My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Went to the ER Bleeding

It's never 9am on a Monday morning that these things happen.  No, it's always 10pm on the Saturday of a holiday weekend.

Last night after a late dinner, I went to the bathroom to check in the moisture I tend to feel in my undies every hour or so.  That's endometrin for you.  You always feel like you just started your period but it turns out to be a clear, white nothing.

Not this time.  I had soaked through my pantyliner and when I was on the toilet, I dropped a major clot.  I could seriously feel it slide out of my body and when we looked at it in the toilet (yes, I made K look too because I was that freaked) it was something about the size and structural integrity of a full egg yolk.  It looked like some sort of animal kidney or liver that my parents used to feed our cats when I was little.

Here's a logistical problem that you face when something like this happens.  Do you flush the toilet?  Seriously!  What does a person do here?  We opted to not flush the toilet in case it was something that would need to be retrieved for some sort of testing.

I called the clinic and got my call back from the doctor on call and was given the choice of going to the ER or waiting until the morning and getting an ultrasound at the clinic.  Uh gee, let me think about that, BYE!  And off to the ER we went.

Let me tell ya, when you're 19 weeks and in labor, there's a whole lot more rush on your behalf than when you're 7 weeks and bleeding.

I got all checked in, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels measured, and was told to wait, so we waited.  I needed to pee.  But I was really afraid of what I would see if I took my pants off so I held off for a while.  When I finally went, there was still blood, but it wasn't as bad as it had been before.

During all of this, I'm trying to come up with a logical explanation for what's going on.  I'm convincing myself that whatever was in the toilet, if it was a gestational sac, it was only 1 of the sacs.  And that the other one could still be in there and just fine.  I'm basically preparing myself to be told that we've lost one and trying to psych myself up to believe that the other one is fine.

Finally, after about a half hour, we head back to a room and I'm told to strip down.  They set up an IV in my hand and take some blood at the same time.  The IV was a precautionary thing, they didn't actually attach me to any fluids, they just wanted the IV in place so that should I need something later, there's no delay in getting it into my system.  On a side note, every time I've typed IV so far in the post, my fingers automatically finished that to read IVF.

Then there was another half hour or so of excruciating waiting.  Bear in mind, that I'm shaking this whole time.  It was a combo of sugar/caffeine from the real coke I had with dinner and panic.  But that kind of tense shaking is not comfy.  While I pass the time inspecting my hair for split ends and color variations, K just sits in the chair next to me and silently waits.  I don't know how he does that but somehow he does.

FINALLY, the ultrasound tech retrieves me and my bed is rolled into a dark room for a date with Wanda.  But first, they do a topical ultrasound to check my kidneys.  WTF?  Ok fine, have a friggin kidney, but the doctor and I clearly have different priorities.  After we've established that I have kidneys, Wanda shows herself and here we go.

I see 2 sacs as the technician takes a quick look around.  I can see that one of the sacs clearly has something inside of it, the other one, can't see as well.  But regardless, it's there, and that means it's not at home at the bottom of my toilet.  But every time she glances at what's in there, she takes a still picture which pauses things so I can't clearly see if there are beating hearts.  We occasionally think we see some hearts fluttering as she passes by and this is reassuring, but it's not clear.

The tech is extremely thorough.  Much more thorough than the ultrasounds I get at the clinic.  They check both ovaries, including the blood flow through the ovaries.  And finally, fucking FINALLY, she focuses on the gestational sacs and start getting some good looks inside.

Of course, the tech is legally not able to give any conclusions of any kind, but fuck, we're IVF patients, we know what the fuck we're looking at.  And we are looking at Twin A's beating heart. YES!!!  All sorts of measurements get taken and I'm seeing ages like 6 weeks 5 days coming up on the screen.  And we move on to Twin B.  And Twin B is indeed right where it's supposed to be.  And there's beating heart number 2.  OMFG YES!!!!!  I start seeing measurements like 6 weeks 6 days on the screen.  And now K and I are babbling back and forth about how much growth we've seen since my ultrasound a whole 4 days ago and trying to make various diagnoses with each other since the tech is not allowed to join in.

As the panic starts to subside, we head back to my room to await conclusions.  Every so often I still need to wipe and I'm still bleeding a little bit.  A doctor comes in and determines that we're not going to do a pelvic exam, the ultrasound gives more info anyway and why introduce anything up there that doesn't need to be there (thus validating my no penis, no fingers policy during this pregnancy).  I'm told I can go ahead and get dressed and so oddly enough, that's what I opt to do.

After another bit of waiting, the doctor comes in with all sorts of results.  There's some blood in my urine sample (duh) but otherwise it looks fine.  My bloodwork all came in just fine.  And my ultrasound, things look as perfect as they can be.

WTF?  How is that even possible?  How can that much blood, a clot that size, exit my body, and you can't find any evidence of where it came from or what the hell it is?  10 days ago, I passed a clot that was like a smushed pea and they could find the gap where that had come from, but you can't see where a clot the size of an egg came from???  I tell him that I'm picturing all of the lining of my uterus just breaking off in bits and pieces and eventually the piece that's holding one of the sacs in place is going to come out taking the sac with it.  The doctor said that's not what's happening.

Here are the final baby conclusions.  I'm told that the best indicator of fetal strength is the heart rate.  The heart rates are 137bpm and 139bpm - very strong.  So that's really good.  The doctor also says that size and age measurements are not exact sciences at this stage so take those numbers with a grain of salt.  Regardless, we're at 6w5d (Twin A) and 7w0d (Twin B) which is 2-4 days behind actual age, but significant growth from last Tuesday so I'm good with that.

