I slept all morning, eventually waking up around 1pm to realize how late it was. I hadn't showered, changed out of pjs, or honestly even brushed my teeth. I wasn't really hungry but thought I better eat since I hadn't had lunch. I popped some leftovers in the microwave and while cooking I felt something fluid -like, come out down there, if you know what I mean (I don't think any guys read my blog besides Forrest but sorry in advance if this grosses anyone out. It takes a lot to gross me out and I am trying to be as "clean" as possible!). I went straight to the bathroom as it was continuing to come out, pulled down my pants over the toilet to see that it was bright red blood. It didn't stop. It wasn't even like a period, it was like active bleeding. I stuffed toilet paper, panicking, as if I could apply pressure like a wound and make it stop but it just kept coming. I saturated two wads of toilet paper in seconds. I can't even tell you what I was thinking at this point. All I knew was this is bad, and I am alone and 40 minutes at least away from the hospital. I started to worry that I was maybe abrupting (placenta separates from uterine wall). I called Forrest right away, told him to come get me, then grabbed my keys as I thought nevermind I am crazy to think I can wait that long. I told him I was leaving for hospital now and to meet me there. He said he would meet me halfway and that he was leaving work as we speak.
It was pouring down rain. I had windshield wipers on high and still had hard time seeing at some points. I drove about 90 miles an hour and I think without a seatbelt, stupid I know. I was panicking and my mind was racing. Before the bleeding occurred, it had crossed my mind that morning that I hadn't felt Hadie move since after dinner the night before. Usually I feel her move when I lay back down after getting up to use bathroom around 4-5am every morning. So as I was driving I was just waiting to feel her move and my mind even played tricks on me wondering, "Was that a movement? Was that a kick?" Even if I may have convinced myself I was feeling subtle movements, I knew I had not felt obvious movements in several hours which really concerned me.
I called the L&D unit at the hospital and asked for the charge nurse which was Ruth, a day nurse and friend of mine, like a mom to some of us younger ones. I told her what was going on and that I was about 40 minutes away. I told her to tell me that everything was going to be okay even though I knew she couldn't say with certainty. She gave me some assurance, saying "Megan it is going to be okay. We will be ready for you when you get here. Please be careful driving." While not on the phone, all I did was pray. 15 or so minutes down the road, I met Forrest in Navasota at a McDonalds, got in his truck, and from there he flew like a mad man down the highway and all the way to the hospital. On the way to get me, he had called Stacie (L&D nurse friend of mine). She happened to be working that day so she said she would come down to ER to get me as soon as we arrived. I text my sister and told her to pray. I was so short with her. I knew she was worried, but I just wanted her to tell family to pray everything was okay.
We got to the hospital, Stacie met us in the ER, and we went straight up to L&D. Once we got up to the unit, we came off of elevator and saw everyone that could possibly be needed for a stat c-section was there and ready in case that was the direction we would soon be going. After going into our L&D room, I quickly changed into a gown as I showed Stacie and Ruth the bleeding. It had slowed by that point and was more like a period. I honestly didn't know as we were driving what was going on down there and was too afraid to look so seeing that it had drastically slowed felt good. Immediately after changing, monitors were placed and we waited to hear a heart beat. I can't explain the feeling of relief when I heard that little beat pick up although I am sure moms can imagine and probably relate. Even moms who haven't gone through this know what a relief it is to know your baby is okay anytime you have had concerns. Although I was filled with so much gratitude and relief, I was still anxious and worried as to what was going to happen. I really thought we might be heading for a c-section, but with the bleeding getting better, I just wasn't sure.
The monitor showed that I was contracting every 1-2 minutes, little did I know. I think I was so worried about Hadison, I didn't even notice the pain because after I heard her heart beat, I noticed the "cramping" was much worse. I was shaking uncontrollably and according to Stacie my demeanor was just really quiet. She kept asking me "are you okay? I am worried you are about to seize on me." I thought, what a seizure?! I looked over to see what my blood pressure was and couldn't see the monitor. I asked Stacie, "are my blood pressures high?" I didn't realize it but they had been taking my blood pressure often and they were reading 160s-180-s over 90s-100s. I realized at that point everyone was suspecting sudden onset of pre eclampsia (precursor to eclampsia which means mom has a seizure. Pre eclampsia can also lead to placenta abruption.)
Stacie went ahead and checked my cervix, and I was 1cm and 75% effaced.. Dr. Bertsch arrived shortly after, came in to talk to us and discuss plan of care at that point. Basically said she didn't know for sure what was going on (pre eclampsia? abruption? pre term labor? all of the above?) but that she would check me in hour to determine if I was in fact in labor (determined by making cervical change). If I was she was not going to stop me, being that I was 34 weeks and bleeding. She said the bleeding concerned her and that if baby looked bad at any minute on the monitors we would go back for c-section. Either way, she said, we were not leaving hospital without having a baby. Forrest and I couldn't believe it. I felt so unprepared but glad that at least everything at the moment was okay and we were in good hands if things at any point were not okay. Forrest didn't even know where to begin with questions especially considering all the medical jargon being used around him. After talking with Dr. Bertsch, I could tell he felt much better and that he had gained the trust for her that I had already had for her.
