Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday

This morning around 9:45 am I felt a little blob of wetness down there. I presumed it was some leakage from my morning progesterone suppository. When I checked, I found bright red blood. I wiped. There was more. And more.

My heart and my mind raced. I was shaking. First call was to the Clinic. I am bleeding! She told me, "Don't freak out, 80-90% of IVF pregnancies bleed, and we don't know why. 80-90% bleed even though the baby is okay."

WHADDYA MEAN 80-90% of IVF pregnancies bleed?! With that kind of occurrence rate, shouldn't you have mentioned this to me a long time ago? Just to prepare me?!

Sorry, lady, too late. I'm in full panic mode. Increased respiratory rate, increased heart rate, tears, shaking. Panicked.

She told me to go on bed rest, increase my progesterone to 2 suppositories each time, and go to my U/S appointment tomorrow.

Tomorrow? How does a person wait 24 hours when they can't breathe, are crying and heaving and shaking like a leaf?! I told her I wanted to call my OB's office and try to get seen today. She said that was fine if they could get me in. I really think she was trying her best to reassure me, but I was way past the point of being reassured by anything less than an ultrasound.

So, I called the OB's office. I could hardly spell my name because I was crying. Tears can be your friend, though. They were able to get me in - if I could be there in 30 minutes.

I called my husband as I was throwing on some clothes, putting in my contact lenses and shutting the windows. He was working away from home today and agreed to meet me at the doctor's office. This was all happening so fast.

Should I tell you that I drove 82 mph on the freeway to the doctor's office? I did. Despite a car accident on the side of the road (for which I did slow down) and a construction zone on one of the side streets with cones, I made the 15-minute drive in 8 minutes.

I signed in and sat in the waiting room trying not to look at the newborn infant pictures on the wall. Or the very pregnant woman sitting nearby. I stared at the blue and gray carpeting and just breathed. This was not how I wanted this appointment to happen. I wasn't ready. I was supposed to feel excited and anticipatory and not like I was going to sob any minute. I wasn't supposed to be bleeding and scared. I hadn't showered, I was barefoot and wearing the dirty flip flops I use in the back yard. God only knows how tangled and disheveled my hair was. This was not how this appointment was supposed to be. And yet here I was. The next time I stepped foot in my house I would know the truth. Baby or no baby.

My DH finally arrived just before they called my name. I changed into the paper gown and sat on the exam table and we waited for the nurse practitioner to come in. My thoughts got the better of me and I started to really sob hard. My DH got me some tissues and I folded myself over into my lap and just sobbed. I was so afraid that this was going to be the end of our pregnancy story. He didn't know what to do with me. He sort of patted my shoulder and said, "It's okay, it's okay, we don't even know yet." I pulled myself together and the very kind nurse practitioner came in.

First we talked, she took some info. Then she put in a speculum and said she could see brown blood, but no fresh bleeding. I thought, yes, there is fresh bleeding in there somewhere, because 6 tissues floating in my toilet are covered in bright red blood. She tried to reassure me that bleeding can be caused by irritation to the vaginal blood vessels from the progesterone suppositories. I just kept thinking - you didn't see how much blood there was.

I laid back and she turned the U/S monitor so that my DH and I could see it. I took a deep breath and stared at it. Sweet woman, she picked up the vaginal U/S wand and started to reassure me that only a short bit of the wand goes in. I smiled and said I was used to those things and having them put inside me had become like second nature. She said, "Bless your heart."

As the wand went in, the picture jumped and wobbled and I was looking.... looking....where is the uterus....where is the black space, and immediately structures of some sort appeared. Before I could wonder or think or be afraid or guess or anything else, she said, "Look, there is one gestational sac, one yolk sac, and there is the flicker!"

My hands flew to my face and I began to sob. A flicker! I cried audibly. Well, when you are lying on your back and you sob, your abdominals heave up and down. The wand was heaving up and down. She couldn't get the image on the screen to stay in focus. My husband was patting me from somewhere beside me. And I cried.

