Mom to Lily Grace
Lost at 19 weeks on July 4th, 2010
We found out we were expecting in April, 2010. We were not planning on getting pregnant but were happy none the less. This would be our first baby and number 5 in our little family. I have one son and he has three daughters. His three live with their mother so I was excited that my son would have a sibling of his own. We were waiting to tell people until after the first trimester was over. At 14 weeks we told my parents first since we share a house with them. They were happy but apprehensive since 5 is a lot to handle.
I told them on a Saturday. The next day, Sunday, I was just feeling yucky, nothing abnormal just yuck so I spent the day on the couch. Early Monday morning, Memorial Day, I woke up to pee and when I wiped it was red! I freaked out and stood up only to have blood pour down my leg. I screamed for my fiance. He is an EMT so I knew he would know what to do. He took one look at me and said looks like we are going to the ER. We got to the ER and they told me that I was having a miscarriage and that I would have to go home and wait for it to happen.My old OB told me to go to a different hospital, because the one I was at would not do a D&C if the baby had any heartbeat at all. I was devastated. I went to work the next day feeling OK but tired. Inevitably, early Wednesday morning I woke up to a gushing feeling. I knew that it was happening so I got up and went to the bathroom. That’s when all hell broke loose. I started to bleed very heavily, throwing up and had a mini-seizure. The ambulance had to take me back to the Catholic hospital because it was closer to my house. After fighting with the ER (they didn’t want to admit me) they gave a room in L&D and given 2 blood transfusions. A MFM doctor finally came to see me and she diagnosed me with a total previa. She said my options were to terminate the pregnancy or to stay on bed rest and try to get to 25 weeks, viability. She said that they did not know why I was bleeding so early since previa usually doesn’t create a problem until late in the 2nd trimester and 3rd. So they sent me home the next day with phone numbers in case I wanted to terminate.
I was SO confused. My old OB told me to terminate because in 30 years of practice he had never seen this so early and didn’t know why either. I did not want to terminate but bed rest did not seem like an option either. Inevitably, I started bleeding heavily again on Saturday and had to go to the ER again but this time we went to the non-Catholic hospital hoping they would have some other information for us. After a third blood transfusion, they told us the same thing, they didn’t know why, blah blah blah but that they didn’t do late term terminations at the hospital and suggested we call Planned Parenthood. The thought of this made me nauseous. I made the appointment but I couldn’t go. I couldn’t kill my baby. I had a bleeding episode again and my fiance said that I couldn’t keep doing this to myself and that I should make the appointment again. When I called I asked if they do terminations when someone has a previa they said no.
I felt that I was supposed to have this baby since every time I tried to terminate something stood in the way. So bed rest it was at 15 weeks. I found a new high risk OB who turned out to be one of the best in the country (I had no idea he just took my ins lol). He said he would help me get to 25 weeks but that he also had no idea why it started so early. My appointment with him was on a Thursday. On Saturday morning I had a bleed that was just not stopping, so I called my shiny new OB and he told me to go to the ER and that he would let them know I was coming. This landed me in the hospital on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy no matter how long it was.
While I was there I saw the MFM doctor who diagnosed my previa. She thought there was more to it than just a total previa and sent me for an MRI. The MRI was inconclusive but they thought that I had something called placenta accreta. This is where the placenta implants itself into the lining of the uterus as opposed to just laying on top of it. She told me that in worst case scenario during a termination I would lose my uterus. Sonograms confirmed it and they said that since the baby was fine it was just a waiting game to get to 25 weeks. Since this was most likely my last chance to have a baby I was going to try to carry the baby as far as I could.
Everything was going smoothly for 2 1/2 weeks, no significant bleeding, baby was a girl and was growing great. Then one night I woke up to the all familiar gushing. I called the nurse and they rushed me up to a L&D room. I was given 2 more units of blood and they decided to keep me on the L&D floor in case something like this happened again. For a week I bled every night at 10:00 for a few hours. It was so weird. Then on July 3rd, I started bleeding more heavily than I had been all week. I told the nurse that I was feeling light headed and in the next instant I blacked out and had a seizure again. When I passed out I passed two huge clots and clear fluid. When they woke me up, I felt fine but there was a commotion in my room. My doctor was there in a split second (he told me he lives 3 minutes from the hospital). He did a sono in my room and saw that Lily was fine but there was another clot waiting to go and that if it did I would most likely hemorrhage and die.
I called my fiance and my mom and they came down. They said I was as white as a ghost. The decision was made that they had to take her to save me. I don’t think that it totally hit me that she wouldn’t survive. I had been praying for a miracle, that we would both be OK, but that wasn’t in the cards. They took me into emergency surgery around 1 am on July 4th. They told me that they would try to save my uterus but worst case they would have to do a hysterectomy. When I woke up from surgery I was in such pain. I was told that they did have to take my uterus and that I needed 4 units of blood during the operation. That I indeed almost died.
After they removed my breathing tube and I was awake enough they brought me my sweet little baby girl. We held her and said goodbye. The hospital gave us pictures and a memory box and they are doing a burial in October. Lily will be buried with other babies that were lost before 20 weeks. She will forever have friends to play with.
In the weeks since Lily’s birth/death, we have found out that this was the worst case my doctor and the surgeon had ever seen. The placenta had attached itself to the one spot where it shouldn’t have, over my old c-section scar. Since there was a weakness in the muscle there, the placenta embedded itself and was making its way through the uterus. They said that my uterus was unrecognizable and that there was nothing I could have done to save her. I did everything I could but ultimately there was nothing anyone could have done.
I am dealing with the loss of my sweet angel Lily and my fertility. It has only been 7 weeks but I know over time it will get easier to deal with but I will never forget my baby and I will make sure no one else ever does either. A person’s a person no matter how small.
You can contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org