I was 18 weeks 5 days. It was a normal day. Monday, March the 5th. I went about my normal routine. I got Noah ready for school, made his breakfast, packed his lunch, fought with him over what he was going to wear to school. It was a regular, normal, boring Monday. I dropped Noah off, went to work, sat at my computer answering messages and processing paperwork. I don't think I did too much patient care, well not anymore that usual. Lunchtime was coming up and so I started chatting with Jen about that. We were trying to come up with a great plan because lunch is the most coveted time of the day! We get to leave the office and hang out, say the things that have been on our mind the entire morning and plan on how we will survive the afternoon.
I would guess, around 11:30, while sitting at my desk, I felt like I had a braxton.hicks contraction. It was just a slight feeling of tightness that encompassed my entire belly. It wasn't painful nor was it uncomfortable. I didn't really think much of it. I figured it was either just from the baby shifting or maybe it just was a braxton.hicks contraction. Several minutes later, I decided that since I had not made a trip to the ladies room yet this morning I should make a pit stop to get ready for, what was going to be the best lunch break! I did my business and upon wiping I noticed bright.red.blood but it wasn't just on the paper, it filled to toilet and I was staring at a sea of red! I think that's every pregnant woman's worst nightmare. I tried not to panic. I continued to wipe and wipe and wipe and the blood seemed to just always be there. After what felt like 10 minutes and was probably more like 2 or 3 the bleeding seemed to be easing up. So I tried to relax and headed back to my desk. I was shaken, a little worried and definitely NOT going to lunch now. I stepped outside and frantically tried to call the nurse in my OBs office. I called at least 3 times and got her voicemail each time. I did leave one message but decided to not wait for a callback. After sitting for a while I decided to go back to the ladies room for round two. I had to check to see if I was still bleeding. I went back to the bathroom and again, there was blood. Okay, now I was really panicking!! I opened our two-way specimen door and hollered at Jen to grab me a pad. After several more minutes I came out and she just looked at me. She asked if I was bleeding or spotting or what the heck did I need a pad for?!?! Being the secret keeper I was I desperately wanted to just keep this to myself and pretend it wasn't happening but I mustered up the strength and said, "I think I'm going to head downtown to get check out. I am bleeding and I'm scared.". I grabbed my keys and was getting ready to leave since it was now my coveted lunchtime. The office manager asked where I was going and I just told her that I thought I would go downtown and see the doctor on my lunch. She laughed her smug laugh and replied good luck with that. I got a little angry at that point and told her that I was actually going to go downtown to labor and delivery triage because I was bleeding and I was worried that something may be wrong. I'm sure she still didn't care but she wasn't as cocky and rude after I shared that information. So off I went.
The drive downtown seemed to take an eternity. The whole time I just prayed and rubbed my belly. I talked to my little baby and cried about how this wasn't fair and that I would do everything I could to fight for her. Eventually I made it to the hospital. I parked in the parking garage on the second floor in a familiar parking space that I frequented when I was downtown. I grabbed all of my important information and started my walk to the hospital. It wasn't far. Once I started walking I had this feeling. Ladies, you know the one when you feel like you're going to leak or have a little discharge. Well, I figured that's just what it was, probably a little more blood so I shifted, while walking, to let it pass and Oh.M. Gee! It was like a flood! Once it started it didn't stop. For a second I thought I was peeing myself! Now, I was walking near other people and in the event that I soaked through the pad I had on I didn't want to create a scene or draw attention to myself so I walked over by a car look out of the parking garage as if I was searching for something. I was! I was searching for a hole or a closet to lock myself in! Quickly the pad was soaked and whatever kind of bodily fluid it was started running down my legs. I just prayed Oh God, please don't leak onto the ground, please let this stop so I can go inside! Please baby, hang on, we're almost up there! I guess I was lucky and it ended up just leaking into my sneakers and then it was over. At that point I was so thankful that I had worn my black scrub pants today instead of my royal blue ones. I was still keeping a secret from the world as I was fighting this internal battle.
So, I waddled myself, in my now soaked pad, undies, pants and shoes down the rest of the parking garage and into the hospital. I kept checking the ground to make sure I wasn't dripping or leaving bloody foot steps behind me. I finally made it upstairs to L&D triage. My pants were cold and sticky from all the wetness so I stood and waited. I filled out all my paperwork and multiple times, explained my situation to the non-medical people who probably didn't care less. After 30 minutes of waiting and praying to not have another flood. I was called back by a lovely nurse. I explained my situation and events of the morning to her and she took my vitals and put me in a room. She told me to change into the gown and sit on the bed. For the first time since the flood I was going to get a good look at the damage.
I went to change and my legs were covered in red, sticky stains. My socks were wet and red. My panties damaged from the flood. The pad was useless and soaked. Even my new white shoes had red blood on the mesh part of them and on the inside there were stains too. I couldn't believe that it was all just blood and it was everywhere. I tried to clean up as much as I could and then I changed and waited for the doctor. A nice 3rd year med student came in first. I told him my story and a few nervous jokes. He left and came back with the doctor. Dr. Knowlton was a good guy. He checked my out, asked questions, ordered blood work a pelvic exam and an ultrasound. He looked at the ultrasound screen for a while. He said that my baby looked good, my placenta was nice and high and the my cervix was closed. He also made sure to note that the ultrasound machines that they have there in L&D are not the best machines. They are best used to look for the baby and the fetal heart tones. They are not the best machines for diagnostic purposes. He ordered a bag of fluids since I had such a good bleed and he wanted to make sure that he could help replace some of the volume lost. An hour and a half later my blood work came back fine. My hemoglobin had dropped a little but I wasn't anemic or even pretty close to anemic so that was a good thing. He told me that all he could say at this point is that this is a threatened abortion. There was nothing significant that pointed to why I was bleeding. He said that it was probably from my placenta but that it was probably just from it forming, maybe trying to form on or around the scar tissue I had from my previous c-section. He said it probably wouldn't happen again and to follow up with my doctor. I thanked him for, what I considered, good news and they processed my discharge.
I arrived back at the office that afternoon and shared as little information as I could. I hated having to share any because while Jen understood and trusted Dr. Knowlton's exam and diagnosis, the office manager said he was stupid and that I needed to be home on bed rest and I was going to hurt my baby by being here at the office. I hated having to share anything with her. This held true throughout my pregnancy and loss. I quickly realized that, even though we had worked together for five and a half years we were not friends. She has not one ounce of concern for me or baby Clara. She's just cold and mean. Anyway. I continued to work until 5:30 and then I went home. I told the hubs about all of it when he got home but he didn't seem to completely understand so I picked up a journal and started writing. I had some bleeding over the next couple of days but it was more like a moderate menstrual cycle. My uterus was a little tender but it was from the trauma that the bleed caused. I had a doctors appointment on the 8th so I knew, if I could hang on until then, I would have more answers. Answers that I hoped and prayed would be positive and comforting...