She said gently, "If you can hold still, we'll listen to that flicker...we'll hear the heart beat." And so I breathed and held myself as still as I could and then sound waves appeared beneath the image on the screen and I heard it. A beautiful, rhythmic thump-thump-thump at 133 beats per minute.

She said normal is between 120 and 160, and if folk lore is right, she's guessing it's a boy because according to lore, boys' heartbeats run 120's-130's and girls run 140's-160's. Then she said, "But that's just folk lore and of course we've had girls with lower heart rates and boys with higher heart rates."

"Can we look at it again?" I asked. And she showed me the baby again and put an arrow on the flickering heart. "See, it's right there." I asked her why the baby didn't have a shape, like a bean? She laughed and said it's too early, the baby is too young for it to have shape yet, and the little rectangle is just the way it should look right now. Baby measured 6 weeks, 4 days - right on track. The crown-rump length was 0.73 cm. She got out a tape measure and showed us how tiny that is.

She said I should come for an appointment every week until...I don't know when. I was having a hard time focusing. All I know is that I get to go every week for a while and see that my little baby is there and growing. Some peace of mind.

We thanked her profusely, I got dressed, we made my next appointment and came home. The gushing bleeding has stopped. Just some brown remnants now. WTF was all that? And you know I'm still concerned. But at least we saw that there is a baby. One little sugar plum in there.

Here's my U/S, with the arrow pointing to the flicker:

Thank God for my baby and for its beautiful little heartbeat.


looking4#3 said...

What a gorgeous sugar plum you got there!!!! The beginning of your post made me so nervous, I had to jump to the end. Then, I was able to go back and read the whole thing. So happy everything is fine. For what it is worth--I had that SAME exact bright red huge amount of blood when I was pregnant with Christian!!! As you know, he is as healthy as can be. But, I agree---they should have forewarned you this was a possibility!!!!
So happy for you!!!

cindyhoo2 said...

Okay, I knew some women bleed but i had no idea it would be so Many or so much blood! I was terrified as I started reading your post. So glad for the beautiful heartbeat and the perfect growth rate! Weekly u/s... Now THAT is more like it! What a perfect sugar plum! You deserve a drink after a day like that. Being the good pal that I am, I will drink up for you.... How bout a little red wine?

Lucky Jones said...

Your post title had me freaked out for you, but I am so, so glad that the little bean is doing well!!!

just me, dawn said...

I am so glad that i could see that you posted an US pic on your I knew everything was going to be ok....but I felt your pain and your panic. whew....breathe sweetie you have a beating heart in there!! congrats!

Anonymous said...

I started reading and I couldn't handle it and skipped to the end and scanned for words and saw FLICKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then I cried.

For those who may stumble upon this, I will tell you, with my last baby I wasn't aware I was pregnant for a long time because I had what I *thought* was a short period.......three days of full on bleeding. Once we figured out I was preg, looking back, it was just some weird bleed through or something. yeah.

Anyways...............I'm so happy for you and your flicker. I actually was thinking about you this morning feeling like something was wrong and I almost emailed you even. Weird.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh my goodness what a day you've had! Hurray for Sugar Plum! What a joy! I would have reacted just like you, I know it! I'm so proud of you for insisting on being seen, and I am so truly happy for you.

Alex P said...

I think it was your bodies twisted way of getting you in a day early. like it or not, our bodies help things along, even if theyre the wicked stepsister sometimes. in this case, you got bumped to the front of the line, and got someone to negotiate sneak peeks at baby every week! Well done!

IVF 40+ said...

wow, what an experience. so pleased your post had a 'flicker' ending. It sounds terrifying, totally terrifying. So sorry you had to go through that. So happy you got to hear the flicka!
sending you hugs, peace and joy

Inlocoparentis said...

So sorry for the scare, but that is awesome about the hb. Congrats to all three of you!

Jen said...

Congrats!!!! Sorry you had to go through the scary bleeding first- It is so common though!!!

