Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm not sure that I am ok.....

*****Let me preface this by saying the words in purple were written in December of 2013. I just wasn't ready to share my story on this blog at that time, but I also did not want to forget details. Also this is pretty graphic so if you are not okay with that kind of stuff just ignore this post...***

I have just gotten to the point where I wanted to post my experience regarding my most recent pregnancy loss. It has been really hard to deal with both physically and emotionally. I found out in July (I think) that I was pregnant again. I felt a lot better about this one. I knew it wasn't an ectopic and all of my symptoms were normal. Everything seemed to be progressing well and normally. I had reached the 12 week mark and noticed that it seemed like I was spotting which alarmed me a bit since I was so far along.

I went back and forth with my husband on whether or not to go to the ER and get checked. Eventually I agreed to be seen so on September 10th I went to see if everything was ok. I went by myself because the kids were home and it was late. I got an ultrasound and this time I was able to see the abdominal part and there was nothing in the gestational sac. I knew right away that it was over. They continued the exam and did a vaginal ultrasound which I did not see. When the doctor came in I already knew it was over. Again. For the third time this year.  They recommended I get a follow up and the only place I could go at that time for insurance reasons was the clinic that attended my horrible traumatic birth in May of 2012. It seemed to me that my body was already doing what it needed on it's own so I was going to wait until October when we got our health insurance so I could choose somewhere else to go.

For the next few days I spotted which then turned into a light flow. Then on September 14th out of nowhere I started having heavy bleeding. I expected it to happen eventually so I figured that was the beginning of the end for me. The clots and heavy bleeding only last a few hours on that day and then the next day it was like a medium menstrual flow. I thought maybe since there was not a baby there that maybe that was all I needed was that one day of heavy bleeding.

On September 16th i woke up feeling really dizzy but kind of just played it off as nothing. by the middle of the day the bleeding had picked back up and was heavy again with clots. I had to work that day and the heavy bleeding began about an hour before I had to clock in. After working for about 45 minutes I started to get concerned that the flow was too heavy. It was like gushing out even with me just sitting. I went to the bathroom and the toilet filled with blood. At that point I realized that maybe I was bleeding too heavily. I contacted a few of my midwife friends (that I trust) for advice. One said go in one said watch it. I ended up on the toilet for a long time and decided to call my husband (who was also working) to come take me to the hospital.

I think I really realized in the car ride that I was hemorrhaging and was hoping to just make it to the hospital. I started to feel like I couldn't breathe. I am not sure if it was a panic attack (never had one) or a result of me having lost so much blood already.

We arrive at the ER and I can just tell the blood is gushing. I told the receptionist that I was going thru two pads in an hour and that I had already lost a lot of blood. The only fortunate thing was that they didn't leave me in the lobby waiting room. The unfortunate thing is that this experience turned into more of a nightmare after that. Because we had trouble finding a sitter for all 5 kids, we had them with us and they would not allow my husband to come with me to the room.

When I was taken to the room it was not a regular room with a curtain, it was very far from the nurses station and I was all alone. Before the triage nurse left I told her I needed a new pad and to be wheeled to the bathroom. I felt weak from the blood loss so I didn't want to walk for fear of passing out.  Before I could even sit down on the toilet the flow was so forceful it splashed into the toilet. I mentioned this to the nurse who took me back to my room and she seemed to not be concerned at all. I was in the room alone for less than an hour before I needed to change the pad again because I could tell it was full. I buzzed for a nurse and no one came. I waited 10 minutes. I was starting to feel sick. I called for the nurse again. When she arrived I told her I needed to go to the bathroom and change my pad again but I needed a wheelchair.  She came back and did not offer to help me up or even pay me any attention at all. I sat up slowly and waited to make sure I was ok to move. As I walked to the chair I told her it's just gushing out so fast. The minute I sat in the wheelchair I started feeling sick to my stomach, shaking, and my whole body felt like jello. I told her I thought I was going to pass out. She did not move or even look at me she merely asked, " You think you are going to pass out?" I could tell she didn't think I was serious so I braced myself in the wheelchair by sitting far back and resting my head on the back. I told her I was about to pass out and the next thing I know some man is picking me up out of the chair and putting me back in the bed. I was kind of out of it but what I gathered was my blood pressure was 70/30, they tilted the head of my bed down and put an IV in each arm.  All this time and still no one has bothered to look and see just how much blood I was losing.

Once they halfway stabilized me they moved me closer to the nurses station. Because of my history of ectopic pregnancy they wanted to do another ultrasound to be sure it wasn't a tubal pregnancy. For some reason at that point I started coughing uncontrollably. And every time I coughed it felt like blood clots were coming out. By the time the ultrasound tech was done she went to wipe my belly and my whole bed sheet on top was covered in blood. She had to tell them I needed to be cleaned up. When they finally looked my bed was full of very large blood clots. Now they are worried. At that point they gave me cytotec to try and stop the flow. I was also transported to a different hospital (by ambulance) that was more equipped to handle my situation.

Once at the new hospital I received a blood transfusion and some other meds to stop the bleeding. After my first blood transfusion my hemoglobin was still only 7 (normal is 12). I got a second one and  stayed there overnight. The next day they were ready to send me home even though I was not comfortable with that.I still felt really dizzy and also passed a fairly large clot again. My heart was also racing so they changed their minds and kept me one more night

It's been six months since my hospital stay. I am still not okay. It took over 2 months AFTER the hospital stay for my body to finally stop bleeding. My body is still out of whack. It makes me depressed thinking about the fact that my last traumatic birth ( you can read about that one here) was what started this snowball effect.  I am really struggling with this emotionally and spiritually.  I know there is nothing I can do to change it, but the fact that I felt like I lost control of my own birth makes me really struggle hard with the outcome, much more so than the outcome of my stillbirth. At least with that birth I was the one making the decisions.

Some people involved in my last birth would like to say I did make decisions but I am not sure I agree.  Sure, I *wanted* to be denied pain management and forced to push for 13 hours when I wasn't ready. Totally my decision to do that. Totally my decision to even go to the hospital at all. I totally planned a hosptial birth right. That's why I hired a homebirth midwife. My  "in control" of my birth ended there when "my care was transferred" as the midwife liked to call it. 

I don't know maybe one day I will be able to move past it. I am hoping to. I am not enjoying the way I feel physically, spiritually, or mentally. For now I am doing what I can to take care of myself in each of those areas.

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