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I Believe In Miracles #AllThingsHD

November 14th, 2020
Posted in #LIFEINHD, #MyMotherhoodMinute

The blood just kept coming! I just kept praying, and praying.

It’s crazy how something I had never heard of, changed my life so much. It raised my awareness, and shifted me into a place of gratitude at the highest level. 5 weeks after the scariest moment of my life and it is still hard to put my experience into words… to process everything. Truth be told, I have been writing this post for weeks- typing things in my notes as they came to me, knowing that I wanted to share and include the good, the bad, and the super ugly. Having 5 little ones to look after, one of which is a newborn does not leave much time for blogging. I have been looking forward to a few solo moments to stitch my thoughts together, but here I am– baby girl in her rock n’ play, teaching homeschool to my fourth and first grader, leading learning activities for my four and two year old, and writing in between the chaos of it all. I know I do not have much time to get this off my chest so I am going to dive right in.

After getting my kiddos situated with their food, and finally getting ready to enjoy a bowl of frosted flakes (with ice of course), I leaned onto the island in the kitchen and felt a large gush of fluid. Immediately I reacted thinking, this is it; my water broke! I already had a scare at 27 weeks, but I knew this was officially GO time! I started walking quickly to the bathroom as I have never fully experienced my water breaking. While walking to the bathroom, I looked down and noticed I was leaving a trail of blood. I’ve heard some bleeding was normal, but by the time I reached the toilet I knew the amount of blood I was leaking was NOT normal. This was not the twinge of blood I had read and heard about; this was full on non-stop extreme bleeding. And, I was scared out of my mind. As you can imagine, negative thoughts started to flood my mind but I refused to accept them. In a way, I was “prepared” for the worst but trusting GOD for the best.

I started yelling for help. The bleeding was getting worse and there were no signs of it slowing down.