Yea!!! One healthy little flicker!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow...I was just checking in to wish you good luck with your scan tomorrow and holy cow! What a day you had! I can completely sympathize with your panic since I had gushing blood too. I have NEVER heard that 80%-90% of IVF pregnancies have bleeding though. That is an incredibly high number.

I am so, so happy that your day ended with a happy ending. And how completely awesome that you get to have weekly scans for a while! You will have quite the photo album of your little sugar plum before he/she is even born! I'm so happy for you!

tireegal68 said...

oh my god, lady, that was one scary scary day. I would have been right there with you sobbing my little heart out - so glad that it had a happy ending. wow - who knew? I mean, you have educated a lot of us and hopefully we might avoid having to go through the agony you experienced today. That sucks that you had to go through that and not know it was perfectly common. I mean, even knowing that it is still alarming, but it at least makes sense to know the odds.
Hoping you can gain some happy equilibrium after a hugely emotional day, my dear! Sending you lots of peaceful and calm vibes to keep you and baby on an even keel. (HUGS)

embieadoptmom said...

PRAISE GOD for that FLICKER! How awesome is that! Blessings to you friend!

cpughster said...

I had this same thing happen to me. Be prepared for more bleeding episodes but know that everything will be okay - each one will be upsetting but just take care of yourself. My doctors theory is that the medication you take causes your uterine lining to become very plush and the blood will sometimes clot because of it. Hope that made sense. He called it a subchorionic hematoma. All the best and I will be keeping you in my thoughts - it will all be perfect.

Anonymous said...

So happy for you! And I have heard that many IVF pgs have bleeding, but I think you had much more than usual. What a horrible ordeal - thank god you were able to get in to the scan today! Thinking of you and your little sugar plum.

Raylene said...

Im so sorry to hear about the blood but congrats on the healthy h/b!! Try putting the prog supp up the um "other hole" it helps to not hurt the cervix in any way. Its gross, I know but better to prevent bleeding.

stillhopeful said...

Wow - what an emotional day! Thank goodness it ended so fabulously!!! I'm so excited for you, and your u/s pic looks exactly like mine at that time, a little flicker with the yolk sac attached. How wonderful!! :)

BB said...

OMG! I didn't even know you posted yesterday!!! I'm so happy to see that u/s picture! So glad that everything is ok!!Congratulations!!!!!!

I have to go post now!

Holly said...

YEAH!!! Such a good ending to the story, I was crying all the way through it, I know that feeling-I started bleeding on a Friday night and had to wait until Monday morning to go to the doctor(at about 6 weeks as well with my adopted embryo, now 8 month old Adam) is so scary...and it happened to me again at about 12 weeks.

We went every 3 weeks for U/S also, and it sure does give you peace of mind.

Just take care of yourself and try to enjoy being pregnant and don't worry too much! I know that is hard when you've been through all you have been through. I'll be praying for you!

Fran said...

oh my dear friend, I'm here sobbing my eyes out. I saw the title of your post in my dashboard and didn't want to read. Started sobbing right away. But then I saw the U/S, there was definitely somethign good in your post and I started reading it as fast as I could. Of my God, thank you thank you thank you for this fantastic news. I am so happy for you I cannot stop crying. there is no sign of detachment that I can see from the pic, so it was really likely to be just a capillary on your cervix (are you on any blod thinner like aspirin or heparin or clexane) and they can definitely bleed a lot. But please please now do me a favour, leave the garden alone and just rest a bit more, would you? Don't make me come over all the way from Ireland that I'm the 2ww and can't really fly, so I should take a boat and by the time I'm there you'd have your baby in your harm! lots and lots of love, Fran

Monty said...

I just literally bawled through your whole post and really lost it when you saw a flicker!!! I am so sorry about the bleeding but so thrilled you got to see your little bean with a gorgeous healthy heartbeat!! My first u/s was 6w2d and I could barely hold still long enough to hear the heartbeat!
So happy for you!

Riley said...

How scary! I'm so sorry you had to go through all that but I'm thrilled you got such good news in the end!