Saturday, 29 September 2012

Snap, Crackle....

Pop! :)

At 15 weeks, I think I actually "popped", rather than just being bloated and looking chubby.  :). My stomach is really hard, and grew overnight (it seemed to, anyway).  Absolutely nothing fits me anymore, and random people are commenting (seriously, who does that?).  

So, I guess the jig is up, so to speak.  We had been hiding the pregnancy longer than we would have otherwise, because of the hematoma.  At this point though, I'm not sure we have any choice other than to admit to the obvious, at least when asked.  We will be seeing my husband's parents for (Canadian) Thanksgiving next weekend, and there is just no way they won't call us on it anyway, especially when I decline a drink (which I pretty much never do).  

I'm kind of excited thinking about it, as I have dreamt about telling people I am pregnant for more than a year.  Still though, I think this will induce more anxiety than anything else.  We will not be telling everyone about the complications, because I don't think it is everyone's business, and I just can't handle constantly fielding questions about it and the status of my uterus.  So, telling people will for the most part mean that I will have to act nothing but excited and happy about the whole thing, which is hard when I am so terrified.  I think we will just start with parents, and see how we feel....and then go from there.  

As for Bug, he is still doing famously, and measuring ahead as usual! Here he is at 14 weeks, 5 days:

My OB has said that based on what she has seen so far, there is nothing to suggest that he is being affected by the hematoma at all.  We still can't tell whether the placenta is affected (ie. torn, lifting), so I remain anxious.

Apparently, the further along we get, the better our chances are.  As of now, my OB says that it is more likely than not that the pregnancy will continue, and everything will be fine.   I can only pray that she is right.
 The hematoma measured 3 7 x 3.1 x 0.9 cm on Tuesday.  That seems bigger to me, but supposedly the actual volume has decreased slightly.  The dimensions are changing though, so who knows what it is doing.  I have  not been bleeding much since taking a week off, so that is at least encouraging.

Anyway, I am going to try to embrace this pregnancy now, and not focus so much on the hematoma, and the fear.  We'll see how that goes.  Next ultrasound is on October 9. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Hello Second Trimester

I will be 14 weeks pregnant tomorrow.  I can't believe that I've actually made it to the second trimester.  This is not, of course, how I imagined it.  By now, we should be telling our families and friends that we are expecting, and basking in the excitement and relief that should accompany having passed the magical 12 week mark.  We should be making plans for the future, including where we will live when Bug arrives, and starting to think about names.  I should be starting to think about strollers and cribs, and how I will decorate the nursery.

We are not doing any of these things.

We are in a holding pattern.  Because the situation is still so precarious, we have not told anyone about the baby.  Our families do not even know (well, with the exception of my mother).  We do not discuss names, or make plans of any kind. I can't even say whether I will be able to leave the house any time soon.  We move from day to day, ultrasound to ultrasound, with our hearts in our throats.

I wish that for once, I could be like so many other pregnant women, for whom the miracle of giving life seems to come so easily.  I wish my body would just WORK the way it is supposed to.  

Clearly, my path to starting a family will not be so easy.  That does not mean though that I will not eventually get there, that I will not hold my baby in my arms someday.  Hopefully, that baby will be Bug, and "someday" will be March 2013.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

An Experiment

My symptoms really began to pick up last week following my ultrasound on Tuesday.  I started actually bleeding, whereas I had only really spotted prior to that point.  Well, with the exception of the massive hemorrhaging incident of course.  Anyway, the blood last week was mostly still brownish, but it seemed to have a reddish tinge, which totally freaked me out.  My cramps also became stronger.  

As my symptoms picked up, so too did my fear.  Also, while I do trust my doctor, I can't help but notice that my symptoms do seem to be more pronounced when I am moving around.  So, while she swears left right and centre that full-on bed rest will not help, I am still skeptical.  

My solution (hopefully)?  Vacation time.  My husband and I had a trip tentatively planned for late October - we were going to go south for a week (or maybe to Greece, but that was less likely).  I was convinced that a week away would help us heal if the worst happens.  It probably would have.  But, the time is much better spent trying to PREVENT the worst from happening in the first place.  So, with my employer's blessing, I moved the vacation time up last minute.  I have been off since Friday, and do not go back to work until the 24th. 

 While on "vacation", I will be giving bed rest a shot.  My hope is that whatever is torn or bleeding inside of me will be given some time to heal.  I am actually somewhat optimistic in this regard.  In fact, after only two days, there is a very stark difference in symptoms.  My bleeding has stopped - I am back to extremely light brown spotting (I have had this almost daily for almost 8 weeks).  Cramps are still there, but maybe after a few days, they will ease up too.

I am already bored out of my skull!  :). I have been doing partial bed rest for weeks (ie. in bed at all times when not at desk job), so it is already pretty old.  I am running out of ways to occupy myself.  It  goes without saying that it will be worth it though, if it helps.  I would do a LOT more than bed rest to protect this baby.