My husband had just gone to bed, but luckily my mother-in-love was here and came right to the bathroom. She woke my husband up, brought me towels and my phone so I could call the hospital. My kids hearing the commotion and seeing all the blood started freaking out. They were asking, “Is momma ok?,” “Why is she bleeding?,” and they were crying and getting worked up as well. Once I realized their concern, I tried to “calm down,” enough to comfort them. “Momma is ok; It’s time for the baby to come… finish eating and head to bed, stop crying.” Their emotional distress and concern hit me hard; I was scared and seeing them worried was tough. While sitting on the toilet with blood continuing to flow out, I called my mom in between sobs to tell her what was happening. She immediately began to pray, and said she was on her way. After hanging up with her, I text my siblings group chat, my family chat, text a few close friends and called my sister because I need their support; I needed my prayer lines. I needed them bad. Although I was praying myself, I was weak and needed to piggy back off of their faith and strength. After wrapping in towels, I headed to the car. I remember telling my husband and mother in love what I needed, but my only concern was getting to the hospital. While en route I continued to try and call the hospital to get in touch with whichever doctor was on call. To say the least, they were not organized and what should have been a simple process was extremely frustrating. I hung up, and we headed to the ER. Reaching the hospital, we pulled up beside a police car asking for directions to the emergency room. He jumped in his car, turned his lights on and took us himself. When we pulled up, they rushed out with a wheelchair, and we were off. The check in staff asked which kiddo this was for me, and after stating this was my fifth pregnancy, the response was “we gotta move!” They rushed me up to labor and delivery where a new set of nurses started checking vitals and seeing the blood called for a nurse practitioner to come and check me while we waited for the doctor to come. I remember them asking for a urine sample, which of course was all blood. When the nurse practitioner arrived, she did a mini ultrasound and told me that they were concerned with the amount of blood I was losing, and that it is possible that I had a partial placental abruption. She could not fully say that I had or had not, but she did make it clear that this amount of bleeding was not something they like to see, and that my amniotic fluid was extremely low. This was all happening on Wednesday night. Let me give you a little timeline of how quickly this all happened. Friday, September 18th, I moved to Ohio. Monday, September 21st, I had my first visit with my new OBGYN in Ohio, and confirmed things we had known for sometime: I had low amniotic fluid, baby was measuring small, and due to my blood pressure they for sure wanted to schedule an induction at 37 weeks. I was scheduled for another growth tracking ultrasound on September 25th, but September 24th all of this craziness happened. Moments after visiting with the nurse practitioner, the doctor on call came in. It did not take long for her to share all of her concerns with my situation. The nurses had been able to find the heartbeat on baby girl, but it was just a faint line on the screen and they kept losing her. She expressed that they were not seeing much variability on the monitor and that was alarming. Again, the bleeding– it was a lot and she did not like what she was seeing. She told me that they could continue to try and trace baby’s heartbeat for awhile, see if any contractions or dilation would begin, but waiting could also be detrimental. You see, I was not in active labor. I had no major contractions, no new dilating and no thinning of the cervix. Being that I had four vaginal births prior to this delivery, I could have waited things out to see what would happen, however, I knew if I did not act immediately, things would only get worse. This is when I knew I had to speak up. I have always been absolutely terrified of having a c-section, but in that moment I knew I had to. I told her, ” I know that we can wait, but I cannot afford to take that risk. I am so terrified, but if we can do a c- section, go ahead and do it.” Her response, “I was kind of leaning towards that but wanted to give you the option to wait. If you’re ready, let’s do it.” Of course, I said, “yes,” and my husband also voiced how important it was for us to move forward with the procedure as well. Within ten to fifteen minutes I was being prepped for a c-section. Talk about losing it. I was experiencing all the emotions but I was praying without ceasing. I feel GOD gave me a sign when the nurse who had been entering my vitals etc into the computer began to sing. She was singing gospel music, and that ushered in peace. At one point I shared with her how I was freaking out, and she simply told me, “Well you said you went to bible study this morning, so I know you have faith, so say a prayer and I will too; you will be ok.” I needed that. It felt like an eternity being prepped for the emergence c- section and waiting for my husband to be allowed into the operating room. It may have been fifteen minutes tops, but anxiety was setting in. The doctors and nurses talked me through every single step so I was always aware of what was happening, but it was still so surreal. I sat on the edge of the bed with a nurse holding my hands. I had done this before, but instead of an epidural, I was getting anesthesia. Within seconds my toes started to go numb, all the way to my chest. That was super trippy. After that, I was being cleaned, shaved, strapped in, and prepped for surgery. “I just gave you a big squeeze on your belly, and you didn’t feel it so we are going to start cutting Heaven. You will feel lots of pushing and tugging, but you shouldn’t feel pain.” Nausea, pushing, tugging. I felt all of that quickly. Mike’s hand rested on my head, the nurse above me kept telling me I was doing great. I moaned, threw up, moaned some more. ** VIDEO** Doctor: “Oh girlfriend you definitely had an abruption.” * Speaking to someone *: “Are we out? Voices : “We’re out.” “Out.” Doctor: “You hear the cry? It sounds good.” Mike: “Look at her.” Doctor: ” There she is.” I have watched this video clip over and over, and I cry every single time. All hands were on deck pulling out who knows what, so much blood, them pulling my beautiful girl out and cutting her umbilical cord, and my husband’s voice as he sees her for the first time… whewwww, it’s overwhelming for me. She was here. She made it. I made it. While they stitched me up I continued to experience extreme nausea and being light headed. The doctor told me that would pass soon when she stitched up that layer that caused nausea, and that we need to talk about my fibroids (that is another subject). She said women usually feel less nauseous after that layer. Crazy right? The nurses brought my preemie girl over so we could enjoy skin to skin. I was so numb so they had to help me. Eventually I had to tell them to take her because I was having a hard time. I did not fully understand the magnitude of what we had just experienced until later… after shivering for hours in the recovery room, after being taken to a regular room, after the first night with the compressions squeezing my legs to reduce the risk of blood clots… after all the initial craziness.

 

We made it!