I was told that if I bleed through 2 pads an hour, that's panic time.  But if I have something to panic about before then, I can come in any time and peek in on the kiddos.  I'll likely be doing that every couple of days because I seem to be bleeding significantly every couple of days.  I woke up this morning to quite a bit of blood, but it didn't soak through a pad, and as of 9 hours ago, the kids were fine so I'm sucking it up and not panicking.  Yup, see this face, this is a non-panicking face.  No really, it is.  I always look like that.

When I went to sleep last night (after flushing the toilet guilt free), my big boy kitty was under my arm, my smaller boy kitty was under my other hand, and my mini girl kitty, who never comes up on the bed at night, she was sleeping on my belly.  She was still there when I woke up this morning.

For the next few days, I'm not doing jack shit.  No pottery, no dishes, no nothing.  I'm either sitting or lying down.  Intellectually, I'm fully aware that there's nothing that I'm doing to cause this bleeding, but I don't give a hoot about reason.  I'm sitting here, feeling like I'm having a period and it feels awful.  My brain simply can not wrap itself around the possibility that with all of this bleeding, I might possibly make it out of the first trimester still pregnant.  That just doesn't seem possible.

I'll be keeping my Tuesday ultrasound appointment at the clinic.  Yes, I'm likely going to look in these little ones every 3-4 days because they are scaring the bejebus outta me.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. You can certainly continue to have a healthy pregnancy with LOADS of scary blood. I've been there. If you have, or had, a SCH (sub something hematoma something...beasicly a bruise/scab thingy where the placenta attaches) you can continue to bleed and throw clots until it resolves itself. As long as the baby(s) are growing properly and the blood flow through the placenta is ok. The hormone supplements make them worse, I was on Prog suppositories when I had mine, and I immediately stopped. I was more worried about the bleeding than the hormone levels, which were ok anyway. Fingers crossed that your Tuesday US shows nothing out the ordinary to worry about. (SCH's although scary, are ordinary, especially w fraternal twins, IVF, and hormone supplementation).

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  2. Wow. Well this isn't going to be an easy next 7 month, now is it? Good luck with everything- and super glad to hear it's all still ok.

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  3. Be brave and try to stay positive. Those kiddos are ok so far. They're just telling you: heads up,mom, we're gonna give you scares our whole lives. xoxoxoxo

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  4. Wow, the difference between the canadian and US medical systems... I was almost 8 weeks at the ER and they didn't even do an US, just drew blood and a pelvic...

    I'm glad to hear everything is still okay!!!

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  5. by the way Alex, the ads on the left side bar are making it hell to post a comment, they keep popping out sideways and covering the captcha

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  6. wow, that must have been awful, but i am really glad to hear you saw 2 sacs and 2 heartbeats!

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  7. @Allyssa

    Sorry about that. I finally figured out how to turn the ad blocker off on my browser so I could see what the ads looked like here. Because I had the ad blocker on, I kept adding and adding those ads, never seeing them and wondering why it wasn't working. I hope I've moved things around to make them less obnoxious.

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  8. That is so scary. So glad you and the little ones are ok!

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  9. Just checking to see if you had an update. Let us know how you're doing, ok? Thinking about you and your beanies.

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  10. I agree with Chickenpig...I had a massive (8cm) SCH with my fraternal IVF twins....it was many many scary trips to the ER and lots and lots of scary bleeding until about 19 weeks. Huge clots, bleeding through pads and my underwear and pants several times. I was on bedrest pretty much my whole pregnancy. I was scared out of my mind, copious amounts of bleeding do that to a loss mama. I'm thinking of you! I hope my story gives you some hope that even with all of that...I have 2 healthy girls.

    Carolyn

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  11. My prayers are with you. Thinking about you.

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  12. Oh, God, sweet pea. Just what you need. I'm so glad everything is ok. At least your experience validates the fact that my SIL's jackhole OB never could "find" the source of her massive bleeding - the very thought of that, after my experience, made me so livid! So, I guess it really can happen.

    My 1.5 hour u/s the day before my water broke also consisted of an inordinate amount of time "examining" my kidneys(it hurt, too!). I don't know why they do that...as IF that's what we mommies are worried about in situations like that. I think they should ok the babies, first, and then look at whatever else they need to.

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  13. One more thought, Alex...you and I both know that while loads of women do bleed forever through their twin pregnancies and are fine, others - like me - are certainly not.

    A woman in CO who lost her first pregnancy to pPROM suggested I take Femdophilus. I've been taking it since 1 week after my loss and will continue throughout each and every pregnancy I ever have in the future. It's a special probiotic blend that's formulated specifically to repopulate the vagina with "healthy" bacteria, thus lessening the amount of bad guys present. Given both you and I lost our first sets of twins to infection (and since mine was due to 7 weeks of constant bleeding/spotting destroying my mucus plug - very much NOT ok), I'm hoping this gives my future babies more protection against infection. (I bought mine off of Amazon.com and am about to reorder...I only take 1 a day and my two bottles will have lasted me 4 months+ for less than $40.) Hugs...

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  14. @Amy Lagerquist Thanks Amy. I've got an U/S tomorrow and I'll ask about that stuff. I'm hoping to go back to the care of my OB and graduate the clinic soon so I'll ask him about it too.

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  15. The ER is such a nightmare but yeah, definitely stay paranoid. It's only a few more months lol

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