I will probably just end up working remotely all week.  I really do love my job, and it is certainly more interesting than staring at the walls. :)

Anyway, that is my update.  I am doing everything I can to save this baby.  Hopefully, it will be enough.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


I realize that I left the blog on a low note and then didn't update for a while - sorry for that.  I've been pretty down about this whole thing lately, and just haven't felt able to write about it.  The fear really is quite paralyzing.  Because of how large my hematoma is and the fact that I am still bleeding off and on, the situation is very precarious.  I basically move from one day to the next, wondering whether I will still be pregnant by nightfall.  I am on partial bed rest, which compounds the problem from an emotional perspective in that I spend most of my time outside of work lying around worrying about this, or googling, which is rarely a good idea. The bed rest is important though, as my experience in the past two weeks has clearly borne out that I bleed more (and red) when I move around too much, or stand for any length of time.  Obviously, it is aggravating whatever it is that is torn or bleeding in there.  So, I try not to move.  Instead, I just lie here and think, and wonder, and worry.  

I suppose I should offer an actual update, rather than just whining.  :). Since my last post, my hematoma has shrunk to 3.5 x 2.2 x 1.2 cm (last Tuesday), and then grown again slightly by this morning, to 2.9 x 2.6 x 1.5 cm.  It is probably bigger now, as I had another red-ish bleed this afternoon (which means new blood, not just the hematoma draining out).  But still, it is much smaller than it was after the big hemorrhage, and for that I am grateful.

We also learned today that the hematoma is inferior to (ie. below) the placenta, rather than behind it.  That is good news, and leads to a better prognosis. 

Also, most importantly, Bug is still doing beautifully.  :). He is still measuring ahead, at 13 weeks, 1 day today (I am 12 weeks, 5 days).  His heart rate was perfect at 167.  We can see so much detail on the ultrasounds now, it is amazing.  I forgot to ask for a photo today, but will do so if we make it to our next appointment in 2 weeks.

So, we are still in the game, at least for now.  Only time will tell whether we will make it to the finish line, or whether we will have to deal with the heartbreak of another (later) loss.  As always, I continue to pray for this baby more than I have ever prayed for anything in my entire life.  I am trying to remain optimistic, but to be honest, that is a struggle at this point.  I am, however, hopeful.  

Sunday, 2 September 2012

So Much for Optimism

Everything seemed to be going so well.  The hematoma was shrinking, I had stopped spotting, and my cramps had really eased up.  I was becoming very optimistic, and was fantasizing about how  we would tell our family and friends that we were expecting.  I was getting increasingly excited, and was starting to think that I might just carry this baby to term like a normal person.  Maybe, just maybe, I wasn't broken after-all.

Sadly. that optimism was short-lived.

On Friday, out of the blue, I started gushing bright red blood.  :(. I went to the ER, where I had an ultrasound.  Bug  was there, dancing away.  He was measuring ahead at 11 weeks, 6 days.

 Unfortunately, the ultrasound also showed that the hematoma (or hemorrhage at this point) had more than quadrupled in size in a week.  :( It was measuring at 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.6 cm.

I have been on self-imposed bed rest since, while I wait to see my OB on Tuesday.  I am still bleeding.  Mostly brown, but some episodes of bright red as well.  That is really not good, obviously. I have read that with a hematoma, bright red bleeding means that whatever is causing the bleeding to pool inside the uterus is actively bleeding.  It could be a tear in the uterine wall, and it could be the placenta detaching.  :( I know that the hematoma is near my placenta and therefore, I am fearing the worst.  Even if that is not what is happening, my uterus is absolutely full of blood at this point (even on Friday, it surrounded 50% of the baby, and is much bigger than he is).  Something likely has to give.
My OB doesn't believe in bed rest at all.  She says that there is no conclusive evidence that it helps and therefore, she will not prescribe it.  I get that I am not a doctor, but frankly, I am still skeptical.  Everything that I have read has suggested that there is a difference in medical opinion on the subject, and that most women (especially those are are seeing a high-risk specialist) are put on bed rest, for at least two weeks after an active bleed subsides.  While bedrest would be disastrous for me professionally right now, I desperately want to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to save this baby.  I can only do bed rest if it is recommended by a doctor, as otherwise my short-term disability insurance will not kick in, and I will not get paid.  I am therefore thinking of switching doctors (or at least, getting a second opinion) if my OB doesn't reconsider her stance on the issue on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, I am too scared to use my doppler to check on Bug, because I don't want to make the bleeding worse by pushing down on my uterus or placenta.  I also don't want to do anything that might cause him pain or discomfort right now, given what he might be going through in there.  If my litttle Bug is fighting for his life right now, the last thing I want to do is make that harder for him.
I am so heartbroken at the thought of losing him.  :(
Here he is as of Friday, by the way.  He is getting so big, and looks so human now.  I love looking at him, but I also hate this picture.  I think that is part of the hematoma to the right, below the placenta.  It looks like the blood is coming from behind the placenta, which is pretty much worst-case scenario.  I am trying to remind myself that I am not trained to read ultrasounds, and therefore don't know for sure what I am seeing - but it sure looks like that is what is happening to me.

I guess there is nothing else to say.  I am pretty sure I am losing him, and my heart is already breaking.