This past Saturday, I started bleeding. Not spotting: bleeding. Mark and I were at home settling in to watch a movie - popcorn already popped - and I ran to the bathroom before the lights went low. I went to wipe and was greeted with pure blood, with more red drips in the toilet. There weren't any lumps or mucus, it was just blood. I had no idea what to think about it, but I was freaked. I called out to Mark to tell him, and he suggested I call our midwife. I talked to her and she said it was best to go to the emergency room just in case, because "bleeding of any kind during pregnancy isn't normal." It was 9:20pm and we were headed for a long night.
We arrived at the E.R. and were the only ones there besides one other couple. They got us in pretty quickly and we were greeted with the NICEST nurse and doctor- a blessing in and of itself! Honestly, they really made things a lot easier and more calming for us. It was determined that I would have an internal ultrasound, which would require a catheter. While waiting to be taken to have these procedures, I couldn't stop my mind from racing. I thought about how easy it had been for us to conceive, and how it would only seem fair that we would have to pay for that now. I spent some time playing a silly game on my phone to keep my mind off things because my anxiety was as high in those moments as it has ever been. Mark was such a sweetheart, rubbing my back and thinking positively. He never lost his cool (although he never does). Having him there to reassure me was exactly what I needed. At one point I looked down at my shirt and found a Molly hair (our dog who is like a fur-covered anxiety pill - she's The Awesome) and instantly felt this weird sense of comfort in it. It's funny the things you hold onto when you feel so scared and out of control.
The catheter? Well, let's just say it hurt like a mother. Getting a tube shoved up a tiny hole isn't something I would recommend to anyone. I instantly had this feeling like I was peeing my pants, and at one point, I said to Mark, "I think I just peed the bed! I hope I don't crap my pants...OH WAIT, I'M NOT WEARING ANY!" Hey, humor has always been my favorite crutch...
We were wheeled into the ultrasound room, which was dark and cool. The tech was steel-faced and didn't say anything as she began the internal ultrasound, filling up my bladder with fluid so she could have a "window" to look at my ovaries/tubes to make sure there wasn't blockage that could have caused the bleeding. She then took out the catheter (OUCH followed by sweet relief) and began to look at the baby. We couldn't see the screen, and it felt like an ETERNITY before she said, "Now...I can't tell you anything, but why don't you just take a look at the screen." She turned the screen toward us and we saw our little Chickpea wriggling about, heart beating fast. Mark and I squeezed each others hands tightly and just stared in awe, tears filling our eyes. The tech turned on the speaker and suddenly we heard the little stampede of a heartbeat rushing straight to my heart. 180 beats per minute, strong as it should be. Out loud, I said, "OHHH! What a RELIEF!!" When she left, Mark said to me, "That was the coolest thing I've even seen," and I had to agree. Our baby was O.K. Thank God!
The next day, I was still quite sore and felt like I had a bladder infection. On one of the many visits to the bathroom, I was greeted with more bleeding. My heart sank and I began to cry. Mark was out of town for work, so I called him. He was once again very reassuring, saying that we'd had bleeding once and the baby was fine, and it would be fine again. It was hard for me to believe in the moment, though. I called my sister, who is a nurse, and she talked me through it even more.
Today, we went for a follow-up and met with the O.B., who said that some unlucky woman bleed throughout their pregnancies, and that there is a new increase in blood flow and new arteries that could have caused a small burst in my case. She was also honest and said that if I'm going to miscarry, there isn't much I can do to prevent it, so I should just go about life as normal. I felt relieved hearing that from a professional. It was the perspective I needed at that moment.
For now, we've decided not to tell anyone else our good news - it's just too risky. I'm afraid, very anxious, and worried that we might not get to meet our Chickpea. But I'm also grateful for the glimpse we were able to have of him or her, to have seen with our own eyes that things are going just as they should. And for now, I can only pray...