At 28 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I was just about to leave to have lunch with my friend and my husband – when all hell broke loose. I had just showered and went to use the restroom (because I have to go all the time!) – when I was done I noticed a copious amount of blood not just on the toilet paper but on the seat, floor, toilet and in my underwear. I have never seen (first hand) so much blood, so I naturally freaked out. I called my husband from the bathroom and told him we needed to go to the hospital, and we needed to go right now.
My husband threw down a towel on the passengers seat and lifted me up into the truck. It was a very quiet ride to the hospital, until we realized that we didn’t know where the hospital was located. I mean – we had a general idea, but since the COVID-19 Pandemic shutdown hospital tours, we had no clue which way was up… It was very eye-opening to say the least. The only saving grace was the road signs leading us to the hospital. We could have used our phone GPS, but the both of us were in such a frenzy that we seemed incapable of even thinking straight. However, we ended up arriving at the ER entrance where we were greeted by an enormous line of people.
I hopped out of the Jeep with blood streaming down my leg and found an intake nurse at the door. I walked up to her frantically and told her we had an emergency. She asked me what my emergency was and I told her, “I’m 28 weeks pregnant and bleeding uncontrollably.” Apparently I didn’t look pregnant to the entitled “Karen’s” in line as I was being guided inside – “Must be nice!” one of them said. If I wasn’t bleeding my brains out and could see the woman, I would have given her a good 1-2 and a left hook – or at least a dirty look. Some people are the absolute epidemy of selfishness.
I was given a wheelchair and hauled off to triage and when I got there, I stood up and my seat was full of blood. I was told to sit down again and I was rushed to Labor & Delivery where I was met by a team of nurses and doctors asking me (what seemed like) thousands of questions all at once. They all start taking pieces of my clothes off and talking medical jargon amongst themselves and at this point I am getting really uncomfortable. I ask the doctor, “I’m not having this baby today, am I?” He responds by saying, “With this amount of blood loss, it is quite possible.”
If I wasn’t sure about how I felt before, I can legitimately tell you now that I was FREAKING OUT! I started to mentally prepare myself for the worst. I was either going to have a preemie or no baby at all. This was all too sudden and I couldn’t deal with the thought of going home without my baby girl – I have already grown attached her and she’s not even a few pounds in my tummy yet. I couldn’t think about it too long however, because my doctor said that he needed to test one more thing before he could make a decision on what to do next.
The doctor pulls out a long cotton swab and has me put my legs up into the stirrups. He swabs my vaginal area and looked perplexed. There wasn’t any blood on the swab… Then he saw it. I had ruptured a blood vessel in my anus! So badly that it was hemorrhaging like no one in the room had ever seen. I let out a big sigh and then immediately felt embarrassed. I just made a big deal out of a ruptured hemerobiid?! “Fantastic!” I mean – it was great news, but here I am thinking horrible things are to come and I’m just a hypochondriac!
My stay wasn’t over yet though. Unbeknownst to me, my blood pressure was off the charts at 170/110. With everything that just occurred, I wasn’t too concerned about the numbers. I have had high blood pressure for about 25 years now, it is nothing new. I was stressed out when they pulled those numbers. I was certain I was going home within the hour, so I texted my husband, “Baby and I are safe.”
Hours pass and I am still not getting discharged and I am starving by this point in the day. Every half hour I ask the nurse what the status of my release is, and she would always say, “We need to get your labs returned before we can let you go home.” So I ask for a PB&J and just wait… Finally after another few hours pass I get my lab results back and they were all normal. So now I’m going home, right?
It seems that no matter how normal things looked on and off paper, I was not going home. The doctor was so worried about my blood pressure that he admitted me to the hospital without my knowledge. I am now staying here overnight for nothing! Or was I wrong? The nurses have been checking my blood pressure ever half hour now and it has not really made a significant improvement – even though my mood has. Nonetheless, I’m staying overnight.
During the night I was put on bedrest, had my blood pressure medicine doubled and then tripled. It wasn’t until morning that a new doctor gives me grim news – and it poorly executed news at best. “With your blood pressure and kidney disease, I am not confident that you will be delivering this baby at full term. You will most likely be delivering at no more than 34 weeks.” Well here I am 32 weeks and 3 days in… Knowing now that this upsetting information was not as clear-cut as it had seemed. I had an appointment scheduled to see my primary OBGYN a few days later and found out that neither my kidney disease nor my high blood pressure would put me in spontaneous active labor!
The dooming news from the hospital came down to a single bit of knowledge that was omitted from the conversation between me, my husband and the doctor. Yes, kidney disease and high blood pressure put me at high risk for preterm labor, but it does not mean that my body will all of a sudden decide to go into labor. What it does mean is that if these two risk factors become uncontrollable, then I would be induced by physicians. They would have to intercept my pregnancy in order to keep me and my baby girl healthy. Long story short – “one does not cause another.”
To conclude this story, I am keeping close tabs on my two high risk factors by staying on triple doses of blood pressure medicine, taking a baby aspirin and checking my blood pressure regularly at home. As far as the kidney disease, I have switched my diet to low salt, low sugar and mainly vegetarian cuisine – (Impossible Burgers are amazing!) I will update you all if anything changes, but right now – baby girl and I are healthy!