One hour later, Dr. Bertsch determined me to be in labor as I was now 2cm and 90% effaced. At that point, she broke my water, hoping to get things going. I started to hurt pretty quickly, still contracting every 1-2 minutes but more intensely. I was more than ready for that epidural which after about 3-4 attempts/sticks in the back, the anesthesiologist had me nice and numb. Not sure why he was having such a hard time. He just said it was all very "tight" back there. Stacie checked me about 2 hours later and I was 5 cm, 100% effaced. It was good news that I was progressing so well and that Hadison the entire time looked great on the monitors. We were all much more relaxed at that point. Family came to visit then left to grab dinner. Stacie got me a toothbrush and helped doll me up a little, haha.
It was around 8pm, she was just sitting on the edge of my bed talking with me, when she said "I feel like I need to check you right now" (around one hour after last check which was one hour sooner than she was supposed to check me). You have just progressed so quickly." So she did and said, "Whoa, don't push, her head is right there! I am going to call Dr. Bertsch." We called and text family to fill them in. Forrest's parents and grandparents had just sat down to eat. Bless, my good friend, was getting updates from my sister and offered to bring me her camera, since remember...I had nothing. I had my purse and keys, and the walmart flip flops I threw on before leaving house! That was it. So as they are putting my legs in stirrups, I am texting Bless my status and luckily she had just pulled up to ER with her camera. If it was not for her, we would not have any pictures of Hadison's birth!
Anyways, I pushed for about 30-40 minutes, having a hard time telling if I was in fact pushing. We told jokes and laughed in between contractions which painted a picture of labor and delivery totally opposite of what Forrest had imagined. There were about 10 people in the room - all health care professionals and Forrest (since she was expected to be 34 weeks). Her delivery was very smooth, slow, and easy. She was born at 9:08pm and looked perfect. She didn't require any help breathing, not even supplemental O2 for color. They took her to NICU for further observation after letting me and Forrest have a moment with her. It was of course such a happy, indescribable moment to hold and look at her. And very surreal knowing that she was here, early, but after 8 months of growing in the belly. This was who was in there, who we've been talking about, planning for, named, and most of all, who because of the two of us, has been created and is alive. She was just something so big in this little, tiny body.
After Hadison's arrival and relatively quick departure to the NICU. We awaited the delivery of the placenta, which is usually uneventful but in this case was going to be interesting because Dr. Bertsch could possibly look at it and determine if I was in fact abrupting. Once it delivered, she inspected it, then pointed out where it looked as though I had had a 10% abruption. So for any of you interested in the medical side of this, the chain of events were: sudden onset of pre eclampsia --> placenta abruption --> pre-term labor. Something too we see in hospital, and in my case, is that mom labors quickly when something is not right in her body (i.e. abruption, pre eclampsia). It is like her way of going into survival mode and doing what is best for both her and baby. That is why I labored like a house on fire!
Anyways, I stayed in post partum for 3 days. Recovery went well minus the continued high blood pressures (expected) in which I was given medication on a few occasions. I was on my feet in no time it seemed and was back and forth to the NICU the next day with visitors. Pediatricians informed us that Hadison was expected to stay in the NICU for 10 days to 3 weeks. They would be able to have a better idea as they evaluate her on a daily basis. Since she would be at the hospital longer than me obviously and being that we live so far away, Forrest looked into places we could stay in town. This would enable me to make it to her feedings which were every 3 hours.
He came across a bed and breakfast online located about a mile from hospital called Abigaile's Treehouse.When he called to see about making reservations, he had to fill them in a little on our situation because he was unable to tell them how long we would be staying. The lady called back a few minutes later and left a message on Forrest's voicemail. We missed her call because we were visiting Hadison after she had just been transferred from regular nursery back to NICU for temperature regulation problems and spike in bilirubin levels. Her phone call couldn't have come at a more perfect time which you will understand why in a minute. Forrest stepped out to listen to her message and when he came back into the NICU, there were tears in his eyes. He choked on his words as he told me that in her message she said that she had spoken with her husband and that the Lord had placed it on their hearts to let us stay as long as we needed and not to worry about room rates at this time. She also said that she and her church family would like to provide us with home cooked meals everyday and that they have already begun praying for our little family. We were both in tears as we looked at each other and looked at Hadison in her little isolette. It was a moment I will truly never forget. It might be the most memorable and cherished memory for me from our hospital experience because in that moment we were reminded of God's hand in our lives, of all of our blessings including the biggest one of all, our new baby girl, and of all the people we have been surrounded by who love and care for us not just during this time in our lives, but in our lives in general. It was like how could we be so lucky and so deserving to have the lives that we have.
At 4 lbs 1 oz, our little Hadison was discharged after 7 days and we were able to bring our baby girl home.
Thank you family and friends who were there for us, even just thinking about us on that day. We feel truly blessed to have you in our lives and are humbled by all of the visits, dinners, gifts, phone calls, texts, facebook messages, but most of all prayers. We are also thankful for the supportive and loving staff at St.Joseph hospital and the very warm and good-hearted church families of Zion Church of Kurten and of Brenham Church of Christ.
Feb 15, 2012 following Hadison's birth at 9:08pm. Our first family picture.