Things I haven’t done today: brushed my teeth, stood for more than 5 minutes, seen my daughter Jaye
Things I did today for the first time: took an ambulance ride (twice), peed into a bedpan (twice)
Things I hope never to do: poop in a bedpan, for one…
So um, yeah. Woke up this morning for my morning pee and got back into bed at 6:40am in the hope of getting a bit more sleep before Jaye woke up. It was Mac’s day at home, and my first real day off of work, so we had a few important things planned. Mac was going to install the baby carseat and start moving furniture to make room for baby, maybe even think about assembling the co-sleeper. He was going to take Jaye food shopping so I could rest.
But that all changed in an instant.
Just as I curled up back in bed, relishing in luxurious quiet and comfort, I felt a warm gush of fluid. I flashed on one moment in time, nearly 6 years ago now, when my water had broken in my bed in a quick gush. We all know how that ended, a week later, with a 21 weeker who simply wasn’t viable. Our son.
But there wasn’t that much fluid. I jumped up for the bathroom and realized what it was. Mac was already up, ready to begin his morning routine. “I’m bleeding,” I told him as I sat on the toilet. “You’re bleeding. Should I call 911?” I looked down, looked around, and we both saw the trail of blood. It was on the hardwood floor, on the rug, down my leg. It was still coming out. He didn’t wait for an answer.
“My wife is pregnant and she’s bleeding.” Wait, start over. “My wife is 33 weeks pregnant, very high risk, lots of placenta issues, we need an ambulance.” Repeat. I know the operator was asking what made him think I was at risk, why was it an emergency, etc. Repeat. “We need an ambulance.”
Five minutes later, at 6:55am, a fire truck pulled up. Three big men stormed into our bedroom. I was wearing a nightshirt. They gave me oxygen, checked my blood pressure, and I tried to explain all of the placenta issues to them. Soon the ambulance arrived and there were five men in our room and it sounded like at least one had experience with pregnancy beyond his wife. Within 5 minutes I was strapped to a gurney being wheeled down our front step, asking the medic if I should bring some pants (no), and making sure that they would tell Mac where they were taking me. I remember thinking, what if they discharge me? I’ll have no pants. Or shoes.
We all agreed our local hospital couldn’t handle my care and they decided to take me 20-25 minutes away to the next best hospital to handle high risk birth and babies. Problem was, it was the opposite direction from my hospital in SF. Mac knew the goal was to get a transfer to my hospital, with my doctor and her team and plan. Even if she wasn’t there, that was where I wanted to be. Next problem, Jaye was still asleep and we had to make a plan for her too.
Mac handled it like a pro and brought Jaye to her cousins then followed to the hospital. I braved the ambulance ride and was admitted by 7:30am. I was fine on the way, just worried. My blood pressure went up considerably from fear and adrenaline. I actually schooled the medic on some new medical issues, even spelling placenta previa and accreta for him (he wrote everything down). He was kind.
I held it together until they pushed me through the ER doors and we headed up to labor & delivery. But as they wheeled me in to the room with the doctor and nurses, the tears came. I don’t want to have my baby here, she can’t be born now. I kept thinking. Not now, not here, please, not like this.
They transferred me to the bed and started checking me, asking questions, hooking up the monitors. I was still bleeding, but there were no more big gushes, and the baby was fine. I told them everything, including that I was a known patient at well known SF hospital, which had a plan for transfer and delivery. Could I be transferred? No, not yet, not until the bleeding stabilized. But they were certain they could handle my care, as well as the baby’s, if necessary.
Mac showed up and started pushing for the transfer as well. But by now it was time for the morning commute. Traffic from hell. Turns out, no buildings in SF even have heli-pads, so you have to be flown to the airport then go by ambulance. WTF? Not a good plan in traffic. What idiots decided that plan? Hello, medical emergency? We had to stay put.
Soon they reached my doc in SF and made a plan. They’d watch me for 4 hours, after which the local doc would decide if I was stable enough to transport. My doc also spoke to Mac on the phone, and he made calls to family. They gave me another shot of steroids in the event of delivery.
After a very long series of hours in which Mac and I were left to entertain ourselves and I was forced to use a bedpan and bare my privates to all while a kind nurse wiped me, we were told I may be stable enough to move. By 1pm they approved the transport, and by 2:30 I was in a new high tech ambulance on my way to SF, with a young hip tatooed nurse attending.
Everyone made it clear that I wouldn’t be going home before this baby was born, whenever that would be. Mac stopped home and grabbed my bag, which I had packed the other day, just in case. He called to check on Jaye, who was having so much fun with her cousins that she hadn’t even asked about us.
The ride to SF was surreal. My pressure was taken every 10 minutes, they listened with a doppler every 10 minutes (very hard in a moving car). I saw the exit signs in the air as we passed. It was about an hour ride. When they wheeled me in this time, I felt relief.
They admitted me at about 4pm. A new resident and doc checked me and they were concerned I might be starting to dilate, which could have caused the bleeding with the placenta right there. The question was, would they plan to deliver with the team in tact, either right away or in 24 hours, OR would they admit me for bedrest and try to stick to the original plan, giving the baby another week to cook. The risk there was that an emergency situation could arise, putting everyone at greater risk. They much preferred a planned procedure, not over the holiday weekend.
(Funny enough, I just wrote about how I love the number 3. Well tomorrow will be 33w3d, but I don’t love it enough not to wait another week. Heh.) Because the active bleeding had subsided, leaving only spotting, they agreed to wait.
So now I write this from my hospital bed, hoping not to bleed or cramp, hoping I can rest, hoping we make it through the week without an emergency arising.The only time I’ve stood up today were to pee this morning, and to pee once I got to my hospital.
Mac has gone home for the night to give our daughter some sense of normalcy before it all begins again. I’ll see them in the morning, after an undoubtedly restless night. With bad TV. At least I have my computer, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable to write.
For now, I am just grateful to have bought some more time, and for bathroom privileges.
Thank you all for the amazing support. Wishing us all a safe weekend. Much love to you all.
Peace out. xo