 

Even now, weeks after my delivery I continue to educate myself on placental abruption and read stories other women have shared about their experiences with it as well. It is heartbreaking. It is dangerous. It is unexpected.

Days after my delivery, Chrissy Teigen and John legend publicly shared their personal traumatic labor caused by a partial placental abruption in which they lost their baby boy, Jack, at only 20 weeks. My heart aches for them. I sobbed reading her tweet knowing that a few days prior I had just experienced a full blown placental abruption- only the outcome was different. Even now, I hurt for them and continually pray over their family peace, healing and restoration.

The amount of stories I’ve read, or that women have shared with me about their experiences with placental abruption since sharing my own has been overwhelming, yet eye opening. I realize there is not enough awareness behind this complication.

Placental abruption is an uncommon yet very serious complication in which the placenta detaches from the uterus (womb). About 1 in 100 pregnant women (1 percent) have placental abruption. It typically happens in the third trimester but it can happen as early as/any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The placenta actually develops in the uterus during pregnancy, and attaches to the wall of the uterus to supply the baby with oxygen and nutrients. The abruption occurs in the placenta partly or completely separate from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. Mild cases may only cause a few problems. An abruption is only considered mild if a small part of the placenta separates from the uterus wall; It is not usually dangerous.

Placenta abruption can decrease or block the baby supply of oxygen and nutrients, as well as cause heavy bleeding in the mother although minor bleeding does not dismiss how severe the abruption may be. There is a possibility that blood may get trapped inside the uterus, so even with a severe placental abruption, there may be a little to no visible bleeding. With a moderate or severe abruption you usually need to give birth right away, increasing your chance of having a c-section.

Often times, placental abruption happens suddenly and left untreated endangers both mom and baby. Some of the risk factors include chronic high blood pressure, being older in age, early rupture of membranes which causes leaking of the amniotic fluid before the end of the pregnancy, a previous placental abruption with pregnancy or other abdominal trauma, falls or blows to the abdomen, smoking, the use of cocaine during pregnancy and hypertension related problems during pregnancy including preeclampsia, eclampsia or HELLP syndrome.

Some of the complications are that a placental abruption can cause life-threatening problems for both mother and baby. For the mother, it can mean shock due to blood loss, the need for a blood transfusion, blood cutting problems, failure of the kidneys or other organs as a result of blood loss, or a need for hysterectomy if uterine bleeding cannot be controlled. Complications for the baby can mean restricted growth from not getting enough nutrients, not getting enough oxygen, premature birth, and stillbirth.

There is no prevention for a placental abruption but you definitely can decrease certain risk factors. Avoid using drugs, do not smoke, and if you have high blood pressure be sure to work with your healthcare provider to monitor the condition. Wear your seatbelt while you are in a motor vehicle and if you have experienced placental abruption and planning another pregnancy, talk to your doctor prior to conceiving to see if there are ways to reduce the risk of another abruption.

I was one in 100 women. I had a full placental abruption. I had severe bleeding. I had multiple risks and symptoms: age, hypertension, low amniotic fluid, heavy bleeding, uterine contractions, backache, abdominal pain, tender uterus and a previous placenta issue (my placenta came out in pieces with my 3rd pregnancy and I also experienced retained placenta). My daughter was born premature.

I didn’t have my first OB/GYN appointment until 12 weeks after conception. Due to COVID-19, the global pandemic we are still experiencing… I was unable to go in for the initial eight week check up. At my very first appointment, I was told that my blood pressure was high; this did not change my entire pregnancy.

At my next appointment I had an ultrasound; Abnormal findings they shared with me were markers for down syndrome. From the very beginning, I was considered high risk. With the need for increased growth track ultrasounds, at every appointment I was reminded of the “what if’s.”

 

 

Full video below:

https://www.facebook.com/IamHeavenD/videos/10101150973721571/?d=n

I chose to focus on what I know- that my GOD specializes in miracles. My baby girl is proof of that— such a big miracle in such a little girl. She is everything our family needed, our miracle baby.

Officially a mother of 5.

 

 

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