ones you have.  I know I will be loving on mine extra today.


NitaSalmon said...

Whew, lady! You have some powerful angels watching over you! Don't know if you remember, but I'm a labor& delivery nurse. Your scenario is one our worst nightmares come true. I'm glad that you made it to the hospital in time. I'm so sorry about the circumstances, but again so thankful that you're still with us!

Deb said...

Ariana! I heard through Jeremy---wrote Christy for more---she sent me this link. Oh, my dear Lord! What a horrific experience and a miracle tale to boot. Praise Jesus you're still with us and here for your hub and children. Bless you as you recover and live to tell. Love to you, Deb (Lawson)

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